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Miles Jacobson unveiled plans for a new free to play MMO! Reviving Football Manager Live?

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Of course it failed because players didn't like to lose. It's always been the same ever since the days of the Apex Soccer League (a play by mail game). It was always the teams near the bottom that became available to play.

The only players who continue when losing are the hardcore. (Very few).

Even then, after a few seasons of finishing near the bottom every season, even the hardcore would stop playing.

Put simply people will not pay money each month (no matter how cheap) for a game they are not doing well in.

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As I said earlier, we've been working on this for a few years, specifically for the Korean market. It's not a secret - there've been news articles about and I talk about it on both Twitter and Facebook.

We are co-developing the game with a Korean developer who were called KTH, until they were bought from their parent company earlier in the year by, umm, our parent company (SEGA).

Officially I've been studio director of both SI and SPK (the developer previously known as KTH) for many months - and apart from a recent break to finish FM - have been spending 1 week out of 6 over there with many members of the SI FMO team working on the design and technical sides of FMO. With the extra team members and roles we have now at SI, I've been able to pass some of my work onto other people to enable me to have the time to studio director of both. It's a fun experience.

There is only one release planned currently, and that is in Korea. If it does well there then it may well see releases in other countries - possibly modified - but not be like FML at all. The ethos and direction of the games are very different.

Miles,

Has there been any look at something like the Fifa Ultimate Team model as an approach? Allow player duplication, prioritise the things people enjoy (i.e squad building, tactics), but retain the element of club development and what not.

Some aspects were just too difficult to maintain. Hoarding of players as a finite resource, that one guy who would snap up the only Ronaldo and quit the game leaving him to rot for months, the impossible to balance economy, the dodgy transfer dealings etc. I could literally go on for days about the issues FML had ... but it will always be, despite this, one of my most memorable gaming experiences ever and I wish it was still here.

I absolutely think there is a market for this kind of game still, there are solutions to almost all the problems FML encountered - and I think it could be massively profitable for SI done correctly - but I guess you will have your own priorities.

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The main reason it failed is because people don't like to lose.
Of course it failed because players didn't like to lose. It's always been the same ever since the days of the Apex Soccer League (a play by mail game).

But... If everybody lose... who wins?

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Where do SI stand on someone putting FM on a server, that is running a multiplayer game which more than 2 people log into from their own machine?

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One person in each game world usually :D

Haha :D well I think there were enough servers and leagues and non-official competitions so to allow almost anyone to win something any now and then. I've been enough successfully, but I think yeah a lot of players quitted because not achieving enough and the vast majority quitted because it was way too dispersive.. too many servers, too much capacity in each one, too many leagues and you forced to play vs IA around 70%-80% of games made the game not better than FM for some of us. I remember also the match engine at the start was really good (corner exploit apart) and I have to confess if a FML is to be released tomorrow based on FM14 engine, I wouldn't join. At least not before a liver transplantation :D

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A one year suscription of FM Live cost approx. 70 pounds, three months still about 25, and it competed against management MMOs that were completely free to play even back then. Despite being an all new product line in a genre that typically demands regular commitment of players during their suscription (if players pay if they actually play or don't, the benefit of "playing at your own pace/leisure" of your typical video game disappears), there was no real try-before-you-buy offer safe for a few thousand premium spaces offered later on. Initially anyway it was sign up and pay or nothing. Not suggesting that FM Live was expensive as such: With a suscription based MMO such as World Of Warcraft, the fees are comparable. As a contrast though: A couple years later, in the world of MMOs, games backed by popular Star Wars licenses and developed and published by industry behemoths such as Bioware/Electronic Arts turned to a different business model as the player base had dropped off massively after initial release already.

Judging by reports, this being a first, mistakes were made in design, or at least forced SI to rectify some of it, which resulted in outright resetting of the game worlds and upsets, which is unfortunate, but this being a first, probably expected.

