Football season is in full swing as league tables take shape, seats are heating up, European Cup action is lighting up the middle of the week, and International qualifiers near their climax for better or worse.
Once again the gaming industry is hot on its heels as major titles are dropping.
For the true armchair heroes of sport there is only one title they are waiting for though, the next instalment of Sports Interactive’s iconic Football Manager franchise.
With this in mind, we here at RealSport want to keep you all up to date on all the latest news, leaks and gameplay we get a hold of.
Football Manager 2020 Release Date and Beta
Football Manager 2020 arrives on November 19th 2019.
That includes the full PC Steam version of the game, as well as the reduced FM20 Touch (Steam, iOS & Android) and FM20 Mobile (iOS & Android) versions.
Release dates are coming soon for Google Stadia (with the new platform arrving on the market in November) and Nintendo Switch.
Nonetheless, for those of you who cannot wait and will be pre-ordering the game, it is most likely that a beta will be released two weeks prior to launch in November. This has been the case with the likes of FM 2019, so that would be on 5th November 2019.
A mobile and touch version will also be available for those wanting to play wherever you are. Football Manager 2020 will also be available on Google Stadia when the cloud-based gaming platform launches in November.
Football Manager 2020 will cost £39.99 on release, and £9.99 for the mobile version.
You can save 10% by pre-purchasing FM 20 from the Steam store. Meaning it will cost you just £35.99.
By going though a SEGA approved retailer, you will also be ranted access to the Football Manager 2020 Beta, available around two weeks before launch.
READ MORE: Absolutely everything we know about FIFA 20
There are currently two team editions available to pre-order; Valencia and Arsenal. These offer each team’s officially licensed kits, club crests, and player faces to improve the managerial experience for fans. These will not be available in the standard edition, and the team editions are exclusive to the FM Store, but as they don’t cost any more than the standard one you might as well pick up one of these editions.
Environmentally friendly packaging
Any gamer worth the name has a stack of hard plastic boxes taking up shelves. Be it every version of FIFA since 1998 or the last 12 Football Managers, there is something special about getting the physical copy that digital downloads simply cannot replace.
But those boxes are not exactly good for the environment, nevermind keeping your house uncluttered. Sports Interactive are making an effort to change that.
Football Manager 2020 will be packaged in 100% recycled board and will come with a manual printed on 100% recycled paper, shrink-wrapped in fully recyclable low-density polyethylene (LDPE). This effort could save up to 20 tonnes of plastic packaging and possibly create a movement to help the entire industry become more responsible.
This is just the next step in Sports Interactive’s admirable social platform that sees them use charities on their advertising hoardings in the game and make donations to War Child. You can read more about their reasoning for this packaging change here.
There are plenty of new features coming when FM20 finally arrives. SI are focusing on long-term managers this year, which is a welcome thing and most players go so deep into their saves that Kylian Mbappe retires.
This focus includes an overhaul to the boardroom experience. This comes with a new five-year plan from your board that is tailored to each club. There is also expectations regarding club culture and this may even extend into deeper requirements when it comes to the transfer market and on-field style.
More options to Playing Time expectations in contract negotiations make it easier to designate someone as a Cup Goalkeeper or Fringe Player, helping keep player expectations in check in FM20 where they ran amok in FM19. As for loans, the duration is customisable on a monthly basis or until the next transfer window.
The backroom staff is also being improved. You'll get better pre-match advice including an ideal matchday squad and better tactical analysis to help you hone your all-important tactics for each opponent. The backroom staff will also suggest ideal responses for team meetings.
Backroom positions of Technical Director and Head of Player Development have been added to better replicate the behind-the-scenes aspects of managing a football club.
As for you, the manager, if you decide to resign, your club may ask you to stay by improving your contract. Another great feature is to protest a transfer offer that was accepted over your head by the board.
READ MORE: What improvements do we want for FM20?
Code of Conduct
No longer will you be at the mercy of player personality when you try to enforce fines for poor behaviour.
FM20 will introduce a Code of Conduct, suggested by the team captain when you take a new job, that can be tailored to your ideals and clearly lays out what is expected of the team. Receive a straight red? You'll be fined two weeks wages. Miss training? 1 week.
This clear document means you can be sure that the team will respect your authority, but if you fail to stick by it the backlash could be epic.
SI have made a big effort to improve the player & manager modeling this year. The result is more realistic managers as well as more detail like the tie clip and suit buttons. You can now also select an option for your get-up to be in-line with your club colours, automatically updating every time you move to a new team.
Pitches have been improved too. The result is a field that reacts more obviously to weather and better lighting to create a more natural environment for your managerial adventure.
Your staff won't only advise you on the best matchday squad, but they will offer insight to how your custom tactics are venturing outside the norm.
FM has done a great job over the years of making the tactics more complex and modern, with styles like Tiki-Taka and Gegenpress coming to the fore it can be easy to get lost in the tactical options and stray into dangerous waters. Your staff will now show you how you are changing the typical tactical style, and you can take their advice to move back to a more traditional version, or keep forging your own path ahead.
Player values will now be reflected in the transfer budget when signing a player, and when creating your dream club you can now search for home grown players so that you meet registration rules for competitions.
You can also save a created player, so you can take your players into any new save you want to start, with any club.
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