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Major Changes for FM22 Touch and Beyond Blog


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A blog giving an update on the future of Football Manager Touch from Studio Director, Miles Jacobson.

As you can probably imagine, given what we do and how important data and research is to our games, here at Sports Interactive we use a lot of data to help us make business decisions.

We constantly monitor our roster of games using a process of ‘cost-benefit analysis’ which, simply put, means that we look at how much it costs us to develop, QA and release each separate version, then compare that against the revenue it will bring in (alongside any other benefits or costs it may offer to our business, outside of pure profit and loss).

Sometimes this leads to us having to make difficult business decisions that we know won’t be universally popular, but we have to look at the bigger picture and decide what’s the best for the majority of our players and for us as a studio.

So, today I want to talk about some changes to the formats that we will – and won’t – be releasing Football Manager Touch on this year.

But first, let’s take a quick look back on that game’s history.

Football Manager Classic, as Touch was originally named, was added as a game mode within Football Manager 2013, as a streamlined way for people to play. At the time, our research showed us that there was a growing audience who wanted something simpler than the ‘full fat’ FM, but more in-depth than our mobile game at that time, Football Manager Handheld (which has since been renamed as Football Manager Mobile).

Classic was first released as a standalone game in 2014 on PlayStation Vita and did much better there than we were expecting, so we looked to expand it onto other platforms. We first made it available for iOS and Android tablets in April 2015, although it would only work on the most powerful versions of that early hardware.

In 2015 we changed the name from ‘Classic’ to ‘Touch’ as the control system was very much geared towards touch screens – and also because research showed there was confusion over the use of ‘Classic’, with many of our fans thinking it was a historical version of FM.

In 2017 Touch was removed as a ‘mode’ from FM, and became a standalone release, following an initial experiment with selling it separate from FM in 2016.

Initially this was very successful, but with the release of the game on other platforms – such as the Switch version in 2018 and then last year’s Xbox Edition, both of which are closely modelled on Touch – and changes to the way people play games, sales on the PC, Mac and tablet versions of the game have fallen significantly. Developing for the tablet market, particularly on Android, is also very challenging, due to the huge range of different hardware versions available.

With the pandemic and changing working practices thrown into the mix, we also have to weigh up internal resources, both short term and long term, when making format decisions. And yes, I am setting a small group of you here up for some bad news. As Roxette once said in the best greatest hits album title of all time, ‘Don’t bore us, get to the chorus’, so…

Football Manager Touch 2022 will only be available on Nintendo Switch. There will be no version of the game available on Steam, the Epic Store, the App Store or Google Play. Anyone who wants to play a streamlined version of FM anywhere other than Switch will still be able to do so, but the game won’t be called ‘Touch’.

For PC players, the Xbox Edition will be available to purchase via the Microsoft Store or via Game Pass, while tablet players will be able to stream that game to their devices via Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service (which is available to anyone with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription). The full range of options is set out in the platform matrix below.

One positive about Football Manager Touch which was revealed by the data was that many of our fans ‘dipped in’ to Touch to take advantage of Versus Mode (which allows players to test their FM squad in head-to-head online matches against other managers). As a result of this, we are working to implement Versus Mode in Football Manager 2022, although this won’t be introduced until early next year (as there’s quite a bit of development work required and we didn’t want to delay the game’s release).

Removing games from the FM line-up is not something we do lightly (or often) and when we do it’s only ever to improve the things for the majority of our players. I know that the decision to limit the availability of Touch will not be popular with a section of FM fans, but I also know that it’s best for both the studio and the wider FM community.

Cheers,

Miles

FM22-Platform_Table.png

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5 minutes ago, trevjim said:

Ah no! Touch was the only mode I played on PC. It was all the fun stuff without the tedious aspects like press

As stated within the blog

Quote

Anyone who wants to play a streamlined version of FM anywhere other than Switch will still be able to do so, but the game won’t be called ‘Touch’.

For PC players, the Xbox Edition will be available to purchase via the Microsoft Store or via Game Pass, while tablet players will be able to stream that game to their devices via Microsoft’s xCloud streaming service (which is available to anyone with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription). 

