After two decades Football Manager is adding the one feature literally every player wants

Football manager Alex Ferguson looking happy.
(Image credit: Alex Livesey via Getty)

Football Manager 2024 will be the 20th game in Sports Interactive’s Football Manager series and, the studio says, "will be the last of its kind [and] the closing of this chapter of our history." The game aims to be the "most complete" Football Manager the studio has ever made, but one new feature is the single most-requested addition to the series: the ability to transfer saved games from one iteration of FM to the next FM.

"I’m delighted to announce you’ll be able to bring your FM23 career into FM24 across all platforms," said studio head Miles Jacobson. "This means, when you first launch Football Manager 2024, you'll be given the option to continue your FM23 story, picking up exactly where you left off: powered with the new features and revamps that FM24 will introduce. And it’s not only for this year’s version of the game that this feature will be active. It’s also the plan to bring saved games from FM24 into FM25, despite the big changes coming for FM25."

So Football Manager 24, i.e. this year's entry, should be by far the greatest iteration of the current FM style the world has ever seen. And the save progression will continue into future entries, which is just amazing and something I'd kinda given up hoping for. These days I'm much more of a casual FM player and the heave of starting each new iteration afresh has put me off even trying some of them.

But the most consequential part of Sports Interactive's announcement is that it's then aiming to revolutionise things with FM25, with Jacobson saying it hasn't made this claim since the 3D engine entered the series in FM09. 

Firstly, the studio is changing engines and will build Football Manager 2025 and FM25 on Unity. Jacobson says this "is going to give us a lot more power graphically, across all formats, alongside powerful user interface tools. We’ve been working closely with Unity over the last few years to be able to deliver a whole new UI which will dramatically improve the ways you are able to interact with the game, both inside and outside of a matchday." The only downside is that the minimum specs for the game are likely to increase, which will be communicated in advance of release.

"In simple terms, FM25 will have a significantly better looking matchday experience—both on the pitch and the supporting stadium environments—alongside a vastly improved user interface that will dramatically improve how you navigate through screens and access all the information available to you as manager," said Jacobson. 

FM25 will also see the promised addition of women's football to the series. Jacobson acknowledges that the studio's been quiet about this since the big announce in July 2021: "The facts are that we’ve made really good progress in many areas, including research, the match engine and translation. But there are other areas that haven’t made enough advancements, a lot of which are legal issues." Expect a future development update focused on this and announcing SI's partners within women's football.

Jacobson says we'll get our first look at FM25 in Q2 next year, until when SI will be sticking to FM24. But FM25 will be "for the first time in decades, a true sequel [...] a new graphics engine, a fresh user interface and advanced animations, alongside the introduction of women's football (plus lots more)."

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."