Anco Online Limited, the UK?s oldest, independent computer and video game developer, has launched PlayAsManager.com, the first truly interactive football management game for the net, scoring an exclusive marketing deal with the UK?s leading football web site, Teamtalk.com, to promote the game as it evolves over the coming months.
Kicking off immediately, PlayAsManager.com allows users to take over the reins of any one of the 92 Premiership and three Nationwide League teams, and includes FA and Worthington Cup competitions as well as boasting the only 3D watch game that players can download.
PlayAsManager.com lets users buy and sell players, edit team and individual statistics, create their own playing styles and tactics, visit forums and chat rooms to interact with other human managers and download and watch any games that have been played in full 3D.
Logging on to the www.playasmanager.com website, potential Alex Fergusons or Arsene Wengers can download the game software in a matter of minutes, following the simple instructions, and register to play a full season, usually lasting between 3-6 months, for just £9.99. League and cup prizes, as well as promotions, will ultimately be awarded for all competitions.
The co-operative marketing deal between Anco and TeamTalk, which runs until April 2001, will see TeamTalk taking a share of revenues received from players joining up to play PlayAsManager.com through the TeamTalk portal
( www.teamtalk.com ), while the game can also be accessed through the home site, www.playasmanager.com.
On completion of the deal, Saul Leese, Anco Online?s European Marketing Manager, said: ?Teamtalk.com fits into our marketing strategy perfectly. They?re a forward thinking company with experience in the football content business and will help us to build PlayAsManager?s profile as the game evolves over the coming months.?
Anco expects the TeamTalk marketing deal to be the first of many, while a special banner mechanic, also being devised, will allow other portals to gain revenue from users accessing the game through links from their sites, as part of a special ?pay-per-user-generated? scheme.
Leeds based Teamtalk.com receives some 1.5 million hits per month from football enthusiasts all over the UK and recently raised £93 million to develop its business here in the UK, as well as to launch offices in a number of key European territories.
Teamtalk commercial director Mark Woodhead commented: ?PlayAsManager.com is the next stage in online football games, combining the quality gaming experience of Anco?s console products with the interactivity and customer reach of the internet. We expect it to be a big hit with our 1.5 million users.?
PlayAsManager.com is based upon Anco?s long-running and award winning off-line Player Manager game, which has been released on both PC CD ROM and PSX world wide. Over the years, Anco has worked with famous managers who have endorsed the game in each territory, including Guy Roux in France, Fabio Capello in Italy and, most recently, Alex Ferguson in the UK.
Other managers who have worked with the development of PlayAsManager.com include Coventry City?s Gordon Strachan and Newcastle?s Bobby Robson. Here?s what the experts had to say about the product:
Bobby Robson: ?It?s amazing! What it really does is give the amateur the chance to be a professional ? to be the top man!?
Gordon Strachan: ?Player Manager is fantastic! I?m really enjoying this, believe it or not. I?m not going to tell my kids that because they?ll want to play me. You don?t want to play against the kids because if they beat you, you never hear the end of it!?
Alex Ferguson: ?Player Manager gives a real insight into what management?s all about?
Anco Online plans to release ?PlayAsManager.com? in 24 territories world-wide by the end of Q2 2001.
Choose to manage any one of the 92 clubs in the Premiership through to the 3rd Division of the Nationwide Leagues, in a real life online management simulation against other human managers.
Interact with other players, discuss forthcoming fixtures or simply taunt your upcoming opposition using in-game e-mail system, group messaging, web-site forums and live web chat.
Watch your game unfold using 2 unique game view options: 3D Match highlights - 256 colour or 3D accelerated version. Scanner Mode ? Top down view of play for the more analytical manager.
Plan and implement a pre-match strategy using the in-game tactics designer, allowing you to give a wide range of individual instructions to each player in your squad.
Build a squad for the future by buying players from the massive 11,000-strong international player database.
Strike deals directly with other human managers (you never know, Beckham may well want to join Arsenal at the right price!).
Spy on other clubs using your very own scout who can intercept messages going to and from other clubs.
Go for silverware by competing in all of the major cup competitions in the English league.
Immerse yourself in a wealth of statistics with 18 individual player skills and attributes and a host of post-match analysis tools.
Check out all the very latest league news using the League Report feature.
Goals of the month ? Did your team score one of the most impressive goals of the month?
All Stars ? Who are the movers and shakers in the league?
League Hotshots ? Who?s finding the onion bag on a regular basis?
League Info ? Which club has scored the most goals so far? Who has the best away track record?
Transfer List ? Who?s selling who at any one moment?
League Tables, Club Fixtures, League Fixtures, Cup Fixtures.
Bulletin board, Live Chat, Auction Rooms (April 2001), Manager Profiles (April 2001), League tables and positions, Office Leagues, Super Leagues (April 2001) and Celebrity Leagues.