Football Manager 2009
|Football Manager 2009|
|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation Portable|
|Release||Microsoft Windows, Mac
Football Manager 2009 (abbreviated to Football Manager 09 or FM09) is a football manager simulation video game. It was released on PC, Mac and PlayStation Portable on 14 November 2008 in Europe and on 18 November 2008 in North America. As in the case of other recent releases in the Football Manager series, the game is sold as Worldwide Soccer Manager 2009 in the United States and Canada.
Some of the new features and box art for the game were announced via a series of videos on 3 September 2008, other new features have been released via a series of podcasts and online blogs. It is the first game in the series to be released on DVD-ROM rather than on CD-ROM.
The main new feature to the game is the 3D match engine. This can now be watched fullscreen, with a widescreen option available. Other features include being able to play as a female or male manager, improvements to the interaction between the manager and his assistant manager, improved mid-match team talks and tactics, training players to have preferred moves and transfer rumours. The player rating will have a decimal point, e.g. 6.8 or 8.3 instead of 7 or 8. There will also be press conferences, where you can build up a rapport with the journalists, and the finance and transfer systems have been completely reworked. The game is set to feature more players than ever before, with over 350,000 in the database at the time of the game's announcement. The PC version has a skin similar to the one used in Football Manager 2008.
The handheld version will include a 2D match engine for the first time, and the game will be shipped with two skins; a light and a dark alternative.
The game suffered setbacks on and before launch day, most notably many users found themselves unable to activate the game due to servers providing activation for the DRM system coming under distributed denial of service attacks.
Playable national teams
All national teams are playable with the exceptions of Germany and Japan for licensing reasons.
Sports Interactive have announced that the game will be downloadable using the Steam content delivery system. This will allow gamers to have their games automatically patched to the latest version of the game. Miles Jacobson, the studio director at Sports Interactive, said "It gives us the opportunity for all of our games players to get any patches or updates that we make available quickly and easily, as well as a place for us to host any other downloads, such as demos and promotional videos, with super fast broadband speeds for download, and no issues with bandwidth, which we are hit with each time we release a demo". The Steam version of the game retains the Uniloc copy protection with its 5 activation limit.
There were two "flavours" of the demo. Vanilla was a stripped down version with limited number of players. The Strawberry demo was a full-fledged game with most of the features that would be on the original game with a gameplay limit of half a season.
Issues and problems
Up release, many buyers had problems with the game's copy protection. A printing error on the manuals caused the keys to be difficult to read and there were distributed denial of service attacks on the Uniloc activation servers that prevented purchasers from activating their games. Since the provided telephone activation lines were also run using the activation servers, they were also out of action. In response, SEGA issued a press release apologising for the problems faced by purchasers. As of May 2011, the game can no longer be activated as the website that deals with product activation of Football Manager 2009 has shut down. 
Bugs and patches
A patch was also released on 14 November 2008, for the PC version, fixing a number of compatibility issues and bugs. A Mac patch was released a few days later. A second patch was released on 19 December 2008. The third patch was released 26 February 2009 .
Football Manager 2009's computer version received a "Platinum" sales award from the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA), indicating sales of at least 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom. Studio director Miles Jacobson stated that "for every one person that bought Football Manager 2009 there were four who pirated it."
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- "SI discusses Football Manager piracy". Eurogamer.net. 10 October 2011.