Football Manager 2013

Key events

"We tell Sega what our release dates are"

"We tell Sega what our release dates are"

The boss of Football Manager speaks out on the health of the series.

Football Manager comes out every year and it's great and it sells well. It's been the de facto 'pretend to be a football manager' game for years. Bit complicated, eats up the hours, but it's loved. Except last year Football Manager 2015 seemed to stumble.

"A game whose main improvements are all disappointments", we wrote in our review. Lack of polish, lack of magic, six out of 10 - back when we did scores. But Football Manager doesn't get scores like that! It looked like the series' most significant misstep in years.

"FM15?" responded Miles Jacobson, studio director at game developer Sports Interactive, when I asked him about it. "It's sold better than FM14."

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FeatureDevelopers' Games of 2013

CD Projekt! Blow! Bithell! Molyneux! More!

We've had our say on 2013's best video games. And so have you. Now, it's the turn of the developers, the makers of the virtual experiences we so love. Read on for the games of 2013 according to the creators of the likes of Super Meat Boy, Assassin's Creed 4, XCOM, Oculus Rift and more, complete with Twitter bios.

EA admits defeat to Football Manager

Publisher blows final whistle on FIFA Manager series.

EA Sports has conceded the football sim genre to long-term rival Football Manager and announced it will no longer publish its own FIFA Manager series.

Aliens: Colonial Marines managed 1.31 million sales

Aliens: Colonial Marines managed 1.31 million sales

That about merits a sequel doesn't it? What?

Aliens: Colonial Marines was one of Sega's best-selling games last financial year (ended 31st March 2012) despite being absolute pants.

The shooter, made by Gearbox Software - oh really? - shifted a successful 1.31 million copies, according to Sega's annual financial report.

Nevertheless, Colonial Marines remains a sore spot for Sega, having been pelted with critical scorn and even class action lawsuits about misleading advertising. And rumour has it that TimeGate Studios, the team thought to be responsible for the bulk of Aliens: Colonial Marines, has now been closed.

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Football Manager Classic won't be separated from core FM games

Was originally pitched as the game SI would return to console with.

Football Manager Classic stole the show in our Football Manager 2013 review. Not only does it distil Football Manager for a time-pressed audience put off by the series' increasing complexity, Classic reinvigorated FM for a long-time fan. It helped reviewer Jack Arnott find the fun in football management games again.

Games seeking UK tax breaks must pass points-based test

"UKIE welcomes the government's proposal to recognise fictional settings and species."

Whether a game qualifies for UK tax breaks will be determined by a points-based test that focuses on its cultural content and contribution. Projects will need more than half marks (at least 16 out of 30) to qualify.

Football Manager 2013 review

Football Manager 2013 review

A game of two wholes.

"AND LO, it was written: verily from here on forth, every version of Football Manager shall be more time-consuming and complicated than the last, until managers can one day pick the colour of their players' underpants, and the people shall rejoice as it takes longer to play a season in the game than it would in real life. This was the word of the Brothers Collyer. And it was Good."

There's something almost sacrilegious about Football Manager 2013. Realism has for so long been the cornerstone of the series' yearly releases that the inclusion of a new, streamlined 'classic' mode somehow feels like a betrayal. But those fearing Sports Interactive's attentions have been divided in a similar way needn't have worried - the full-fat Football Manager has clearly had just as much time spent on it as any previous yearly update, if not more. Load up a new game and it doesn't take long to notice how much has changed since last year.

Most obvious is the radical overhaul of the interface - the navbar now features pop-up menus and looks altogether tidier, and though it takes a while to get used to, once you're over the hump it does save on a fair amount of between-game clicking. The redesign doesn't seem to work quite as well in windowed mode, but the overall impression is that's everything's a bit sleeker and more efficient - particularly taking into account the new array of information (fixtures, news items and so on) that make up the new loading screen.

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FeatureWhy Football Manager 2013 won't ruin your life

The new Classic Mode promises not to be bad for you, and revitalises the game in the process.

In 1963 Coca-Cola introduced a diet version of their ubiquitous fizzy drink to the American public for the first time. Despite fears that it would cannibalise Coke's existing marketshare, 'Tab' (later usurped in 1982 by its successor, Diet Coke) was a roaring success for the company, succeeding both by capitalising on a new, health-conscious consumer-base and appealing to existing Coke drinkers eager to try something different.

Football Manager 2013 interview: acres of new information about that Classic mode

"It's something that we thought other people might have done by now."

Every time I interview Miles Jacobson about a new Football Manager game I wonder what on Earth he could possibly say that people who aren't die-hard fans of the series will possibly want to read about. It's not that he's boring, it's not that Football Manager's boring - but it's an annual series we know to its bones.