If you're a long-term Football Manager player, you likely believe yourself to be a fully qualified managerial master. At the same time, a nagging part of your brain is probably reminding you that it's all fiction, that you haven't taken Accrington Stanley to League Cup success, and that, if given the chance in real life, everybody would point and laugh at you.
Maybe it's time to silence that pessimistic voice, because the game's extensive player database has been deemed accurate enough for real-world use. Sports Interactive have today announced a partnership with performance analysis provider Prozone Sports that will put the FM database at the disposal of real-world clubs and scouts.
I'd always half assumed that, when FM rated a player with a "Flair" of 9, it was at best an educated guess and at worst decided by a dartboard. Apparently there's more to it than that.
"For years we've heard stories of real-life managers and scouts using our data to help with the recruitment process," says Miles Jacobson, SI's studio director. "From now on, it's official... real managers around the world will be finding and comparing players using data and a search system that will be very familiar to players of Football Manager.
"The information gathered by our network of more than 1,300 scouts around the world, combined with Prozone's amazing performance data, makes this an invaluable tool for any football club that takes player recruitment seriously."
None of which has any major impact on the game, but it's still a neat coup for the series. It means that, when you do find title success with Plymouth Argyle, you can be sure that you did so with an accurate reading of how good Curtis Nelson is at throw-ins.
SI have recently announced the inevitable Football Manager 2015 . It will be out in November.
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Phil has been writing for PC Gamer for nearly a decade, starting out as a freelance writer covering everything from free games to MMOs. He eventually joined full-time as a news writer, before moving to the magazine to review immersive sims, RPGs and Hitman games. Now he leads PC Gamer's UK team, but still sometimes finds the time to write about his ongoing obsessions with Destiny 2, GTA Online and Apex Legends. When he's not levelling up battle passes, he's checking out the latest tactics game or dipping back into Guild Wars 2. He's largely responsible for the whole Tub Geralt thing, but still isn't sorry.