Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The PC Fútbol video game series released for personal computers by Spanish software house Dinamic Multimedia were one of the biggest successes of the Spanish market, spawning several titles from 1992 until Dinamic's closure in 2001, and was later revived in 2005.
Released always with a budget price, the series were always fiercely championed by the local press. Unlike most other football sims at the time, the game (since 2.0) allowed to take both player (dubbed arcade) and manager approach to the game, a formula that was not used in mainstream games until Total Club Manager 2004 allowed FIFA 2004 owners to actually play the game (which in its turn was modeled after Ascaron's Anstoss series).
Former Liverpool player and Spanish TV pundit, Michael Robinson was the face and voice of the game, and most of the season analysis inside the updates was signed by him. It also had a Royal Spanish Football Federation license, which meant Dinamic could use real player and team names, and was one of the first fully-licensed titles ever released.
One of the most distinguishable features of the series were the updates; the game had a built-in calendar and league tracking utility and so owners of the game could connect to Dinamic's servers and update their data monthly. Some of the data (like photos) could not be fit inside a floppy, and data packs were made available in gaming magazines or via direct request. As the CD-ROM replaced the floppy versions (around 1996), there was no need for additional data packs, but there was still a final update (released in the end of the season) that would complete all league tracking data and Robinsons' comments.
The later games (2000 and 2001) were plagued by bugs, and although the updates assured a less problematic gaming experience, it had worn some of the userbase, who could finally have fully licensed alternatives from EA Sports and Sports Interactive (FIFA/Stars and Championship Manager, respectively). By mid-2001 PC Fútbol 2001 support ceased, and Dinamic closed shortly after. A complete modification ("mod") of the game was released shortly after, showing a still dedicated fan-base. A total of nine titles in the main series were released, the first simply numbered, and the final two 2000 and 2001, and sold around 1 million copies altogether.
Recently, Planeta DeAgostini acquired the rights to the name and released PC Fútbol 2005, developed by Gaelco . It continued the "tradition" of bug-ridden games of the early games, and altough it sold very well in December 2004 (just second to The Sims 2), most fans were disappointed with it.
There were a number of titles released outside the main series: PC Calcio and PC Premier focused on the Italian and English football championships, and PC Clausura was aimed at Argentinas market. Before the Euro'96, PC Selección'96, gave players the control of the Spanish national football team for the same tournament.
PC Fútbol abroad
Since the game was only available in Spanish, the series market was very limited: outside Spanish-speaking countries, it only had received mild attention from Portugal, Brazil and Italy. In 1996 Gremlin approached the Spanish company to develop new titles on their highly regarded Premier Manager series. Three games were released using the PC Fútbol engine, from 1997 to 1999. In 2000, EuroLeague Football , a English oriented version of PC Fútbol 2000 was released, published by Sold-Out Software .
- PC Fútbol 2005 Planeta DeAgostini product page (in Spanish)
- PC Fútbol 2005 official site (in Spanish)
- PcFútbol Site (in Spanish)
- PCFútbolManía (in Spanish)
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