Football Manager maker Sports Interactive has admitted that MMO adaptation Football Manager Live - launched in early 2009 - hasn't been "hugely profitable".
Speaking to Eurogamer, product manager Marc Duffy said today's reboot of the game should catapult FML forward, although he still "can't see millions of people playing it at the moment".
"I wouldn't say its been hugely profitable," he said, "but it has been profitable. One of the reasons why we've done the reboot is to give ourselves a firm platform to take the game forward. MMOs are ridiculously expensive; server costs, all of that, comes at a premium.
"Yes it's profitable," he added, "and the reboot aims to take the game to the next level."
Today's reboot addresses three key areas: gameplay, price, operation. Change highlights include perpetually reincarnated players, a low Ł4.99 a month subscription with no upfront fee and more densely populated servers. The offshoot, however, is that all servers have been reset.
"I'd liken FML to the original versions of Championship Manager that Oliver and Paul Collyer made back in '92," Duffy continued. "Initially, people didn't get it, because there hadn't been a game like Championship Manager. I see Football Manager Live like that.
"Although it's loosely a football management simulation, it's very different to anything else in the market. I can't see millions of people playing it at the moment, but we're not expecting that. We'd be very happy to have 100,000 people playing the game, upwards. We're not looking at the World of Warcraft numbers by any stretch. They'd be nice, though."
Pre-reboot, Football Manager Live was estimated to have around 30,000 subscribers.
Keep an eye on Eurogamer this week for a full and candid chat with Marc Duffy about server resets and their effect on the community, and why this reboot will be the last.