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There is still going to be the xbox edition which will maintain a presence on PC. Given the price of gamepass for a month its definitely worth seeing if its got the same appeal for you.

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2 minutes ago, Neil Brock said:

As stated within the blog

Sorry I didn't quite realise it was the same thing, I thought the Xbox version may have been a sub par version then the normal PC/Touch one

Edited by trevjim
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7 minutes ago, trevjim said:

Sorry I didn't quite realise it was the same thing, I thought the Xbox version may have been a sub par version then the normal PC/Touch one

There's a limit on the number of nations you can load and the number of seasons you can play on the Xbox version though. Touch on PC didn't have these.

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painful but I understand. FM22 it is then. To have a similar experience would be to have the ass man to take press, training etc. 

Probably Playerbase on PC accounted for the switch. Would miss how fast and quick network play was.

Edited by Bdare
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I’m too old to understand what XBox gamepass and Microsoft cloud thingy are. I only understand the Steam store for my PC and the App Store for my iPad. I just want to be able to buy a game, download it and play. So I can by the XBox version and play it on a PC can I? 

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9 minutes ago, MrManagerMan said:

I’m too old to understand what XBox gamepass and Microsoft cloud thingy are. I only understand the Steam store for my PC and the App Store for my iPad. I just want to be able to buy a game, download it and play. So I can by the XBox version and play it on a PC can I? 

Yes, you can buy the Xbox Edition from Windows Store when it's released - https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/store/apps/windows

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27 minutes ago, DarJ said:

It’s disappointing I won’t be able to play on the iPad anymore 

You will be able to play on iPad via Game Pass xCloud. 

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6 minutes ago, iamnobody said:

Can someone give a list of the differences between Touch and the Xbox version?

 

I've been playing Touch/classic since it came out. This change has me a bit nervous since I only play on my PC.

This is the comparison for FM21, which gives you an idea - https://www.footballmanager.com/compare-games

Really there is very little different other than the number of nations you can select when first creating a game. 

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2 minutes ago, Neil Brock said:

This is the comparison for FM21, which gives you an idea - https://www.footballmanager.com/compare-games

Really there is very little different other than the number of nations you can select when first creating a game. 

Thanks for the link.  You are right that the only major difference seems to be the number of nations that can be loaded.  For me that is an issue.  On FM20 (the last one I bought) I will usually start games on FMT with all nations loaded and I've always wanted to be able to add new nations like you can on full-fat FM.  I know on the FMT board this has been a major request for a number of years.  I'm guessing the decision to remove FMT for PC has removed that as a possible option for the future.

I guess my only other question for now is why there will be a limit on the number of nations to select on the Xbox version?  We all know that memory is very large on the platforms that can use the Xbox version.

 

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I hope that eventually the Challenges can be brought to the full version of FM. That was the only reason I opened Touch, though not usually for long because I missed the full FM experience.

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What impact will this have on the core FM product (PC)? Will this make development cycle easier and more efficient by freeing up resources to allocate to FM and a quicker turn around in implementing ideas?

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18 hours ago, Neil Brock said:

In 2015 we changed the name from ‘Classic’ to ‘Touch’ as the control system was very much geared towards touch screens – and also because research showed there was confusion over the use of ‘Classic’, with many of our fans thinking it was a historical version of FM.

When is a historical version of FM happening though?

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7 minutes ago, rusty217 said:

When is a historical version of FM happening though?

Without knowing any details, I'd imagine the licencing right would be a royal nightmare. Especially considering the game cannot be sold digitally after a new release is out.

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Historical releases are almost impossible I'd think. Licensing as XaW mentions, but once players leave professional football their rights become individual or property of companies etc depending on their arrangements. 

It's much easier to get a UFC game made than a boxing game because of licensing issues as an example. 

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Can we still add gfx etc to xbox version (on pc though) as we could with Touch? If so I'll probably just purchase that rather than the full game as do prefer the quicker game speed.

