Sports Interactive and SEGA have offered an in-depth look at some new features in the upcoming management game, Football Manager 2022, set to release on Steam, the Epic Game Store, and the Microsoft Store on 9 November, 2021. It was announced that players will be able to benefit from the same reporting methods and analytics that real football clubs use to fuel their success in the new Data Hub and allowing players or managers to perfect their pre-match planning. Once players take their seat in the digital dugout, they can soak in a realistic match action in the series to date which has been made possible by a brand-new animation engine and a host of AI improvements.
These features and the process of their creation are discussed in detail in the first episode of a two-part series, ‘In the Studio’ hosted by James Allcott. Allcott is joined by members of the Sports Interactive team to pore over the ways that these two feature areas enhance the overall Football Manager experience.
The second part of ‘In the Studio’ will be released next week focusing on two more headline features followed by in-depth feature blogs on the Football Manager website which will cover both the headline feature areas and other new features and updates to core areas of the game. Further features will be released on the Football Manager social channels (including Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) and Sports Interactive studio director, Miles Jacobson’s own channels (including Twitter and Instagram).
Fans who pre-purchase Football Manager 2022 (for PC and Mac), from a SEGA approved digital retailer up until launch will be able to receive a 10% discount. They will also have the chance to kick-off their managerial career ahead of schedule with Early Access to Football Manager 2022. Early Access will be available approximately two weeks prior to the official launch date. Single player careers started in that period can be carried across to the final game release.
An overview of the headline features can be found below:
****Early Access may go live at different times on different platforms
The Data Hub is a brand-new section on the sidebar in Football Manager 2022 that is the go-to destination for everything related to data and performance analysis.
From here managers will be able to delve into team performance metrics to analyse where things are going right over the course of the 90 minutes of match action and where there is room for improvement. There is also the ability to view analysis on individual players from within the squad, allowing managers to identify strengths to build around and weaknesses to develop on the training ground.
New data visualisations such as momentum graphs and zone maps alongside reworked pass maps have made it clearer and easier for managers to see how their decision-making affects their chances of success, to diagnose problem areas, and to judge the most effective contribution from squad members.
Managers wishing to fully immerse themselves in the world of data analytics can delve even deeper into the Data Hub and ask their analytics team to deliver bespoke reports on a wide range of topics, such as the percentage of headers won by their defenders compared to the rest of the league.
What is really cool is that real life football clubs are using the same metrics and reporting methods to power their performance on the pitch. Football Manager 2022 have now allowed players to experience the life of a real life manager.
The Football Manager 2022 match engine marks the start of a new era in the pursuit to create a perfect simulation of on-pitch action.
The new animation engine delivers an even greater level of on-pitch authenticity than was previously seen in the series. Player movements now look far more realistic and natural due to the implementation of root motion while on-the-ball dribbles and touches have been reworked to ensure that players have a much greater range of movement, including the ability to pivot on the ball and perform Cruyff turns.
Significant AI enhancements lead to a more lifelike flow to the passage of play over the course of a match. A reworked pressing system means that players now have the concept of their sprint capacity and know when they can and can’t press their opponent and accuracy has been refined to ensure that player condition has a greater impact on the accuracy of a passes, shots and first touches.
New to Football Manager 2022 is the Wide Centre-Back player role that allows managers to have greater flexibility when operating with a back three. Wide Centre-Backs can be deployed in a defence, support or attack duty with an increasing willingness to overlap and create two vs one situations the more attacking the manager sets their duty.