Given that (management) MMOs in general isn't what is failing (and it isn't), it is not the added competitiveness per se that killed this off either way. Going by the numbers even many FM/SI regulars never even tried. It is understandable that it is a difficult market though, moreso than the one for regular Football Manager, which is pretty much ruled by FM entirelly by now anyway. It is also an altogether different product with an altogether different appeal and selling point (with all clubs managed by humans rather than AI, the competitiveness is actually a part of that!), but it seems the new Korea MMO "merely" co-developed by SI on a market which is crazy about MMOs might be a comparably risk-free model for SI to test to what extent it just really is.

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A one year suscription of FM Live cost approx. 70 pounds, three months still about 25, and it competed against management MMOs that were completely free to play even back then. Despite being an all new product line in a genre that typically demands regular commitment of players during their suscription (if players pay if they actually play or don't, the benefit of "playing at your own pace/leisure" of your typical video game disappears), there was no real try-before-you-buy offer safe for a few thousand premium spaces offered later on. Initially anyway it was sign up and pay or nothing. Not suggesting that FM Live was expensive as such: With a suscription based MMO such as World Of Warcraft, the fees are comparable. As a contrast though: A couple years later, in the world of MMOs, games backed by popular Star Wars licenses and developed and published by industry behemoths such as Bioware/Electronic Arts turned to a different business model as the player base had dropped off massively after initial release already.

Judging by reports, this being a first, mistakes were made in design, or at least forced SI to rectify some of it, which resulted in outright resetting of the game worlds and upsets, which is unfortunate, but this being a first, probably expected.

Given that (management) MMOs in general isn't what is failing (and it isn't), it is not the added competitiveness per se that killed this off either way. Going by the numbers even many FM/SI regulars never even tried. It is understandable that it is a difficult market though, moreso than the one for regular Football Manager, which is pretty much ruled by FM entirelly by now anyway. It is also an altogether different product with an altogether different appeal and selling point (with all clubs managed by humans rather than AI, the competitiveness is actually a part of that!), but it seems the new Korea MMO "merely" co-developed by SI on a market which is crazy about MMOs might be a comparably risk-free model for SI to test to what extent it just really is.

They came in at the wrong time for me. If they'd been a year or so later, we probably would've seen a much different game, and it might still have been around today. They admitted they made "mistakes" in design early on, which painted them into corners as they proceeded. I emphasise "mistakes" because they probably didn't seem like it at the time. But once things started to go wrong, it was difficult to put the genie back in the bottle.

FM Online will be interesting to see. It'll be difficult to get a full idea from over here of course, but like you say, Korea is so into the MMO aspect, that they're probably going to be onto a winner anyway. Add to that the extra knowledge they now have from their FML failings, and I imagine they'll make a pretty good game. But will it ever make it to these shores? You can never say never, but I probably would. It's extremely unlikely.

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I remember everyone creaming it for FMlive.

Had my say/opinion on it and got flamed for it by the fanboys.

Well.

:)

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I reject the argument that it failed because people don't like to lose- that's a part of it, but it's too simplistic. It stands to reason that any MMO will have a core of dedicated players as well as a turnover of players who come and go, and there's no reason that FML should be any exception. It also stands to reason that in that core, not everyone is going to win.

In FML, that core was spread too thinly, with far too many GWs opened far too quickly, both before and after the reset. It was naivety in trying to accommodate everyone at the same time, and that led to a snowball effect and emptying GWs. Each of the GWs at the end probably had a core of 100 or so players who were still there, dedicated, win or lose. Had they been in the same GW together, it would have been self-perpetuating- a bigger core in each GW also improves the experience for everyone. But establishing a decent-sized core was essential, and in no GW did that happen, because everyone kept rushing to the newest GW to open, because there was always a new one around the corner.

The other issue was this idea (which there may have been some truth in) that there wasn't enough dynamism in the rankings- that you HAD to be in a GW on day one to do well, and that once you raced away, that was it. SI never found the balance between making sure people were rewarded for longevity whilst at the same time ensuring new people to the GW weren't just fodder until they gave up.

