'Football Manager 2013' announced, due out 'before Christmas'

Football Manager 2013, the next entry in the long-running soccer simulation franchise, was announced today by Sega and developer Sports Interactive.

Football Manager 2013, the next entry in the long-running soccer simulation franchise, was announced today by Sega and developer Sports Interactive.

According to the "press conference" video released by Sports Interactive, the studio is "aiming for [a release date] before Christmas."

In the video, Sports Interactive also discusses a host of improvements and "genre-defining changes" coming in this season's game. Chief among them are two new modes designed to offer a more compact Football Manager experience for players who don't have dozens of hours to spend with the game.

Football Manager Classic simplifies the game, doing away with some of the manager's responsibilities in "highlights-only" versions of matches. For example, training takes place on a team level, rather than for individual footballers. The idea, according to Sports Interactive, is to allow players to complete an entire season in eight to 10 hours. Challenge Mode, which debuted in Football Manager Handheld 2012, provides shorter scenarios — usually half a season — to test players' skills. One example the developers gave was starting out halfway through an undefeated season, and having to see it through to the end.

Sports Interactive is also promising that playing the game will be a better experience this time around, thanks to greatly improved AI, a TV broadcast presentation, and visual upgrades. The developers say they're revamping the systems for loans, scouting, and training. Another addition for players short on time is the new Director of Football position, an AI partner to whom managers can pass on certain responsibilities like contract negotiations. And Football Manager 2013 is "fully integrated" with Steam, which should make it much easier to play online with friends, and track progress on global leaderboards for the first time.

The studio promises that more details are coming in 25 or more video blogs between now and launch. Check out the full video below.

Update: Sega has sent over a bunch of Football Manager 2013 screenshots. We've embedded a gallery below.

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