On the 12th February 2004, after splitting from publishers Eidos Interactive it was announced that Sports Interactive, producers of the Championship Manager game, had acquired the brand and would henceforth release their games under the "Football Manager" name, whilst the Championship Manager series will go on, but no longer be related to Sports Interactive.
Football Manager 2005 included an updated user interface, a refined game engine, updated database and competition rules, pre and post-match information, international player news, cup summary news, 2D clips from agents, coach reports on squads, job centre for non-playing positions, mutual contract termination, enhanced player loan options, manager "mind games" and various other features.
Football Manager 2005 was released in the UK on November 4, 2004 - closely followed by releases in many other countries around the world - and it became the 5th fastest selling PC game of all time (according to Eurogamer). The Macintosh version of the game comes on the same dual format disk as the PC version, so its sales are also included.
List of leagues included in Football Manager 2005
|Serbia & Montenegro||2||3|
Manageable national teams
Football Manager 2005 was banned in China when it was found that regions such as Tibet and Taiwan were included as separate countries in imported releases. The People's Republic of China has long claimed these regions as part of its territory and their reason for banning the game was that it "threatened its content harmful to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity ... [that] seriously violates Chinese law and has been strongly protested by our nation's gamers". Sports Interactive published a statement in reply, reporting that a Chinese version of the game (complete with Taiwan annexed into China as per the Chinese government's wishes) would be released. They also stated that the offending version was not translated into Chinese as it was not supposed to be released in China. The offending games were believed to have been imported or downloaded, written to CD and boxed to be sold in illegal software shops in China.
Due to various copyright disputes and restrictions certain alterations had to be made to the game data which took away some of the game's famous realism. Noticeable changes included the following:
- The name of the famous German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn had to be removed and was replaced with the name Jens Mustermann (Mustermann translates from German into English as Sample Man and is the German equivalent of John Doe or Joe Bloggs - see Placeholder name). This is because Kahn does not allow his image or name to be used in certain computer games and it is speculated that his name was changed to Jens in the game (the name of his main goalkeeping rival, Jens Lehmann) as a light-hearted dig at Kahn.
- The German, Dutch and Japanese national teams never pick 'real' players and instead only ever use 'greyed-out' fictional players.
- The names of all French league teams had to be changed from their full names to simply the name of the city they represent. For example, Paris Saint-Germain became Paris and Olympique de Marseille became Marseille.
- The names of Japanese league teams were changed to completely fictional names such as Niitsu Unicorn and Katano Blaze.
- The name of the Japanese J. League was changed to the N-League or Nihon League.
- The names of the major European trophies were changed to fictional names. The European Cup or UEFA Champions League became the Champions Cup, the UEFA Cup became the Euro Cup and the UEFA Intertoto Cup became the Euro Vase.
Thanks to the way these data changes have been made through using simple instructions in plain-text files called EDT files and LNC files, it is possible to reverse these changes, either by modifiying the files or by deleting the appropriate file).
- Football Manager - For information on the entire Football Manager series.
- Football Manager 2006 - The sequel to this game.
- Championship Manager series - The name formerly used by Sports Interactive for its football management series.
Below is a list of several external resources which contain various features relating to the Football Manager scene (both official and unofficial) such as patches, articles and downloads.
- FootballManager.net - Official game website from Sega and Sports Interactive
- Sega Europe - Sega's site showing a brief summary of the game.
- SIGames.com - Official Sports Interactive website
- Myspace - Official Sports Interactive Myspace Page
Sports Interactive has set up an Affiliates section (SIAS) which fansites can join. They offer a number of benefits to users, such as free games to give away in competitions, exclusive news and opportunities to visit Sports Interactive in Islington, London. You can view all the affiliates here