‘I’d like to think if I was managing Watford, they wouldn’t sack me’

For the uninitiated, Football Manager is a “clicks only”, “spreadsheets” video game where “you don’t actually play the games yourself”. For those who know better, it’s an incredibly addictive sports simulator, a complex role-playing game with infinite replay value, an expansive database of real-life information and applications, and, quite frankly, a cultural phenomenon.

With millions of players, including many in the actual football industry itself, the hugely successful series, developed by Sports Interactive (SI) and published by Sega, releases a new title every year. Each of these titles also has a downloadable mid-season update. The games allow players to take on the role of their own manager or head coach and lead various teams around the world to glory while conducting training, transfers, contract negotiations and press conferences.

Founded in 1994 by brothers Paul and Oliver Collyer, SI was originally a bedroom company in Shropshire. The Collyers created a similar series, Championship Manager, and published several games with Eidos Interactive before ending that partnership in 2005.

Through the split, Eidos retained the naming rights to the series, but SI retained the games’ databases, source codes, and match engines. SI began developing games under the rebranded Football Manager name with Sega, and before long had comfortably eclipsed Eidos, which hasn’t released a new Championship Manager title in over a decade.

Miles Jacobson, SI’s studio head, joined the company in 1997. A former music manager, he was an avid fan of the original Championship Manager games. He was recruited as an early tester for the series and later became an unofficial management consultant. The value of his detailed feedback and creative input was quickly recognized and he took on the role of Managing Director part-time in 1999 before taking over the helm full-time two years later as the Collyers so to speak moved up the ranks.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gaming/features/miles-jacobson-interview-like-think-managing-watford-wouldnt/ ‘I’d like to think if I was managing Watford, they wouldn’t sack me’


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