A Chip To The Past: FM 2013 Classic Mode

Anyone without an interest in foot-to-ball management should watch the five videos below, simply so that they can bolster their disdain for the people who do enjoy such arcane pursuits. The videos contain details of Football Manager 2013’s new Classic Mode, an alternative method of staring at numbers and tiny men hoofing a ball that doesn’t require an entire lifetime to play. For the uninitiated, the promise of a simplified interface and less detail will appear laughable, perhaps even satirical, as the game is shown to be a series of screens that list names with numbers attached to them. In Classic, there are less numbers and maybe even less screens too.

There’s some repetition at the beginning of each video but there’s quite a bit of content altogether. The mode is aimed at those who have lapsed, put off by what they see as needless complexity, or simply without enough free time to devote to the game. I approve, although I’ve yet to get my hands on it to see just how much detail is sacrificed. Maybe this is the slippery slope that ends with Football Manager 2016 being a first-person shooter. Cripes.

There are loads more videos, covering the most minute features new and old, but I’m not going to post them all. You can find them here.


  1. McDan says:

    I absolutely love RPS’ coverage of foot-to-ball games. They have enough information to keep the relevant people interested, and absolutely brilliantly written mockings of the games. Excellently done.

  2. Faldrath says:

    The tag made me chuckle.

    But yeah, I’ll be waiting to see if classic mode can finally get me to play a FM game.

  3. ocelotwildly says:

    I’m not sure if I’m convinced by this ‘Unlockables’ business and I hope it’s merely a misstep and not an indication of the direction that the series is heading.

    Paying to remove a barrier to progression in a mobile app is one thing, as it the initial cost is so low. If the developer wants to create additional revenue streams from the impatient amongst us then it’s understandable.

    To do so where you’re charging north of £30 for the full game at the start is a very different proposition, like release day DLC that doesn’t actually add any content into the game. Hopefully these unlocks won’t be too popular, as I think that the desktop and handheld versions of the game cater to quite different audiences. After all, people who’ve wanted to get ahead of the game on the PC version have always had save-scumming and database hacks to fall back on, so why they should want to pay £2.99 to avoid getting sacked is beyond me.

    • Malkara says:

      Yeah. There’s no unlocks in the full, normal version of the game, right?

      Paid unlocks in a full priced game is really sketchy, to me.

      • ocelotwildly says:

        I think the unlocks only affect Classic Mode. This is but one game mode of the full game, scaled down to be a bit more like the App version.

        The joyous database orgy of full fat football manager is apparently still anatomically complete, but I do worry that if the numbers from these unlockables come back looking positive then we’ll see them creep into the full game.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      i just wanted to say that I like your name. Carry on.

  4. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    Not sure what kind of audience would like FM if it was simplified. The big draw to me (not a football fan) is in the complexity.

    I guess this is an angle for the football fans who aren’t into management games. But will simplifying FM be enough when that audience has PES or FIFA?

    • ocelotwildly says:

      I think that whilst the series is still going from strength to strength, a lot of people are leaving it behind as each iteration seems to add a couple of hours on to the time it takes to complete a season.

      Classic Mode is an attempt to go back to the days of early versions of Championship Manager, where a season could be polished off in an afternoon. It’s not for me, as I’d get frustrated at the sudden lack of options available to me, but from what I hear the desire is out there.

      Excellent football writer and notable brain in a tank Jonathan Wilson has often bemoaned the additional complexity of the modern games and apparently is still plugging away with a pre-millennial copy, no doubt taking obscure eastern European teams to footballing glory. I think other time-poor nostaligists will probably welcome this new addition as well.

    • FreudianTrip says:

      I’ve played every version of the series since Championship Manager 97/98. I’ve had the frustration of never being able to beat bloody Monaco to the pretty much blatant cheating that was signing Daniel Braaten and Orri Freyr Oskarrson to the… I don’t know because it takes so long to complete a season I’m bored off my tits before I’ve even got to January.

      The endless press conferences, the sodding team-talks, individual training regimes? Fuck off, boring. You can let the assistant manager do these things but if he cocks it up it has an effect on you anyway and that’s not fun.

      This is the first Football Manager I’ve been hyped for since 2008.

      I don’t really understand your last sentence as the two games are so wildly different I don’t really comprehend the comparison.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        The endless press conferences, the sodding team-talks, individual training regimes? Fuck off, boring.

        Yeah. But I feel like the appropriate solution to that isn’t to rip those features out, but to make them less shit.

        And they’ve done a bit of that – training (one of the worst black box features in the game, filled with inscrutable sliders) looks much improved in the full version, and in Classic they have you answering the occasional media question directly from your inbox.

        I’ll still be mostly playing the full game, but FMC is an extremely attractive option for quick fun on the laptop.

    • drewski says:

      I spent about 40% of my life from 1999 to 2004 playing various versions of CM. I barely touched FM06 and haven’t given the slightest toss about any of them since.

