Football Manager heads Online in Asia

Sports Interactive is to launch into Asia with a new MMOG, the firm confirmed today.

A new football management massively multiplayer online game from Sports Interactive is to launch in the Asian market, the British developer confirmed today. Football Manager Online will be a separate product to Football Manager Live, the company's traditional Western MMOG.

The Football Manager empire is expanding.

Football Manager Online is to be developed in partnership with KTH Allstar, a Korean Internet portal company. FMO will be a "very different" game to FML, according to Miles Jacobson, Sports Interactive's studio director. Talking to GameSpot, he confirmed FMO will be microtransaction based and is being specifically tailored for Asian consumers and "the way that they like to experience online games." It will be designed for regular play from home and also at PC bangs, LAN gaming centres popular in South Korea, which is the first market that will be targeted.

The game will be codeveloped in Sports Interactive's London studio and KTH's offices in Seoul, with some of the KTH team moving to London for a large part of the development cycle. This could potentially impact other titles with Jacobson making it clear that KTH's experience and expertise with server-based technology for games is likely to impact positively on other Sports Interactive titles.

Unlike previous Football Manager titles, Football Manager Online will be published by Sports Interactive rather than Sega. SI also confirmed today it will be taking over publishing duties for Football Manager Online, albeit with continued support from the Japanese firm.

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