Every year, Football Manager fans get two days that feel like another Christmas. The most obvious is release day, when the new game becomes fully available. But the second one feels even more special, at least to me; the day when the first trailer launches. It’s unexpected, it could happen any day, and it’s guaranteed to bring up all of the hype. It marks the beginning of the new game cycle, with all new features soon to be announced and the marking on the calendar of that sweet release day. But other than that, it doesn’t tell us much… Or does it? Let’s take a look at what we can take from the launch of the FM22 new trailer!
Much ado about nothing?
I know, I know, you must be saying “the trailer is just a minute long, shows no game footage and mentions no features, how can you possibly get something from that other than hype for the new game?” To a degree, you’re right. But hear me out, because there is a point to the madness.
FM launch trailers are not some assortment of random clips, clumsily put together to create excitement about the new game. It is a carefully constructed clip, put together by an immensely talented team of people. Most importantly, it’s the first building block in the new game’s narrative. Don’t believe me? Take a look back.
FM19’s trailer was about a young player’s career; coming to a new team, improving, becoming an important member of a team, and recovering from a career-threatening injury to become a legend. All that under the guidance of you, the manager. And what did we learn some time later? They introduced a new training module to the game, allowing you to better control the development of your players.
Ok, maybe that was a coincidence… FM20’s trailer was about making the right decisions, following a plan and implementing a club identity. What did we get for the new game? Well, it introduced Club Vision and the Development Centre.
Still not convinced? FM21’s trailer was about the press and dealing with the pressures of being a manager. When the features dropped we found we were getting a revamp of the whole interactions module, looking to improve how we communicate with the media and our players.
I don’t think I can make it any clearer. The release trailer might not show any game footage or announce any features, but it sets the tone for the new game. So what does FM22’s trailer have to say?
The new game’s focus
Unlike previous trailers, FM22’s launch trailer is set to an epic soundtrack, with lots of sharp and aggressive movement. We learn very quickly why; the trailer is about overachievers, those who did it against the odds.
It also seems to have a very interesting “localized” focus. It’s not all about being the greatest, beating the best, becoming the king. Rather, it’s about overcoming challenges and going beyond expectations. The trailer focuses not on continental champions but on clubs that won promotion, won an unlikely cup, or climbed into the European spots.
It also speaks of fighting your way to the top, making history for your club, or beating long-standing droughts. In particular, it speaks of doing it for those who care the most, the fans.
So… what can we speculate?
It is (of course) a lot harder to make these connections going forwards than looking back. However, I think there is quite a lot to try to break down.
For starters, I think we’re looking at a game with features focused even more on the long-term, and fighting our way to the top. The introduction of Club Vision and Development Centre in FM20 was a step in that direction, and it looks like we will be getting more of that. As a narrative-focused player myself, I can’t complain.
I might be overshooting here, but I also feel there might be some changes to how the legacy of each manager player is perceived in-game. It’s something a lot of us have “suffered” where winning 3 promotions and getting your side into the top tier for the first time in a long time whilst only using academy players gets you nowhere close to legend status, where you might even get sacked for “underperforming” upon your arrival in the Promised Land. We know it doesn’t matter, but we hurt the same. It feels like some changes to those dynamics could be on the way, seeing how the focus was put not on the GOATs, but the overachievers.
Finally, the fans. Fans have long been little more than background noise in the game, and it looks like they’re getting revamped for FM22. My guess is the socials are going to be one of the focuses, as well as stadium atmosphere, where managing to get the fans behind you can really push you through walls, but getting on their bad side can hurt your chances.
If nothing else, the new FM22’s new trailer managed (as always) to get me excited for the game. With the unending complaining we get every edition about some or another part of the game, we can forget we are tremendously spoiled in some aspects. FM22’s launch trailer makes it look like it’s going to be a great game, like the one before, and the one before that, and so on and so on. So let’s hope we get some amazing new features, and you’re all welcome to come back and bash me if my guesses were wrong.