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jayahr

FM13 in Germany?

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Hi,

having seen that some retailers have obviously been demanded to not ship the game to Germany and some other countries, it's obvious that again the game will not be released in Germany.

My question is, will one still be able to activate a copy bought abroad in Germany via Steam as it was the case last year? The observation above makes me afraid that this may have changed as well, so I would like to have a reliable confirmation before ordering.

Cheers :)

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A region lock is what I feared the most when FM went Steam, as it is easy to implement it now for Sega/SI. However, I doubt that will be the case. Pretty horrid state of affairs how exclusive licenses have killed off any real contest in the world of sport games anyhow, and Germany and football management games is a very special case and a bright warning sign what happens when an entire market is pretty much closed off for anyone but a single company, however legal that may have happened. It is documented that even so called "journalists" often times don't know any other series but the remaining one released. And since they don't have the comparison as they aren't provided copies by Sega, they praise said series in areas where it is obviously a much lesser game all around.

You see this reflected on Metacritic as well - for as many years as you look back, you will see German reviews at the very top of the pile by a far margin. FM in Germany? No problem importing it, I reckon, and no problem playing it as well.

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Fully agreed. Even more as EA games tend to be amongst those blockbuster games which automatically receive 80+ ratings by the press.

Anyway, the fact that some retailers refuse to send it to Germany (and one can safely assume that they would usually and for obvious reason like to sell as many copies to Germany as possible) makes be freaking scared that measures will be taken further and further. And an area lock doesn't seem totally improbable to me already at this point.

Which means I will not order before I positively know I can play it over here.

@SI: I'll need a word from you or Sega for that, preferably. Feel free to PM me if you cannot talk openly on here :)

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A region lock is what I feared the most when FM went Steam, as it is easy to implement it now for Sega/SI. However, I doubt that will be the case. Pretty horrid state of affairs how exclusive licenses have killed off any real contest in the world of sport games anyhow, and Germany and football management games is a very special case and a bright warning sign what happens when an entire market is pretty much closed off for anyone but a single company, however legal that may have happened. It is documented that even so called "journalists" often times don't know any other series but the remaining one released. And since they don't have the comparison as they aren't provided copies by Sega, they praise said series in areas where it is obviously a much lesser game all around.

You see this reflected on Metacritic as well - for as many years as you look back, you will see German reviews at the very top of the pile by a far margin. FM in Germany? No problem importing it, I reckon, and no problem playing it as well.

Has there never been a challenge under EU competition legislation against this state of affairs?

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Has there never been a challenge under EU competition legislation against this state of affairs?

No. The league has given all rights exclusively to EA. Seeing that they cannot legally give just all TV rights exclusively to one broadcasting company, it may be worth thinking about that for a competitor like Sega. On the other hand, these rights are not as important and many of the minor rights have been awarded on an exclusive basis to various companies with no legal strings attached.

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Fully agreed. Even more as EA games tend to be amongst those blockbuster games which automatically receive 80+ ratings by the press.

Well, I didn't want to imply that there was corruption at work. Simply that many haven't got in touch with any management game developed outside of Germany. Some openly admitted to have never done so. This is what happens when there's no choice anymore. People are getting the impression that there isn't a choice even from people they think should know better than them by profession, hobby or full-time all the same.

As for the licenses, Sega could have aquired them themselves, but those aren't bought just for the German football management game called FIFA Manager internationally by EA, but more importantly for FIFA Soccer, a much bigger brand than either management series. It's a delicate affair, and I remember the conspiracy theories going around last year when SI made it more difficult for users to edit the language files. Those are to be taken with a pinch of salt. It was made more difficult for communities to make their own language files, "for legal reasons" as it seems. What those legal reasons are was never announced in depth, so theories followed. But even so, this didn't only affect the German community, but also those in Russia or Turkey too. EA may have an interest to protect the German markets, as its pretty much the only area in which FIFA Manager reigns supreme. But I don't think it has anything to do directly with themselves that caused SI to suddenly alter policies regarding language files last year.

