IGN Football Manager 09 review criticism best left to the terraces, say Jacobson

Monday, 8th December 2008 12:49 GMT By Patrick Garratt


Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson has declined to remark on a 2/10 IGN US review for Football Manager 2009, saying criticism of the piece is best left to user comments.

“I’m not a reviewer and therefore don’t think it’s my place to critique critique’s, nor am I likely to be anything but biased,” he said.

“Therefore I’ll leave the comments to the people who are playing the game and are commenting on the website about the review.”

IGN US published the review on Friday, closing with: “The menus are complex and difficult to navigate, graphics are terrible, the sound is non-existent and there is no traditional gameplay to speak of. I couldn’t imagine why anybody would prefer Worldwide Soccer Manager to FIFA 09 or Pro Evolution Soccer 2009.”

IGN UK gave the game 9.1/10, saying the game “is still easily the most in-depth, enjoyable and addictive way to pretend you manage a football team.”

The fans have been less than appreciative of the American review.

“This is without a doubt the worst review in the history of the site,” said one, with another adding, “This is easily one of the most ill-informed reviews I’ve read in the last several years.”

IGN’s score has dragged the game’s Metacritic average down significantly: it now rests at 74 percent.



  1. morriss

    Tragic, that. Terrible review.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. that_happy_cat

    [This reviewer] miss[ed] the point more than Michael Bay missed the mark, When he made Pearl Harbor.

    I[t] miss[ed] the point more than that movie missed the point,
    And that’s an awful lot.

    And now, now [it's reduced its metacritic ranking],
    And all I’m trying to say,
    Is Pearl Harbour sucked and [IGN US do too]

    #2 6 years ago
  3. morriss


    #3 6 years ago
  4. TheDifficult3rdAlbum

    “I couldn’t imagine why anybody would prefer Worldwide Soccer Manager to FIFA 09 or Pro Evolution Soccer 2009″

    “Yes, the depth of management in this game is impressive. But, it’s not impressive enough to make up for the fact that you aren’t actually playing soccer.”


    #4 6 years ago
  5. morriss

    It’s mental. Probably the single worst review of all time, I think.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. that_happy_cat

    “There is no soundtrack that plays while you work in the game’s menus, which you’ll spend the vast majority of your time in this game doing. There is no audio narration to accompany your participation in press conferences, even though your options for how to respond to each question is incredibly limited. There is no audio commentary to accompany the action in the simulated game’s you watch/coach.”

    It’s as if the guy woke from a coma with no knowledge of the series, or the potential for different gaming experiences for different people. Oh hang on, it’s IGN USofA… MAKE THAT MAN THE EDITOR!!

    #6 6 years ago
  7. Centipede

    With all this critisism, is IGN US going to respond or are they hoping that this will go away by itself.

    Shame on them…. reviewing a games by a reviewer who clearly has no clue what he should compare the game to.

    #7 6 years ago
  8. pleasant_cabbage

    I agree about the missed point thing.

    However, footy manager type games have been getting away with very poor presentation for years. Just because it is a spreadsheet it doesn’t have to look and sound like one. ;)

    The 2nd screen-shot in that review looks like it is about to replicate the exact highlights section from Football Manager on the Amstrad… from 1985.

    #8 6 years ago
  9. Blerk


    I must go read this now.

    #9 6 years ago
  10. that_happy_cat

    Cabbage… you’re right. But then, Pro Evo has been getting away with awful presentation and sound for years too. Yet he likes that.

    But it’s as if the sudden inclusion of “graphics” has entered this title into a different gaming category, like a boxer going up a weight and being totally out of his depth. If you read the first paragraph of the UK review it really dismisses the US version. Sites might have to stop presuming that they have loyal readers that read every review they stick up. Many, many readers will go to a site to check out for a review of a game they fancy and that’s all. If an FM fan wants to check if the new version is worth buying then IGN are going to come across as very silly indeed.

    Do film reviewers look at the latest Pixar release and say “well ok, but I don’t really like cartoons”?

    #10 6 years ago
  11. pleasant_cabbage

    Oh I’m not justifying the score or review at all. I agree with the criticism of it. I just spotted one kernel of potential truth in a sea of wrong ;)

    It’s an interesting point being raised about who should review what, though. At what stage does a game become fan-only reviewer territory? Preaching to converted etc?

    #11 6 years ago
  12. Newbie101

    I think IGN just scored an own goal…….

    It is a very funny review, I had to check it wasnt April the 1st…

    #12 6 years ago
  13. scratchy69

    I think this says it all….

    #13 6 years ago
  14. ecu

    It’s really harsh. I’m guessing this guy isn’t much of a football fan at all, so I don’t know what he’s doing reviewing a hardcore footy management sim. 2/10 is probably fair to him, and probably fair to most Americans.

    #14 6 years ago
  15. SticKboy

    It’s like giving a Halo or GTA review to a hardcore flight sim or historical strategy fanatic. It just doesn’t fit.

    IGN should take their review down and apologise – and this is the first time I’ve ever said that. Plus, I *hate* Football Manager!

    #15 6 years ago
  16. airdom

    who cares about the metascore? try it out for yourself and make your own damn opinion about it!

