Even though Football Manager 2017 is not out until November 4th, many players who pre-ordered the game got access to the game's beta. The Football Manager franchise has had a strong history with each edition doing well in review scores from both critics and fans, however, this time, the tables have turned.
Developers Sports Interactive announced that Football Manager 2017 would have community translations via Steam Workshop. This effectively meant that localised translations like simplified Chinese would not be officially developed and supported by the developers. This led to a mob of angry Chinese fans hitting the steam reviews section with so many negative reviews that the game only has 30% positive ratings, making the game mostly negative on steam for the first time in its history.
"As much as we'd love to translate the game into every language, it's often not possible for us to do so. So, in the same way as we let people add extra leagues to the game and make them available via Steam Workshop, with FM17 we're doing the same with languages." said the developers in a press statement.
Many of the angry Chinese players pointed to a tweet that Sports Interactives Miles Jacobson made in 2011, in which he said "To do a Chinese translation, we'd need 20k of the people currently pirating to buy the game,And that's not going to happen." Fans then proceeded to point to steam spy figures which Jacobson said were "60% inaccurate"
After fans began calling him a liar he responded "I made a commitment in 2011, which would have been for that year's version of the game. It didn't happen then. It also still hasn't happened. We did not sell 20k more copies of FM16 in China than FM12. So at no point have I lied or broken a promise." Since that time Miles Jacobson has stated that the Chinese fans have begun harassing him and even sending death threats to him and his family.
It seems however that this deplorable behaviour from some of those fans has worked. Publisher SEGA has released a statement saying "SEGA have begun work on translating Football Manager 2017 and Football Manager Touch 2017 into Traditional Chinese. SEGA are also considering simplified Chinese options. At this moment, there is no solid release date for the localised versions but we would like to reassure our Chinese fan base that a version is coming."
On the one hand, I'm glad that the loyal Chinese player base is getting a localized version, however, the tactics employed by certain individuals is unacceptable and SEGA's willingness to just give in under these circumstances can be perceived as spineless. There's a right way and a wrong way to go about getting such things, death threats is not the right way.