So this is “the difficult second article” and I saw some of my friends have been playing Football Manager 2013 which got me thinking about sports management games. I will admit Football Manager has taken many an hour of my life and left me with memories of getting back to back promotions (and league titles) with Luton Town and then being unable to win a game in my third season for about 12 games and then getting sacked. Or the time I managed my beloved Sunderland, won their League Cup in my first season with super signing Jimmy Briand scoring a late winner, the following season we won the UEFA Cup and finished 4th in the league. Everyone who plays FM has memories like that, memories of that amazing free signing – Tijani Babangida or Esteban Casagolda to name two of mine.
It got me thinking about what other sports management games I’d love to see and why they haven’t already been made – apart from the game Cricket Captain – I am not talking about the fantasy games either. I mean an officially licensed game, with the teams and names, now these are just ideas which I have and if they do get made, all I’d like is a free copy. That’s all.
For many sports like ice hockey and basketball, the NHL and the NBA are the biggest leagues in their respective sports. It’s where the top players of the sport play, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t other leagues and teams, related or unrelated to an NHL team, for example. You would be a GM (General Manager) or a team, big or small and you’re trying to build a dynasty – a franchise that dominates for years – and fulfilling your owner’s targets. As your reputation enhances, you attract the interest of the bigger teams who want you to manage their team. A game like this would be amazing on a tablet, using the touch screen to select players or screens it would be fantastic and mean you could manage your team on the go, possibly linking to the PC so it can be played when you’re at home.
Writing about it makes me wonder why there isn’t such a game available, maybe that’s because of the lack of demand? But when you look at the sales numbers which were released by EA for NHL 13 and Madden 13 which have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, if not millions. Which makes the lack of a game all the more puzzling to me, but I don’t know the first thing about making a game so there could be a good reason why. If Football Manager has shown Sports Interactive and me anything, it’s that sports games which are solely based on the management side, not just a mode in a game, are massively under-represented. In a gaming industry where the growing number of people play games on their phones or have a tablet and play a game on their commute. Management games may be a deep game but they also offer the chance to dip in and play in short bursts, ideal for a game on the tablet. With iTunes having offering such a wider variety of games, it is this editors opinion that something needs to be done about it.