I'm gonna start my reply off by saying that I love Football Manager. Like many others, I've been playing this game since I was a kid. Thousands of hours spent, a lot of games owned, and a huge amount of saves that I spent time and effort on.
To be completely honest, regardless of any negative thoughts I have about the current state of the game, I will probably still buy the newest version next year. Does that sound familiar? Indeed, the game is starting to mirror a fellow popular football game series. Life is slowly being sucked out of the game. A new coat of paint on a car with severe mechanical issues.
I'm sure many of you here are familiar with the silly, but disastrous red card bug that was VERY easy to replicate. A bug that any person who has played the game for an in-game month could spot. I do not remember when the bug first started appearing, but what I know for certain is that it was present on FM 18. It took SI until FM 22 to fix, and no, not even for the initial release of the game. This is one of many bugs that were previously reported by members of the community yet left on hold for reasons unbeknownst to us consumers, instead SI decide to release "new features" that more often than not do not actually have any effect on your saves.
Why am I writing this post now? Well, yesterday I read about the most recent update, and while not surprised, I was very disappointed. SI decided to use the game I bought to send political messages. This phrase has lost all meaning recently, but unfortunately, what SI is doing is called virtue signaling. First of all, why would you break ONGOING saves? Has this ever happened before? Usually, changes like these are to a large extent "optional", meaning you have to create a new save to see the changes. This update was special however, it had to be shoved down everyone's throats.
Realism? First of all, the Russia ban is indefinite. Sure, when the ban is eventually lifted the new game will reflect it, but people paid 50 dollars to play THIS game. You shouldn't have to buy the new game every year. Why would you not have the ban randomly lifted at various points in the future? How is it realistic playing 100 years into the future and Russia is still banned by FIFA/UEFA?
What is very suspicious is that this realism does not apply to Ukraine. Ukraine's football is suspended in real life, yet for some reason it's not suspended in the game. This is very obvious for anyone to see. SI were simply just taking a stance. No, they probably do not think banning Russia in FM saves would make Putin change his mind about the invasion, I do not think they are that deluded yet, but clearly SI thought this was a good way to share their thoughts on the situation and war in general. Russia gets realistically punished, while Ukraine's state does not reflect a realistic real life form. We get it, SI. War bad, Russia bad. Thank you!
Oh, let's also try to forget the Qatar World Cup relocation in FM 18 while we're at it, yes? I wonder why in almost every save the World Cup was being moved? I know why. Everyone knows why. It sucks that you guys are more focused on sending meaningless political messages instead of improving the game that has a bug forum with THOUSANDS, yes, THOUSANDS of bugs reported by members of the community every single year.
Let this sink in: A political statement made by SI has had a bigger effect on people's (Russian) saves than most features released for the past few editions of the game.