    #16 6 years ago
  17. SticKboy

    @ airdom: Don’t be so fucking naive. The metascore is used by publishers to determine a number of things, such as bonuses for the developer, viability of a sequel and funding for their future projects.

    #17 6 years ago
  18. airdom

    how about looking at sales?

    #18 6 years ago
  19. Newbie101

    “@ airdom: Don’t be so fucking naive. The metascore is used by publishers to determine a number of things, such as bonuses for the developer, viability of a sequel and funding for their future projects.”


    #19 6 years ago
  20. rauper


    Not sure why you are laughing, it’s absolutely true.

    Although in SI’s case I think they will be fine…

    #20 6 years ago
  21. airdom

    Don’t sales influence the bonus of the developer more than the score though? makes sense

    #21 6 years ago
  22. BillyBatts

    People care about quality these days, and for better or for worse, Metacritic is an easy acid test for publishers.

    In this particular case I doubt it will make a spot of difference because FM is such a strong brand. Nonetheless, if you only bought 3 or 4 games a year and were interested in buying FM, you might be put off by the fact the latest version has got a 74 on Metacritic while all the previous versions are in the nineties. I’d be brewin’ if I was SEGA.

    #22 6 years ago
  23. morriss

    Don’t underestimate the power IGN has over it’s many, many users in the US either. The review could hurt SI and Sega financially.

    #23 6 years ago
  24. Truk

    It is not uncommon for metacritic score requirements to be written into contracts for developers, particularly in the USA. In this case, as rauper says, there probably won’t be any problems on that front for SI.

    #24 6 years ago
  25. mortiferus

    IGN sucks!!! I haven’t been to their site in ages and wont likely do it ever again. I have no interest in their BS reviews.

    #25 6 years ago
  26. BillyBatts

    Avi Burk… by name, by nature.

    He must be Avi-n a laugh…


    #26 6 years ago
  27. SticKboy

    @ airdom: In the past, publishers have valued a high Metacritic average over sales, for example when a game failed to sell spectacularly well but received critical acclaim and established the brand, paving the way for lucrative sequels. Prince of Persia: Sands of Time is one example. Games like that set a precedent and now publishers frequently use (and abuse) metacritic scores… they’ve become another metric by which to evaluate success.

    #27 6 years ago
  28. Ratso

    Transposition time: 2008=1992, Football Manager 2009=Championship Manager, IGN=Amiga Power.

    #28 6 years ago
  29. Egon Superb

    @that_happy_cat Loved the Team America reference. :D

    The backlash is well under way – IGN lets readers review their writers, so go here for the updates on Avi Burk:

    #29 6 years ago
  30. Newbie101

    Not sure why you are laughing, it’s absolutely true.
    Although in SI’s case I think they will be fine…”

    I was laughing as I think SI are safe. He came across like ‘If FM2k9′s MC score isnt high we wont see another FM!’ which isn’t going to happen now is it….
    FM is still awsome for me :)

    #30 6 years ago
  31. morriss

    Ah! That’s what it was. Team America.

    #31 6 years ago
  32. absolutezero

    Ill post here mainly what I posted on EG. Americans have management sims, for baseball, NFL and all that shite. Most of them are all flash-bang and filled with pizzaz and style. What he pointed out is true Football Manager looks like shit, its really fucking dull.

    #32 6 years ago
  33. Psychotext

    That just goes back to the same old argument though… are you reviewing games for yourself, gamers in general or fans of the genre?

    In this case he’s clear he reviewed it for himself.

    #33 6 years ago
  34. Psychotext

    If you click the link now you’ll see they removed the review.

    “After seeing the community feedback and having more editors look at the title, we agree with the readers that our original review didn’t give Worldwide Soccer Manager 2008 a fair shake. Unfortunately, our critical analysis of WWSM ’08 focused more on what the author wanted it to be rather than what the product actually was.”

    Pretty much what people were saying, shame they called it the ’08 version in the retraction. :D

    #34 6 years ago
  35. morriss

    Nice one! At least they had the decency to do it rather tahn stubbornly leave it up there.

    #35 6 years ago
  36. leboutaine

    Haven’t read the review, but played the game.

    FM07 was a good template for SI to build upon so where the hell did 09 come from?

    One season I started as Bury and was unbeaten for about 12 games winning 9. Then no matter what I did I couldn’t even score for the remainder of the season. The amount of offside goals has been reduced, but injuries have increased something stupid. The fans aren’t impressed if you don’t win every game, if one player plays badly once its the end of the world and the board have no patience whatsoever. On top of that your team just stops playing well altogether for no reason.

    FM07 I won the Serie A with Roma twice, Fiorentina once, Milan 7 and Juve once, along with FA Cup and Carling Cup with Arsenal (debut season) and Champions league 5 times with Milan, Italian super cup about 3 times and european super cup 4 times. I must have had about a 20 year game on that version and then it went wrong. I was the only world class manager left on the game but couldnt get a job!

    all of them go wrong along the way, but 09 and 08 are fucking shit before it gets good.

    the whole past experience thing is pointless! you cant even work ur reputation up with a small team f u have no experience bcoos everyone is questioning u! then the players dont respect u etc.. and whats the point starting with a continental reputation before uvce even achieved anything.

    the game is pointless.

    may as well stick to fifa 09 to be honest, youll get more enjoyment from it than this piece of crap!

    #36 6 years ago

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