Every year, I ask: is this the one? Is this the year where I get back into Football Manager? Throw all my books and films and other games away and boil my cultural consumption down to the media equivalent of Huel. Everything I need in one entertaining paste.
I'm asking it again right now. Football Manager 2022 will release on November 9th, and Sports Interactive have announced that this year it'll also be available on day one via Xbox Game Pass.
Including FM with Game Pass is, I assume, some kind of ironic joke. "Hey, here's a copy of Football Manager, and also 100 other great games you now won't play because you're playing Football Manager."
Here's the trailer that SI released alongside the announcement:
There are no feature announcements yet - those will come later, as always, via social media and various tabloid newspapers whose websites you wouldn't normally like to visit. The above trailer instead focuses on aspirational images of lower league teams overcoming the odds and winning promotions. It's both a fair reflection of the kind of rags-to-riches stories folks like to play out in Football Manager, and an obvious counter to last season's football Super League fiasco, whereby several of the world's biggest club teams tried to save scum into their own closed-off tournament.
The only thing preventing me from sinking back into Football Manager's statistical muck is that, in recent years, the new features have felt underwhelming to me when announced. I love Football Manager, but ther are several systems in there I'd love to see revamped - or would love to never have to deal with ever again. I imagine this year's update will be similarly incremental, but I'm crossing my fingers for something more inspirational than a few more media interview questions and 3D modelled hot dog stands.