Why Football Manager is more than a game?

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This article really comes as no surprise, but after playing Football Manager for thousands of hours I thought I would explain why the Football Manager series is more than just a video game.

I have been involved in the community of Football Manager ever since I started playing Football Manager back in 2012. I have met some people who are life long friends, taken opportunities that I never thought I would and attended a social event in aid of World Child, as well as meeting some of the most well known members in the community.

Job Opportunities

You see club on twitter looking for a first team manager, you instantly send your Football Manager CV in – in the hope you would be considered for a real job. The majority of the time you will not be considered as it’s essentially not real experience, but there are so many stories of managers who have been given a job and Football Manager is partly down to this.

A prime example is someone who is in the heart of the community, Paul Wandless. The Bjerkreim manager who has a wealth of Football Manager experience and still a massive member in the FM community. There are plenty of other examples such as Vugar Huseynzade, who was globally recognised as the first manager who was directly taken on due to his Football Manager experience.

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Paul Wandless, a Football Manager player turned Semi Professional manager.

We interviewed Paul back in September 2016, which happens to be one of our first interviews on the website Interview with Paul Wandless, Bjerkeim Manager.

Real management aside, there are many content creators who make a living off their YouTube, Streaming and websites which they have Football Manager to thank for. What once was a game where you’d play for hundreds of hours has converted in to a platform in which you can generate a sustainable income from. It is quite amazing how many content creators primary game is Football Manager and how the game adds excitement no matter the level your club is at.

Social Aspect

The FM Charity Cup in Leamington, May 2018.

This was my first community run event. Thanks to Leigh Reeve aka FoxInTheBox for inviting me down to what was an amazing day, all in the aid of War Child, a charity close to every Football Manager players hearts.

This event, like many others was a community run event where members of the FM community came together to play a charity football match. Without Football Manager this event would not have gone ahead and all these content creators may not have met each other. It was a great opportunity to meet some of the people who make the community what it is as well as getting sunburn on what was one of the hottest days of the year.

The initial aim was to raise £400, which was well and truly smashed. The community raised almost £1,500. To me, this speaks volumes and completely backs up my statement on why Football Manager is more than a game.

The full day of events including commentary can be found here: https://youtu.be/8zp_VKOixM4

Not only is there community events, having been involved in the community for several years I have made friends for life which I did not think was possible for a game that is primarily focusing on you, as a manager, on your own.

Scouting Data for Real Clubs

There are a lot of success story’s regarding players getting a dream move to the best clubs in the world, but there is a lot of time and research which goes in to every transfer. This is why clubs are now using the scouting data of the game, to find the next best thing.

One of the most remembered moments was when Alex McLeish’s son found Lionel Messi on the game and urged his father to purchase the player in real life, he declined – I mean why would you sign someone who you found on a video game? Well, soon after Messi was signed by Barcelona and is arguably one of the greatest players to ever grace this earth.

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Prozone being used for analysis, in it’s early years.

Back to focusing on clubs, Sports Interactive signed a deal with Prozone. Prozone are an analytics based company which give you the freedom to look at your team in a different light. For example, you are conceding many goals from the wing but feel your system is good enough. You can check average positions, where your team are positioned on and off the ball, where each pass goes to and many more. Clubs are now using this data to find the next big stars in the footballing world. Now apply that data to a real world scenario, having access to a database of thousands upon thousands of players, you can soon spot the talent emerge.

Escapism

This can be said about so many games, but this game in particular you can submerge yourself into a completely different world. There are few games where you can play a thousand hours and not be bored, or complete the game. The challenges you can create yourself are what keeps this game alive, and constant playing. Even if you play an hour a day, that hour could see you sign one of the worlds hottest talents.

I believe what makes this game emphasise in escapism is the fact that you can play so many hours and your game will be completely different every time you play it. With so much variations in place, it’s a massive factor as to why the game is so immersive.

Players to keep an eye out for in Real Life

There are always a handful of players you will keep an eye out for the duration of their careers. My one in particular for this years Football Manager is 17 year old Santos starlet Rodrygo, who has now been approached by Real Madrid for £40 Million. That is just one player I have been playing close attention to. I can assure you, you have a couple of players you signed back in 2014 for your team who have progressed well in real life.

There are of course players you keep an eye out for but never really hit the ground running, notably Freddy Adu. Destined to be one of the World’s greats, just never really kicked his career off – but he was fantastic on Football Manager, so you can always take the positives from that.

Finding a new team to support

This one in particular is one of my favourite reasons as to why Football Manager is more than just a game. When you are speaking to people in the community and ask them what team they support, you always get the typical English team that they’ve supported for the majority of their life. However, you always get some obscure team that they support such as Casa Pia, New York Red Bulls and many other ones. The simple reason is they fell in love with the club over a game, that’s essentially what it is. It doesn’t stop there though, often people follow this club as if it’s their own, purchasing merchandise, going on a trip to a game they play in.


This concludes the reasons as to why Football Manager is more than just a game. I hope you enjoyed this article and liked my ideas behind the reasons I have given. I would love to hear some of your thoughts as to why Football Manager is more than just a game, so let us know.

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