Football Manager 2019: release date, new features, beta and more
Just as we thought we'd got our lives back after the World Cup, those loveable rogues at Sports Interactive pull us right back in.
What's the release date?
OK, so there’s still a bit of a wait ahead: Football Manager 2019 will be ours to play from November 2, although you can road test the Beta version two weeks early if you pre-order from a SEGA-approved digital retailer (and get 10% off too).
All three versions of the game – Football Manager 2019 (for PC and Mac), Football Manager 2019 Touch (for PC, Mac, iOS and Android) and Football Manager 2019 Mobile (for iOS and Android) will be released on the same day.
What are the new features?
1. VAR! HUH! What is it good for? Well, telling you whether the referee has cocked up or not, that's what. FM19 includes the introduction of video technology in competitions that currently use it – either in the form of a referee using a TV screen to check a decision, and/or communicating with their VARs via an earpiece. The game will also include goal-line technology to avoid any Pedro Mendes-esque howlers from officials.
You'll be asked about controversies in your post-match interviews after instances of technology being used, so get prepared...
2. Training overhaul – the biggest yet in FM history, say SI. The studio's knowledge-sharing with real-life coaches has helped them revamp the training module to make it a more realistic proposition. Training is now split into three sessions per day, which you can customise to fit you squad's needs. There are 10 different training areas to focus on, and individual sessions within them (i.e. Aerial Defence, if you're about to face some notorious long-ball merchants). Pre-season training is now given the importance it deserves.
3. New manager tutorials. Picking up FM again after a spell on the sidelines can be daunting, so on-screen pointers have now been introduced to ease in new or returning players. SI say that even those working within their own studio have been using them to improve in areas where they have knowledge gaps, to great benefit.
4. Revamped tactics module. Featured are the inclusion of tactical styles (i.e. gegenpress, tiki-taka), team instructions for specific phases of play, goalkeeper distribution options, new player roles and tweaks to mentality terms. Meanwhile, pre-match briefings have been simplified for ease of navigation, and your assistant can recommend topics for debate.
5. Graphics/viduals. SI say they've replaced or improved 500 graphics for FM19. They also note improved stadiums with capacities of up to 5,000, making them more realistic and varied for lower-league bosses. Meanwhile, disabled fans will also be visible in all stadia.
6. Team talk improvements. These will contain more information than previous editions, including player positions in the squad hierarchy, and how your words of wisdom have been received by your team's leaders. Naturally, these dressing room influencers are ones to keep onside, so be careful how you treat them. You'll also be able to discover what your assistant manager says in team talks too, should you wish to give them free rein in the dressing room.
7. DFL Bundesliga licence for the first time, including 36 clubs with proper badges, player faces and trophies.