Football Manager 2012 for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch is coming before Christmas, but while it will be a step up from last year's version, it will still be designed specifically for handheld devices, and lack many of the new in-depth features of its PC and Mac cousin. However, Pocket-lint has exclusively learnt that the 3D match engine, which was added to the computer version a few years back, is likely to hit iPad (at least) within the next 3 years.
Speaking to Miles Jacobson, studio manager for developer Sports Interactive, we also found out the true reason why the iOS version of Football Manager is simplified and cut down. And it's nothing to do with the technology: "When we first made the PSP game, which is what the iOS became, the design brief was to make the perfect game to play while you’re having a dump," he told us.
"It was even made one-handed on iOS so that you can wipe."
In all seriousness, though, Jacobson was keen to stress that the different formats of FM appeal to different audiences: "The way that people play games on Apple devices is different," he said.
"They don’t sit there and play 4- or 5-hour sessions. They sit down and play 20 minutes, put it down and come back to it. And I do believe that it’s a different kind of gamer that plays games on those devices. So we’re keeping the two separate."
However, that doesn't mean that, as the technology advances, the iDevice version will sit still: "There are possibilities in the future," Jacobson explained. "Looking at iPad 3 - which I know nothing about - or iPad 4 - which I know even less about - and what I believe will be the technology on those platforms, I do believe we’ll have the tech to be able to do other things."
And that includes a 3D match engine: "I do believe that, probably 3 years down the line, maybe two, that we’ll be able to bring the 3D match engine across. But it will still be a different style of game that suits that audience better," he added.
Football Manager 2012 is out now on PC and Mac, and is available from Steam, plus online and high street stores.
What do you think? Will the 3D match engine improve the iOS version? Or are you happy with the commentary build as seen on FM 2011 (available on the App Store at present)? Let us know in the comments below...