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Miles Jacobson talks MMO balls

Interview: SI boss on Football Manager Live

Sports Interactive has always been renowned for quality football management games - from the heyday of Championship Manager all the way through to the imminent release of Football Manager Live. And Miles Jacobson is their main man...

So how is everything with FML at the moment? What's the buzz on it from players?

Miles Jacobson: It's all going pretty well. Beta Gameworld 4 has just opened, so it's quite hectic getting them up and running, and new features are going in thick and fast, whilst bug fixing too.

The buzz is really good - as long as people aren't going into it thinking it's online FM, they seem to really enjoy it, and word is certainly spreading amongst friends of those playing, judging by our bulging inboxes for people who want to
be testing.

Have you introduced any game features you didn't expect after getting player feedback from the beta?

Jacobson: Loads. Acquisition fees, making the federations more important, team reputation, some match engine changes (for which the FML beta has been amazing), wizards, different game world sizes, rated goal clips, a feedback system. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Do you think there'd ever be a market for an SI online football game where you had to train your teams for weekly matches, as opposed to the instant ones FML caters for?

Jacobson: Yes - it's called Football Manager 2008, and is available from all good, and some bad, retailers now. You can play that online, and play proper seasons. If you mean spending the realtime week training players, for one match on a Saturday, then no, as I don't think there would be enough for people to do.

What's your own team called? How's it getting on?

Jacobson: Caveman FC. Currently 23rd in Gameworld 2. I was in the top five, then fell over time to 200-odd, but have a squad that I'm happy with now, so will be trying to get higher next season, particularly after my recent Cup Winners Cup win. Not that I'm spending too much time playing the game and getting into it, or anything!

Does developing FML get a rivalry going in the SI offices?

Jacobson: There are a handful of very competitive people at SI who do tend to take it very seriously. There hasn't been a fight, but there have been people not communicating as freely as normal with others, and muttering rude words about people under their breath.

Of course myself and Ov Collyer would never stoop that low, instead Ov will send an ingame message to everyone in the gameworld, then I'll have to retaliate in some way.