“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly,” – Henri-Louis Bergson
February 20, 2021
Today marks 23 years since I was last employed. I’ve enjoyed creating Front Office Football and shepherding it through eight full versions and numerous large updates. I’ve learned to solve a wide variety of issues related to running a business. And now it’s time for something new.
This week, I began a job with a startup company. This is an exciting opportunity for me, one that will bring brand new challenges and use many of the skills I’ve built over the last 23 years.
The computer gaming industry has grown enormously during that time. When I started, computers simply weren’t big enough to support the development work of many programmers. A lot has changed since the ‘90s. About ten years ago, I started to feel I couldn’t work on the heart of Front Office Football as much as I desired because making the game prettier and maintaining a GUI took up too much time. I never did catch up in that regard.
I knew I needed to find a team willing to put together a new GUI and provide artwork and formal marketing if I wanted to continue developing this type of game. I thought I had found the right opportunity four years ago, but what looked perfect at first ended up not working out.
At that point, with three more years essentially lost, I had to decide whether to continue along that path or move in a new direction. An offer arrived, and it appealed to me in a way that seems suited for this stage in my career.
I am selling the Front Office Football code to this new company, where we will use it and algorithms based on its concepts to power some of the features in a new sports gaming venture. It took a while to finalize this offer and get the new team and its funding together. That is why I’ve had to remain quiet about it for the last few months.
We’re not ready to make any announcements about the project, so I’m going to keep my head down and not discuss it while we’re in the early development stages. When it’s time, we hope that it will appeal to many of you. The new project isn’t like anything you’ve seen before, and that’s a big part of why I’m excited to get started and use my experience to help shape it and become part of something cutting edge. It’s time to let go of the past.
What will happen to Front Office Football? Since I was waiting to get started on this new project, I decided to go ahead and create 2020 data files. Those have been added to Front Office Football Eight with a new update along with this announcement. No code, other than the few lines needed to support the 2020 starting option, has been changed since the last update. It wasn’t feasible to go back and add the new features I had created for FOF9 since that project was using very different data structures.
The Steam versions will remain on sale as they are, with no future updates or patches planned as I no longer own the code. The ViaTech versions (including the seriously outdated College Years) will no longer be available, though ViaTech still maintains its electronic licensing system. Nothing is ever certain, but I think it’s unlikely that there will ever be a new Front Office Football stand-alone game.
I enjoyed being part of this community, but this is the right move for me at this time. It’s an opportunity to reinvent myself and be part of a team that I think will shape future sports simulations.
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