Football Manager Live will be in stores on 23 January and you’ve missed out on all the gossip. The game is being described as a combination of Football Manager, Fantasy Football, eBay, with a dollop of social networking thrown in. Here are the five things you really need to know about the game.

It’s online only

You have to go online to play it. In fact, the more time you spend online, playing Football Manager Live the better. Oh yes, if you sign-up and don’t go online, the game will play in your absence using your last best configuration, but you won’t win that way, will you? Oh, and it’s 24/7 world-wide action, so you can always find someone to play.

You make your own team

You don’t just stroll in and select Chelsea. Well, you could try, but there might be a thousand other people trying to do the same thing. No, you need to make your own team. You’ll also have to pick your kit and design your team badge. Your players are drawn from real footballers, but there is only one of each player, so you won’t find Christiano Ronaldo in every team.

You start with no skills and the game grows around you

That’s right. You might think you know the transfer market like Harry Redknapp, but you have to prove it. Football Manager Live gives you the chance to progress by playing the game. Game skills you might take for granted in Football Manager have to be learnt. But whilst you grow, so does the game – not only in unlocking features, but also in game updates. The expected update cycle is about every 3-4 months.

It’s all about gameworlds

You have to enter a gameworld to play. Each gameworld will have 1000 mangers, each with a team, each gunning for the top spot. Within that gameworld you’ll have associations, leagues and competitions. You can play the games live, but you have to play them within a given time frame. If you’re not online, the footballing world goes on. You can set-up your own competitions too, so you can have competitions with your mates for the ultimate bragging rights.

How much is this going to cost me?

You mean in cash or in terms of life? Football Manager Live has been designed to accommodate those who want to take advantage of the 24/7 online gaming action, but also those who can only put in a few hours a week. But as a “live” game, it is subscription-based, so as long as you want to play, you’ll have to pay. The games comes with the first 4 months free, but after that, expect to pay £22.99 for 3 months, £43.99 for 6 months, or £72.99 for a year.