Over the weekend, Football Manager 2011 on PC & Mac went “gold” on 5 of the 8 versions of the disc that are due to be manufactured, with the other 3 discs turning up later today.
That means that work has now started on the demo, and I can now reveal when it will be released.
We are releasing the demo this year in 2 phases, with strawberry on Thursday (Steam only) and vanilla and strawberry torrent & direct download on Friday.
There are many reasons that we’ve decided to release the demo in this way this year. We basically don’t have enough time to get all the different versions built and tested by Wednesday night, so had to decide whether to release them all on Friday, or split them.
So last week, SEGA’s global marketing teams started talking to various possible partners to release the demo that would mean that everyone who wanted to get the strawberry demo on Thursday could do completely for free without breaking SIgames.com & FM.com (as happens every year), and those that were more patient, or didn’t want to use Steam for whatever reason, could still get the demo on what was the originally planned date of 2 weeks before release.
As mentioned above, the only other option was to delay all of the releases.
Our partners for the demo will be MirrorFootball in the UK, Marca in Spain, Veikkaaja in Finland and L’Equipe in France, but that does not mean that customers in other countries will be unable to get the demo. We will of course provide information at SIgames.com and footballmanager.com as soon as the demo is available so that any customer in the world is able to download the demo via Steam as soon as it goes live.
The demo will have 12 playable leagues – England, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and is available in all languages.
At some point on Friday 22nd, we’ll make the demo available for direct download and torrent, and a vanilla version of the demo, which will feature just the English and Scottish leagues.
I know one of the first question I’ll be asked it “why choose to go with Steam first, rather than one of the others?”.
Now that it’s a PC and Mac distribution platform, everyone can get it via the system, it provides great download speeds, it will once again be one of the two options for installation for the boxed game (with lots of benefits, which I’ll be blogging about in the next couple of weeks) and is a system most of us here use without issue.
I’ve seen some posts on the forums that unfairly castigate Steam, such as blaming it for the activation issues regarding FM2009, which were nothing to do with Steam, but were caused by a denial of service attack on Uniloc’s servers, or blaming a bug in the game on Steam – a bug in the game is a bug in the game, and nothing to do with Steam at all.
Hopefully that answers that question.
As mentioned above, the links to the demo should be available here from Thursday morning – I would advise that if you’re looking to grab it quickly, that you download the Steam client in advance, which is available at www.steampowered.com, and then you’ll be just a couple of button clicks away from being able to grab it.