All of us at Sports Interactive pride ourselves on making the Football Manager series the most indepth and accurate simulation of the real football world released.
One of the really important parts of this is to ensure that all countries whose leagues we represent in the game are represented as accurately as possible.
This is something that would be really easy if all leagues followed the same structure. But, of course, they don’t! Whether it be the English pyramid system, the Scottish league break, the Brazilian state and national pyramid system, regional divisions all over the world and the B-teams of Spain, we try our best to get it right, even though it leads to lots of work that’s only needed for one countries league.
I’m not going to go into all the different changes that have been made to league rules this year. There are, literally, thousands of them. Even changes that were only announced in late August, such as the Turkish play off system, have made it into the game, or having to add special code so that clubs that have punishments and are having to play games behind closed doors are inside the game too, or code and data fields so that clubs who are banned from playing in continental competitions (or go into administration into the game) are dealt with properly.
But there are some countries where a lot of special attention has to be given because the rules there are so different to those elsewhere, such as the MLS in the USA and the A-League in Australia.
So if you aren’t interested in the changes to those 2 leagues, look away now! Or, rather, come back tomorrow for another FM2012 blog.
But if you are interested….
Let’s start with the A League, where there have been significant changes to the marquee player rules inside Football Manager 2012.
For a start, we didn’t have a way for our Australian head researchers to identify the marquee players in real life to ensure they were treated correctly by the game, which we now do have with support both in the database and in game.
This was perfectly timed with the A League deciding to allow 2 adult marquee players, rather than one. So you can now have 2 of them, as long as one of them is Australian
We’ve added support for the Youth Marquee player too, which is an Australian marquee player who must be under 23 years old. These are also now reflected in the game, the database, and therefore the data editor too
There’s also a new schedule in place for the Australian season, alongside big changes to the roster rules for the teams, to ensure it’s more realistic and easier to understand.
Hopefully these changes, alongside lots of others, will make the A League even more fun to manage in.
Then there’s the MLS. A league where clubs are franchises, not clubs. A league where the league own the players and a draft system is used to assign them to the clubs. If you want a really different experience, then try managing in the MLS!
There are a lot of changes and new features for the MLS this year. So many that I don’t really know where to start! So am just going to list some of them in a list below in no particular order…
MLS Academies now create newgens as they would do in real life.
MLS Combine teams now have their real names, alongside improvements to news about players in the Combine teams, to help you as a manager know which of them you should be looking to draft.
The salary cap now increases each year, and the person playing the game gets a news item to tell them what the new salary cap is.
New news item for the MLS All Star game that announces the squad, and highlights the players from your team.
Guaranteed contracts have been improved and are now working as per real life.
MLS rights when a player is sold are now better modelled.
We’ve also added in the weighted lottery draft process into FM this year, with 3 or 4 a year – it’s up to you if you want to take part or not though.
Improvements have been made to the roster confirmation screen, so that players aren’t accidently released.
Improvements made to the designated player code, so that 2 of them cannot be traded, with a 3rd slot available for purchase, with the money spent divided by the clubs in the MLS who decide to not have a 3rd slot.
And finally, we’ve added in the MLS Discovery signings, so you can sign 6 players from foreign clubs or free agents per season. Or 10 if you’re one of the 2 new clubs – the MLS expansion is in too, so we welcome
Vancouver and Portland to Football Manager 2012.
To be clear, these are not the only changes, new things and improvements for the MLS & A League. But hopefully you can see from these the kind of level of detail we go to just for these specific leagues. As we try to do for every league in the game.