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Gaming has become more mainstream - Football Manager chief

Miles Jacobson also told TheJournal.ie that his popular series is seen as the “Boyzone of the industry”

Prince Harry (right), during his time in the British Army in 2012, relaxes while playing a computer football game with his fellow Apache Helicopter Pilot Capt Simon Beattie (left), during their 12-hour VHR shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan.
Prince Harry (right), during his time in the British Army in 2012, relaxes while playing a computer football game with his fellow Apache Helicopter Pilot Capt Simon Beattie (left), during their 12-hour VHR shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan.

COMPUTER GAMES HAVE become more mainstream and acceptable in the eyes of the media over the past two or three years, according to one of the former industry’s most influential figures.

Having previously lamented the reluctance of those in influential positions to embrace the video-gaming industry, studio director of the multi-million-selling Football Manager series, Miles Jacobson, now feels there is a more accepting attitude towards the industry.

Jacobson, who received an OBE in 2011 for his services to the gaming industry, admits there are some cynical reasons behind this change.

“I think it’s partly improved because the games industry advertises more in the mainstream media now,” he told TheJournal.ie. “Therefore, they take us more seriously because they’re making more money out of us.”

However, he also feels the transformation is partly as a result of the growing prominence and popularity of games at all levels.

Certainly, journalists who’ve grown up playing video games, as they start getting editorial positions, it does improve things, but it’s improving because gaming is becoming more mainstream in general.

I still haven’t seen the guys who made Call of Duty on chat shows and stuff like that. I think there have been a couple of instances in America where people have gone on, but it’s normally to do game demos.

“But it’s still going to take time [before games gain full acceptance]. When Elvis Presley came along, it was described as the devil music and he did alright for himself. People [who criticise games] just don’t understand them. It’s just a form of entertainment.”

And despite his success, Jacobson and his colleagues are not universally loved within the industry.

Several installments of the Football Manager series are among the highest-selling PC games of all time, and this level of success has somewhat inevitably attracted skeptics.

“It’s more popular inside the football world than it is inside the video game world. And that’s quite an interesting thing.

“We’re kind of seen as the Status Quo of the video games industry, but when you look at us from a football perspective, people are using our database to aid their work and I think we’re a lot cooler in football circles than we are in video game circles.

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“Maybe we’re more like Boyzone than Status Quo. Boyzone were always popular among footballers, but weren’t that cool within the music industry.”

Our full interview with Miles Jacobson will be up on the site from 12pm today.

Football Manager 2014 was released this week. More details here.

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About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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