Instead, in terms of development, we got pretty new pitch designs and icons for the chat room.

^This nails it. FML is still hands down the best MMO I've ever played - loved it. What a shame it cant be brought back and improved with the lessons from last time, I'm sure as a free game it could be a success.

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One of the best games I've ever played :D Would absolutely love to see it return in some form

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Free-to-play is the worst trend in gaming since ... ever.

A typical ignorant comment.

Free to play is the future of PC gaming and is the natural response towards the piracy issues that almost killed off PC gaming.

A good free to play model can net you more profits than a retail game.

Valve is making hundreds of millions of dollars from Dota 2, and they are just selling cosmetic items that don't affect gameplay at all.

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A typical ignorant comment.

Free to play is the future of PC gaming and is the natural response towards the piracy issues that almost killed off PC gaming.

A good free to play model can net you more profits than a retail game.

Valve is making hundreds of millions of dollars from Dota 2, and they are just selling cosmetic items that don't affect gameplay at all.

Haha!

Nice that you took the elephant in the room to try and make a point, also Valve are not making their money by selling cosmetic items, they are making their money by making players sell items to each other.

Most free to play games go the way of the Dodo within a year or 2, Valve have a strong foothold given their other games and lets not forget their actual Steam platform.

"Valve make hundreds of millions from selling cosmetic stuff" Haha!

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Ahh, the FML memories...

Absolutely, it was a truly great game. I wonder - is there any possibility of crowdfunding a comeback for this game or would it be pointless to consider it?

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Absolutely, it was a truly great game. I wonder - is there any possibility of crowdfunding a comeback for this game or would it be pointless to consider it?

Never say never, but I believe the official SI position is "There are no plans in any forseeable future".

And I can kinda understand that. It's a shame, because it remains far and away the best in the FM series, but if they don't think another business model for it would be workable, and if it wasn't justifying the time, cost and effort that went into its development and maintenance, then as a business, it doesn't make sense to continue pursuing it.

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FML is dead. People just didn't want to pay for a game they were unsuccessful at.

If it was value for money people will pay.

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Absolutely, it was a truly great game. I wonder - is there any possibility of crowdfunding a comeback for this game or would it be pointless to consider it?

I think he's referring to all the opinions/suggestions/debate there used to be.

Goes to show the passion for the game.

Start it up again, one game world 500 players. A waiting list. A player leaves, a new one comes in to take over his team. Wait till it's stable with active players, start another world. Easy!

Although the game in the way it was took far far too much time up. As much as id love to play, I wouldn't have the time these days.

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I think he's referring to all the opinions/suggestions/debate there used to be.

Goes to show the passion for the game.

Start it up again, one game world 500 players. A waiting list. A player leaves, a new one comes in to take over his team. Wait till it's stable with active players, start another world. Easy!

Although the game in the way it was took far far too much time up. As much as id love to play, I wouldn't have the time these days.

Except no player ever "left". That was one of the huge problems with the game. You could introduce a kick point for inactivity, but at what point do the set it to stop genuine "out of office" players and the ones who've actually lapsed? If someone pays their subs but doesn't play, they should technically have the right to stay in the game, but it doesn't help those who have to wait for AI rights against them.

It's unworkable in the form it was in, no matter what they would try. They're not going to rip it up and start again either. It's dead. FMO MIGHT make it over here in (several) years, but even that is slim.

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Except no player ever "left". That was one of the huge problems with the game. You could introduce a kick point for inactivity, but at what point do the set it to stop genuine "out of office" players and the ones who've actually lapsed? If someone pays their subs but doesn't play, they should technically have the right to stay in the game, but it doesn't help those who have to wait for AI rights against them.

Man, I haven't heard the phrase "AI rights" in years. Brings a tear to the eye.

I disagree that it was unworkable in the form it was in, but we'd end up going back into discussion about things like subscription rates, GW sizes, minimum subscriptions and all that can of worms that really, there's not much point in reopening- it's all a bit of a moot point.