Presume editor files definitely cannot be added but that's not a major problem.

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Research would likely be a time consuming issue as well - as they don't have a separate database for each year (or period) instead building on the existing database each year, and you cannot just import the database from older copies due to the changes the game has made over the years.

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6 minutes ago, VP. said:

Can we still add gfx etc to xbox version (on pc though) as we could with Touch? If so I'll probably just purchase that rather than the full game as do prefer the quicker game speed.

Presume editor files definitely cannot be added but that's not a major problem.

Assuming it hasn't made any changes from the normal PC versions, then content that gets placed into your User Data Location (Documents folder by default) should still work (kits, logos, tactics etc...).

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13 minutes ago, michaeltmurrayuk said:

Assuming it hasn't made any changes from the normal PC versions, then content that gets placed into your User Data Location (Documents folder by default) should still work (kits, logos, tactics etc...).

Cheers that's exactly what I was thinking. 

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Dear developer, I am a loyal player of FM touch series. 90% of my iPad is used to play fm2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021 touch. Therefore, I am frustrated by the news that fm2022 touch has been cancelled. Can this matter be changed? Launch fm2022 touch for IOS platform later in the future? Best regards

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As long as the Xbox edition can be played with a mouse and keyboard on PC's, I guess I'm OK with this. 

Is it possible to add games purchased in Microsoft store to Steam? It's just easier to have all my games in one launcher .. 

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9 minutes ago, Footix said:

As long as the Xbox edition can be played with a mouse and keyboard on PC's, I guess I'm OK with this. 

Is it possible to add games purchased in Microsoft store to Steam? It's just easier to have all my games in one launcher .. 

No, but it's easy enough to create desktop shortcut for the app, so you won't even need to use any kind of launcher. 

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18 minutes ago, MEKIO said:

Dear developer, I am a loyal player of FM touch series. 90% of my iPad is used to play fm2018 / 2019 / 2020 / 2021 touch. Therefore, I am frustrated by the news that fm2022 touch has been cancelled. Can this matter be changed? Launch fm2022 touch for IOS platform later in the future? Best regards

You will be able to play the Xbox Edition, which is extremely similar to Touch on iPad via xCloud with a Games Pass subscription

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Just thinking about this a little more and it's looking to me slightly like an experiment to see how xCloud goes in the absence of an option to buy the software. Is this the beginning of converting FM to SAAS?

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The only constant is change.  Thank you for the transparency.  Having played FM/CM for decades now, Touch became a nice alternative on the iPad while flying/traveling.  Good to know the XCloud Game Pass retains this option.  

FWIW, as you all run cost/benefit analysis, one day FM deserves a price increase.  The hours played to price ratio far exceeds any other game, movie, or form of entertainment I dabble in.  I know that's a whole other subject, but you all pack a lot of value into the game.

Edited by Phil930
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21 hours ago, Footix said:

Is it possible to add games purchased in Microsoft store to Steam? It's just easier to have all my games in one launcher .. 

You cannot activate Microsoft Store/Gamepass games on Steam, but you can add it as a non-Steam game however due to the way the MsStore works you currently need to use third party programs to do this, rather than just pointing Steam to the game exe.

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On 07/10/2021 at 17:18, XaW said:

Without knowing any details, I'd imagine the licencing right would be a royal nightmare. Especially considering the game cannot be sold digitally after a new release is out.

Aren't the image rights for dead people free for anybody to use? If it's historical enough then it shouldn't be an issue. FM 1899!

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26 minutes ago, rusty217 said:

Aren't the image rights for dead people free for anybody to use? If it's historical enough then it shouldn't be an issue. FM 1899!

Close enough.

Football Manager on Twitter: "Re-introducing Football Manager 1888.… "

Football Manager 1888? - Football Manager 2013 - Gamereactor

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Sweet! So I CAN use my game pass to play the full version on my laptop…..@Neil Brock, would you need to be connected to the internet to play FM22 through game pass after loading the game up?

