In a move strikingly similar to Radiohead's industry upsetting pay what you like deal for its last album In Rainbows, Eidos has announced that gamers will be able to preorder the latest Championship Manager game for as little as a penny, plus a transaction fee.
The offer, which went live this morning on the official site, allows gamers to preorder a digital copy of the game ready for download just past midnight on September 11. Though the game can be ordered from as little as 1 penny, there is a £2.50 transaction charge added, bringing the minimum cost of the title to £2.51 – though gamers will then have to pay a further £5 for in-season updates should they decide they want them further down the line.
"This is the first time an initiative like this has ever been tried in the video games market," Beautiful Game Studio's general manager Roy Meredith told magazine Develop. "This is the best Championship Manager the studio has ever made, and we want as many people as possible to try the full new game, as once they try it, we're convinced they will come back again and again."
Eidos may be hoping to entice back some old fans after the developers of the original Championship Manager titles Sports Interactive jumped ship to create its own game, Football Manager, in 2005. The publisher also skipped the release of the 2009 version of the game to allow current developers Beautiful Game Studios more time to improve the title, in an effort to restore the series to its former glory after years of lagging behind Football Manager in terms of both sales and critical acclaim.
Gamers interested in the pay-what-you-want deal have until just before the game's launch on September 10 to get in on the offer, after which the game will return to full price. Fans of a physical product will be pleased to know that a special edition boxed copy of the game, complete with additional CM Season Live updates and bonus DVDs, will be available for £29.99 on traditional retail shelves on September 11.