Interviews// Miles Jacobson and Oliver Collyer: Football Manager Live

...at least £150,000 in prize money per day

Posted 20 Apr 2007 12:00 by
Miles Jacobson
Miles Jacobson
We all know and love Sports Interactive, the small but perfectly formed London developer which indisputably rules the football management genre ? first, for many years, with Championship Manager and, more recently with Football Manager. In recent years, SI has shown signs of diversifying from its status as a single-product company, albeit with ice hockey and baseball management sims with no appeal outside of North America. But now, following the company?s acquisition by publisher Sega last year, the company has finally taken the plunge and come up with a new and original franchise: Football Manager Live.

Hmm, you may be thinking ? how original can a game with the words Football Manager forming two-thirds of its name be? And it?s true that, in appearance at least, Football Manager Live looks pretty much like Football Manager, at least for the most part. But it is radically different ? essentially it?s an MMO, and it lets you play against real humans over the Internet.

Paul Collyer
Paul Collyer
SI Studio Director Miles Jacobson explains how the idea for Football Manager came about as the result of a sabbatical enjoyed by Oliver Collyer who, along with brother Paul, originally conceived and created Championship Manager: ?Oliver left the company a few years ago and went travelling for about 15 months. But he came back with an idea, for Football Manager Live.?

Oliver Collyer
Oliver Collyer
Collyer himself takes up the story, ?Football Manager Live is about live play ? playing against human opponents all the time, with the emphasis on head-to-head play within user-created leagues and competitions. You could think of it as a combination of Fantasy Football, Football Manager and eBay.?

Jacobson takes me through a brief demo, after explaining that Football Manager Live won?t be released until March 2008 (on PC and Mac), although the beta programme will start in a month?s time.

He tells me, ?When you?re playing, you have a few different display mode choices ? you can have it multi-windowed, with the chat-room split from the rest of the game window. The first thing it tells you is that you have an initial wage-cap of 100,000, and 24 hours to put a squad together. Once you?re in the game, you can get at least 150,000 in prize money per day, so that?s how you get more team-building money to play with.?

?You have all the players available from the Football Manager Live database, and you can filter however you want to ? so I?m going to search for a striker with good heading ability and good finishing. This has brought up 12 pages of players, which you can sort by salary.?

The point of Football Manager Live is that, because you play it against human opponents, the players you own become unavailable to everyone else in your game world. Jacobson says, ?The idea is that your team is fictional ? you choose the name, kit colours and so on ? but the players are real. You can even set the length and width of your pitch to suit your style of play.?

But there?s a twist, as Jacobson explains: ?When you sign players, their contracts only last for one month, but you can ?protect? five players in your squad, in which case their contracts will auto-renew, but they may ask for more money than before.?
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Comments

Nicholas Hyett 20 Apr 2007 15:47
1/5
I think someone should start talking to SundayLeague.com, they are online and have been since i first started college at least 4 years ago. It is the same exact system, you manage your team everyday and are playing against other human people who have managed their team. Look it up.
The Absinthe Review Network 21 Apr 2007 01:47
2/5
"In recent years, SI has shown signs of diversifying from its status as a single-product company, albeit with ice hockey and baseball management sims with no appeal outside of North America"

Um, is if there is supposedly no appeal outside of North America, then I'm assuming they were actually released here, right? I mean, the ONLY sport management sims I've EVER known of in the US is the annual horse jockey managers and the recently released NFL Head Coach. I think there may have been a soccer management sim on the PC a while back. But I've NEVER seen an NHL/MLB sim title here...

If any titles were released and SOMEHOW escaped my extensive gaming radar, let me know in the forum, as I may actually like to try an NHL management sim...
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Marc Duffy 21 Apr 2007 06:50
3/5
NHL Eastside Hockey Manager

www.eastsidehockey.net
Gary Savage 15 May 2007 11:15
4/5
I played Sunday League for a bit but it doesn't even come close to this....if theres no bugs it will be amazing how can it fail?? I dont like the idea that someone can sit there 24 hours a day and will pick up more points than someone who has a life outside of computer games...Maybe if they had a special "game world" for people who work 9-5 i.e. results are only registered in the evening otherwise the people who spend all day at home have the advantage
Alexander 21 May 2007 09:55
5/5
Sundayleague.com is the lamest game ever and i think that FML will be a success even though i thought that users should be able to play in some worlds with only real teams instead of only fantasy...
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