Currently I load up FM21 when I’m at home then once it’s running I put my laptop into sleep mode then play the game when I’m doing sleep ins at work. Will this still happen or will I always need to be connected to the internet and by proxy game pass to play?

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3 hours ago, Zeonflux said:

Sweet! So I CAN use my game pass to play the full version on my laptop…..@Neil Brock, would you need to be connected to the internet to play FM22 through game pass after loading the game up?

Currently I load up FM21 when I’m at home then once it’s running I put my laptop into sleep mode then play the game when I’m doing sleep ins at work. Will this still happen or will I always need to be connected to the internet and by proxy game pass to play?

Found this online:

"Most games available in the Xbox Game Pass PC Games plan on your Windows 10 device support offline play but check the details of the game to make sure yours is supported. Games from the Xbox Game Pass library can be played while the PC is offline, but for no more than 30 days before the PC must reconnect to the internet to verify an active subscription. Most games with a campaign mode will be playable offline, but games with network co-op or multiplayer features will not work while you’re offline. While playing offline, some features, such as the ability to purchase additional items, will not be available."

Details on how to set offline mode here - https://support.xbox.com/en-GB/help/games-apps/game-setup-and-play/play-games-offline-on-windows-10-using-offline-mode

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I’m really disappointed to see the iPad version go away. With the new M1 chips, I was hopeful more functionality might be coming, not less. Anyway, I guess that’s where we are for now. 

So I don’t understand what my options are. It says FM and FM XBox are available via the Microsoft Cloud service. I don’t use that, so:

  • Do I have to pay for the cloud service and then pay for the game as well? Or do I just pay for the MS subscription and get the games included until I stop paying?
  • Does this mean I can play the full-fat version of FM on my iPad now, via the streaming service? I have a mouse, so I’m not concerned about touch control, I just want to play the game
  • What does this mean for things like match engine video quality? I assume it’s all rendered on servers somewhere and then streamed to my device. Does this mean I’ll get higher quality video footage than I was previously getting via the local iPad version of the game?

Sorry if these are silly questions, I’ve never been a gamer with the exception of CM/FM so I’m at a bit of a loss. The only other game I ever play is Fortnite, and that’s only because my son likes it and it’s fun to play with him. He spends most of the game bringing me back to life.

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16 hours ago, Neil Brock said:

Found this online:

"Most games available in the Xbox Game Pass PC Games plan on your Windows 10 device support offline play but check the details of the game to make sure yours is supported. Games from the Xbox Game Pass library can be played while the PC is offline, but for no more than 30 days before the PC must reconnect to the internet to verify an active subscription. Most games with a campaign mode will be playable offline, but games with network co-op or multiplayer features will not work while you’re offline. While playing offline, some features, such as the ability to purchase additional items, will not be available."

Details on how to set offline mode here - https://support.xbox.com/en-GB/help/games-apps/game-setup-and-play/play-games-offline-on-windows-10-using-offline-mode

Oh brilliant, thanks very much Neil!!

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@itsrpss it's not silly questions, I don't know the answers to all of them myself. 

Firstly, when it comes to getting FM on an ipad it appears a few months ago a Safari compatible version of xcloud (the streaming the game option) was released a few months back. I think this is where you may need to do most of your research on and seeing what others are sharing their experiences as when it comes out because I expect someone could well do a guide on it then.

1 hour ago, itsrpss said:

Do I have to pay for the cloud service and then pay for the game as well? Or do I just pay for the MS subscription and get the games included until I stop paying?

You can get the game through the pass and have it for as long as you remain subscribed, or buy the game outright. Here is FM21 on the microsoft store:

802e4a8a5689c5cd0d61b785df591d6c.png

 

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Understandable decision, but I need clarification about some things.

Is Xbox Edition the only one available on cloud? And if so, how are the touch controls?

Also, in the comparison table, it says the match engine is a bit less detailed. How does that work?

Thanks in advance.

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4 hours ago, santy001 said:

@itsrpss it's not silly questions, I don't know the answers to all of them myself. 

