Eidos and Sports Interactive to part company

Eidos and Sports Interactive have decided to end their long-standing relationship, with Eidos retaining the rights to the Championship Manager name.

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Eidos and Sports Interactive have today announced that they have mutually decided to end their long-standing relationship. Championship Manager: Season 03/04, which is currently in development and scheduled for release toward the end of this year, is the last game that the two companies will work on together. Both of the companies will retain their respective intellectual properties, so while Eidos will get to keep the Championship Manager name, Sports Interactive will retain ownership of its player database and source code.

"If this were the music industry, we would be talking about a classic case of musical differences," said Miles Jacobson, managing director of Sports Interactive. "We've enjoyed an excellent relationship with Eidos for many years now and will work closely with them to make sure that our final collaboration is the best version of CM ever. After that, I expect that we will become the friendliest of rivals."

Future Championship Manager games will be developed internally at Eidos, and an update release for the 2004/2005 season is already planned. Sports Interactive is expected to announce its plans for future soccer projects early next year.

"We would like to thank everyone involved with Sports Interactive for their hard work in helping establish Championship Manager as one of the industry's most successful franchises," said Jonathan Kemp, European managing director of Eidos. "Moving the development of Championship Manager to our newly created internal studio will enable us to build upon the phenomenal success of the game and develop the brand further."

The first Championship Manager soccer management game was published by Domark back in 1992. To date, games in the series have sold more than four million copies, and Championship Manager 4 became the UK's fastest-selling PC game when it launched in March. We'll bring you more information on Championship Manager: Season 03/04 and Sports Interactive's plans for the future as soon as it becomes available.

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