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Football Manager: “Piracy is a very big problem for us”

Sam Loveridge


Football Manager 2015

Sports Interactive has admitted that piracy is still “a very big problem” for Football Manager.

Piracy has always been a well known issue for Football Manager, but it seems the problem is bigger than ever, despite technological advancements.

“Piracy is a very big problem for us. The official stats that we had were on Football Manager 2013, because that was uncracked for six months due a new type of protection system that we were using,” explained Sports Interactive Studio Director, Miles Jacobson.

“When they did eventually crack it, they actually left in something that phoned home. That meant that every time someone booted up the illegal copy, their IP address was being sent through to us. That’s how we managed to get all the stats together.”

What’s truly sad about the piracy issues is that although the company saw over 1 million PC copies and 750,000 copies of the mobile game, the stats they gathered showed 14 million pirated copies.

“However, as we uncracked by six months, we were actually able to see how being uncracked affected our sales and the reality is our sales went up around 17 per cent, so we now know as a fact what we always believed, which was it isn’t a case of every pirated copy of the game is a lost sale.”

“There are lots of people out there who for whatever reason, would not play the game if they couldn’t pirate it.”

Football Manager 2015 was released on November 7 for Mac and PC. Sports Interactive has said it has "not ruled out" Xbox One and PS4 versions, but is worried about financial issues because of the failure of the Xbox 360 version.

Read more: Xbox One vs PS4


November 10, 2014, 1:45 pm

These people are always moaning about piracy, according to their own stats they are only losing 17% on sales. I'm sure people pirate because they're tired of buggy software and various other inadequacies, after all, if a released game was so great there would be no need for a sequel, only updates
And the more popular a game is the more it is pirated, so, inversely, the more a game is pirated the more it must be selling.
All that anti-piracy security only slows down the pirates and spoils the legitimate users' fun, programmers should just be thankful for the custom they get and get on with it, it's all part and parcel of digital entertainment


November 10, 2014, 2:32 pm

Only 17%? Given 1 million pc sales, that's 170,000 sales. Even if the game was priced at £30, that's over £5 million (I know the developers don't get it all). If £5 million is nothing to you, well lucky you, it is a lot to most people.

As technology improves, what can be achieved improves too. There is a cost involved in achieving this, which is why you pay for new games, unless you want your games to look like it's running on a commodore 64? And who is going to support a game twenty years old for nothing? People require wages, it's not free to continually support.

Priating a buggy game isn't going to fix the game, you'll still have the same game with developers who are less likely to want to fix a game for pirates.

And programmers should be thankful for the custom? You should be thankful people go to the effort of producing something that you enjoy and pay up for it.

With that type of attitude I'm glad I'm not in the business of making games. And just because it sells a lot doesn't make it okay to pirate, it means a lot of people like it. If you don't like the fact that they are making a lot of money, why don't you do it yourself?


November 10, 2014, 2:55 pm

I'd still be buying the game if I didn't get game breaking bugs. Last bug that stopped me playing the franchise was that 5 seasons in I got what I always wanted a new stadium! Only to load up my save after it was completed and my new stadium had the same attendance cap as the old one, so in effect all I got was a new name on my stadium for my clubs millions. Great! *deleted. Love lost.


November 10, 2014, 3:57 pm

back of the net


November 11, 2014, 6:25 pm

170 000 lost 830 000 wins.... greed :)
read about european statistics of piracy - piracy helps earn money !

Prem Desai

November 12, 2014, 10:06 am

If the game was cheap enough, then nobody would want to pirate it. Simple common sense.

Also, they should have something like a 30 day money back policy if customer not satisfied.

Person chap

November 13, 2014, 10:27 am

Since when is "uncracked" a term? I will tell my partner to uncrack the eggs she broke last night. Phew. Confusing article, I had to think about it.


January 19, 2015, 9:54 pm

As people who have actually played the 50+ $ and played any or all of
the last few versions are saying, one is asked to pay for an updated UI
(into which hardly any research has gone, since it's more and more
confusing), as well as for a less and less reliable and realistic
"simulator" (some may sarcastically call it AI). The few patches that
come out for each version have been sorting absolutely nothing, except
for obvious glitches that should have been sorted before the so-called
"finished" product gets out. This game has been a pure rip-off for a few
(broken) versions now and the only thing this and the lack of adequate
patching show is a total lack of respect on the part of the developers
for their customers. No wonder some percentage of the customers are
showing lack of respect back to the developers by pirating the next
edition of the UI... I mean the game. But I expect pirating of this game
to be less and less of a problem, since people are slowly but surely
realizing that playing it as it has been offered since version 13 is a
total waste of time.


January 22, 2015, 8:40 am

you read that wrong... they sold an extra 170,000 after it being pirated. that i still 13,870,000 games pirated. awful. very soon console will be their primary focus.

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