It Does Mata: Football Manager Updates Database, Tweaks AI

By Graham Smith on March 4th, 2014 at 2:00 pm.

The dots are better at making runs now.

One of the world’s most popular RPGs just added Gibraltar for free! Wow, a whole new landmass to explore. I wonder if it’ll be set during the War of Spanish Succession, allowing keen commanders to invade and cede the territory to the British Empire in perpetuity.

Oh wait it’s the Gibraltarian football league added as part of Football Manager‘s mid-season update… Even better! The patch also contains a “potential fix for odd throw ins”, and a hundred other small tweaks, improvements, and thousands of database updates.

Sports Interactive always put out a mid-season update to the game. It’s there in part to respond to the January transfer window, where footballers swap teams like kids swap football stickers. This means that if you want to take control of Manchester United with Juan Mata on your side, you can do so now. (Writing that sentence so that non-football followers will get the matter/Mata pun in the title).

The update also serves to fix bugs and re-balance the game’s match engine, which by this point has undergone so many hundreds of thousands of hours of testing by its community, the idiosyncracies of its AI have become more clear. There’s a full list of patch notes listing the changes on the Sports Interactive forum, including the aforementioned throw-ins, “slight reduction in overhit passes”, and lots of other changes to player decision-making that should hopefully cut-down on you Pardew-ing your computer monitor in frustration.

As for the new Gibraltarian league, it’s a free, fully-licensed addition, made available by SI via the game’s Steam Workshop.

I’ve played around a hundred hours of FM2014 this season, more than the last eight games in the series combined. Is that because the game suddenly changed for the better? No, that happened last year when Sports Interactive introduced the more streamlined and immediately gratifying Classic Mode. This year’s change was that I went freelance, and whose to complain if I play a sneaky game at lunch? I can probably justify it by writing a feature about it in the afternoon.

Speaking of which, Adam and I will convene later in the week for half-time oranges and a chat about our experiences with Football Manager this year.

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12 Comments »

  1. Horg says:

    Eagerly awaiting the Historical Mode expansion. Two villages, one ball, no rules.

  2. peterako1989 says:

    “updates database, tweaks AI”

    If this was made by EA it would take a year and a new fully priced entry.

  3. Guvornator says:

    Worth pointing out that it’s £11.90 on steam currently. Will only last until midnight.

    http://store.steampowered.com/app/231670/

    EDIT: Handheld version is £2.99 / $4.99 / €4.49 on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon App Store.

  4. Om says:

    Cech out that quality pun in the title!

    • Imbecile says:

      I’d hazard that whoever is writing this article has some foot to ball related knowledge

      • Om says:

        Much needed. Most of the RPS team haven’t got a Kalou about the beautiful game

  5. haafie says:

    OHhhh excellent, I just clicked the link so I’m sure I’ll get the money. I was still on the bench to get FM2014 and with all that money coming in, I just treated myself today.

    Anyway who gets continually fired for 7 months?! Every day for 7 months, I’d just quit.

  6. Moth Bones says:

    I’ve played the majority of the iterations and this is one of the best for me. The tactical interface manages the smart trick of making micro-managerial choices seem potentially crucial, far more successfully than the sliders did. I just wish that they would either make the player/press interaction stuff less glitchy and limited or ditch it/make it optional. The fact that they’ve been tweaking it for a while and you still get things like non-contracted players threatening to leave suggests that the basic system might need rethinking.

  7. MichaelGC says:

    What’s a ‘potential fix?’ Did they fix it or not, or aren’t they sure? (Did they mean ‘a fix for potentially odd throw-ins?’)

  8. elyoungque says:

    I want to play, but I live in South Korea, and Steam won’t let me buy the game. Even tried buying the CD key in order to activate it on Steam, but it didn’t work. :(

  9. Granitas says:

    So in the world of football Gibraltar is a country and Israel is in Europe? A funny old game indeed!

    • Lestibournes says:

      Israel usually participates in European leagues in sports. I guess it’s hard to participate in Asian leagues when half the countries in Asia are officially at war with you for the last 66 years.