Football Manager 2021 was released worldwide on PC, Mac, iOS and Android on November 24th 2020. Football Manager 2021 Touch followed on December 1st 2020, with the Nintendo Switch™ edition completing the line-up on December 15th. This year also marked Sports Interactive’s first console release in over a decade as we returned to Xbox with Football Manager 2021 Xbox Edition.
The FM21 development cycle was unlike any other faced by the studio as they, like almost every other business the world over, had to adapt in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most of the game’s development was done remotely and Microsoft Teams meetings quickly became the order of the day.
Despite the challenges the team faced, FM21 was met with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from fans and media alike. Steam reviews for the game were unprecedentedly positive, while FM21 hit one million sales faster than any of the studio’s previous releases.
Stamp your style
FM21’s headline feature set introduced a number of changes to key areas of the game including the interaction system, matchday experience and the recruitment module. Gestures replaced tones to offer managers more options when getting their message across to their players, something also bolstered by revamped press conferences and new Quick Chats.
Every fixture was turned into a true spectacle with a new build-up and post-match experience while animation, lighting and graphical improvements that delivered the best-looking 3D match simulation in the series. xG also made its debut, in conjunction with SciSports, as part of a wider revamp to the stats and analysis in the game.
TAKE YOUR RECRUITMENT TO NEW LEVELS
Scouting and making the next move in the transfer market became all the more focused with brand-new recruitment meetings which allowed for greater forward planning. For the first time, managers could also approach agents directly about a player’s interest in joining a club, mimicking how most of the big deals are done across the real world of football.
Managers were able to savour their previous campaign and revel in their success like never before. The brand-new season review picked out the season’s highlights and team’s top performers in a dynamic presentation, while title presentations were given the billing they deserve. Blood, sweat and tears go into winning trophies and in FM21, those moments mattered more than ever.
FM21 Mobile was our most polished edition in the series so far, boasting several features that took the game’s detail level to new heights.
Managers could set up feeder clubs and arrange their own pre-season friendlies for the first time, while they also had three additional nations to manage in after Argentina, Mexico and Canada entered the fray.
Tactics saw a complete revamp, with managers now benefitting from the tactical templates already in our other titles. Three new player roles were also added to further tactical customisation, while set-pieces were re-defined.
Interaction was also given an overhaul with Squad Hierarchy and Player Social Groups introduced to give the manager a fuller picture of team morale. Managers could also set their Club Captain and could praise or criticize their players.
Xbox players across the world were delighted as Football Manager returned to Xbox for the first time in over a decade with FM21 Xbox Edition.
Modelled on our popular Touch series, FM21 Xbox Edition offered players a bespoke edition with all of the detail and realism of the Football Manager series, carefully crafted for optimal performance with the Xbox controller.
FM21 Xbox made use of Microsoft’s Play Anywhere technology which allowed managers to kick-off a career on console and then pick-up on any Windows 10 PC while Smart Delivery allowed managers to purchase the game once and play it across the Xbox ecosystem.
FM21 Touch introduced a host of graphical improvements and a redesigned match display that showed more of the action than ever before and created an all-new gameday experience. Touchline ‘Shouts’ made their debut, allowing players to motivate, inspire or demand more from their players from the sidelines.
Increased analysis in Team Reports, news items and end of season summaries showed a team’s strengths and illustrated exactly how they stacked up against the opposition and how to exploit their weaknesses. FM21 Touch also brought across a number of features from FM21 such as our new ‘expected goals’ system (SIxG), end of season presentation elements and the raft of match engine AI, animation and graphical improvements that made it the best match engine in the series to date.