Monday, September 08, 2008

Football Manager 2009 Preview

Football (or Soccer to some) is big business. So are football games. Millions worldwide play football games, or (more my taste) football management games. The new season has just started, so it's time for a new release as well.

One of my favorite games to play is the si-games "Football Manager" and september 3rd they gave away some details on the 2009 edition. One of the biggest changes is they've added some 3D gameplay, of which I'm not sure is a good thing. The Fifa Manager (by EA Games) already has this, but I'm not sure how it would work in the FM. What I've noticed is that EA has a whole different architecture which makes Fifa Manager a lot faster than the FM which has one big player database. Perhaps (and hopefully), database improvements are implemented as well in the 2009 edition, as this was my biggest problem with the 2007 and 2008 versions.

Announcement Video 1

Announcement Video 2

So why should you choose Sega / Sports Interactive's Football Manager over EA Games' Fifa Manager?

Fifa has a few plusses: It's faster, it's more graphical, you can do more with your stadium, create a personal life as a coach, but it has one big issue: It's interface is sloppy. What I mean is this: In Fifa I have a hard time finding all player stats, finding suitable new players, compare them etcetera, all the things that are the very essence of a football management game. So, even though Football Manager is less graphical, it's interaction design is a lot better.

Looking forward to the release on November 14th!

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Virtually Dutch

Here's something else for a change. Next weekend the European Soccer Championship starts with the Dutch facing France, Italy and Romania in the group stages, so it's gonna be tough to get through to the QF's. Anyway, slowly the nation is turning orange.

Practically everyone in the Netherlands thinks he's the National Team Coach, so were are the normal supporters? This year, they come from England. On the website Just Go Dutch, some Englishmen are trying to get the whole of the UK to support Holland during the Championship.

Now why would the English decide to support the Dutch? Probably not because of Guus Hiddink, the world best coach who worked another miracle and led the Russians to the Euro 2008 tournament at the expense of the English national team and is said to take the helm at Chelsea after the Euro 2008.

No, the reason why the Brits should support the Dutch is pretty simple, according to the team behind "Just go Dutch": They're virtually Dutch... England and Holland have a lot in common, like having a queen, a roaring lion printed at their shirt and the tendency to under achieve at championships...

I'm not sure if it'll help, hope it does, cuz while the team has quality enough to win the title, we probably only do so once in a 100 years and this group stage really is a killer. Can't see them go past France and Italy yet, when they do, they're title candidates though.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Virtual Feyenoord

Soccer is big business (probably everywhere in the world except for the USA). Millions of fans worldwide go to see their heroes battle on the pitch each weekend. Everyone has an opinion about soccer, in the Netherlands we've got a saying; "we've got 16 million national team coaches" everyone knows how to play the game and thinks he can do better. No wonder that soccer games and soccer management games have been extremely popular for years.

In the recent boom of virtual worlds, it's no wonder we're seeing virtual soccerworlds arrive, such as World of Soccer and Football Superstars. In Second Life we've also seen the first signs of football / soccer clubs appear in the past year. We've had the Amsterdam ArenA, home of AFC Ajax and AC Milan's San Siro stadium which we're nice builds, but no more than that.

These two builds didn't originate from the clubs though and Rotterdam based Feyenoord is the first club that actually enters Second Life officially, though not with a virtual representation of their stadium, they're a lot smarter (mind you, I'm no fan)
Soccerfans are loyal customers. It's an almost certain guarantee they'll stick to your brand and spend their money on the latest clubshirts and other club memorabilia, and they're great brand promotors as they'll wear your brand everywhere they go, even in Second Life. has seen that clothes are one of the key assets in virtual worlds and that mobile branding / avatar marketing is the fastest way to get your name around. Feyenoord has contracted Dutch content creators SLionhead to establish their virtual foothold in Second Life. The build is what appears to be a virtual club home; tv-screens, historic matches, live matches, virtual goodies and so on. I say appear to be as I haven't seen it with my own eyes. I've seen bits and peaces on the small vid from posted on the SLionhead blog here.

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