Football Manager 2020 is currently the game in the series you can buy. That might not seem like a huge deal, but when you consider you can still buy old copies of, say, Call of Duty or even FIFA, it does start to feel a little odd.
It turns out there’s a very simple reason why you can’t buy Football Managers from yesteryear: licences. “Our licenses have run out on older versions, so we can’t have them available whether paid or free,” says game director Miles Jacobson. And there’s no chance of that changing either, according to Jacobson: “[The licences] can’t be renewed. It’s not a price thing. It’s a rights thing.”
The news will likely disappoint the section of series fans who prefer the older, simpler titles to the newer games, which are deeper but more demanding. Given Football Manager 2020 is currently free-to-play, many had asked developer Sports Interactive to make past versions of the game available for free, too. No dice, unfortunately.
The consolation goal is that FM 2020’s free-play period has been extended. The promotion was due to end on March 25, but you can actually carry on playing for the low, low price of nothing until 07:00 PT / 10:00 ET / 15:00 BST on April 1.
our licenses have run out on older versions, so we can't have them available whether paid or free.
— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) March 24, 2020