One thing that may put potential players off – considering a lot of people will have already forked out for FM 2009 (and its predecessors) – is the cost. Charging around £8 a month for what some are still calling an animated spreadsheet is potentially taking the piss. It isn’t really that expensive (FML is cheaper than World of Warcraft), but we won’t be surprised if gamers are reluctant to take up the FML challenge. If SI have miscalculated, it could defeat the whole purpose of FML. The fewer people playing, the less fun it will be, so players could be more reluctant to keep up their subscriptions. This is a vicious circle that a number of newly‑launched MMOs have suffered from (such as Age of Conan), and it could undermine the entire project, which would be a great shame.
However, SI seem to be aware of this and, in an attempt to counter it, are giving away four months’ worth of playtime when you buy FML. Compared to the standard 30 days’ time other new MMOs offer, this is immensely generous. And four months should be plenty of time to get enough managers hooked to the point where they’ll be be willing to then cough up the subscription fee.
There’s a lot to write about FML but only a limited amount of space to do so, so you’ll have to forgive me if I’ve missed out some minor points. Essentially, SI have succeeded in transferring their offline management opus into the MMO arena, although they haven’t yet managed to kill off the scourge of the obsessive MMOer. FML is one of those games that will reward those with lots of time on their hands more than the casual player. At least, that’s the case at the moment.
There’s so much potential here, and the game has barely kicked off. As it stands, it’ll take the most determined of FM Luddites to avoid at least giving FML a go. The addition of an all-human world could potentially revolutionise the football management genre, making this evolution its most important step forward yet.
While FML may have some faults, the addictive Football Manager gameplay we know, love and tear our pubic hair out in rage over is there in a different, equally intriguing form. So if you think you can take us on, search for Oscar’s Wilde Boys.
Feb 10, 2009
Log in using Facebook to share comments, games, status update and other activity easily with your Facebook feed.