Update (Thu 9th Jan, 2020 11:30 GMT): We've received a statement from Sega explaining the disappearances. It says that licensing agreements are to blame for the games' removal, and that each version of Football Manager can only be sold "for a limited time".
"The nature of the licensing agreements that SEGA and Sports Interactive sign with clubs, leagues and players mean that we can only sell each version of Football Manager for a limited time. In this case, the removal of older versions of FM has nothing to do with Nintendo, but is due to clauses in those licensing agreements. This restriction applies to all versions of FM on all platforms (so you can no longer buy FM19 on Steam, for example)."
Original Article (Fri 20th December, 2019): Last week saw the launch of Football Manager 2020 Touch on Nintendo Switch, giving fans the chance to pick up the latest version from the eShop just in time for Christmas. Strangely, it would appear that the older versions - 2019 and 2018 - have been removed from the digital store to make way for the new title.
The oddity was brought to our attention by Nintendo Life reviewer and all-round good chap Chris Scullion. As you can see below, Chris has spotted that the pages for both the 2019 and 2018 games have been taken down, with the old URLs now taking you to error pages. Here's the link to what used to be Football Manager 2019, for example.
Now, the reasoning behind the removal isn't clear at this stage so we don't want to second guess Sega's intentions, but we're hoping that this isn't simply a way of forcing fans to pick up the latest version. For anyone who's not too fussed about getting the updated teams and the like, grabbing an older, reduced version makes a lot of sense; as it stands, the only way for new players to enjoy Football Manager is by buying the latest, full price edition.
We've contacted Sega for comment on the removal of the two games and will update this story if and when we hear back.
Probably would make sense just to keep the previous games at the same price as the new game to prevent people getting their knickers in a twist over nothing.
Honestly, I've always found these games that have yearly installments really off-putting in general, to the point where I usually just ignore them altogether. Even if the changes are minor, I don't want to be stuck feeling like I have an inferior version and I sure don't want to buy practically the same game every 12 months. Just release one and update it.
I feel like this is an admission that the new game is no better than the old. But I can't judge that admittedly since I do not, nor will I ever play these games (could not care less about football so they do not interest me, sorry).
It is kind of scummy regardless though.
Edit: To be fair, I could also be jumping to the wrong conclusion as well. Could be a mistake or another reason.
It’s not like Sega to do something like this just to force people to buy the new one. Maybe the contracts with all the sports people ran out.
Arent they all basically the same anyway ?
Aren't digital games lovely?
once the License is gone, good luck trying to get it afterwards
~~unless someone who has it, backs it up, for people to install on their modded consoles~~
Something something future of gaming
@scully1888 remember the other day when i replied to a comment in relation to digital vs physical on the Call of Juarez topic a few days back.
It's so ironic that an exact example of the premise for my comment actually presents itself a few days later.
Gave me some serious deja vu 😂
That is the number one major flaw with digital games... once they leave, they're gone for good, just like "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World" and all of the WiiWare games which had some really good exclusive games such as the original Pokémon Rumble game. With digital games there is always that risk, i will stay physical only, thank you very much!
@Chibi_Manny physical only... all the way.
Just to inquire as I'm not sure myself but If someone had bought one of the two earlier games previously and deleted it in an attempt to save space on their switch. Is there any way now for them to re-download that old game?
@FlashmanHarry it might still be available for redownload if you already purchased it, they simply aren't allowed to sell it anymore so is been delisted from the eShop, you should still be able to redownload it, but if it doesn't let you do so then oof... bad luck.
@FlashmanHarry All games that you've bought should be available from the 'Redownload' list in your account information on the eShop, regardless of whether it's still available to purchase or not.
@Chibi_Manny @BenAV cheers for the update.
Those Digital are assumed can still be downloaded with your redownload but there's no guarantee of that. You may have the link but if the game is gone it's not going to be there to download.
I would be more keen on these than the FIFA games, but not at that cost and file size (FIFA's physical releases are routinely cheaper than Football Manager).
So unless SEGA issues a physical release, I'm going to pass for the third instalment in a row.
On a similar note, Ubisoft has quietly phased out Just Dance 2017 from the eShop. Just Dance 2018 also no longer goes on sale either, and I suspect that too will quietly make an exit soon. I suspect that it boils down to licensing agreements in regards to the music used, and the software is pulled once they expire.
If this is what is going to happen to all digital only games then 'future of gaming' my Koopa shell.
