I must have rewrote this article about twelve times in the past month because I keep changing my mind. However my decision is now made. So let me explain what I’m on about below.
This whole SI Games not promoting FM work is pissing me off to be honest and this is a major issue. They’re only bothered about the massive accounts like Squawka, Bleacher Report or the massive YouTubers. Anything they do related to FM they will gladly promote the work and while I can understand the logic, why can’t they support everyone rather than being selective? I mean there are lots of fantastic blogs, streamers and YouTube creators out there who aren’t that popular yet do better work than the big sites. But they don’t get the recognition why?
SI Games started the affiliate scheme decades ago now and it’s never really lived up to the billing since the early years. Being an affiliate brings you nothing, you don’t gain extra traffic, you don’t get work promoted so what’s the point of it? You might get a free game code to give away on your site but again, you don’t get anything out of it. Back when it first started you’d get exclusive stuff and content so you could use it to create articles or promote new features and so on. But nowadays you don’t get anything like that. It’s also been relaunched and about 10 different people try to kick-start it but it always lets the people down who are signed up to it.
Last year they promoted fan sites ever so slightly every Friday for Fan site Friday and it was popular. But why limit it to Fridays? Why can’t you promote it every day or more than just once a week? I’ve never known a gaming company be so reluctant to promote fan made content. This year though apparently they have changed their stance yet again and no longer do this. I contacted them at the end of November to ask them to promote something I had written due to demand from their own forums, it was the Arts of Counter Attacking stuff I did I think. They basically told me their approach this year was different and they only wanted dumbed down content (not in those exact words but the point was the same) and that if I wanted to rewrite it then they’d consider promoting it. Rewrite it? Are you fucking serious? Do you even know your own fan base and what they’re struggling with?! This was a topical piece and about 50 people off their own forums were all struggling and confused by this subject. How many more out there who are unaware of these things are confused too?
Why does content have to be aimed at dummies, why can’t all types of different content be promoted? There’s a market for all types of content and articles amongst the community because the user base vastly differs. You get people who want the shorter version of stuff and then you get people who want to understand the ambiguous game they’ve created.
Towards the middle of last year SI contacted me and asked me to write an FM piece for them, they told me the subject they wanted covering and I agreed. So I spent the next four or five days writing the article and submitted it to them. They told me it was great and exactly what they wanted and explained they had passed it around the office and gave me some feedback on changes that needed making to it. So again I agreed and spent a further five or six days adding stuff to it and making it more clearer. I then sent it them again and Alan told me it was great just what they needed. Then about four days later I got an email saying they’d changed their mind and no longer would be using the article. I mean seriously wtf, I’d just spent the best part of two weeks writing an article and editing it based on feedback and points you raised, and had asked me to add or fix. Yet you then tell me you’re not going to use it without any explanation other than you’ve changed your mind?
I’m not the only person this has happened to either. Other people have written stuff that’s not been used. Others have also been told that their articles aren’t for the targeted audience either. Yet have you seen some of the stuff they actually promote? There’s lots of great, fantastic stuff out there that they should be all over promoting it. This isn’t just about my work far from it. This is about the non-existent link between SI and its actual users on social media.
The whole social media side of FM is a joke and confusing at best. You get Miles giving out all the info of new features and teasing stuff, yet the proper FM account doesn’t (with the odd exception)?! For new users to the game it can confuse them. Especially when the current FM account is more obsessed with being sarcastic towards its users or more focused on real football happening and proving ‘FM points’ than it is anything else.
I’ve been writing and helping people with FM related stuff for about twenty years now as it’s something I enjoy. But if SI don’t seem to care anymore outside of the big accounts then why should I spend my free time helping out due to their lack of documentation of the game? Because let’s face it, the majority of the stuff I write about should come with the game already. I’m spending my time filling in for their lack of information.
I don’t get anything out of writing FM articles other than the sole aim of helping others. Sometimes people forget this and it’s the same for other sites like FM Central or the Podcast guys over at Deep-Lying Podcast. We all do what we do because we enjoy it and give back to the community. But for me enough is enough.
This isn’t a spur of the moment decision either, I’ve thought long and hard about this but I don’t see any other option other than to stop writing stuff. So I’ve made the decision that I am retiring from writing FM stuff now as it’s just not worth it any longer. I know i have a big following and have helped many people over the years but it’s not something I feel I want to do anymore. For those of you who enjoyed the articles I wrote over the years I thank you all and I’m sorry I’ll no longer be doing them. But I simply can’t carry on supporting a game that doesn’t support it’s real community.
I have a feeling I won’t be the last either to quit over the exact same frustrations. SI should be doing better on the community aspects of their social media and promoting sites and content. After all we are all supposed to be on the same side and all have the game in common.
The site will remain open and I’ll still be showcasing the fantastic writers and content creators via the site. But I will no longer be writing anything new or answering questions.
Anyway, thanks for everything people but now I am retired with all FM content 🙂