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FMM16 and the business of Football Manager


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Hey guys

As we're all aware by now, the next iteration of FMH (FMM16) will bring with it some new features (more tactical options, coaches etc), but likely won't have features we wanted, namely new leagues. 

What I want to do with this post is discuss Football Manager not from a gaming perspective, but from a business perspective - at the end of the day, SI is a company and that means they will have business and profit-making motives in mind with everything they do, as they are entitled to do so.

This post isn't meant to criticize nor defend SI, but hopefully spark a discussion around understanding some of SI's thinking and the direction of the FM series in general. 

The issues

IMO the current announcements are about on par with what I'd expect, and that's because of two facts relating to general economic / business principles: 

  1. SI doesn't have a true competitor when it comes to the football management sim market. It's well established that FM series is the gold standard these days - this leads to less need for innovation as the old model is already profitable. All SI needs to do is release a 'new' version every year and it will profit. Even for FM16 there's not a lot of hype for it currently as its basically same as FM15 with some slight tweaks.
  2. Within the FM hierarchy, it is more or less a fact and one which we need to accept, that the FMH series is on the bottom of the FM chain. Why? Simply, FMH doesn't make as much money as its siblings.
    • It's undisputed that FM is the 'main' product for SI and where they make most of their profits. Importantly because of that fact, they will devote the most amount of their resources into its upkeep
    • It's debatable whether FMC (now FMT for high end tablets) or FMH is the most profitable. But it's clear SI wants to take another segment of the market with its new business model arising from the cross save function available between FMT on PC and Tablet devices. Releasing FMC15 for tablet was just a test of how well they can do in that market and they can build on it to capture more profits in the future.
    • Since SI is clearly invested (currently) to making FMT work cross platform, and the fact that FMT is more complex than FMH, inevitably more resources will be put into FMT than FMH going forward.
    • This means, unfortunately, that FMH/FMM will have the least amount of resources devoted to its development (at least currently), which means a lack of new features

What now?

So, while the lack of certain features is frustrating to say the least, it's worth keeping in mind a business perspective when it comes to FMH. 

Does it mean FMM16 is going to be a bad game? IMO, no. It'll still be enjoyable with the 'new' features above, and as is the case in the past, Vibe will add more value to the personal enjoyment of the game through the great community here.


To finish, what are your thoughts on the direction of FMM going forward? Do you think you will enjoy FMM16 less than FMH15 due to the lack of new features? 

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Brilliant work mate, I agree with everything you said. I understand SI is a business and the bottom line is to make money but as a fan it's frustrating, especially when I think of the years I've put into the game and the time I've hyped it on here. 

The second FMC was released on handhelds I tried to warm people but no one listened, it didn't take long for FMH/M to drop that little further in importance. 

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@Ashez: It is definitely frustrating as we all want each year for there to be real, positive changes to the game. But even with the lack of new leagues I'm optimistic the new features in FMM16 will keep things interesting for a bit longer and that the features could lead to innovative ideas, at least on Vibe.

On the slightly brighter side, even though FMH is on the bottom I don't think SI would ever 'kill off' FMM / FMH completely as they would lose profits unnecessarily. The only way for it to be displaced would be if they released FMC/T for phones which personally I wouldn't have a problem with. 

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