Sports Interactive, in 2021, disclosed plans to include women’s soccer in its long-standing Football Manager franchise. Today, we have a clearer timeline: women’s teams will be introduced in the 2025 edition of Football Manager, which is slated for release next year.
The studio initially stated that integrating women’s soccer into the game would require some time to ensure that the same level of depth offered in the men’s game is achieved. Football Manager has a vast database of tens of thousands of players, each with individual attributes such as stats, bios, injury histories, and more. SI also needed to adjust the attribute systems, account for gender-based translation considerations, and accommodate different league rules specific to women’s soccer.
“We’ve achieved substantial progress in several areas like research, the match engine, and translation,” wrote Miles Jacobson, SI studio manager. “However, some areas, particularly legal ones, need further advancements. The women’s game deserves the best possible representation when it is launched.”
The addition of women’s teams will coincide with a fundamental change for the series as SI transitions to the Unity game engine in Football Manager 2025. This shift, according to Jacobson, will “significantly enhance our graphic power across all formats, alongside powerful user interface tools.” The game will feature a brand new UI and a markedly improved matchday experience, with animations taking “a big leap” forward. The switch to Unity for mobile platforms may take a little more time.
The project to revamp Football Manager’s underlying tech has been ongoing for a few years. The initial target was to debut this overhaul with Football Manager 2022, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced SI to prioritize ensuring annual releases.
Jacobson also admitted that despite FM23 reaching a series record of over 5 million players (thanks in part to the introduction of Apple Arcade and PS5 versions), certain features fell short of expectations. Regular players might have been disappointed with fewer new features than usual, the studio head acknowledged.
However, SI has bolstered its team and is well on its way to incorporating FM24’s new features more rapidly than usual, leaving ample time for refinement and bug fixes. A long-awaited update is the option to transfer progress from FM23 and continue with the benefits of FM24’s enhancements. Despite a plan to switch to a new game engine next year, SI intends to allow players to carry their FM24 saves into FM25.
Jacobson added, “This is particularly beneficial for players on Game Pass and Apple Arcade who risk losing their career shortly after the new game’s release due to subscription-based access. Our licensing constraints previously necessitated removing titles from platforms at the end, but we’re now working with platform holders to iron out the details. The aim is to ensure a smooth transition from FM23 to FM24 on these platforms, whether you’re continuing a saved game or starting a new one.”