Manchester United set to be renamed in Football Manager 22 as the club reaches agreement with Sports Interactive over trademark rights
According to Sky Sports, fans will no longer be able to manage Manchester United in Sports Interactive’s popular Football Manager franchise.
They will instead have to settle for either Manchester UFC or Man UFC. This comes after the Red Devils were embroiled in a standoff with gaming giants Sports Interactive to protect their trademark. The change will be incorporated from the game’s 2022 version.
The decision has been met with mixed reactions from fans on social media. While some are clearly not happy with the new development, a number of them realize the need to protect the club’s trademark. United and Sports Interactive are, however, satisfied with their arrangement and have termed it mutually satisfactory.
According to the report, the settlement will address concerns among the fan community that United intended to target the ability for Football Manager players to import their own logos and shirts for club teams. While fans have not ceased sharing these logo packs, many of them are now shared without the United insignia following legal complaints from the club.
Curiously SEGA and Sports Interactive both maintain that they need no license to use United’s name in their game. However, they have decided to strike a compromise as an act of goodwill.
Italian club Juventus was removed from the game’s 2020 version after signing an exclusive partnership with Konami. The club was instead renamed Zebre in regards to its iconic colours. United have now followed in their footsteps. Just how this will impact a fan’s experience of the game remains to be seen.
United are satisfied with the outcome and will not pursue a deal to license its intellectual property to the game. As one of the most recognizable names in sports, Manchester United are recognized by even those who do not follow the sport of football.
One of the world’s most popular football games, Football Manager isn’t just addictive but also lets fans play out their fantasy and have a go at managing their favourite sides. Just how the new development will influence United fans’ experience of the game remains to be seen.
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Manchester United signed a deal with Konami in 2019 for the club to authentically appear in Pro Evolution Soccer 2020. Midfielder Scott McTominay was also made an official PES 2020 ambassador. We wouldn’t bet on Sports Interactive sending any of our players a version of the game anytime soon.