Football Manager is a series of football management simulation games developed by Sports Interactive and published by Sega. The game began its life in 1992 as Championship Manager; however, following the break-up of their partnership with original publishers Eidos Interactive, Sports Interactive lost the naming rights and re-branded the game Football Manager with their new publishers Sega.
Football Manager 2005
- Main article: Football Manager 2005
On 12 February 2004, after splitting from publishers Eidos Interactive, it was announced that Sports Interactive, developers of the Championship Manager game, had retained the rights to the source code but not the rights to the title Championship Manager, which were held onto by Eidos (who previously acquired the brand rights from Domark upon their merger in 1995). These developments led to a further announcement that future Sports Interactive football management games would be released under the famous Football Manager brand name. Whilst the Championship Manager series would go on, Eidos no longer had any source code, or, indeed a developer for Championship Manager.
Having been left without a publisher for its football management series, Sports Interactive teamed up with Sega and later, in April 2006, Sports Interactive was acquired completely by the publisher in a continuing trend of consolidation within the games industry.
The first game released under the newly acquired Football Manager brand was Football Manager 2005. Commonly known as "FM 2005", it competed directly with Championship Manager 5 from Eidos-funded Beautiful Game Studios.
Football Manager 2005 included an updated user interface, a refined game engine, updated database and competition rules, pre and post-match information, international player news, cup summary news, a 2D match engine, coach reports on squads, job centre for non-playing positions, mutual contract termination, enhanced player loan options, manager "mind games" and various other features.
Football Manager 2005 was released in the UK on 4 November 2004 - closely followed by releases in many other countries around the world - and it became the 5th fastest selling PC game of all time (according to Eurogamer). The Macintosh version of the game comes on the same dual format disk as the Windows version, so its sales are also included.
Football Manager 2006
- Main article: Football Manager 2006
Football Manager 2006 for Windows and Mac OS was released in the UK on 21 October 2005 (2 weeks earlier than the originally stated 4 November release). On the same day as the game's release, Sports Interactive also released a patch to fix some bugs discovered during the Beta and Gold stages of development. In its first week of release, it became the second-fastest-selling PC game of all-time in the UK.
Essentially just a season update of FM 2005, it does however, include many small adjustments and improvements to the general gameplay. These adjustments include team-talks, simplified training and in-game help screens. As well as this, the game is updated by its many researchers (unpaid fans of the game augmented by in-house collaboration). The database is usually updated twice in the period of the release of the game. The first comes with the game and the second is usually downloadable in February as a free data update to reflect the changes which take place during the winter opening of the FIFA transfer window. As has been customary with the series a beta demo of the game was released on 12 September 2005. This was later followed on 30 September by a gold demo. This is a cut-down, limited time version of the full game which is sent to the game manufacturers.
With a special download from Sports Interactive, you can play as the fictional football team, Harchester United from Sky One's series Dream Team.
Football Manager 2006 - Xbox 360
The Xbox 360 version was released on 13 April 2006 and is the first home console game in the Football Manager series. The full 50 playable league systems are included, as well as a 250,000-strong player database (very near to the figure of the PC version), but due to the large save files of the game, the Xbox hard disk drive is required. The game is also region free.
This version also makes use of the Xbox Live functionality, allowing players to create online leagues and cups with up to 16 human-controlled teams using team data they have exported from their offline game. Voice chat is fully supported during online play. It has also been confirmed that SI will release new content through the Marketplace system.
Football Manager 2007
- Main article: Football Manager 2007
On 8 June 2006, Sports Interactive published details on Football Manager 2007. "Packed full with more than 100 new features, Football Manager 2007 is set for release on PC, Mac and Intel Mac, as well as the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft. Football Manager Handheld on Sony’s PlayStation Portable handheld entertainment system (PSP) completes the format line-up, with all platforms set for a Christmas 2006 release."
On 24 September 2006 it was announced that Football Manager 2007 would be released on 20 October 2006.
On 1 October 2006, Sports Interactive released a Gold Demo of FM 2007, available in two versions, vanilla and strawberry. Both versions allow users to play 6 months into a season. The strawberry version contains a larger collection of quickstarts so users can try out more leagues. It also contains more graphics than the vanilla version.
As a result of certain retail outlets ignoring the official release date, Football Manager 2007 was actually released on 18 October 2006.
New Features in the 2007 version of FM include the ability to include pictures for you as the manager; substantially increased media interaction such as approaches from national newspaper journalists about the upcoming match or asking for comments on a player's performance in recent matches; new varying degrees of criticism or praise for players (happy with form or very pleased with form rather than just one generic good term), a similar feature has been included for such actions as admiring players or attempting to unsettle transfer targets. Improvements have also been made to board request interactions.
