Reckon Chelsea, Man Utd, Man City and Arsenal will compete for the top four places in the English Premier League forever? Not according to Football Manager.
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."
It's been a memorable year in the life of Jack Arnott, football manager. After an astonishing run of five promotions in seven seasons he brought Premier League football to Rivacre Park for the first time in Vauxhall Motors' history. He developed an innovative 4-3-2-1 formation that so suited some of his early signings they remained integral parts of the team throughout his tenure - including an Irish regen, Jimmy Burns, who never once fell below an average 7.3 rating in his combined wide target-man/set-piece specialist role. When Arnott resigned in a fit of pique midway through his second year in the top flight, frustrated by his squad's perennial unhappiness with the stature of the club and the failure of his record signing - a £23m Brazilian wonderkid plucked from Real Madrid's B-team - to produce any kind of form, there was not a man or woman in Ellesmore Port who would begrudge it being described as the end of an era.
Price and availability
Released November 7th
Football Manager 2015 launches on 7th November 2014 for Windows PC, Mac and Linux, Sega and developer Sports Interactive have announced.
A beta version is available to those who pre-order. Careers started in the beta version, which will be available two weeks before the final game, carry over.
The hook this year is that FM15 has been designed to make managing a club more personal and customisable.
A Football Manager documentary will be shown in UK cinemas next month.
British developer Sports Interactive has made a business - a very fine, profitable and long-running business - out of accurately simulating the statistics of football. Its Football Manager series reaches the best part of 1m people (more if you count pirated versions) with each instalment each year, and its accrued database is enormous.
This year's new and improved Football Manager - FM2015 - will be released in November, developer Sports Interactive has announced.
Details about features will wait until October, the developer said.
Football Manager 2014 - last year's instalment - raised an interesting question about how the game's original mode and simplified Classic mode will continue to coexist. They seemed both to be borrowing more and more ideas from each other - how much closer will they be this time around?