Football Manager Live

Key events

Football Manager Live

Reboot = the boot?

When Sports Interactive announced it was resetting the Football Manager Live servers and ostensibly re-starting the game from scratch, there was understandable uproar within some sections of the FML community. Why, after 15 months of commitment, should die-hard subscribers have to forfeit the majority of their hard work? Sports Interactive's answer was that the game had become overly imbalanced towards early birds with a half-decent knowledge of the Football Manager player database. Once top teams had hoarded the majority of the best players, they became almost impossible to catch.

Football Manager Live: The Reboot

Sports Interactive bigwig Marc Duffy defends his goal.

On paper, Football Manager Live couldn't lose. Take one established and very popular PC series about a sport loved by millions around the world and turn it into an MMO. But the contender Sports Interactive turned out wasn't fully match fit, and the result was a long hard self-examination last summer and the difficult decision to reboot, reset and relaunch Football Manager Live.

Football Manager Live adds monthly subs

Has around 23,000 players in UK.

Football Manager Live has added monthly payment plans to the minimum three-month subscription the game launched with, Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson has told GamesIndustry.biz.

Football Manager Live

Football Manager Live

Massively multimanager.

After what's felt like the longest beta test in history, Sports Interactive's MMO management game finally kicks off in earnest this week. For the uninitiated, here's the deal: Football Manager Live is a simplified and more accessible online version of the Football Manager series. Much of the detailed micromanagement has been stripped out, and replaced with fun community features that aim to add momentum to the series' legendary addictive qualities. Oh, and there's a monthly subscription, which is paid in advance for three (GBP 22.99), six (GBP 43.99) or twelve (GBP 72.99) months as part of the purchase price from the Football Manager Live website.

One of the most striking differences between FM Live and the series to date is in how squads are formed and players purchased. Once you've signed up, submitted your team name and picked the kit that you think will make your players look imposing, you're given the opportunity to manually select a squad from a gargantuan pool of real-life players. As we've come to expect from Football Manager games, the selection is exhaustive, so if you're feeling a little overawed, you can have the game automatically pick a squad for you. However, there's a catch. A minuscule wage budget prevents you from stocking up on marquee superstars, meaning you'll start out with a bunch of grafters you've probably never heard of.

To bolster your squad, you're going to have to start wheeling and dealing. You do this via an auction system that's a bit like eBay. When a player is put up for sale, you and your fellow managers have a predefined time limit to lodge bids. When the deadline arrives, the highest bidder gets to stand next to the player while holding aloft the club's flag and waving vacantly at the cameras. Battling it out in the transfer market is surprisingly addictive, and you'll even find yourself logging on at 3am to check that no one has gazumped your bids. But the transfer list isn't the only way to bolster your squad. Any player not already signed to a team is subject to wage auctions: a 24-hour bidding period during which any manager can offer the player the weekly wage they deem appropriate (or necessary) to sign them.

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Coming Attractions: Sports & Music

The games pitching for perfection in 2009.

Yesterday we talked you through our 2009 picks for Indie and Esoterica, which is us at our most self-indulgent, so today we turn to what will be some of the biggest and most profitable games of 2009. Quality, after all, is not anathema to profit.

Football Manager MMO out this year

"The game is done," says Jacobson.

Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson has said the developer will soft-launch Football Manager Live, its first stab at a touchline hairdryer MMO, later this year.

Football Manager Live

Updated impressions from the evolving beta.

Football Manager Live is a daring proposition for Sports Interactive, there's no doubt about that. The studio that has, for more years than we'd care to remember, notched up annual success with its footy management titles is taking the online plunge and the only nets in sight don't look too safe. At least, they don't in my experience, as yet another shot from an opposition striker I've never heard of thunders past my inept goalkeeper.

Coming Attractions: Strategy and Simulation

Part 1: Real-time highlights of 2008.

Last week, you may recall, we put on our robe and wizard hat for a look at this year's most promising RPGs. We've done shooters, racers, action adventure and sports games too, if you missed any of those.

Football Manager Live beta key giveaway starting soon

Eurogamers and Sports Interactive will be cutting the ribbon and announcing the beginning of the Football Manager Live beta key giveaway at 3pm. That's a link to the page you need to go. Obviously.

In case it wasn't obvious, today's bonanza gives you a chance to get in there and try out the new massively-multiplayer online vision before everyone else, and presumably help the team find and iron out some bugs.

All you have to do to get involved is become a registered member of the wonderful Eurogamers community, which really isn't as painful as it sounds - no money or promotional guff is involved. Once you've done that you can race over to the sign-up page and hope you're one of the first 25 in line.

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The EGTV Show - Episode 10

Hour of Victory, Guitar Hero III, ShadowRun, Football Manager Live.

The latest Episode of the globe-trotting EGTV is all about Guns, Guys and Guitars. Sadly not all in the same game, rather shoulder-to-shoulder in a packed half-hour of televisual temptation.

Football Manager Live

Resident Evil.

"It's evil," mutters jubilant Sports Interactive co-founder Paul Collyer as we file out of the Football Manager Live press conference. He's got that knowing, sheepish grin of a man who knows full well how compulsive his massively multiplayer title is going to be. He knows the hours it will consume, the sleep we will lose. With the thought still evidently rattling around his head, he later repeats the observation, nodding. "Evil."

SI unveils Football Manager MMO

SI unveils Football Manager MMO

Beta test starting in May.

Sports Interactive has revealed that it's working on a Football Manager MMO for PC and Mac.

It's due to be released in March 2008, and a beta test is planned to begin next month.

Football Manager Live will let you create and manage your own custom team, competing against up to 1000 other people on each game server.

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