FMO, as I said way earlier in the thread, doesn't look much like a similar concept of game at all. I'd be interested to know where it stands at the moment, as they were looking for a launch date of this summer just gone, but I'm unsure if that materialised, as an article from July this year suggests development was still ongoing.

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FML is and will probably always be my most feverish and intense gaming experience of my whole life. No other MMO or single-player game has produced the adrenaline and the joy that FML did. Such great memories of friends I made and deals I concluded in the transfer market.

It is almost sad to know that this probably never is gonna happen again.

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I still remember cheaters where everywhere in FML.

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Man, I haven't heard the phrase "AI rights" in years. Brings a tear to the eye.

Brings a shudder to my spine in all honesty. All FML was in the last couple of months of its life was waiting for the chance to play a team whose manager had probably logged in once or twice then abandoned the GW. I could be misremembering, but whenever I was on (and it was usually quite a bit in the background, as it came towards the end of my uni time/pre-full-time employment) there was usually around 100 at peak times actually being "active". That's 10% of the theoretical population. The structure just wasn't right when allied with the poor retention rates.

But here I go again, talking about the problems of FML - guess it shows how much I enjoyed it at the time :rolleyes:

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Absolutely, it was a truly great game. I wonder - is there any possibility of crowdfunding a comeback for this game or would it be pointless to consider it?

Its been a while but a bunch of FML'ers joined forces and were putting a FML type game together after the sad demise of FML, they had got to the beta stage, have no idea what happened thereafter, think it was called U-FM or something along those lines, I did have them on my FB account but I must have deleted them :(.

anyone know if they got it off the ground ?

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It was UFL, and Kriss is right- they published a statement a little earlier this year saying it had come to an end.

It's frustrating, because the potential of FML was absolutely massive, and the MMO concept is one that, playing it, you felt could work. Hell, it could still work. But finding that right business model for something like that is essential- and fair play, SI had a damned good stab at it, gave it two good opportunities to work, with two different approaches and subscription models. But it just never quite got to the point of sustaining itself- of retaining members and keeping GWs active- that it needed to.

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Soccermanager is probably the closest you'll get to this game.

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FML is and will probably always be my most feverish and intense gaming experience of my whole life. No other MMO or single-player game has produced the adrenaline and the joy that FML did. Such great memories of friends I made and deals I concluded in the transfer market.

It is almost sad to know that this probably never is gonna happen again.

I'm the same I loved it. God knows how many hours I spent on it.

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Its been a while but a bunch of FML'ers joined forces and were putting a FML type game together after the sad demise of FML, they had got to the beta stage, have no idea what happened thereafter, think it was called U-FM or something along those lines, I did have them on my FB account but I must have deleted them :(.

anyone know if they got it off the ground ?

No, it died the death I'm afraid.
It was UFL, and Kriss is right- they published a statement a little earlier this year saying it had come to an end.

Interesting, I assumed it was still slowly advancing. I was involved in the early days and did some work for it, then dropped off, then had my offer of further help refused. So on a personal level, in a way I'm glad it didn't work it :p

But seriously, it's a bit of a shame. It had potential, and from what I saw, it looked like it'd be pretty good. But unfortunately, the ME was never going to be particularly complex, and they would be fighting a losing battle from day 1 because of that.

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I just went through some old posts I have done on this forum about FML and even just reading them, it brought back some great memories... The below post was on the FML First impressions thread replying to Ov Collyer:

Re: First Impressions Thread (esp non-beta testers)

Hi Ov, well what can I say, apart from a brief specific post yesterday I havent felt the need to come onto these forums since my Lineker Gameworld Launched on Tuesday... simply because its that good.

Firstly, I never beta tested the game and my first encounter with FM Live was upon official release

The only reason I post now is due to my return to work, after booking a day and a halves holiday to play the game upon release. If I was at home I wouldn't be on here as I would be playing FM Live, but unfortunately work would not welcome an FM Live stint, during office hours!

