Sports Interactive's hockey sim series Eastside Hockey Manager is no more. In a post on the company's official forums yesterday, managing director Miles Jacobson announced that the newly released patch for Eastside Hockey Manager 2007 would be the final update for the game and the end of the series.
Jacobson attributed the demise of the series to gamers pirating the latest installment, saying that despite decent preorder numbers and great reviews, sales were significantly less than expected.
"We scratched our heads trying to work out what had gone wrong," Jacobson wrote. "And then someone pointed out that the game was being pirated and was available as a torrent from lots of different pirating sites. Then [we] sat there and watched as the claimed amount of downloads on those sites went up and up, as sales stayed static."
Jacobson said the game failed to recoup its development costs, much less the licensing fees for the game's 20 playable real-world leagues. He left the door open for the series to return at some point but said it was done "for the foreseeable future."
Most of the people who worked on Eastside Hockey Manager have been moved over to work on the company's Football Manager franchise, while one of them is working on a new project for the company, expected to be announced later this year. In his posting, Jacobson thanked the Eastside fans who supported the games and chastised those who didn't.
"[To] those of you who pirated it, this is what happens when you steal," Jacobson wrote. "There are no excuses you can give that are valid for stealing--you have lead to the demise of a game that you enjoyed."