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Football Manager 2022 has started revealing its new features, dribbling them out from the back via videos on its official YouTube account. It’s the nerdiest set of major new features ever, from new bar charts to “staff meetings.”
Episode one begins with Miles Jacobsen talking about the difficulties of releasing the last game during the pandemic, and the changes they’ve made as a studio to make it easier to release FM2022 during the pandemic. We then get other folks from Sports Interactive talking in more detail about the next game, including engineer Elliot Stapley discussing the new Data Hub.
The Data Hub is is where managers can get in-depth analytics about their team’s performance. It follows on from the inclusion of xG – expected goals – in the last game, and it follows the increasing performance of performance analytics in real football. One of the examples given is the ability to see which team has the momentum during a match, as plotted on a bar chart. Your substitutes can then twist the momentum for or against you.
Episode two talks about changes to transfer deadline day, which are designed to give a better recreation of the minite-by-minute changes and tension of the real thing. There’s also an introduction to new staff meetings.
These are the kinds of features you would add to Football Manager if you were committed to FM being as thorough a simulation of real football as possible. Sports Interactive clearly are, and that’s clearly what a lot of its audience wants. As per usual, I’m not sure they’d necessarily make the game more fun, at least for me. I have enough meetings in real-life without wanting more in-game, and previous games already felt like they were throwing an onslaught of info at me without the Data Hub.