Football Manager 2006 is a game in the Football Manager series of football management simulation games. It is available for PC, Mac platforms, and was released in the UK on October 21, 2005 (2 weeks earlier than the originally stated November 4 release). On the same day as the game's release, Sports Interactive also released a patch to fix some bugs discovered during the Beta and Gold stages of development. In its first week of release, it became the second-fastest-selling PC game of all-time in the UK. In the United States and Canada, the game is sold as Worldwide Soccer Manager 2006. In April 2006, an Xbox 360 version of the game was released, along with a PSP port by the name of Football Manager Handheld.
It is essentially just a season update of FM 2005 but does include many small adjustments and improvements to the general gameplay. These adjustments include team-talks, simplified training and in-game help screens. As well as this, the game is updated by its many researchers (unpaid fans of the game augmented by in-house collaboration). The database is usually updated twice in the period of the release of the game. The first comes with the game and the second is usually downloadable in January as a free data update to reflect the changes which take place during the winter opening of the FIFA transfer window. As has been customary with the series a beta demo of the game was released on September 12, 2005. This was later followed on September 30 by a gold demo. This is a cut-down, limited time version of the full game which is sent to the game manufacturers.
Football Manager 2006 contains the same playable leagues as Football Manager 2005 but with 2 small additions. The French league now has a fourth viewable but unplayable level (the CFA division), and the structural change to the Swedish league involving the re-instatement of Division One has been implemented, with Division Two retained as a playable fourth level.
As was the case with Football Manager 2005, the developers were again unable to include certain data in the game due to licensing and/or copyright issues. All of the same data affected in FM 2005 appears to be affected again in the 2006 version along with the Japanese, South Korean and Chinese national teams (which now only include 'virtual' players). Notably, Oliver Kahn has been named 'Jens Mustermann'. However, there is a possibility to correct most of the data "mistakes" simply by deleting certain files in the game directory.
An option has been included in the game to include a fictional team called Harchester United in the English Premiership. Harchester United is a club in the Sky One drama series, Dream Team. This option comes in the form of a text file, placed in the game's directory, which has to be edited very slightly by the user to 'activate' it.
The Xbox 360 version was released on April 13, 2006 and was the first home console game in the Football Manager series. The full 50 playable league systems are included, as well as a 250,000-strong player database (very near to the figure of the PC version), but due to the large save files of the game, a 20 GB Xbox 360 Hard Disk is required at minimum. The game is also region free.
This version also makes use of the Xbox Live functionality, allowing players to create online leagues and cups with up to 16 human-controlled teams using team data they have exported from their offline game. Voice chat is fully supported during online play. It has also been confirmed that SI will release new content through the Marketplace system.
- Football Manager (series)
- 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 website 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