Football Manager 2022 has started revealing its new features, dribbling them from behind via videos on its official YouTube account. These are the most cheesy major new feature set of all time, from new bar charts to “staff meetings”.
The first episode begins with Miles Jacobsen talking about the difficulties of releasing the latest game during the pandemic and the changes they made as a studio to facilitate the release of FM2022 during the pandemic. We then get other folks from Sports Interactive talking in more detail about the upcoming game, including engineer Elliot Stapley discussing the new Data Hub.
The Data Hub is where managers can get in-depth analysis of their team’s performance. This follows the inclusion of xG – the expected goals – in the last game, and it follows the increasing performance of performance analysis in real football. One of the examples given is the ability to see which team has momentum during a match, as plotted on a bar graph. Your substitutes can then twist the momentum for or against you.
Episode two is about the changes to the transfer deadline day, which are designed to give a better recreation of the minute-by-minute changes and the tension of reality. There is also an introduction to the new staff meetings.
These are the types of features you would add to Football Manager if you made a commitment to FM being as complete a simulation of real football as possible. Sports Interactive clearly are, and that is clearly what a large part of its audience wants. As usual, I’m not sure they would necessarily make the game any more fun, at least for me. I’ve had enough real-life meetings without wanting more in-game, and previous games already felt like they were throwing an information assault on me without the Data Hub.