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Football Manager 25 to remove Inbox, ability to hammer "Demand More" whenever you're losing

Plus, partnership with FIFA announced for FM World Cup.

Official work in progress FM25 image showing the new between-highlights screen during a match - cropped to show more of the pitch and formation
Image credit: Sega / Eurogamer

Some big changes are coming to FM25. Last year, in an exclusive interview with Eurogamer on the future of Football Manager, Sports Interactive gaffer Miles Jacobson described those big changes, particularly those coming to the game's UI, as "the most dangerou changes you can make - because people who have muscle memory of knowing exactly where to go won't have that anymore"

With a game like FM, where the UI effectively is the game, he's not exaggerating. Now, we've had a first look at what some of those changes are, and it seems clear the studio is getting the negatives out of the way first. The first FM blog on FM25 lists a range of features that will be left out of the next game.

The biggest is the removal of the Inbox itself - that being effectively the main means of interaction. Until now, Football Manager has been about recieving either tasks or information via this Inbox and then dealing with it, be that via conversations with players, board meetings, or forays into tactics, training, and analytics data. You can see a first glimpse of an in-progress replacement for the Inbox below.

Official work in progress FM25 image showing the main Portal screen
Here's the new "portal" screen, which replaces the Inbox. | Image credit: Sports Interactive / Sega

Alongside this, the big one is the removal of touchline shouts - the ability to quickly implement a motivational boost (or in many of my cases, demotivational boost) ot your players while a match is in motion. That means no more hammering "Demand More" every time you're a goal behind, and also no more polite requests for your currently Aggressive holding midfielder to "Calm Down".

"Shouts have been in the series for many years and, to be frank, I've never been happy with them," Jacobson said in the blog. "A 'shout' should happen instantly, but they only came into effect after the ball had gone out of play. It also wasn't clear to players how long the shout lasted for. So, for the time being, touchline shouts are gone from the game."

"I do really want them to come back, but they'll only reappear if and when we can do them properly."

Beyond shouts, a number of other lesser-used features are out this year. The much-memed social media screen is gone, although social media and fans will of course still be "an integral part of the game," while the data chalkboard - a data submenu largely rendered superfluous by the addition of the Data Hub - is also gone, thanks to its used dropping "from 10 percent to below 1 percent".

Official work in progress FM25 image showing various tiles for player form over last 5 matches
Official work in progress FM25 image showing deeper info on player form
A new system of tiles, cards, and states is coming in, as part of a push to universalise the UI across devices. | Image credit: Sports Interactive / Sega

Create-a-Club mode is also out, with 5 percent usage from players on the platforms its available "steadily declining" over the years, though plans are for it to return in more fleshed-out form in next year's FM26. Versus Mode, where you can play against other human managers, is also set for a redesign but in the meantime won't be in FM25, nor will the mobile-focused Challenge Mode, or the cult-favourite Fantasy Draft.

That, however, is getting a sort-of replacement in a different form. "When we first envisioned Fantasy Draft mode, we saw its potential as an esport," Jacobson said. "Over the years, we know that many of you have used the mode in this way – and a few tournaments have been run here and there in various guises."

Official work in progress FM25 image showing the new between-highlights screen during a match
A work-in-progress of the new between-highlights screen during matches. | Image credit: Sports Interactive / Sega

As it so happens, world football organisation, spurned EA Sports partner and lover of caps-locked messages FIFA has partnered with Sports Interactive for a "FIFAe World Cup of Football Manager". It'll be an invitational tournament taking place in Liverpool this year from 29th August to 1st September, with $100,000 of prize money.

More importantly, its trailer features the legendary manager Arsene Wenger pretending to play Football Manager and waxing lyrical about the importance of knowing your Trequartistas from your trivelas. "I look forward to being part of this exciting new journey," he definitely wrote himself on the FIFAe website. "This competition requires participants to demonstrate a profound understanding of football strategy and tactics. Success in this format demands not only mastery of game mechanics but also in-depth football knowledge, making it a fascinating blend."

All that said, Fantasy Draft will be back later on, coming alongside FM25's mid-season update. These usually tend to come around late February each year, shortly after the winter transfer window closes around the world.

Jacobson promised more news - and more depth on what's already been revealed - in an update alongside the Unite event in mid-late September, but he seems to remain bullish, as he was in speaking to Eurogamer last year.

"It will be more modern, it will be slicker," he said, "and - this is a big statement, okay - my dream is that once we release our new UI, the world of productivity tools will be looking at our UI and going, 'Why didn't we think of that?!' Because FM is a giant productivity tool, right? You spend a lot of time in there."

The approach, he said, was to ask: "if we had our time again, would we do it the same way?" It looks like their are at least a few major cases where the answer is: not quite. It's worth digging through our big Football Manager interview for more nuggets of what to expect from FM25 if you're curious.

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