Authentication problems

November 18th, 2008

After prolonged issues with pre-release piracy, this year SEGA and Sports Interactive decided to implement a new copy protection system for Football Manager 2009. The incorporation of Uniloc's copy protection system for the game has unfortunately caused a number of unexpected difficulties which SEGA would like to explain to any customers who may have experienced problems authenticating their copy of Football Manager 2009 since it launched on Friday November 14th. 

The first problem was that the printing of the keycodes on the in-game manuals. The choice of font meant that some customers were unable to decipher their authentication keycode correctly due to some of the different characters in the keycode looking very similar. On realising this on the Thursday evening, SEGA worked closely with the team at Uniloc to update code on the authentication servers to work around the problem. This situation does not affect customers in Australia and America where the keycodes were printed without any issues. 

The authentication servers then suffered a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack from an external party which significantly delayed the distribution of the solution for several hours. The knock-on effect of the DDoS attack subsequently necessitated that the phone line keycode activation, which also runs through the online authentication servers, had to be suspended so that the online authentication servers could be prioritised. Since this time the individual phone lines have been under constant DDoS attack. Unfortunately this means that some customers are still experiencing difficulties authenticating their copy of the game via phone activation, although the online server authentication is currently working as it should be. 

SEGA would like to stress that while there are still some problems being experienced with customers trying to authenticate their game via phone, everything is being done to ensure that this is resolved as soon as possible. SEGA and Sports Interactive take pride in producing the very best Football Manager year on year, and regret that this unfortunate situation has arisen. SEGA and Sports Interactive would like to unequivocally apologise to any customers who have experienced difficulties in authenticating their game, restate their desire to solve every issue encountered in the process, and enable all customers to be able to play and enjoy Football Manager 2009.

Despite the issues that some users faced, at the weekend and since its launch on Friday, Football Manager 2009 has authenticated over 200,000 copies globally, but all at SEGA and Sports Interactive are determined for the small amount of people who are still having issues to be up and running as soon as possible. For those who are still experiencing problems, please do contact our Customer Services department at , or visit our game forums at where a FAQ is available for those still having issues.