When it was initially released in November 2004, it broke records as one of the five fastest-selling PC games ever. The game allows players to take on the role of managing a football club, and it has continued to grow in popularity, with last year’s installment being played by six million people.
Over the years, Football Manager has evolved significantly. What was once a game with little circles bouncing around on a green rectangle has transformed into a fully-fledged 3D simulation that players often boast (or bemoan) spending hundreds of hours playing each year.
Miles Jacobson, the studio head at Sports Interactive, the British studio behind the game, stated, “The way that I see it, I’m actually making the game for me – it just so happens that there are a few million other people like me out there. Games aren’t cheap for people to buy, so we’re determined to make the best value for money game every year, so people are getting a lot of playtime out of their £40-50 that they’ve worked so hard to try and get.”
One notable example of the game’s value is a new feature that allows players to pick up where they left off in the previous year’s game. For the first time in the series’ history, players can continue their last previously-saved game, carrying over their progress from Football Manager 2023 into Football Manager 2024. Sports Interactive reports that 25% of players who have pre-ordered the game have already used this feature.
Jacobson added, “It’s definitely our most requested feature from the community, and it’s the most pre-ordered game we’ve ever had. This is going to be the last game in the Football Manager series as you know it… we wanted this to be a celebration of the end of an era.”
From Text-Based to 3D Simulation
Football Manager has come a long way from its humble text-based beginnings, evolving into a gaming behemoth where players are rendered in a 3D environment. This transformation was achieved through the use of motion capture technology, where a computer processes movements captured from a person wearing a suit covered in dots.