Football Manager Handheld 2012 is out December 8 for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Earlier this week we volleyed some questions towards Sports Interactive studio director Miles Jacobson and he happily lobbed some answers back in our direction.
Q: How important to Sports Interactive is the iOS version of FM?
Miles Jacobson: As important as your younger brother/sister is to you! All of our games have equal importance and love put into them.
Q: Some FM players feel the handheld version is lacking compared to the PC game, especially in terms of options during matches. Is that a fair criticism?
MJ: I don't see that as a criticism, as it's a deliberate design decision. The game is meant to be pick up and play and have less depth as it's designed for a platform that people don't sit and play on for hours and hours in one session. There are new tactical options this year in the iOS game, but we're not looking to make Football Manager Handheld a full simulation in the way that the PC is.
Q: Are there any problems developing for the platform now there are so many devices on the market with different capabilities?
MJ: Not really. A good thing about developing on iOS is that the people who have the devices tend to know what they are, or aren't, capable of. So if you have an older iPhone, you'll know that you can't do mirroring using it. If you don't have retina display, you won't get a super sharp display. If you don't have an iPad, you won't be able to use the iPad skin.
Q: Is an iPad specific release on the cards?
MJ: The game is already available on iPad, and we're incredibly happy with how it plays on the platform. There's nothing we'd like to do on iPad that we're not already doing across all formats currently.
Q: Football Manager is now on PC, iOS and PSP. Will Android gamers get a version of the game?
MJ: Maybe one day. Android is a difficult one really, as the market is so fragmented, as are the devices. So your earlier question about the devices with different capabilities is definitely an issue there!
Q: What about the 3DS? Could a version of FM Handheld work on Nintendo's handheld? Perhaps sold via the eShop?
MJ: We're not looking at 3DS currently.
Q: Have you started to think about Football Manager on Vita? Do you think a future version of FM on Vita could be more like the PC game?
MJ: We're not looking at Vita currently.
Q: Football Manager Live was loved here at VideoGamer.com, being played for hours on a daily basis and it was sad to see it die. Is that model something that you'd ever look at again?
MJ: Not in the form it was in, no. It's not a secret that we're currently working on an online management game in collaboration with KTH, a South Korea telecoms company, and we're due to launch that in 2012. If it does well, then it might come back to Europe in a few years, but it's a very different game to Football Manager Live, with a very different business model.
It's a shame FML didn't work out but, with hindsight, we made some bad decisions early on that weren't reversible. Hopefully we've learnt from that for Football Manager Online.