Both parties will retain their respective intellectual properties, with Eidos retaining the name 'Championship Manager' and Sports Interactive keeping ownership of the player database and source code.
Eidos will develop Championship Manager internally, with an update release planned for the 2004/2005 football season, while Sports Interactive will announce its plans for future football projects in the first quarter of 2004.
"If this were the music industry, we would be talking about a classic case of 'musical differences'," says 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."
"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," says Jonathan Kemp, Eidos' European Managing Director. "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."
Championship Manager was created by brothers Paul and Ov Collyer in the late 1980s and first published by Domark in 1992. The brothers formed the development company Sports Interactive in 1994 and Eidos took over the publishing reins in 1995 when it acquired Domark. To date, the game has sold more than 4,000,000 copies, while the latest edition (Championship Manager 4) became the UK's fastest-selling PC game upon its launch on March 28th 2003.