Sports Interactive releases Eastside Hockey Manager: Early Access Edition


Sports Interactive used to make more games than just the super popular Football Manager (that is one of the top 5 most played Steam games), they used to make Eastside Hockey Manager but that was discounted back in 2007 due to the games not being able to pay for its development costs, mostly due to the high piracy rates. But much has changed since 2007, more people actually purchase games thanks to the rising popularity of Steam and Sports Interactive is ready to give it another shot.

We need to prove that there is enough demand to justify resurrecting the series fully. Whilst this version has ‘fake’ data, we want to show that there is a demand for a fully licensed version of the game. That won’t come with this release but, if it’s successful, it means we can go to the leagues around the world and get licenses for future, annualised, versions (in much the same way that we do with FM).”

Eastside Hockey Manager is now available to download in its ‘early access edition’ form for a mere $14.99, but only has support for English. If you are a Hockey fan and want to see this series resurrected then head over to Steam and support it with your wallet. So far ratings on Steam have been positive.

Who knows, maybe SEGA can create in-house games in early access and take fan feedback to shape the series and see if there is an audience for some of their franchises.

[Via: Eurogamer]

Football Manager documentary hitting UK cinemas next month


FilmNova is doing a documentary titled Alternative Reality: The Football Manager Documentary, which will be a feature-length film that goes into the game’s popularity and impact on the culture of football it has within the profession. I think as Americans we don’t really grasp how popular Football Manager is overseas, just a quick look at their Steam stats shows why its one of the top 5 played games on Steam .

Sadly the documentary is only going to be shown for one night at Vue cinemas across the UK on October 7th. It said if you want your local Vue to show the film, to follow them and bother them on social media. After October 7th the documentary will be made available word wide for download and streaming.

The documentary isn’t our story – it’s the story of the people who escape to the alternative reality of being a football manager, and the effect this has had on their lives. It’s also the story of how a computer game made by football fans has become a part of the world it set out to replicate. But it’s not just for people who play – it’s also for people who’ve ever wondered why others spend so much time escaping into this world.” – Miles Jacobson (Sports Interactive chief)

It has also been confirmed that after the Vue screening there will be another short film revealing new features in Football Manager 2015. Hit the jump for a list of Vue’s showing the documentary on the 7th of October.

Football Manager 2014 breaks another PC record in the UK

Its not secret that Football Manager is a highly successful series in the UK. Everyone knows that. What is shocking is that this yearly updated title has broken a new record. Maybe its that World Cup fever that has everyone wanting to manage a football team.

Football Manager 2014 has broken the record of most weeks spent at the number one spot in the UK PC game charts. It has spent a total of 22 weeks at number one – 18 of those being consecutive.

Football Manager 2014 hit PCs world wide last year on October 30th, but that isn’t stopping people from buying copies this last week, when it topped the full priced PC chart in the UK once again beating out new titles like Wildstar, Wolfenstien: The New Order and even EA’s cash crop The Sims 3.

EA admits defeat to SEGA’s Football Manager, no more FIFA Manager series

Before SEGA owned Sports Interactive and the Football Manager series, SEGA fought against EA Sports with their brand called ‘SEGA Sports’. Seems that SEGA finally gets a small victory (especially after they took the NFL license and was forced to sell Visual Concepts and its 2K brand of sports titles to Take Two). EA Sports has announced that they will not longer publish their own FIFA Manager series.

FIFA Manager 14 will be the last entry in the franchise, here is lead designer Gerald Köhler explaining the reason for leaving the Football sim market.

“The football manager genre at this level of sophistication is highly specialised and primarily played in two countries (England and Germany), in which – on top of everything – one game has practically dominated the market in recent years. The niche market and general trend toward online and mobile games were also contributing factors. Moreover, FM had reached a crossroads at which a new engine and/or corresponding online technology would be the only way to give the series a boost. When all these factors were evaluated, it led us to the decision to blow the final whistle. We hope you’ll keep playing FM as long as possible, and that the fan sites will go all out to expand and improve the game wherever they can. For all your years of support and all your passion for our game, we thank you.”

I hope the FIFA Manager team finds jobs developing other games, I don’t like people losing their jobs. But hey, at least SEGA didn’t pull a grimy move and buy some sort of sports license to kill the competition, right?

Football Manager 2013 has been ‘pirated over 10.1 million times’

Miles Jacobson, studio head over at Sports Interactive has stated that Football Manager 2013 has been illegally downloaded well over 10.1 million times, during his talk at the London Games Conference.

How did they get this number? According to Jacobson the crack had a ‘Home’ flaw which allowed the developers to trace and track IP addresses of the pirates. So which country had the most pirated copies of the game? Not surprising it was China with 3.2 million downloads followed by Turkey with 1.05 million.

