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Football Manager: From Shed Beginnings to Global Phenomenon - An Interview with Miles Jacobson

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Discover the History, Evolution, and Future of Football Manager as We Chat with Miles Jacobson, the Man Behind the Cult Classic

Discover the History, Evolution, and Future of Football Manager in this Interview with Miles Jacobson, the Man Behind the Cult Classic


Football Manager, an iconic brand with a cult-like following, has grown from humble beginnings in the 90s to a globally recognized franchise. Started by two brothers in a shed, the game has come a long way since its inception. Jimmy McLoughlin had the chance to sit down with the boss, Miles Jacobson, to discuss the story behind the game, its development, and the future of the franchise.

A Thriving Company with a Global Reach


Today, Football Manager employs 300 people at its headquarters on the Olympic Park, overlooking the West Ham United stadium. The game relies on a network of about 1,500 scouts and researchers across the world, providing valuable insights and data to make the game as realistic as possible.

Influence on Real-Life Football


Football Manager has not only inspired millions of players but has also had a profound impact on the sport itself. Will Still, manager at Stade DeReims, is just one example of someone who grew up completely immersed in the game. Football clubs now report that around 50% of applications for managerial positions come from individuals who have exclusively played Football Manager.

Getting into the Game Industry


Breaking into the gaming industry through Football Manager typically begins with a role in quality assurance (QA), also known as games testing. As for more specialized roles, Miles compares the recruitment process to being in a band. English language proficiency is essential for narrative design and development, as team members must communicate effectively across departments. Scriptwriting for the game demands quality on par with film and television.

The Role of Researchers


Football Manager's researchers fall into two categories:
  1. Head Researchers: Responsible for a specific country.
  2. Assistant Researchers: Usually fans of a particular team, these researchers often have backgrounds in fanzine writing or blogging. They must possess the ability to see both sides of a story.

Emerging Football Jobs and Data Usage


Miles predicts that set piece coaches will become increasingly important in the next decade, with only 20 currently employed worldwide. He also highlights how clubs like Brighton and Brentford have utilized Football Manager data in player recruitment over the past few seasons.

Growth and Expansion


To continue growing Football Manager, Miles identifies two significant areas of expansion: the increasing popularity of the sport in the Middle East and India, and the growth of the women's game. He also stresses the importance of the subscription model to the business.

Adapting to Technological Advances


Miles has led Football Manager for over two decades and has witnessed numerous shifts in the gaming landscape. He discusses the transition to mobile and television platforms, as well as the introduction of new products like scenarios and the creator club expansion.

As Football Manager continues to evolve and expand, it remains a beloved fixture in the world of football and gaming. Under the guidance of Miles Jacobson, the future of the franchise looks brighter than ever.

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FM Blog | FM24: Football Manager: From Shed Beginnings to Global Phenomenon - An Interview with Miles Jacobson
Football Manager: From Shed Beginnings to Global Phenomenon - An Interview with Miles Jacobson
Discover the History, Evolution, and Future of Football Manager as We Chat with Miles Jacobson, the Man Behind the Cult Classic
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https://www.footballmanagerblog.org/2023/05/football-manager-interview-miles-jacobson-history-evolution-future.html
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https://www.footballmanagerblog.org/2023/05/football-manager-interview-miles-jacobson-history-evolution-future.html
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