Firstly, when it comes to getting FM on an ipad it appears a few months ago a Safari compatible version of xcloud (the streaming the game option) was released a few months back. I think this is where you may need to do most of your research on and seeing what others are sharing their experiences as when it comes out because I expect someone could well do a guide on it then.

You can get the game through the pass and have it for as long as you remain subscribed, or buy the game outright. Here is FM21 on the microsoft store:

802e4a8a5689c5cd0d61b785df591d6c.png

 

Thank you, I appreciate the reply.

So I signed up for the cloud service to see how it works. I know FM 2022 isn’t ready yet, but I was curious. A few things

  1. FM 2021 Xbox edition doesn’t seem to show up for me when signed in on my iPad, despite your image saying it’s available. I searched for it in the app, and I also browned the “all games” list and didn’t see it. Odd. Not a big problem as I’m still happy playing FM2021 on iPad, but if anyone knows why, I’d be interested
  2. All of the games on there seem to require either an Xbox controller or use of a virtual one on-screen (only playing on iPad still, I’m not looking at any other combinations). None support a mouse as far as I can tell, and a quick Google search supports this. Perhaps that’s changed recently. According to the original post both “FM2022” and “FM 2022 Xbox Edition” are available on Xbox game pass. So how does this work? Would it be possible for a SI person to state explicitly what will be available to play on iPad via the Game Pass version. The Xbox version with a controller? The full version with mouse & keyboard support? Something else? It always worries me a bit when something apparently simple gets to the point where a matrix needed to explain what works where, and at the moment I’m really unclear on exactly what’s going to be available
  3. If we’re stuck playing only the XBox version on iPad, does that mean we have to play with a controller (real or virtual) or can we tap on things in the usual way?
  4. There is no mention of the Mac here. Is that gone as well? You may have mentioned it in another blog post that I haven’t seen, but the product matrix has a Windows logo.

I think FMT on iPad was the most fun I’ve had playing any of your games from any series since I was a kid, I think it’s a real shame it’s going away.

Anyway I know it’s the weekend, so no hurry.

Thanks very much!

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6 hours ago, santy001 said:

@itsrpss it's not silly questions, I don't know the answers to all of them myself. 

Firstly, when it comes to getting FM on an ipad it appears a few months ago a Safari compatible version of xcloud (the streaming the game option) was released a few months back. I think this is where you may need to do most of your research on and seeing what others are sharing their experiences as when it comes out because I expect someone could well do a guide on it then.

You can get the game through the pass and have it for as long as you remain subscribed, or buy the game outright. Here is FM21 on the microsoft store:

802e4a8a5689c5cd0d61b785df591d6c.png

 

Just to clarify to access the game via xcloud streaming you need to have a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, just purchasing the game doesn't give you access to streaming version.

If you want the streaming version you only need the Game Pass subscription there is no need to purchase the game separately as the streaming option is part of the sub.

If you have Windows/Xbox and don't need the xCloud version then you can just purchase the game without needing to subscribe to Game Pass.

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Gutted, I'd assumed that the Touch version would be pretty popular especially on Tablet devices, obviously not. 

Hopefully someone can pull together a tutorial on the xCloud gimmick, as someone who doesnt play consoles I'm out of the loop. 

Like most I guess I'll be weighing up playing the full version or mobile on tablet (assume that's a thing).

 

 

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Does anybody know if it's possible to play FM using xcloud via gamepass on an iPad - with a mouse connected or using Apple pencil as input?

Or are you locked to using a Xbox controller?

Many thanks.

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basically you locked touch to switch and for people who want it on other plataforms  need to pay for a third party service , this is just wrong .

streaming is still on early stages, internet infrastructure is still bad in many places including the UK, forcing people to spend more on already expensive game , and spend more on data caps because streaming is heavy on bandwidth. SI management needs to take a look in the mirror  

Edited by Aim_Less
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7 hours ago, bubba_89 said:

Does anybody know if it's possible to play FM using xcloud via gamepass on an iPad - with a mouse connected or using Apple pencil as input?

Or are you locked to using a Xbox controller?

Many thanks.

You aren't forced to use a controller, to my knowledge.

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