Quite literally I am obsessed, like a girl you see every day who you cant stop thinking of, my only thoughts currently are of FM Live. What tactics, what skills, what strategy to take in terms of when to sign/who to sign - I cant stop thinking of FM Live.

In fact I would go as far to say I would kick any girl off any bus, if I could go home and play it now.

The game itself is a credit to all at SI/Sega and to all the beta testers. Thanks has to be given to the mods who are wonderfully helpful in the chat rooms, despite my inquisitive nature on every aspect of the game.

I really would urge anyone to drop into the chat rooms every now and again, for chit chat or specific help on tactics or just help in general... it really adds to the community aspect.

Around the community aspect, a lovely little touch which I like is when you add a contact, you receive updates in terms of latest scores when they play a match. Great feature, which really adds to the community aspect of keeping up with your friends teams performances, hell why not go and watch the game like i did, if it looks an interesting game.

One thing I thought would add to that feature, is if you could add the goalscorer to the pop-up that appears when a goal goes in, as this would prompt me to enquire about the availability of that striker who keeps on appearing having scored.

As a complete newbie to FM Live and a person who really likes to take their time over things and get deeply involved in my club/players etc, I took around 3 hours to manually pick my squad.

Really, Really enjoyed that whole process, did not experience any lag that I noticed at all. Ended up picking a squad of 16 players, based soley on what attributes I needed, not taking any notice of player names, i just went by the players that met my strict attribute criteria.

Now this resulted, in me only having heard of two players Freddy Grisales and Thomas Mhyre (Sp?), not a problem this is a strategy I am going for.

Over the course of the last couple of days I have played Non Ranked Friendlies and Senior Friendly matches, at the end of day 1 I was 300+ ranked, now after day 2 I am sitting in the 500+'s.

In all games, I have a record of 7 Wins, 7 Draws and 6 Losses, which I have to admit I am a little dissapointed with as just dominating possession but not creating enough clear cut chances.

That's by the by and possibly I am digressing from the point I am trying to make (but if anyone can help me tactically on creating more chances for my 4-5-1 tactic could you PM me), in that the match experience itself is a very exciting and engaging one. Largely opposition managers are a delight to play against and I can see many of them becoming friends.

However, I have taken a few knocks from some, relating to playing games at "Normal Speed". Unfortunately my personal preference seems to differ from the majority, and I would like to actually play at even a slower speed.

So from an FM series player, who normally plays on extended highlights etc, getting used to the speed the matches fly by, takes a little while to get used to.

Overall a fantastic game, complete value for money and a whole new world (my mate rung me up after signing in for the first time and started singing that)

Connor

FC Ballaghkeen

Lineker Gameworld

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Still sad it all ended especially when i had c.ronaldo, modric and a regen dubbed the next fabio cannavaro.

Also got the best regen ever in my start squad thanks to a bug and was allowed to keep him, netted me 10 million which was a fortune in FM terms.

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Hi All/SI

I just wondered if there was any news/update as to how the game is going in Korea and whether SI are exploring yet, rolling this game out to other countries (England)?

Many thanks

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A FM-Online will not work bcs it needs to many Players take the loser role.

It would only work if you set the Player in a AI-League where they qualify for the MMO-CL/EL that is played out as PvP league bcs that way it is seen as reward and not as sactifice - ofc must it have an advantegous influence for the chances in the AI League.

In these AI-.Leguea the max amont of Players is equal the amount of qualifiers for the PvP-Leagues so lets say 3 to 6 or 7 Players per AI-League.

That could work...

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On 26/08/2014 at 18:18, Faegan said:

I was still wondering what was the main reason for the downfall of FML. IIRC it was reduced number of players combined with high licensing fees and bandwidth.

- Bandwidth has become much cheaper the last 4 years

- A true fan of FML did/does not need real player names (saves a bucketload of money on licensing)

I haven't got a clue how many hours per month went into moderating and development/bugfixing of FML but I'd sure be interested in those numbers. After 4 years I'm still sour that FML died....

