Sports Interactive are giving football fans another week of free access to Football Manager 2020, with more and more countries (the United Kingdom and India in the first two days of this week alone) locked down to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
The number of people playing the popular sporting overlord simulation has spiked dramatically since people in the UK began to work from home and 'socially distance' in the last couple of weeks, hitting a game record of over 80,000 people online at once last Sunday – and numbers only flying up since.
#FM20 is currently being played by 84,063 of you via Steam, which is a new record. And likely to go up further today.— Miles Jacobson (@milesSI) March 15, 2020
Thank you for choosing our work to keep you entertained in this time of self-isolation in many countries around the world.
Please keep safe everyone x
SI started allowing free access to the game in the middle of last week, and saw online players peak at over double the pre-lockdown record this past Sunday; with over 180,000 managers...managing.
Which is loads.
The SI statement read: "We’re delighted to announce that following on from the success of our Football Manager 2020 free week last week, we’re extending it for a second (and final) week. This means that FM20 will remain completely free to play on Steam until 3:00pm GMT on Wednesday, April 1st.
"If you took advantage of the initial free week then you don’t need to do a thing as FM20 will remain in your Steam library until the free period expires.If you’re yet to start your managerial career, then it’s easy to get access to the game. If you already have a Steam account, all you have to do is head to the Football Manager 2020 page and hit the ‘Play Game’ button. This will give you access to the game until the free period expires."
The boy @danstapleton89 was robbed. In a tournament that saw 21 goals in the four games his team didn't take part in, @ThatChris1209 strolls away after scoring 4 in three. Disgusting, tbh. pic.twitter.com/RVMvX3DyDl— Greg Johnson (@gregianjohnson) March 22, 2020
Sports Interactive are also offering free space on their in-game advertising hoardings to mental health charities, in order to help people through what is a difficult time for some in isolation.