As part of our recent chat with Sports Interactive's Miles Jacobson, we talked about the forthcoming Football Manager Online, how it relates to Ov Collyer’s sadly-defunct Football Manager Live, and if it's likely to be released outside South Korea.
Football Manager Online is a huge part of the traffic about Football Manager. How does that differ from FM Live?
In August, we’ll be releasing Football Manager Online in South Korea. It’s a game we’ve co-developed with KTH from South Korea. It’s proper co-development; they were based in our office for the first three months, the design document goes back and forward between ourselves, they’re working on the GUI and we code it from there. We are due to go to closed beta around July / August, and then it’ll be open after that. We’ve already had two betas that have gone really well.
Will it come to countries outside of Korea?
If it works, it may well come back to other countries, but for the time being it’s a Korean exclusive. It’s very different to Football Manager Live.
What have you learned from Football Manager Live?
Football Manager Live is dead. Okay? The technology lives on. The design mistakes we made - though it’s me that says yes or no, so it’s my fault we made those mistakes - aren’t in Football Manager Online. FML was a great idea with a few fatal flaws, including the business model at the time when the games business was changing and we didn’t predict it well enough. The hardcore 10,000 loved it, but there was never going to be enough to sustain it. Ov Collyer is still working at SI, but he’s working on some other stuff that will be known about in the fullness of time.
That 10,000 is a big enough audience for a 1-3 man development team but not for Sports Interactive, I guess?
Some of the guys who were playing the game are now working on making their own online management game and we wish them every little bit of success. It’s great to see that rather than just moaning about it they’ve gone and done something - that’s how most great businesses start.