Football Manager 2009

Football Manager 2009 News for PC

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Football Manager 2009 screenshot

The man behind the hugely successful Football Manager series reckons game prices would be reduced if a cure for piracy were ever discovered.

Speaking to in an interview to be published tomorrow, Miles Jacobson, studio director at Sports Interactive, said that there won't be a "proper cure" for piracy without a "change in society".

Video game piracy was one of the hot topics in 2008. The year saw a number of developers suggest the PC game market was in poor health, and a number of high-profile PC titles come under fire from gamers for including restrictive copy protection measures.

Football Manager 2009 itself suffered complaints after players struggled to authenticate the game when it was released in November last year. According to Jacobson, there currently isn't a legitimate cracked version of the game available and, "apart from the people who bought the game on day one, 98 per cent of people since authenticated first time without any problems whatsoever".

He said: "I don't know whether there is a proper cure for piracy without a change in society, to be honest. There needs to be some kind of copy protection in your product otherwise retail aren't going to stock your product, so we do have to take some measures. We will investigate all avenues open to us once again for next year to see what the best solution is. What we believed we had this year was something that was going to be better for the consumer compared to the system where you had to keep the disc in the drive, which you don't have to do with our system, and be completely unobtrusive.

"I don't think it will ever be fixed and it is a shame because the price of games would go down if the issue was fixed and we'd be able to have more people working on the titles."

When asked about the 90 per cent piracy rate that Beautiful Game Studios has confirmed rival product Championship Manager suffers, Jacobson replied: "It sounds about right to me. To put it into perspective, there was a key code that was leaked on a Russian piracy site, as being a key code that they claimed would work with any version of the game. It doesn't work at all. It's been attempted by 338,000 unique people. So, that's just one key code. That's not including people who are playing cracked versions. So 90 per cent could actually be quite low.

"But I don't know what the figures are because we've got no way of tracking it. We don't believe there is a way to track fully exactly how many downloads we have. What we do know is there are countries out there where there are 30,000 members signed up and active on a local language forum and we sell 2,000 copies in that country to date. So, that 90 per cent level could be a low figure. I could pick a figure out of my arse but it wouldn't really do anyone any good. But piracy is incredibly bad!"

What do you think about Jacobson's comments on piracy? Do you agree that game prices would go down if it were 'fixed'? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Triggerhappytel's Avatar


PS3 games may be pirated (I don't know how it's done but I'm assuming someone out there has cracked it), but even so the percentage is absolutely miniscule compared to the PC market. Few people both pirating console software because it's so much effort - you have to get them chipped and so on. PC games are easy to pirate as you just download them.
Posted 16:15 on 21 January 2009
Lies's Avatar
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thats a bunch of crap. who would buy loads of sh*t games released every year? no one! to whoever said that ps3 games arent pirated, AHAH! all i have to say.
that guy should eat a dirty sock instead of saying so much bs.
Posted 16:06 on 21 January 2009
obscure's Avatar
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Since when have PS3 games been more expensive? They cost the same as their 360 counterparts which both cost about £10 more than the PC version. People who say piracy isn't killing the PC gaming market are just kidding themselves, more than ever we're seeing former PC-only developers moving towards the console platform because the security is better and piracy of console games is just a fraction of what it is on the PC. At this point in time you can't pirate PS3 games, 360 games are hard to pirate. When developers have a choice to spend 4 or so million dollars to make a game and they know that they probably won't break even let alone make a profit on the PC but will stand a much higher chance of making a significant return if they make the game for the 360/PS3 instead, in thier shoes what would you do?
Posted 16:23 on 20 January 2009
dudester's Avatar


Development cost?
Posted 16:02 on 20 January 2009
Renegade1985's Avatar
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Well the ps3 is impossible to pirate games from so why are the ps3 games more expensive than the rest?
Posted 15:56 on 20 January 2009
Triggerhappytel's Avatar

Triggerhappytel@ ReLoad

Originally Posted by ReLoad
I like to try them out before investing my hard earn pay. We piracy give me that option.

