FM21 XBOX CHALLENGE#FM21 #FootballManager2021. FM21 brings the footballing world to life right in front of you by including all the latest news and data to enhance your gaming experience. This means that even in your virtual football managing.
Yesterday, Sports Interactive confirmed the release date for Football Manager 2021 (24th November on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store), but the announcement was overshadowed by a kerfuffle about why the game is not coming out on PlayStation when it is coming out on Xbox.
This year, Football Manager returns to Xbox for the first time since 2007. Football Manager 2021 Xbox Edition is described as a 'specifically tailored' version of the game, based upon the Touch series of Football Manager, fully customised for use with an Xbox controller.
FM21 Xbox, as it's called, will be available from the Xbox Store and is a Play Anywhere digital title, which means you can play your save game across your Xbox and any Windows 10 PC. FM21 Xbox is available on Xbox One and Xbox Series X / S - you pay once and you can play across the Xbox consoles.
There's also a Nintendo Switch version (out December 2020), as well as an iOS and Android version. But you can't play Football Manager 21 on PlayStation - either PS4 or PS5. And this is where Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson comes in.
As you'd expect, PS4 and (potential) PS5 owners wondered why Football Manager 2021 wasn't coming to their platform of choice. Had Microsoft paid for exclusivity on console? Jacobson took to Twitter to offer an explanation:
'Being asked this a lot & will get into trouble for answering...
'Our friends at @Xbox have spent years asking for us to come back to their consoles. It's how both FM19 & FM20 ended up on gamepass towards the end of the cycle, and now FM21 on Xbox One & Series X/S.
Being asked this a lot & will get into trouble for answering..
Our friends at @Xbox have spent years asking for us to come back to their consoles. It's how both FM19 & FM20 ended up on gamepass towards the end of the cycle, and now FM21 on Xbox One & Series X/S.
Sony didn't. https://t.co/G4PJPWctdO
This tweet kicked off quite the debate, and Jacobson has been answering questions ever since, defending his position and explaining why Sports Interactive can't simply force Football Manager onto PlayStation without Sony's help or permission.
'So, essentially, Microsoft approached us to have our games on their platform, whereas Sony didn't,' he explained in one tweet. 'The platforms are gated & curated.'
In another tweet, Jacobson said Sports Interactive did speak to Sony, but did not receive a PS5 dev kit. (Developers use dev kits to make games for consoles, but these dev kits must be sent out with approval for their use by their manufacturers.)
'... to make games for a platform, you need a dev kit,' Jacobson said. 'To get a dev kit, the platform holder have to want the game on the platform. We spoke with Sony, we have no dev kits. We spoke with Microsoft, they sent them to us.'
Sony has come in for some stick, but Jacobson was quick to defend the corporation's decision. 'It's not terrible of them at all,' he said. 'There are limited dev kits available. They prioritise games they want on their platform, as all hardware platforms do.'
Perhaps Sony has more PS5 dev kits available now, one user wondered. 'FM21 will not be on PlayStation 5,' Jacobson countered. 'It's not as if a magic wand can be waved if they were to send us a dev kit tomorrow and it would just work. Would be years of work - as the Xbox version has been.'
It's the same situation for a potential PS4 version (the short answer is no):
Fm 21 Xbox Online Games
making games for PS4 requires a dev kit the same way that making games on PS5 does. And has the same curation & gating process.— Miles Jacobson ? (@milesSI) September 25, 2020
And, if you were wondering, it sounds like Nintendo was keen to get Football Manager onto Switch. 'Nintendo approached us about making games for their platforms, showed us their in development hardware, we got excited together, they provided us with dev kits, and bundle deals with the hardware with some retailers and we made games for their platform, yes,' Jacobson said.
In a follow-up statement issued to Eurogamer today, Jacobson clarified his tweets, defending the transparency he offered on social media about the situation. Here's the statement in full:
'I pride myself on being very open with our community via social media and try to answer as many questions as I can, however controversial they may be. I also try to explain to people why decisions that they don't like are made, because whilst I've been working in the industry for more than 25 years, the people I talk to online don't always know exactly how the system works. I am the same person on social media that I am in real life - upfront, honest and passionate.
'So, when I'm asked a question about why we've decided to come back to Xbox for FM21, I'm honest about it. Microsoft have spent years wooing us to be on their platforms. It led to us being a launch title for the beta of Xbox Game Pass for PC and it's led to FM21 being a launch window title for Xbox Series X and S, with Xbox One versions too.
'We've worked with PlayStation many times in the past, with both PSP and Vita releases of Football Manager over the years. What I learnt last night is that many of the most ardent console fans don't actually know that there are processes in place with all of the hardware manufacturers that mean they have a great deal of control over which games come to their consoles - and that there is bespoke hardware required to being able to make games for those platforms.
'So, given that we've got a deal in place with Microsoft, they sent us that necessary hardware. We don't have a deal in place with Sony, so we don't have that necessary hardware from them. Personally, I've pre-ordered both consoles because there are incredible games that I want to play coming to each of them.'
