Football Manager 2009 (abbreviated to Football Manager 09 or FM09) is a football manager simulation video game. It was released on PC, Mac and PlayStation Portable on November 14, 2008 in Europe and on 18 November 2008 in North America. As in the case of other recent releases in the Football Manager series, the game is sold as Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 in the United States and Canada. The PlayStation Portable version was released as Football Manager Handheld 2009. The South American version is entitled Fútbol Manager 2009
On 3 September 2008, Sports Interactive released a preview video announcing Football Manager 2009 to be released on the 14th November. The main difference from past versions was the inclusion of a 3D match engine for the first time in the game's history. Other new features included the ability to have female managers and staff, a new press conference system, more in-depth feedback from your assistant manager and a more realistic transfer system. The latest incarnation of Football Manager was also released in DVD format for the first time.
The demo of the game was released on November 2, 2008 via the News of the World, BitTorrent and Steam.
The use of online-activation DRM utilised by Sports Interactive resulted in issues for consumers activating either online, or phone. This was the result of a well orchestrated DDoS attack launched upon activation servers and phone lines, resulting in many users on the Windows platform unable to activate and play.
On December 17, 2008, Sports Interactive announced a deal with Arsenal FC to release an exclusive version of Football Manager 2009, containing all official Arsenal squad player pictures, and an exclusive skin in Arsenal's colours.
Shortly following this announcement, Sports Interactive reinforced their pursuit of online retailers by offering Football Manager 2009 through eSellerate for the Mac OS X platform on December 23. This is the first incarnation of the game to be available to global users through online distribution.
Some of the new features and box art for the game were announced via a series of videos on 3 September 2008, other new features have been released via a series of podcasts and online blogs. It is the first game in the series to be released on DVD-ROM rather than on CD-ROM.
The main new feature to the game is the 3D match engine. This can now be watched fullscreen, with a widescreen option available. Other features include being able to play as a female or male manager, improvements to the interaction between the manager and his assistant manager, improved mid-match team talks and tactics, training players to have preferred moves and transfer rumours. The player rating will have a decimal point, e.g. 6.8 or 8.3 instead of 7 or 8. There will also be press conferences, where you can build up a rapport with the journalists, and the finance and transfer systems have been completely reworked. The game is set to feature more players than ever before, with over 350,000 in the database at the time of the game's announcement. The PC version has a skin similar to the one used in Football Manager 2008.
The handheld version will include a 2D match engine for the first time, and the game will be shipped with two skins; a light and a dark alternative.
The game suffered setbacks on and before launch day, most notably many users found themselves unable to activate the game due to servers providing activation for the DRM system coming under distributed denial of service attacks.
Playable leagues and club cups
Asia and Oceania
UK & Ireland
Rest of Europe
1 - Germany's national team is not allowed to be included in the game due to licensing rights being owned by EA Sports' "FIFA" series, whilst the Japanese J-League and the Japanese national team are not allowed in the game at all due to Konami's purchase of the exclusive rights for their Pro Evolution Soccer series.
Playable national teams
All national teams are playable with the exceptions of Germany and Japan for licensing reasons.
Sports Interactive have announced that the game will be downloadable using the Steam content delivery system. This will allow gamers to have their games automatically patched to the latest version of the game. Miles Jacobson, the studio director at Sports Interactive, said "It gives us the opportunity for all of our games players to get any patches or updates that we make available quickly and easily, as well as a place for us to host any other downloads, such as demos and promotional videos, with super fast broadband speeds for download, and no issues with bandwidth, which we are hit with each time we release a demo". The Steam version of the game retains the Uniloc copy protection with its 5 activation limit.
There were two "flavours" of the demo. Vanilla was a stripped down version with limited number of players. The Strawberry demo was a full-fledged game with most of the features that would be on the original game with a gameplay limit of half a season.
Issues and problems
Upon release, many buyers had problems with the game's copy protection. A printing error on the manuals caused the keys to be difficult to read and there were distributed denial of service attacks on the Uniloc activation servers that prevented purchasers from activating their games. Since the provided telephone activation lines were also ran using the activation servers, they were also out of action. In response, SEGA issued a press release apologising for the problems faced by purchasers.
Bugs and patches
A patch was also released on 14 November 2008, for the PC version, fixing a number of compatibility issues and bugs. A Mac patch was released a few days later. A second patch was released on 19 December 2008. The third patch was released 26 February 2009 .
- Football Manager 2009.
- Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive studio director. Football Manager HMV Blogs.
- Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive studio director. FM2009 & FMH2009 - Part 2 on YouTube.
- "Football Manager teams up with Steam". Sports Interactive. 2008-10-09. http://www.sigames.com/news.php?type=view&article_id=1304. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Sega apologetic for Football Manager problems". TDC. 2008-09-14. http://www.boomtown.net/en_uk/articles/art.view.php?id=17044. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- "FM09 PATCH OUT NOW!". Sports Interactive. 2008-09-14. http://www.footballmanager.net/index.php?p=article&newsid=2515. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
- "FM2009 patch 9.2.0 released". sigames.com (Sports Interactive). 19 December 2008. http://www.sigames.com/news.php?type=view&article_id=1308. Retrieved 23 December 2008.