In defence of SI

Football Manager 2008. If you believe the disgruntled gamers it has Syphilis. Or a common cold. Or a bug or something. Currently, the SI Forum is like that final hellmouth engulfing Sunnydale, which means that Miles Jacobson will have to stick on a blonde wig and change his name to Buffy. The 'big evil' has thrown its toys out of the pram and demanding a patch 'or else'. Time to stake that motherf*cker in the heart.

Dear Disgruntled FM gamer,

Football Manager 2008 is a game. SI will fix everything. The fact is, 10 years or so of this footballing uber-spreadsheet has resulted in some of the most undeserving impatient ungrateful gamers (a minority thankfully) of any game I know of. Football Manager is not Theme Park. It’s a football game and therefore is based on a massive database of stats and processing and formulas. It will never be a 99.99% nailed on replica of real football – and some of you have quite obviously forgotten this (or choose to think it is actually possible to get 99.99% and how dare SI fail to do so). Its a simulation at best. And it tries it's damned hardest to be that. Be grateful they still make it. In a world where the emphasis is on big colourful box office style games, it's a testament to SI that the game still shifts the amount of units it does.

You know why SI don’t have any competition? Because there simply isn't a development team out there good enough or determined enough to put out what is quite obviously a monster of a genre to develop and manage and update.

I'm not saying that the game doesn't have bugs. It quite obviously does and I'm not dismissing the fact that just because I don't experience any problems playing as a Prem club, that others in the lower leagues have their playability affected by issues that need to be fixed.

Yes. It’s frustrating. But the anal obsessive detail some people complain at is just plain silly and at times almost deranged. It’s almost like there’s a group who actively go searching for problems with the games engine and can’t play it because of minor issues that do not have a detrimental effect on the game. Others do however have a right to be frustrated because the issues they find through gameplay DOES have a detrimental effect. But the manner some of you people express your complaints is pretty immature.

If SI had not released the game when they did and waited to complete further testing, you would not have had it when you got it - so waiting another week or three for a patch to make it 'playable' (the very definition of that is altogether another subject) makes no difference. That’s just my opinion and I know others will claim ‘we wouldn’t be upset if we paid £30 for the game and didn’t need a patch’. But let’s not be naïve about it. This happens all the time. Even with operating systems like Windows. Other games have massive flaws in them or simply don’t give the hours of gameplay FM can – so putting up with these type of industry quirks isn’t really a big deal. It's a fact of life. And one that most have to sadly deal with.

The irony here is that some people have choosen to forget this happened with FM2007 too but the hardcore who complained prefer to look back and suggest that it was less 'buggy', probably because they were appeased with SI's patches that followed.

Call of Duty. 5 hours gameplay. Probably didn’t need a patch on release. But that’s a shooter. FM is a completely different type of creature. As for FM gameplay? 100 hours? 1000 hours? Which is probably the reason there is such a low threshold of tolerance for ‘bugs’. But every incarnation has struggled with them – so doesn’t that tell you something? Even with such an experienced and hard working team, it’s sill a brutal experience for them to build this game. And the very nature of tweaking and adjusting means one of the consequences is that it always needs to be tweaked. FM is like a demanding girlfriend and finding her g-spot takes a little time.

It’s a joke? It’s unacceptable? You want your money back? You want to try the competition? Feel free to do just that. You'll be back soon enough and you know it.

Few developers care about their product as much as SI do - and if you look at the competition and the fact that their games are fundamentally shallow and lack depth and are just cosmetic or full of gimmicks - how on earth can you sit there and slag them off like they don’t give a shit? Have they stolen candy from a baby? Defecated through your letter-box?

Look at Championship Manager. Unbalanced game which is let down by the very fact it falls several leagues behind FM's gameplay and depth. That's the competition.

So grow the fuck up and lose the fundamentalist attitude you have towards the game.

It's a privilege not a right.

Yours 'top of the league with Spurs',

Spooky