Football Manager fans have voiced their anger at the integration of Steamworks into Football Manager 2012. The move to Steam means copies of the game will need to be activated online before being able to play. Eurogamer indicates 40 pages of comments reacting to the news on the Sports Interactive forums , with thousands of posts from fans angry with the changes.
Some fans are threatening to boycott the series until the online activation requirement is removed. Sega tell Eurogamer that Football Manager has moved to Steam to combat piracy.
"Make no mistake, if a quarter of the people that usually pirate the game switch to purchasing Football Manager 2012, the sales of the game worldwide would more than double," they say.
"This would lead to increased development budgets and more benefits for all of you who do buy the game."
"We've taken this decision because we believe that the steps the consumer has to take are not excessive, and that as a one-time only measure with no tracking or reporting it is not too intrusive. Having worked with Steam for a few years now we also believe that their system is ever improving and gives Football Manager players a good service of free auto-updating, achievements and other great benefits without cost or hassle."
In the scheme of things, a one-time online activation system seems relatively tame, especially in the light of Ubisoft's always-online DRM system , and games like Diablo 3, which cannot be played offline , even in single player.
For many hardcore FM players, Football Manager will be one of the only games they play. It's interesting to see the reaction of fans from a community less less desensitized to the growing extremity of many publishers' anti-piracy solutions.
Are you a Football Manager player? Let us know what you think about FM 2012's move to Steam.