Every year since 2014, Football Manager has launched in November, but FM21 looks set to miss the usual launch window earmarked for the wildly popular management simulation game.
In a post from developers Sports Interactive on the official website, the team reassured fans of the franchise that there will be a Football Manager game this season, but that the release date will likely be later than usual.
FM21 missing the November release window
The latest that a Football Manager has been released, since regularly hitting the November window, is 18 November, which was the release date of FM 20.
Last year, its initial release date on PC was followed by a Stadia release the next day, as well as a port to the Nintendo Switch – for the third year running – on 10 December.
This year, the London-based development team had to continue to work on the next game under the conditions of a lockdown and with social distancing measures put in place.
Sports Interactive has continued to work on Football Manager 2021 through the pandemic and new public health protocols, with the development update post stating:
“Having a ‘distributed’ workforce isn’t new to us, as some of the team have worked remotely for decades, but moving the entire team to work from home was a huge challenge.”
The challenges posed by the team being divided have, understandably, prolonged the development process. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the post also states that the usual release window will be missed:
“There will be new Football Manager games released later this year. They will be delivered a little later than we’d originally planned, but they’ll have exceptionally strong feature sets.”
The Football Manager team is notoriously quiet during the development process, so the next piece of news about the game could very well be the announcement of its release date.
Given the disruptions, however, there was always a chance that Football Manager 2021 would be delayed for many months, or cancelled altogether to avoid an overlap between annual releases.
So, it’s good news that there’s at least confirmation that FM21 will be coming: it’ll just a little bit later than usual.