Hello everyone in PlayStation land! My name is Miles and I’m the Studio Director at Sports Interactive. We’re a development team based in London which has been making games for over 20 years, specializing in football management games. You may well have played our Football Manager Handheld games in the past on your PSP, or even Football Manager on the PC or Mac if you have one of those home computer things.
As you may have seen during the gamescom PlayStation press conference, we’ve confirmed tonight that Football Manager is coming to PS Vita! Or, to be exact, Football Manager Classic is coming to PS Vita.
So what is Football Manager Classic?
Well, it’s a mode that was added into last year’s PC and Mac version of Football Manager as a quicker way to play the full Football Manager experience. It has all you’d expect from FM – our huge database of players researched by a team of over 1,500 scouts around the world, a 3D match engine showing the action, a full tactics module, realistic transfers, AI that makes both players and managers act as you’d expect them to in the real world, and dozens of playable leagues, with hundreds of manageable clubs from all over the world, but has been streamlined for a faster playing experience.
It does, however, have way more features than the PSP Football Manager Handheld releases which you may have played on your PS Vita before. And, to re-iterate, the full FM 3D match engine!
So why on PS Vita, and why now? I’ve spoken in the press quite a bit over the years about how I’m a fan of PS Vita – it allows me to play games on the move that no other handheld platform can handle – but we weren’t sure how successful one of our games could be on it. I had a call from Sony asking for a meeting, and who am I to say no?
Shahid and his team came in to see me last Summer and I explained to them that whilst I’d love to do something, we simply didn’t have enough people to be able to do it – it would mean diverting people in the studio away from working on Football Manager, and that pays for us to be able to have these great careers making games. We also don’t have a lot of experience making console games, so I was worried about the learning curve for all of us at the studio.
I was expecting Sony to walk out in disgust, but to my delight and surprise, they just said “so how can we help you? We want to play your game on our Vitas. The community wants to play your games on their Vitas.”
After a pretty short discussion, they’d agreed to provide loads of help to us to make it happen. We then spoke to our sister studio, Hardlight, who are brilliant at console and mobile development (well, any development really) and they offered their help too. And introduced us to a bunch of really talented developers at Little Stone, who also offered their help and full attention to try and make this ambitious project happen. How do you get a PC game, fully featured, onto PS Vita? You call on geniuses to help you, that’s how!
The best thing about all of this is that not only will you now get to play Football Manager Classic on a PS Vita but, for the first time ever, if you have the game on PC, Mac or Linux, you’ll be able to play the game across all platforms. Play the game at home on your computer, upload the saved game to the cloud, download on your PS Vita, and continue to play on the bus. Anytime, any place, anywhere.
I’d like to thank everyone who has helped make this possible. Sony, Hardlight, Little Stone and, of course, the teams at SI and SEGA. But most importantly, I want to thank you, the PlayStation community, for telling Sony that you want to play our games on PS Vita. Without that happening, I would not have got the call from Shahid in the first place.
I hope you’re as excited about this as we are – and I really hope you enjoy playing the game on your PS Vita with cross-save when it’s released!