Here is my take on how I personally believe FM can innovative and become an even greater game than it is now. Attached you can see some screenshot suggestions. The toon characters are placeholders.
I've divided this post into two.
Problem and solutions & Feature suggestions
## Problems and Solutions ##
Let's begin with the problems of FM -
1 - Game is too complex, too many feature and details.
2 - There are very little linear approaches to get from A to B.
3 - Player stats are overly complicated
4 - Replayability is limited due to gamification elements not being fully utilized.
How can this be solved?
1 - Lower complexity by removing information users don't care about.
2 - Create a more linear game
3 - Simplify Player Stats
4 - Add Gamification Elements (See Concepts)
Let's look at each point in detail.
1# - Complexity
Having been involved in several start-ups, a mistake a lot of people make is making the product too complex. We aim for the elite, rather than the average joe who by far make up the majority of the user database.
* Remove the concept of training and let the player get better based on their potential and matches they play.
* Simplify Player Stats (see attached image for suggestion)
* Simplify the tactical system. The average joe thinks mostly in terms of defensive, counter, possession, direct and attacking football. (See attachment for suggestion)
* Remove press conferences
* Remove news
* Remove complex contract system
2# - Linear Approach
This is tied in with complexity, when reducing complexity you naturally increase usability.
3# - Simplify Player Stats
This point was touched upon in section #1, but if we bear in mind that people are simple. When we think of Gareth Bale, we think a player who is fast, got some sweet free kicks and good dribbling skills. If then go to Pogba you will say a guy who's good at passing and dribbling, a creative guy.
You certainly don't think about flair, influence, off the ball, positioning, teamwork, work rate, bravery, anticipation, aggression. Even though these matter and are real attributes of a player, they can be confined into one or more attributes. See concept image for suggestions.
#4 - Replayability is limited due to not fully utilizing gamification elements.
This leads me to my next point, features!
## Feature Suggestion ##
Fifa has done it big-time by following the trends of games such as Pokemon and WoW where there is a constant rewarding behavior by acquiring new assets. In the football world, a new asset would be a player. the best method to date in order to achieve this is by using cards. The ability for a user to gain card packs as a reward or buy card packs would greatly increase gamification and the replayability of the game.
You get the effect "treasure effect" where you never know what you might find.
Imagine you win a gold pack every time your team got into a top 4 spot in the league, or if you win an official tournament it would grant you a special diamond pack with a unique player in it. That is a real reward, rather than just getting a visual reward by seeing your team in spot 4 or 5 on the table.
- Player Involvement
When a player sign up to the game(maybe people get an option to use a world wide online database, not necessairly an online FM game), he is asked to take a picture of him or herself. The player is then added as the captain of his team. So, the player becomes a part of the football manager universe. How cool wouldn't that be?