Football Manager 21 is on Xbox and not PlayStation 5, because Sony didn’t give Sports Interactive dev kits

The popular Football Manager series is coming to home console for the first time in over a decade, with Football manager 2021 announced for Xbox One and Xbox Series X | S. The game will be “specifically tailored” to the console, customising the Touch version of the series to work with the Xbox controller.

But, if it’s on PC, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch and now Xbox, why not PlayStation? Well, according to Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson, it’s quite simply that Microsoft persistently asked for the game to be on their consoles, and “Sony didn’t.”

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It goes further than that though, thanks to each console platform being a closed garden.

This extends across the board and for whatever reason, while Sports Interactive have spoken to Sony, the PlayStation manufacturer did not choose to provide them with either PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5 dev kits. Obviously PS5 dev kits would be rather limited in supply, which could be a reason, but there was a working relationship from bringing Football Manager to PSP and PS Vita in the past. Meanwhile, Nintendo and Microsoft were keen to see Football Manager on their platforms and going back several years, provided them with the dev kits and support they needed to get the job done.

It’s great to see a game developer able to discuss about a situation so candidly, when so much of the games industry is kept behind closed doors. We see it time and time again with timed exclusives, where there’s a reluctance to even really acknowledge that they’re timed, let alone how long for. Of course, with FM21, it’s a different situation where there will be a game in a year’s time from now, and Sony might now have a change of heart in time for FM22.

Jacobson issued a follow up statement to Eurogamer, saying:

“I pride myself on being very open with our community via social media and try to answer as many questions as I can, however controversial they may be. I also try to explain to people why decisions that they don’t like are made, because whilst I’ve been working in the industry for more than 25 years, the people I talk to online don’t always know exactly how the system works. I am the same person on social media that I am in real life – upfront, honest and passionate.[…]

“What I learnt last night is that many of the most ardent console fans don’t actually know that there are processes in place with all of the hardware manufacturers that mean they have a great deal of control over which games come to their consoles – and that there is bespoke hardware required to being able to make games for those platforms.”

Hopefully more people now understand a little bit more about what’s needed to get a game made.

Source: Eurogamer

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