The upshot of all this is FM21 is not coming to PS4 or PS5. Perhaps Football Manager 2022 is a better bet - if Sports Interactive can get hold of a PS5 dev kit, that is.© Provided by FourFourTwo Football Manager 2021
Football Manager 2021 is now out and has been well-received - read our FM21 review here - for its fine level of detail and much-improved match engine.
This year's full desktop version is the most advanced yet. Which is great if, like us, you're a huge nerd and enjoy diving deep into the intricacies of virtual management. But if you're not a huge nerd (shame!), or don't have the time to do more than simply whizzing through a few matches every now and then, there are some excellent streamlined versions to enjoy too.
Football Manager 2021,FM21Touch and FM21 Xbox offer three unique playing experiences, each with their own advantages and drawbacks.
Been thinking of getting one but can't decide? Not sure which console to purchase the game for? Allow us to explain the key differences in order to help you decide.
Football Manager 2021
Available on: PC/Mac
RRP: £39.99Buy Football Manager 2021 here
The 'complete' version of the game. Football Manager 2021 on PC and Mac invites players to dive, headfirst, into the intense world of virtual football management. Here, you will experience the full range of managerial responsibilities, whether it's dealing with players' gripes about your training methods, talking to the press before a midweek cup tie or fine-tuning your tactics before weekend fixtures.
To help you with all of this, you are given a greater scale of insight and analysis from your backroom staff. They will regularly visit your office to chat about tactics ahead of matches, invite you to take part in scouting discussions and suggest ideas and tips for training your squad.
You're offered a wider range of communication options in order to help you interact with players, staff and journalists. Whether you want to call a press conference to stir-up some mind games ahead of a crucial cross-town derby, introduce a new signing to the press or shoot an on-loan youngster a message to find out how he's getting on.
You'll also be required to attend and watch games. Your influence from the dugout plays a crucial role as events unfold. Make a sub, switch formations or shout encouragement. Sadly, you don't have the power to 'Nigel Pearson' opposing players, but you're pretty much unbridled beyond that.
Essentially, this is the version you will want to play if you love everything about the series and want it turned up to eleven.
Available on: PC, Mac, tablets (Coming soon to Nintendo Switch)
RRP: £21.99Buy Football Manager 2021 Touch here
The 'lighter' version of the game. Because, let's be honest, as amazing as the main version of the game is, it does demand a huge amount of time; if you're really committed to all the press conferences, training meetings, scouting discussions and the rest of it, single seasons can take weeks to complete.
Crazy as it seems to the rest of us, protracted roundtables about wage budgets just aren't what some people want after a long day at the office.
For these folk, FM21 Touch provides an elite alternative. It has all the ingredients of the main version, but they're skimmed down. Everything is quicker, less fiddly, and you can get through seasons in breakneck speed.
In Touch, there’s less interaction with players, fans and the media and more duties are automatically delegated to your assistant. You can also ‘Instant Result’ through a match to progress through the game faster - something the real game has never allowed. Essentially, you're focusing more on the core elements of being a manager, such as games and tactics, and less on all the bluster that comes with it.
The perfect version for when you have half an hour free and want to make some serious progress, without cutting back on the essence of what makes Football Manager so addictive.
Football Manager 2021 Mobile
Available on: Apple, Android
RRP: £8.99Buy Football Manager 2021 Mobile for iPhone hereBuy Football Manager 2021 Mobile for Android here
While it is, of course, possible to play the desktop version of the game on the train or in the car, nothing is quite as easy as using your phone and this is ideal for when you're on the move.
Naturally, this is also a slimmed-down version of the real deal, with less of an emphasis on talking to the media, your players and staff. Your assistant will fulfil most of the fiddly duties, leaving you to tap your way swiftly between fixtures.
You're also offered the chance to instantly generate results, meaning your battery won't be used up at lightning speed by the match engine.
No fuss, no nonsense - in other words, the Tony Pulis version of Football Manager world.
Football Manager 2021 Xbox
Available on: Xbox One, Xbox Series X and S, Windows PC
RRP: £29.99Buy Football Manager 2021 Xbox Edition here
The 'alternative' version. Yes, after a decade away, the Football Manager series has returned to the Xbox. Don't have a laptop or a PC but want to play on a big screen? Then this is the version for you.
The design team have painstakingly crafted a version of the game which performs effortlessly with the Xbox controller, meaning you're not operating a weird mouse or anything like that - it's all playable with your fingertips just like any of your other Xbox games.
Can You Play Xbox Online
Modelled on the FM21 Touch version, FM21 Xbox is a streamlined version of the game which focuses on the managerial essentials. So, more tactics and matches and fewer press conferences, scouting chats and training schedules.
The designers have also made the Xbox version compatible with a Windows PC - as Xbox is a Microsoft product, after all - which means you can transfer your save onto a laptop if you'd prefer that, and then switch back to the console whenever you feel like it.
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