      I just can’t spend 20 hours figuring out how to play a game before finally being able to enjoy playing it. For someone who’s been away from the series for so long, it’s no longer a difficulty curve but a difficulty stone wall on a motorway.

      I don’t know if classic mode will make it accessible enough for me, given how many other time sinks I have in my life, but it has a much higher chance of being something I’m interested in than the full fat version.

      Damn I loved CM00/01. Sniff.

      • kaosfere says:

        Those of you bemoaning the late, lamented 2000-era games should know that they may be lamented, but they are definitely not late. EIDOS have made CM 01/02 freely available, and there is a fairly active community (for a decade-old game) who still work on keeping the database up to date every year.

        link to champman0102.co.uk is the hub for all this activity. I generally play the hell out of every new edition of FM for the first 4 months or so of its release, but then often feel myself with pangs for simpler times. A CM 01/02 session usually takes care of that.

        I’m interested in seeing if this “Casual Mode” approaches that level of relaxing blow-through-a-season-in-an-evening-ability, but in the interim those of you who haven’t should check out the community mentioned above. It just might bring you a little bit of pleasant nostalgia.

        • Bonedwarf says:

          I have CM01/02 still, my big problem is I keep hitting a memory limit and the game keeps crashing. This is Win7 64 with 8 gigs, and I’m disappointed I seem unable to fix it:(

        • Andy_Panthro says:

          Thanks for the link!

          I think I’d seen it before (a few years ago), but completely forgot about it. It’s just what I’m looking for.

          (although first I’m working on Premier Manager 2, which is an entirely different kettle of fish)

    • Bonedwarf says:

      I’ve been playing since the first Amiga version, and the current game is far FAR too complex to enjoy for me. I never get beyond one season as it just takes too much time.

      Classic looks like it goes back to CM97/98 quite a bit, which was the one I got hooked on most. CM01/02 was the last version I can genuinely say I really enjoyed. Since then it’s still fun, but rather overwhelming.

      Only unlockable I care about bastard transfer windows. Ruins the game IMO. (Yes, I know it’s realistic, but half the fun was hunting down bargains all year round.) Nice to see I can unlock it by playing.

      FMC looks damn appealing to me.

  5. rhizo says:

    Call me a (nostalgic) fool but I resent the idea of actual graphical representation of the game events in a game of foot-meets-ball management. Flashing text is the only medium capable of delivering the tension and ultimate disappointment of the heavily sliced row Z shots of my 17 year oid Bulgarian striking sensation. Unfortunately the Classic mode is not quite that kind of “Classic”.

    • FreudianTrip says:

      I still play on Text Only. There’s something about it that conjures up all these images. Although I do occasionally swap over to the one that looks like a Tactics Board meets Toy Story and all the little dots mill about.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      You can still do that in current versions of the game! Just set your view to Commentary Only.

    • wodin says:

      No infact your not being nostalgic at all….as the first iteration of Football manager had stick men where a square ball pinged between them. Now that is nostalgia..I had it on the BBC B 1984 I reckon.

  6. jobejoe says:

    I’ve never played these games but I love the direct explanatory method of address in these videos compared to other VG promo material. Basically I like how utterly unappealing this promotional material is to me.

  7. TillEulenspiegel says:

    as the game is shown to be a series of screens that list names with numbers attached to them.

    FM Classic looks gorgeous. Just check some of the screens: Training, Player Report, Player Stats

    The team behind FIFA Manager have tried to make a football management game with fewer numbers (oh the horror), and their result is a trainwreck of a user interface, a skeumorphic maze that’s agonizingly slow to navigate.

    FMC has opted to sex up their spreadsheets, and it looks good. And still functional. Which is what you want in a game that you actually play.

  8. Brun says:

    No foot-to-ball tag? For shame.

  9. DiamondDog says:

    Ah, it’ll be good to play a proper, challenging PC game with depth, between relaxing with XCOM and Dishonoured. Nice balance.

  10. ukpanik says:

    “foot-to-ball” “ball-to-basket” bat-to-ball” “cue-to-ball” “javelin-to-air” “synchronization-to-swimming” etc etc
    Please..its time to stop it. It is not amusing, It is annoying.

  11. Phinor says:

    Notice how his identical shirt changes colour from video to video.

    Also the classic mode sounds like something I might be interested in.

  12. Ernesto25 says:

    This just beggars belief you may as well buy it on iphone if its too complex or time consuming. Not sure why anyone would buy it for classic mode and the dlc. Just gald they are bringing the normal game out.

    P.s I feel like a sucker for buying thsi every year i guess this game is like COD to other people

  13. Gothnak says:

    I was in a comments thread over on Eurogamer with Miles commenting where i asked for a version like this a couple of years ago.. I wonder if he listened? :)

  14. Enivri says:

    I am glad they have done this as I do not have the time I used to to play through seasons. Whilst this along with the micro payment shop thing might not go down well with most people, the key thing to remember is that they are 100% optional, and take nothing away from the main game mode if you don’t want them to.

    Options are good!