"When we signed OOTP Developments back in 2004, we had every intention of creating a product with similar market appeal to the Football Manager series" commented Marc Duffy, Product Manager at Sports Interactive. "Unfortunately due to things beyond our control we were unable to achieve that. Whether OOTP continues is entirely up to Markus, but I hope he learned something from us that he can use to be successful."
"Working with Sports Interactive has been a great experience", said Markus Heinsohn, lead developer at OOTP Developments. "We have learned so much and the game has reached a level of quality that would have been impossible without the help of SI."
Markus says he is beginning work on the next installment of OOTP Baseball, but no release date is definite. Miles Jacobson, acting president of Sports Interactive, blamed the product line's failure primarily on piracy.
"The game had glowing reviews and we waited to see the sales numbers go up and up. But the orders came in a drizzle, rather than a flood. We scratched our heads trying to work out what had gone wrong. And then someone pointed out that the game was being pirated, and was available as a torrent from lots of different pirating sites."
"Basically," Jacobson adds, "the game did not bring in enough money to cover the development costs, let alone the marketing expenses. So we've had to make the decision to cut our losses with OOTP - it doesn't mean that it'll never come back as we are still all good friends, but for the foreseeable future there will not be another version of OOTP with the Sports Interactive name on it."
Sports Interactive will now be concentrating just on football for the foreseeable future, with the Football Manager, Football Manager Live, Football Manager Handheld, Football Manager Quiz series and any other imaginatively titled games beginning with Football Manager.
Jacobson summed up everyone's sentiments. "Thank you to all of you out there who supported OOTP by buying the game, and especially those who helped with testing and research. And to those of you who pirated it, this is what happens when you steal."