But if you obtain the game illegally and decide you like it, do you then purchase it legitimately, or do you just keep and play the pirate version?

If you use it as a demo of sorts then it's not as bad, but if you only ever pirate games and don't buy them you're helping to destroy the PC market.
Posted 15:41 on 20 January 2009
ReLoad's Avatar


To me price matters, I do buy every games I like to play. Its hard to pay for a game at $50 + and get below grade games like "Transformer" or buggy games like "Stalker". I also notice recent there isn't many demo out before games release. I like to try them out before investing my hard earn pay. We piracy give me that option. P.S. I am pc.
Posted 15:36 on 20 January 2009
HorsePucky's Avatar
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Bull, bull and more bull. No piracy would jack prices because consumers would have no choice. Certain popular console games, such as GHWT and GoW2 are already creeping up $5 because the company knows they'll get it. We get "Special Editions" with little more than an extra in-game gadget, PDF, PR video, Wallpapers/Avatars or a 50 cent toy and a larger box for an extra $20 - tell me that's not inflated. They are constantly trying to push up prices so people will get used to paying more and just suck it up. Piracy gives consumers an alternative and forces companies to keep or lower prices in order to combat the competition. I buy my software, and I'm happy that prices are as low as they are, all thanx to the 'competition'.
Posted 15:11 on 20 January 2009
dudester's Avatar


FM 09 was on steam this year unfortunately tho it was about 5 to 10 quid dearer then everywhere else :(.

I have met Miles as well couple of times now great guy and tends just to tell it straight as it is. I don't think its SI's choice of whether they include any DRM on the game I think that comes down to SEGA as a publisher wanting to protect the product.
Posted 15:00 on 20 January 2009
Jarus's Avatar
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Interesting for them to start dangling the carrot of lower game prices considering what a resounding success DRM has been /sarcasm. Perhaps we'll start seeing a move toward digital distribution again, but more along the lines of Steam and Stardock rather than the frankly peculiar and idiotic *******ized versions we saw before. Certainly those who can't/won't pay will still Pirate, but those who are simply fed up of being screwed over will happily pay for good games with little to no inconvenience. Also Valve's sales figures do cast an interesting light on the 'PC Gaming is DEAD!' brigade...
Posted 14:54 on 20 January 2009
Popon's Avatar
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Explain PS3 then. No piracy at all. But games are more expensive.
Posted 12:17 on 20 January 2009
Triggerhappytel's Avatar

Triggerhappytel@ pblive

It is a serious problem for developers, and one that is slowly killing the PC market, as developers move to the consoles to ensure more 'safety'. But it'll probably never go away; piracy has always been present, and every time countermeasures are introduced they find alternate ways around it. What they don't understand is that soon there will be fewer games to pirate because developers will abandon PC development, or at least make it a third priority after the PS360.
Posted 12:05 on 20 January 2009
CheekyLee's Avatar


I met Miles once, and suggested to him that devs would be better off releasing games without spending a fortune lacing them with DRM. Pirates are always going to pirate, so focus instead on giving legitimate customers a better experience. Certainly don't make things difficult for them when it comes to installing and playing the game they paid for. His reply matched pretty much what Sports Interactive have done since.

The biggest change that is needed is for developers to stop thinking about pirated copies as lost sales. This really is not the case, and it would be closer to the truth to say that reduced games prices would fix piracy. Not completely, by any means, but certainly to some extent.
Posted 11:54 on 20 January 2009


Piracy is pretty big, partly because it's easy and partly because it's still not really seen as theft by many people.
Posted 11:45 on 20 January 2009
FantasyMeister's Avatar


I agree it's a social problem and that's one area that needs to be tackled. I disagree that prices would go down if piracy were solved, I think more along the lines of prices will stay the same, profits will go up, but then developers might finally be able to see job security as a tangible thing and maybe even afford to eat from time to time.
Posted 11:41 on 20 January 2009

Game Stats

Release Date: 14/11/2008
Developer: Sports Interactive
Publisher: Sega
Genre: Management
No. Players: 1 + Online
Rating: PEGI 3+
Site Rank: 9,009 3
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