It's a shame that the series hasn't quite caught on over here, in parts as the number of researchers is quite low for a country like Germany. But for this previous publishers like Atari and Eidos are also in parts to blame. The community appears to be growing, albeit slowly, year by year, but that is more down to word of mouth than anything. It isn't much, but as of now FM is the one of the most frequently aquired UK game imports on Amazon.de across all platforms - SI themselves certainly know more accurate numbers given that they can see who actived the game from Germany. As long as you're not outright forbidden to activate Football Manager in Germany, everything's fine. Can't see that happening. You might hop over to meistertrainerforum.de and ask your question there. You will find the head researchers of Germany there too, and they have never hinted at anything like that happening. They should know as they always try to keep in touch with SI.

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The game isn't distributed in Germany. You thus cannot buy it from Steam directly either. But you can still buy it from import shops, and you can activate your imported game via Steam from Germany as well.

Unless there is a secret and decidedly conspirative gentlemens' agreement between Sega and Electronic Arts we won't suggest there being now: Technically Sega would be allowed to distribute FM in Germany, but only if they take all the Bundesliga data out of the game or fake it. That doesn't make sense from a business point of view. Firstly, FM has never been that popular in Germany anyhow - even when it was still released with all the data, like a decade ago. And second, no German data means even more of an uphill battle, see Pro Evolution getting outsold by FIFA multiple times year in year out. In the beautiful world of sports games, those who hold the licenses usually are those who hold the power. FIFA Manager is different, but then it actually holds less original data despite its licenses and gets a lot of flak in particular for its shaky match days at the core of the game ze Germanz appear to strangely worry little about. That is every German but me and like the 5,000 or God knows how many lost souls who despite every other German claiming FIFA Manager to be the most realistic management simulation ever have somehow tried FM regardless. And discovered that at least some of their peers claims have been a _tad_ silly all along that exclusively licensed ride.

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Seeing that they cannot legally give just all TV rights exclusively to one broadcasting company

Why not? If the (itself rather illegal) German state TV coughed up sufficiently many towers of cash, it could sure have all TV rights for itself.

So back to topic: Will it be possible to activate a copy bought abroad in Germany via Steam as it was the case last year?

There is no reason to assume that this won't be possible. I'll make sure to tell you if this changes in any way, but I simply can't imagine it. FM retail versions are not blocked in any country. Blocking the activation of a UK FMxx in Germany would be illegal as that would be an impairment of inter-EU trade. The fools at 2K tried that with Darksiders II.

having seen that some retailers have obviously been demanded to not ship the game to Germany and some other countries

Like? Examples?

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Yeh, it's not illegal, in Portugal only SportTV a pay-per-view channel has the rights for every league game so.. it sucks but ye it's not illegal, it's not a monopoly as long as there's competition even if they are minor

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You're only not permited to BUY the game in germany by the law.

Playing the game, if you buy it from another country, however, is perfectly legal under EU laws. As you did not break any exclusivity contracts.

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As long as this is how it works in practice, I'm fine with that as I assume I'll find a retailer who will ship it over here.

However, in absence of any official word I won't risk pre-ordering or getting the game before I positively know that it works via seeing other users from Germany on here who had no issues.

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As long as this is how it works in practice, I'm fine with that as I assume I'll find a retailer who will ship it over here.

However, in absence of any official word I won't risk pre-ordering or getting the game before I positively know that it works via seeing other users from Germany on here who had no issues.

Have you tried asking Steam? You can file a ticket with SEGA support, too. Those ways are much more likely to yield an answer.

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Have you tried asking Steam? You can file a ticket with SEGA support, too. Those ways are much more likely to yield an answer.

No, that didn't cross my mind yet. I was hoping to get an answer in here as last year, SI openly talked about the issue and confirmed before release that the game could be activated also in countries in which it isn't sold. The silence over the last days makes be fear a bit that this may have changed :(

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It has been like this forever. Do you expect your bakery to announce every week that the bread is still baked and not glued together from pieces of plastic & chicken?

