Football Manager 2022 (PC/Mac), Football Manager 2022 Xbox Edition, Football Manager 2022 Mobile (iOS/Android) and Football Manager 2022 Touch (Nintendo Switch™) were all released worldwide on November 9th. For the first time in the series’ history, FM22 and FM22 Xbox were available from Day One for Game Pass subscribers, opening up the franchise to millions more users around the world.
The FM22 development cycle produced its own problems for the studio, as most people continued to work from home in the face of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, but lessons learned from FM21 meant that while the game’s development was still done remotely, processes were much more efficient.
Since its release, FM22 has been met with an enormously positive reaction from both fans and media, who’ve praised it for its smooth gameplay and immersive new additions.
NEW FOR THIS SEASON
With a focus on interaction and information, FM22’s key features were designed with the studio’s continuing pursuit of the ultimate football simulation in mind. A brand-new animation engine and a revamped pressing system were among the headline additions to the most immersive Match Engine in the game’s history, while the suspension of disbelief factor was cranked up with the introduction of the all-encompassing Data Hub, a new Transfer Deadline Day module and weekly Staff Meetings.
The product of several years’ worth of hard work, FM22’s brand-new animation engine elevated Matchdays to another level this season with far more realistic dribbling and player movements. The revamped pressing system brought a new level of intelligence to every passage of play, unlocking smarter decision-making, the possibility for errors and enhanced realism. Additionally, the introduction of the new Wide Centre-Back role continued the trend of the series keeping pace with the world’s latest tactical innovations.
Powered by Data
Packed with the same analytics and reporting methods that the world’s biggest clubs use, the new Data Hub allowed players to craft their own custom dashboard packed with stats and insights that would help them elevate their team’s performance levels.
Regular talks with managers and coaches from across the professional game powered the introduction of new, true-to-life Staff Meetings. With the frequency of these meetings flexible, players were provided with a greater level of feedback, support and organisation from these backroom sessions in every career.
Deadline Day Drama
The new Transfer Deadline Day module completely changed the dynamic of the transfer window’s climax, replicating the highs, lows, unpredictability and immersion experienced by players, coaches and fans the world over on one of the most dramatic fixtures in the footballing calendar. A rewrite of player values was among a host of further scouting and transfer improvements.
Football Manager returned to Xbox following last season’s successful campaign, with FM22 Xbox Edition allowing managers to compete for the game’s biggest prizes in a bespoke version adapted for console play.
Considerable focus was placed on improving the way the game’s user interface worked with the Xbox Controller to make navigation from screen to screen easier. Changes were made throughout the game, most noticeable in areas where players were able to multi-select rows of information and benefit from the new sound effects introduced.
Further additions, including News Effects and versions of the headline upgrades for FM22, placed the emphasis on giving managers more tools to perform, from making squad information more intuitive and actionable, to clearer feedback on how their actions affect their players.
A host of new additions ensured that FM22 Mobile stood clear at the top of the mobile gaming football league.
Managers were able to unleash new potential with the ability to load up to five nations in any career, while the addition of the South African league opened the door to African continental competitions for the first time.
Scouting and Transfers both enjoyed significant overhauls, with managers benefitting from improved search options, better scouting intelligence, the ability to create bespoke assignments for the first time and an extensive under-the-hood rewrite of the transfer targeting system.
Other additions included brand-new media narratives, the inclusion of AI headshots for newly-generated players, a new home dashboard, a redesigned game setup flow and a greater breadth of media commentary.
A significant change to the Touch series for this season was that the only playable version of FM22 Touch was that available on the Nintendo Switch™. There was no version made for Steam, Epic, iOS or Android.
FM22 Touch boasted improved integration between the Joy-Con controllers and the game’s user interface to make working through the game even easier. The UI was revisited across the whole game and improvements were made to a number of areas that added up a significantly improved experience, whether users were played in Handheld Mode or docked to the TV.
This year’s edition was the most polished yet on Switch, with players benefitting from the ability to load five nations for the first time as well the introduction of the Data Hub, the Transfer Deadline Day module, News Effects and the new animation engine.