Out of the 547,000 people that downloaded the game in Italy was from Vatican City, I’m assuming downloading pirated software is not shunned by God.  Of course just because they pirated the game doesn’t mean they lost a sale, which Sports Interactive seems to agree. They do say they lost 176,000 sales (their figure) due to pirates. That would mean that 1.74% of pirates would have purchased the game, but didn’t due to them getting it for free. How much did SEGA lose? $3.7 million in revenue. They say that this lead to the team creating harder to crack DRM for Football Manager 2014.

Football Manager Classic 2014 coming to Playstation Vita


SEGA’s Football Manager series sells really well in Europe, so its no surprised when they announced that Football Manager Classic 2014 was coming to Playstation Vita during Gamescom Sony press conference.

So now you are asking yourself why the title has ‘classic’ in the end? Seems that it is a mode that was introduced to last year’s version on PC that makes it quicker for you to get the full Football Manager experience. Yes, you still get access to all the goodies including huge database of players (over 1,500 scouts), 3D match engine, advance AI, and dozens of leagues to play.

Seems that the developer of the game, Sports Interactive actually talked to Hardlight (Sonic Jump and Sonic Dash) about development for the game. Interesting, watching SEGA studios work together. Nice job!

Football Manager coming to Android on April 11th

Most SEGA fans might not be big fans of Football Manager, but the franchise has dominated the PC market for years and the recent iOS handheld version has also shared success. SEGA and Sports Interactive have announced that Football Manager will be coming to Android on April 11th.

“Since the first release of Football Manager Handheld for mobiles a couple of years ago, the most asked question on social networks has been ‘When is it coming to Android?’ Now, we can reveal the answer.” – Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive studio director

The game will cost  £6.99 (about $10) and will require the user to have the Google Play store and Android 2.2 or above.

SEGA: UK studios are ‘the bedrock of our business’

It’s no secret that Creative Assembly and Sports Interactive are successful studios, but they still seem to surprise SEGA.

“Our UK internal studios are probably the bedrock of our business. For the second year both Sports Interactive and Creative Assembly are outperforming their business plans from a profitability perspective. These guys are on top of the game, it’s a real testimony to the games they make.” – Gary Dunn, SEGA Europe VP of production

If only SEGA could emulate this and get a few good American developers under their belt. SEGA has said they will try to focus on improving SEGA America, we will have to see what they have planned.

[Source: GoNintendo]

Football Manager Live closing, FML11 now on iPad

Football Manager Live, SEGA’s other MMO, will be unplayable online starting June 1st. New subscriptions are not being accepted, but if you are a player, you are still allowed to play until May 31st. I can’t seem to find an announcement, but the FM Live website is giving me that message. Check it out at the source below.

In other Football Manager news, Football Manager Handheld 2011 is now available for your iPad. Check it out here.


2011 – An industry’s hopes

MVCUK have quizzed a number of top industry people based in the UK regarding what they are most looking forward too in 2011, on that list is everyone’s favourite western Sega CEO in god knows how long Mike Hayes and Sports Interactive head honcho Miles Jacobson. Let’s see what they are looking forward to in 2011.

Miles Jacobson – Studio Director, Sports Interactive
“Having been lucky to try out a beta version, I’m most looking forward to the new Virtua Tennis release, with a Move and a 3D TV. I’m really looking forward to March’s Nordoff Robbins Football Extravaganza dinner which is sponsored by Tesco – it’s always a great night and raised over £350k last year.

Mike Hayes – CEO, Sega Europe and Sega America
“I want 2011 to be a great year for a little blue hedgehog – as Sonic is 20 years old in June.”

If Miles is looking forward to Virtua Tennis 4, which is being developed in-house at Sega Japan for the first time since PowerSmash 3 (Arcade) then I think that’s a good sign!

As for Mike Hayes; well shit man, so do we… So do we!

You can read the others HERE.

Sports Interactives Miles Jacobson appointed OBE

Sega owned and UK based developers Sports Interactive has something to be very proud of today. SI Director Mikes Jacobson has been appointed an OBE for services to the computer games industry in the New Year Honours list.

The OBE also known as ‘Order of the British Empire’ is a long running award given to recognize people who have done great things for their country. The ‘Most Excellent Order of the British Empire’ is an order of chivalry established on 4 June 1917 by George V of which an OBE is one of the five awards you can achieve.

SI co-founder Oliver Collyer paid tribute to Jacobson on the Football Manager Forums.

Hit the jump to read on.

Football Manager 2011 demo out now for Mac & PC

“Did you see that ludicrous display last night?”

SEGA and Sports Interactive have released the demo for Football Manager 2011. You will be able to get it in two flavors, Vanilla and Strawberry.

Vanilla is a smaller download (300 mb) that comes in only English language and has quickstart with only 2 leagues (English & Scotland).

While Strawberry (download size 1gb) has 11 in-game languages (English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, Czech, Polish) and 12 in-game leagues ( England, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Chile).

[Download the demo here]