Championship Manager moves to April kickoff

Next version of the football management simulator in development, set for 2009 release.

The virtual football season may be well under way, with Pro Evolution Soccer and FIFA battling it out in the game charts, but the battle to be top manager hasn't yet begun. Sports Interactive's Football Manager 2009 is set for a UK release on November 14--and today the launch plans for one of its major competitors, Beautiful Game Studios' Championship Manager 2009, were announced.

The new engine in all its current glory.

Roy Meredith, general manager of the Championship Manager franchise, told The GameSpot UK Podcast that the game would be in shops during April 2009. "I think it's fair to say we needed to make a lot of changes," said Meredith, "and get back to a lot of the fundamentals of what Champ Man was about." The development team, he added, was set to spend 100 percent more time and resources on completing this version than on previous Championship Manager games.

The 2009 game will feature a 3D match engine for the first time--using motion-captured movements to provide more than 500 animations per player. Meredith said that different camera angles would be available but wouldn't be drawn on whether a manager-style touchline view was possible.

Many of the game's new features, including the addition of the Home Leagues of Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, and Wales, were suggested by fans in the Championship Manager forums. "We have to listen to what people want," Meredith said.

Championship Manager fans wanting to try out the new-style action for themselves will be able to get a taste of the 2009 game in March, when a demo will be released. In the interim, you can check out the first screenshots for the game here.

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10 comments
Ardiendo_1
Ardiendo_1

Champ Man has been really bad since they parted company with SI Games so it is impressive that they have actually decided to take the time to make this game decent rather than just release the same crap with an updated roster. Bravo Beautiful Game Studios, whoever you are. @neildneil: CM03/04 was a great way to bow out though.

pgmonkeeuk
pgmonkeeuk

Looks pretty tasty! But...they may as well take a look at more things to improve and set a release date for July/August 09 instead - April seems a weird time to be releasing a footy game, Tottenham will be relegated by then hahaha.

the_one500
the_one500

obviously theres no point getting this in April, as ARKLE said, the seasons almost done by then. They must've seen what SI were doing with the new (fantastic!) football manager and crapped their pants!! why else make such a stupid decision to release a curent season game at the end of the season...

Arkle
Arkle

Demo in march 2009, release in April 2009. The end of the 08-09 season is at the end of May. I don't see anybody getting this over Football Manager when they have to wait that long for release. Renders it all a little bit pointless.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

the image reminds me of sensible soccer

macacd
macacd

3D engines are nothing new, i had a game on my amiga which had something very similar.

flyingteddy
flyingteddy

things sure have moved on since looking at a text screen for the matchplay. still i can remember spending all weekend playing it, so addictive!

neildneil
neildneil

champman 03/04: the last true Championship Manager. football manager has been dominant since. sports interactive have always been dominant

Anthonydaking
Anthonydaking

Agree with Hoppie, Football Manager Is just to good and Addictive.

hoppie
hoppie

Too little too late methinks to compete with Football Manager.