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Now that the release is less than a month away, it isn't even a topic within the German community whether you can activate the game in Germany or not - it is a non-topic. People are pre-ordering regardless, and the researchers in contact with SI don't hint at any imminent issues either. Personally I haven't seen anything different to last year myself, so I'm wondering what caused you to worry much.

I know some issues concerning Germany are a bit frustrating, but all you can do for now is to further spread worth of mouth for the game. And that in a sensible way -- I think anybody who has ever played FM is well aware in what areas FM is quite a big deal ahead of any competitor still being developed right now. I've been doing that for a couple of years now, and such do all the nice people who stitch up a German language file in their free-time; for absolutely nothing but their love for the game. The little media exposure FM gets in Germany has come leaps and bounds in terms of quality - during the Eidos/Atari years it was borderlining on the ridiculous, which likely has contributed to the status of the game in Germany. I know that this in parts contributed to me not even really trying the game up until 2007ish. In many a rather sarcastic article wasting most of the space on assessing CM/FM's lack of visuals, there was even a catch phrase going round here and there, that of the "English football management games", which apparently weren't and couldn't be possibly enjoyed by anyone but the English - seriously. But as an FM player as well as a football management games fan for the past twenty years, I'm hoping for a unified, sensible voice that speaks up against the rubbish that sometimes is still being published - and if only because many people and editors don't know better anymore as they aren't being fed by Sega with review copies whatsoever.

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You're only not permited to BUY the game in germany by the law.

Playing the game, if you buy it from another country, however, is perfectly legal under EU laws. As you did not break any exclusivity contracts.

Strange thing is that you can usually buy the UK-Import of the game via amazon.de

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Now that the release is less than a month away, it isn't even a topic within the German community whether you can activate the game in Germany or not - it is a non-topic. People are pre-ordering regardless, and the researchers in contact with SI don't hint at any imminent issues either. Personally I haven't seen anything different to last year myself, so I'm wondering what caused you to worry much.

http://community.sigames.com/showthread.php/315446-35-off-FM13-pre-order-extended-offer-%29

This thread (info in the OP) made me scared. At least one retailer officially refuses to ship to the countries in which FM is not released for legal reasons.

I guess it's fair to assume that they did not come up with this self-restriction by themselves or voluntarily. (it actually even says so)

Last year no retailer had any issue sending the game to whereever.

In addition, last year SI repeatedly stated on here that users in the respective countries would still be able to activate through Steam. This year there is complete silence from SI on this issue. Just a short remark in here could clear up the issue for everybody, but there is none, over weeks.

The combination of these still scares me. Last year was the first time that Steam was a must. So easily now for the second year they may have changed the activation area.

I'm obviously happy that so many other German users are less cautious and pre-ordering the game. I'll rather check the forums after release before ordering.

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It's not forbidden to sell Football Manager 2013 in Germany. There is no such law (and even if, it would be in heavy conflicts with EU rights). This game isn't indexed here in Germany. Therefore it can be sold.

And an activation in Germany via Steam will be possible.

I don't know why Green Man Gaming refuses to sell to Germany. But this is a free country. Just buy the game at any other (online) games store.

Although a small statement from Sega or SI would be fair nevertheless. :)

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This has always bugged me, so can someone please clarify it to me, i understand the licenses part but why can't they sell the game on germany?

As I understand it, SI do not have the rights to use the real names of Bundesliga clubs, so in order to sell the game in Germany, they would have to remove the German league altogether, or give all the clubs (players too?) fake names. Remember when Oliver Khan was Jens Mustermann?

Anyway even the fake names thing didn't work I guess because it was easy to get the real names back by either adding or removing an LNC file so now FM is simply not sold in Germany.

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There are various legal issues that make doing business in Germany difficult - not least the fact that the league rights are not available.

I'm pretty certain SI would love to be doing business there and would be if they could.

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