Eidos delays launch of key football game

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Eidos scored another own goal yesterday by admitting the latest version of its top-selling 'Championship Manager' video game for PCs will not be launched this month, as planned, and could be delayed until the new year.

Eidos scored another own goal yesterday by admitting the latest version of its top-selling 'Championship Manager' video game for PCs will not be launched this month, as planned, and could be delayed until the new year.

The company, which also developed 'Lara Croft Tomb Raider', accompanied the bad news on 'Championship Manager 5' with an update on its own sale process, saying it was continuing talks with possible buyers. Eidos put itself up for sale this year. The most likely trade buyers are seen as THQ and Electronic Arts of the US and Ubisoft of France. Shares in Ubisoft, Europe's No 2 video games maker, fell on the prospect of it overpaying for Eidos. Analysts believe one of the two American companies is a more likely candidate to buy the business. Eidos shares fell 1.08 per cent to 91.75p.

Eidos insisted that new versions of 'Championship Manager 5' for the Xbox and PlayStation 2 were on track for a spring launch, with an online version for subscribers being launched shortly after the PC version is released. It said it hoped to have the PC version ready "shortly before Christmas" but warned this could extend into the new year. Missing the crucial Christmas season will play into the hands ofSports Interactive (SI), a former partner of Eidos that is close to launching a rival game developed with Sega, called 'Football Manager'.

'Championship Manager' has been a huge success since its launch in 1992, selling more than 5 million copies. However, Eidos and its original partner, SI, ended their commercial partnership last year. Eidos kept the brand name of the game but SI kept the football statistics database and the game's computer code. SI's 'Football Manager'is being given its final tests before its release.

Comments