The main improvement lauded by Sports Interactive for this version of FM is the improved scouting system. Scouts' and coaches' experience is now shown graphically via bar charts and scouts gain knowledge from areas they have scouted previously. To go with this it is now possible to get feeder/parent club status which allows you to either send your players to lower league teams to gain experience, make it easier to get work permits, merchandise sales in other areas etc or, as a lower league team, to receive reserve and youth team players on free, season long loans and to generate extra revenue through associated 'fees' and friendly matches. In turn the parent club gains scouting knowledge for the area that the feeder club is in if it is in another country than that club.
A patch has been released to combat some of the main bugs in the game, such as unrealistic scout reports and high amounts of injuries sustained whilst playing on the pitch. The latest build of this patch is 7.0.2 94768.
On 27 July, the Football Manager website was updated with a new Football Manager 2008 section.
Football Manager 2008
- Main article: Football Manager 2008
On 3 October 2007 Sega Europe Ltd and Sports Interactive announced Football Manager 2008 to be released 19 October. However, the release date was brought forward by a day to 18 October 2007, due to some retailers shipping the game early.
There were a number of new features; All features in matches seamlessly follow on from the previous one. A mini radar pitch appears during tactical changes. Improved International management. New skin. Advisor system. Improved notebook system. A revamped captain selection. Improved board and fan confidence system. Transfer centre to track transfers. Improved match engine. The player may change pitch dimensions. Award system overhaul. In-game all-time best elevens. A revamped finance system. Collective win bonuses. FaceGen system for new-gen players. New calendar.
Football Manager 2009
- Main article: Football Manager 2009
On 3 September 2008, Sports Interactive released a preview video announcing Football Manager 2009 to be released on the 14th November. The main difference from past versions was the inclusion of a 3D match engine for the first time in the game's history. Other new features included the ability to have female managers and staff, a new press conference system, more in-depth feedback from your assistant manager and a more realistic transfer system. The latest incarnation of Football Manager was also released in DVD format for the first time.
The use of online-activation DRM utilised by Sports Interactive resulted in issues for consumers activating either online, or phone. This was the result of a well orchestrated DDoS attack launched upon activation servers and phone lines, resulting in many users on the Windows platform unable to activate and play.
On 17 December 2008, Sports Interactive announced a deal with Arsenal FC to release an exclusive version of Football Manager 2009, containing all official Arsenal squad player pictures, and an exclusive skin in Arsenal's colours.
Shortly following this announcement, Sports Interactive reinforced their pursuit of online retailers by offering Football Manager 2009 through eSellerate for the Mac OS X platform on December 23. This is the first incarnation of the game to be available to global users through online distribution.
Football Manager 2010
- Main article: Football Manager 2010
On 12 August 2009, Sports Interactive & Sega Europe Ltd. announced that Football Manager 2010 for PC and Apple Macintosh, and Football Manager Handheld 2010 for PlayStation Portable was to be released on 30 October 2009. Include Competitions:Challenge Cup and Challenge Cup qualification, Caribbean Championship
Football Manager has been hugely successful, managing to gain the number 1 spot in the gaming charts. There have been many improvements made to FM10, including the following:-
- A totally revamped user interface making it simpler and quicker to find the information you want.
- Match Analysis tool showing the actions of each player on the pitch, allowing you to pinpoint any team's strengths and weaknesses.
- Making changes from the touchline by "shouting" instructions from the dugout instantly.
- Included Two National Teams Template:Fb and Template:Fb
Football Manager Handheld
FMH was first released on 13 April 2006. This was Sports Interactive's first ever game for a handheld console. Due to the hardware constraints of the PSP and iPhone OS platforms this game is a cut-down version of the standard FM 2010 with a choice of 10 playable leagues/countries and a total of 30 playable divisions.
Below is a list of leagues that are playable within FMH 2010.
- Australia - A League
- Brazil - Serie A1
- England - Premier Division, Championship, League One, League Two, Blue Square Premier
- France - Ligue 1, Ligue 2, National
- Germany - Bundesliga, 2.Bundesliga, 3rd Liga
- Netherlands - Eredivisie, Eerste Divisie
- Italy - Serie A, Serie B, Serie C1, Serie C2
- Portugal - Liga Sagres, Liga Vitalis
- Scotland - Premier League, First Division, Second Division, Third Division
- Spain - La Liga, Segunda Division, Segunda Division B
Football Manager Live
- Main article: Football Manager Live
On 20 April 2007, Sega Europe Ltd and Sports Interactive released details for Football Manager Live which will be a brand new massively multiplayer online game. Released on 4th November 2008, Football Manager Live has its roots set in the best-selling and award-winning Football Manager series, but is designed specifically as a massively multiplayer online game.