I have played Fifa for fun, but seen my friend sink hours into this... I really don't get it, but I guess you have to be a Football fan.
Sensible Soccer for life
Take note, all you digital game lovers
This dosn't explain why the old football managers are still for sale on the steam store. :-/
@Doktor-Mandrake I will say this. Going digital, with a large SD card, this is not a problem. I don't delete games I like and will never lose them. They will always be downloaded to my SD card ready for play. Sure, there's no value in having the physical copy, but that physical copy has the risk of becoming equally useless if your system doesn't have all the patches/updates installed and the servers are long gone.
It’s not just digital games though. Even physical games receive updates that will eventually be unavailable. While you may have physical disc/cart, you may not be able to access the game you remember playing because the patches are gone. While going physical is a better option for preservation, it’s certainly not a guarantee.
Dragon Quest 9 is an example in which even with the cart features are already no longer available.
And this is why I dont trust digital
@Doktor-Mandrake It can no longer be purchased. If you've already purchased a game on the eshop that is removed, it remains in your account to download again.
Love it or hate it, all gaming will be digital by 2030.
1. For a game like FM, where whoever playing it is, more often than not, so invested in football that they'll literally sink hundreds of hours into the game, why would those people want to purposely go into the eshop and buy a version that is obsolete, from an updated team/player perspective, anyway?
2. Even if the old versions were still up in the eshop, the publishers are under no obligation to reduce the price of the older games, just because a new version is out.
The way things are with the yearly releases, it is what it is.
The thing I'd like to see, are games like this transform to a service platform. Buy the base game (which could still be released yearly with the current team roster), then if you want the yearly roster update and already own the game, pay a reasonably reduced price to download the update.
I bought Touch last year, but I'm probably going to continue to skip this year completely and play something else. If I could just go with purchasing the update, they'd already have had my money.
"Sensible World of Soccer for life"
Corrected. You're welcome.
@cptspaulding Can you back up your SD card as well? Because Flash memory, like SD cards, aren't very reliable for long term storage. Flash memory has improved a lot over recent years though, so maybe that SD card will last you a life time.
It's why I like to get my digital downloads for pc on GOG when I can, DRM-free titles so I can make back-ups of my digital games.
I just hope, when Nintendo Switch isn't around anymore, and Nintendo have their next console, that it has good backwards compatability and lets us play our Switch games on it.
Edit: That said, I don't actually back up my GOG games, because I'm lazy.. I do plan on doing that at some point though, just going to buy a cheap 500gb hdd or something and throw all my offline installers onto it.
@JasonLee99 Even physical in terms of Switch games, aren't preversing anything, because they, just like SD cards, use Flash Memory. You could even argue that a digital copy would last longer then physical, since there's no physical thing to "loose".
The plus side to physical though, at least when games get pulled from store, you can still find them 2nd hand and stuff. But yeah, with games these days needing patches, or servers to connect to ect.. It's only going to get harder and harder to preserve/back up our games from here on out.
Even emulation as a way to try and preserve will get tricky, as games get bigger in size, and emulation becomes more complex.
@cptspaulding I assume you back up your SD card.. those things don't necessarily last forever!
Also, for those with the physical copy, they have the patches and updates installed to their SD card too. The argument is the same. In both instances, you only lose them if you choose to delete them off your card.
A good example why you all should buy physical whenever you can.
@ObsidianEleven Well, I only know the SNES Sensible Soccer game, so...
But, believe it or not, Sensible World of Soccer 2020 was released a month ago. Which... is kinda awesome!
@Coxula ...why is that? You can still redownload the game if you already purchased it.
@link3710 As long as the eShop is up you might be right, yes.
@ Physical Supremacists, There is no all-physical way any more, at least on Switch. I had read a really long thread on Reset Era sometime back, where they were discussing that if you have installed updates for a game on a Switch and then lose/delete those updates, the game won't boot up unless the updates are available again. So, if the eShop shuts down, there is no way to get back that update data unless you kept a backup copy, which is pretty much relying on digital.
In this case though, it makes no sense if the older games are not available for re-download. If that's the case, they could be sued.
So the 2018 version was licensed for 2 years and the 2019 version was only licensed for 1 year and that's why they are both gone at the same time?
@San_D If that's the case, they could be sued.
Gamers don't fight back.
@Crono1973 Yeah, and maybe their EULA states that we will delete your games whenever we want. Bad state we are in.
Can they still be downloaded on accounts which purchased them ?
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