1997-1998 Team 17
Platforms: PC, Mac and Amiga
A quick entry post for a football management game that was due for release by non other than Team 17 back around 1997/98 time – thanks to Niklas Lindholm for the heads up.
The game was to be released for PC, Mac and Amiga and was to be an an online/play by mail football management game, and was even beta tested by Niklas at the time. It was possibly one of the first online football management games that was developed alongside Soccer Nation that we recently covered.
It just seems to have completely disappeared though and its unsure if it evolved into something else. We’re hoping to get hold of someone from Team 17 to clarify exactly what happened. All that exists at the moment are remnants from the old website, which Wayback machine sadly didn’t capture images from. There are also some news items about the game, where we’ve managed to grab some screens. See below.
Amiga User International back in late 1995 gave the following segment of news:
“Team 17 have launched a new game for the Amiga called Interactive Football League. It’s a mix between Player Manager and fantasy football with a unique twist – you can sell players and bargain with other managers over the internet! There’s a £500 prize for the league champion at the end of each season.”
Amiga Computing also showed some screenshots and informed us that you either played via post with a floppy disk, direct by modem or over the internet. You would pay £20 a season for the online versions, with an extra £10 for playing by post. As well as a £500 prize, there would be £50 for cup winners. Manager of the month awards could also be won. The Amiga Computing (and PC Zone) screenshots also revealed that RW Software was working with Team 17 too.
CU Amiga had the following in June 1995:
Team 17 are set to become the first computer games publisher to branch out into the world wf on-line games with the launch of IFL (Interactive Football League) early this Summer.
“IFL will be the first of many on-line games from the company”, claimed PR manager Alan Bunker. Their first effort is a multi-player football management game, where the player has the opportunity to test their management skills to the limit. You can buy and sell players, determine tactics, enter into home and European cup competitions – even send secret messages to other managers.
Prize money is on offer for league and cup champions and manager of the month awards will be presented to those who really lead the way in the world of soccer management, Expect IFL to be launched on June 1st – you can phone Team 17 on 01924 267776 or email them for further details at: email@example.com”
Then finally, FREEPLAY! gaming newsletter had the following to say back in December 1996:
Interactive Football League (Play By Email) (W,Mac,Amiga)
http://www.team17.com/cgi-bin/ifl-idx.pl (FRANK – Link sadly dead in Wayback Machine)
Interactive Football League (or IFL to it’s friends) is a new development from The Games Room, the multi-player games division of Team 17 and RW Software, one of the worlds leading play-by-mail companies. It’s a football management game, but it’s not like any other football management sim you may have come across. Instead of playing against a badly programmed computer controlled manager, IFL lets you play against other real people. Instead of playing for no reward, you could win big cash prizes…
What sets IFL apart from the rest is that you are in full control of all aspects of your team and make all the key decisions affecting its performance. The client software comes with a hassle-free graphics user-interface (take a peek at the screenshots) with plenty of help pages and tutorials to guide you along. Expert or beginner, you’ll find the game both challenging and fun to play. You can either play over the Internet, or by disk.
Launch: Early 1997
Some meat overall about the game itself, and an interesting prize incentive. It almost sounds as if the game was launched in some form? Maybe it never exited beta testing?
Euro Manager link up?
What is interesting is that Team 17 also had a separate game called Euro Manager in development for PC and Mac, developed by Roger Womack – containing statistics of 12,000 footballers and 400 teams. This was a separate development to IFL, but the plan was to link up with IFL via the Team 17 website according to https://www.abandonware-france.org/ltf_abandon/ltf_jeu.php?id=2307
Do you know anything more about the game?
I’d also like to add that the beta I tried was not play by email but rather “play by weekly data batch”. You’d download that week’s dealings then do your thing and re-upload. Now this is all 20+ years ago so I could remember this wrong or I could be mixing games up since I beta tested a few of these back then (like “play as manager” by anco and manager one I think) but they way I remember it ending was the developer sent a few questions about about the beta including “how much would you pay to play” and I suspect they didn’t get the answers they wanted because it was as far as I remember never heard of again, until now.
Great dig Frank! That Euro Manager game sounds interesting, I haven’t heard of it… I wonder what became of it!