And I'm guessing one of the reasons SI picked the Korean market is that noone aside from Koreans can read that language, so license fees to FIFA and other stakeholders would be like a fraction of the cost compared to English..

At the time it was going right down hill, never understood why their was bout 4 different game worlds.

People exploited the stuffing out of it.

Flat back 4, 1 defensive mid, 2 centre mids, 3 central strikers, target man in middle with either two deep lyin forwards or poachers. All the best teams was using it, 2 strikers with insane pace.

cant deny how good the fmlive experience was, but if they revamped it, it would need major changes. I used to love stayin up till 4am tryin to win a player auction, i remember signing a centre back called Homolek who had 20 pace, to counter the other exploiters lol, that was a late auction, if fm live come back id have it right away. But as i said the exploiters ruined it, the chat rooms was funny aswell, pure banter

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On 5/27/2017 at 21:54, Thorqemada said:

A FM-Online will not work bcs it needs to many Players take the loser role.

It would only work if you set the Player in a AI-League where they qualify for the MMO-CL/EL that is played out as PvP league bcs that way it is seen as reward and not as sactifice - ofc must it have an advantegous influence for the chances in the AI League.

In these AI-.Leguea the max amont of Players is equal the amount of qualifiers for the PvP-Leagues so lets say 3 to 6 or 7 Players per AI-League.

That could work...

Always playing the AI was one of the main reasons FML got so poor.  If I wanted to play the AI, I'd just play FM.  The whole selling point of the game was that you were playing real people.

3 hours ago, Andrew_Goats_Gruff said:

At the time it was going right down hill, never understood why their was bout 4 different game worlds.

People exploited the stuffing out of it.

Flat back 4, 1 defensive mid, 2 centre mids, 3 central strikers, target man in middle with either two deep lyin forwards or poachers. All the best teams was using it, 2 strikers with insane pace.

cant deny how good the fmlive experience was, but if they revamped it, it would need major changes. I used to love stayin up till 4am tryin to win a player auction, i remember signing a centre back called Homolek who had 20 pace, to counter the other exploiters lol, that was a late auction, if fm live come back id have it right away. But as i said the exploiters ruined it, the chat rooms was funny aswell, pure banter

Exploitation will always happen though.  Any FM ME will have parts to exploit, and it matters a whole lot more when you're taken from a single player game with no-one to cheat but the machine and a multiplayer one.  There was always going to be problems with that.  I wouldn't say it was them that ruined it either - at least they were playing.  

It'll always be rose-tinted spectacles for most.  If it was to return, it would need to be a vastly different game.  Looking back on it, it was pretty tedious.  Enjoyable in brief spells, but mostly tedious.  SI will likely never venture into that space again outside of Korea after being burned so hard, and they're absolute correct to think that way.

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I noticed SI games are recruiting for someone to work on FM Online.

Just wondered after 3 odd years since releasing in South Korea and then China, just how much closer we are to it either being released here in the UK, or the online model within the normal Football Manager game here in the UK, having a proper online ranking/league game infrastructure (other than the draft mode)

Even some feedback on how the game has done in South Korea/China would be interesting

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Sorry for the delay.

The game launches in Korea and China have had ups and down but it's helped us massively to gather  data - and we gained lots of live service experience in the process. All of that feeds into our planning for improvements and changes, hence the continued recruitment in our FMO team. 

I cant really be more specific than that at the moment. There are still no plans to release the game in the UK though right now.

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On 2014-10-15 at 14:07, iolodavanki said:

FML is and will probably always be my most feverish and intense gaming experience of my whole life. No other MMO or single-player game has produced the adrenaline and the joy that FML did. Such great memories of friends I made and deals I concluded in the transfer market.

It is almost sad to know that this probably never is gonna happen again.

Since last year I am playing something called "90 Minute Fever" (on Steam), a game developed by fans of FML. I recommend anyone to check it out, especially those missing FML.

Edited by iolodavanki
english is hard

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i used to love fml now playing 90 Minute Fever but would like to sign up to football manager online anyon got a link 

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