Addictive Games, Football Manager, Kevin Toms, The 80s

Daily Record have wiped me out of history!

I was sent this article to look at. I was amazed to read the following excerpts:
“It’s all a far cry from the first version of the game, developed by the Everton-mad Collyer brothers Oliver and Paul, which launched in 1982 for the late, lamented ZX Spectrum computer.

Players in those days simply picked a team in the Fourth Division of English football and tried to work their work up the leagues. It was an instant hit and was named Strategy Game of theYear in 1983.

Five years later, the second in Football Manager appeared, with better graphics and the ability to choose formations, training and substitutions. By this time, the game was on the Atari ST, Amiga, Commodore 64 and Amstrad computers.

The game morphed into Championship Manager in 1992 and is still known as “Champ Man” by many fans. But in 2004, the Collyers’ company Sports Interactive teamed up with Sega and the latter-day version of Football Manager was born the following year.”

It’s simply not true!!! The Collyer brothers had nothing to do with the Football Manager written by me and launched in 1982.

The truth is I wrote Football Manager in 1981. I launched Addictive Games to sell it in January 1982. I wrote and launched the Spectrum version in 1982. I won the Strategy Game of the Year award. I wrote Football Manager 2 a few years later. The games were number 1 sellers, sold in the millions, and I am credited with founding the genre of Football Manager style games.

Yet the Daily Record have written this obviously with either not checking the accuracy of what they are saying or even possibly deliberately writing me out of the history of the game genre I started!


Addictive Games, Football Manager, Kevin Toms

The Making of Football Manager Edge Magazine

Edge magazine contains the Making of Football Manager (Spectrum) article
Edge magazine contains the Making of Football Manager (Spectrum) article

In the July 2009 issue of Edge magazine is a retrospective interview with me about the making of Football Manager with focus on the original Spectrum version. It focuses on the history of making it, but also a good deal on my design thinking of how I put it together.

Quoting the article:

“The term ‘squeaky bum time’ may have been coined by Alex Ferguson during the 2003 Premiership title run-in, but it couldn’t be a more appropriate one for a game made some two decades before. Addictive Games Football Manager wasn’t just the template from which all future stat-crunching management titles would draw their inspiration, it also had a special ingredient that others failed to capture: the capacity to make you squirm in your seat as shots rained in.”

Here’s a snapshot of one of the pages from the article:-

Snapshot from the Edge Football Manager Kevin Toms interview
Snapshot from the Edge Football Manager Kevin Toms interview
Addictive Games, Football Manager, The 80s

From Bedroom to Boardroom

I gave a presentation to the Auckland Game Developer Meetup. It was describing what it was like to start a company (in the bedroom of my 1 bedroomed flat!)  because I had written a good game, and some of the experiences, good, bad, and strange, that came with doing this at the birth of a new industry. It was a challenge but good to do. And, as usual, reminded me of more anecdotal things I had forgotten. It’s best given in person but the slides give you the idea!

It’s here

Addictive Games, Football Manager, The 80s

Retro Gamer interview – finally read it!

It took ages for the Retro Gamer interview to reach me here in New Zealand, and I only read it now because a friend sent me a pdf of it. It was well written and entertaining. What it also reminded me of, was not only some of the events and history of what I did, and the industry I was involved with; but that I was there at the very beginning, at the beginning of an industry that is now bigger than the Hollywood movie industry, and possibly more influential.

I had written a game, a game that I thought was good. But, there was nowhere to sell it! No shops selling games, no computer fairs, nothing. Some people I dealt with at the time thought that computer games would be a passing fad! Laughable now, but it was seriously put to me at the time to be prepared for when the computer game craze passed.

The only way I could reach my customers was by black and white ads in hobbyist games magazines. And the only way I could get the games to them was by post.