Visit the Steam stats page on any given Friday (or indeed Sunday, or Monday) and you’ll see Football Manager holding its own in the upper echelons of the most-played list. Today it’s the third-most played game on the service, boasting 58,733 players at its peak.
Also today, Sega revealed their financial results and confirmed what we’ve suspected for a while: FM13 has sold by the bucketload. And that Aliens: Colonial Marines has made a much bigger splash than it deserves.
If there were ever a genre to benefit from the post-Steam world of continually updated PC games, it’d be sports management. There was a time when Football Manager 2013 would’ve begun dating as soon as it left Sports Interactive’s offices - a static image of a past season, doomed to perpetually repeat itself.
No longer. With update 13.3.0, FM13 will allow you to see “Beckham strut his stuff at PSG, watch Balotelli back in Milan or lead the French revolution at Newcastle”, thanks to newly updated squads.
The changelog for FM 2013’s 13.1.3 patch lists a lot of things, but as I read them I was thinking of something else: Football Manager’s in-match engine has become an incredible complex and powerful beast of a sim, isn’t it?
The search for fresh youngsters continues in Football Manager 2013. Every Football Manager player understands that finding great players at an early age is vitally important. While the search continues, we decided to try something: we simulated five seasons worth of play in Football Manager 2013, while keeping an eye on our Football Manager 2012 Wonderkids selection, to see how they fared in this brave new world. The results were fascinating.
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FM13’s Classic Mode is a wonderful idea; a leaner season playthrough created because Sports Interactive no longer had time to play FM themselves at home. It was actually conceived as a streamlined console Football Manager, akin to Firaxis’ CivRev. Only, says studio head Miles Jacobson: “The feedback we got was, please don’t put it on console”.
Our retail partner Green Man Gaming's latest attempt to avoid taking your money involves a curious, stackable discount on Football Manager 2013. An existing 25% discount takes SI's latest from £39.99 down to £29.99, but by applying the voucher code GMGFM-35OFF-SCORE a further 35% discount can be had. Ziggy says that works out at £19.50, which is more than half off the original asking price.
Perhaps it was the wrecked relationships; the broken lives. Or maybe it was just the bloodshot eyes of their own development team resigned to staring at lines of code, only to spend their spare time with retinas locked to the experience they create. Whatever the motivation, with Football Manager 2013, Sports Interactive decided we needed a new way of playing – a return to the more disposable, dare I say fun, way of experiencing the monster they produce each season.
[Breath, Benson. Breathe, just stick to the facts. No one can complain with the facts] Football is a sport. A sport that is played by men and women. There are two teams. These teams have managers and those managers, er, [you're losing it], er, [keep it together], organise the teams. [Good, if you're running out of facts don't let on] The managers are selected by their ability. There is a footballer called David Peckham. Managers are gauged by their aptitude in a simulation device, Football Manager. Each year's iteration allows new budding managers find work with a team. Footballers eat oranges. There is a demo available for the new Football Manager.
Just a few months back, Harry Redknapp seemed to be applying for simpleton status. The then-Tottenham boss claimed the basics of reading, writing and arithmetic were beyond him – almost belittling his place in the upper echelons of football management. But then Harry is old school: a breed that flatly refuse to complicate the business of managing 11 men to kick a ball with purpose. Such grizzled gaffers snarl at those who take the job into the realms of academia, who lose themselves in positional data, dietary requirements and psychological profiling. Nothing is left to chance for these “professors” but Harry’s game is a different one. This is Football Manager 2013.
Hear every economy in the world breathe a sigh of relief: Football Manager 2013 is to be released on a Friday, saving workplaces from spontaneous mass affliction. That’s Friday November 2nd, simultaneously across the world.
If you like your management sims footbally then all the coverage of Football Manger 2013 has probably fed you to the gills and left you a little drunk with sim-pectation. Well, if you're one into your excess then you'll want to watch the six, yes, six videos of the sim. Each video breaks down a different element of the game's features.
Telling you what they are before the break, now that would be cheating.
I really couldn’t tell you what the most exciting part of yesterday’s FM 2013 announcement was. But it’s a dead heat between proper Steam multiplayer integration and the addition of the new Classic Mode, which aims to fold as much of the FM experience into eight to ten hours of play.
What we didn’t know yesterday is that Classic Mode was thunk up by Sports Interactive after realising that most of their dev team no longer had the time to play the game themselves.
Put your discount shoes on, because we're going for a savings dance. Football Manager 2013 was officially announced yesterday, but our partners at Green Man Gaming have wasted no time in slapping a hefty 25% discount on the new Sports Interactive title, taking it from £39.99 down to £29.99. Crazier still, head to the Football Manager 2013 store page now and you'll find a second 25% discount in the form of a voucher code. This two-punch discount combo brings the final price down to £22.50.
At the centre of today’s FM 2013 blowout was a singularity, an unknown quantity amongst iterative improvements. It’s called Classic Mode, and it’s designed to let you play a full season - lean, but satisfying - in eight to ten hours. It’s also to have entirely optional paid-for unlocks, to smooth out progress for those who want it. SI boss Miles Jacobson tells us: “It’s basically allowing people to define the way they want to play the game”.
Football Manager 2013 has just been revealed by Sega and Sports Interactive, and with the reveal comes the first details of what’s in the new version. The big news: “classic mode” which SI say will offer “an alternative, less time consuming way to approach the game. The new mode simplifies the way players manage their club and allows them to focus on the nuts and bolts of taking their team to the top.”
Football Manager is getting a Turkish language version, as promised “a few years ago” by SI boss Miles Jacobson. SI promised that once a certain sales threshold had been reached, FM would get a Turkish language version. “We finally hit it on Friday,” says Miles.
After Microsoft and Nintendo announced at E3 that their consoles are to be controlled by touchscreen devices as well as traditional controllers, Miles Jacobson took to Twitter. Announcing a major groundbreaking Football Manager 13 breakthrough!
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Every year Sports Interactive delivers what every football fanatic spends all year anticipating: Sam Allardyce’s sex tapes... I mean, the next installment of Football Manager. With the Premier League now over, our thoughts have turned to we want from the next game. Here’s what we’d like to see included when Football Manager 2013 rolls around.