The PC version of Football Manager 2009 is to be made available via STEAM from its retail launch date of November 14th.
Sports Interactive's wildly popular soccer stat grinder will make full use of the digital distribution network, letting would-be cup winners patches and player stat updates as well as videos and other DLC.
The ability to run the game without a copy of the DVD will likely prove popular with hardcore addicts who can't bring themselves to leave the Premiership at home and need to keep a copy on their work PC for just one little go in between, y'know, work.
Valve/Sports Interactive press release below the fold.
FOOTBALL MANAGER TEAMS UP WITH STEAM
Football ManagerT 2009 Leverage Suite of Steamworks Services for Retail and Electronic Versions
LONDON (9th October, 2008) - Sports Interactive & SEGA Europe Ltd. today announce that the PC versions of Football ManagerT 2009 will incorporate Steamworks, a complete suite of publishing and development tools that offers PC game developers and publishers access to the game features and services available through Steam.
Steamworks will support both the retail and electronic versions of the Football Manager 2009 games giving players game updates, downloadable content, and patches. Also, players will be able to play from any PC in the world without needing their DVD copy of the game. STEAM will also host and distribute the Football Manager 2009 game demo which will be available when it is released a couple of weeks before the release of the full game.
Football Manager 2009 is now available for pre-purchase as a PC digital download from STEAM, and will be available for players to play at 09:00 GMT on the 14th November 2008. For details on availability and pricing, please visit www.footballmanager.com/buynow.
"Many of us at Sports Interactive have been big fans of Steam since it's inception, so to be working with them properly this year across releases of Football Manager on the PC is fantastic" said Miles Jacobson, studio director at Sports Interactive. "It gives us the opportunity for all of our games players to get any patches or updates that we make available quickly and easily, as well as a place for us to host any other downloads, such as demos and promotional videos, with super fast broadband speeds for download, and no issues with bandwidth, which we are hit with each time we release a demo".
"The Football Manager 2009 team has an incredible plan to extend the product beyond launch and achieve a level of connectivity with FM 2009 players that surpasses any prior release in the category," said Gabe Newell, president of Valve. "We're delighted to have Steamworks selected as the vehicle to help take this legendary franchise to the next level and look forward to offering the game to the millions logging onto Steam each week."
Football Manager 2009 features a vast array of all new features including, for the first time ever, a full 3D view of the world famous Football ManagerT match engine.
For further information on Football Manager 2009 please visit www.sigames.com or www.footballmanager.com. For assets on Football Manager 2009 or other SEGA games please go to www.sega-press.com.