Eidos slips CM4 and Tomb Raider
...but not too much
Bad news. In a statement to the city this afternoon, Eidos has announced that both Championship Manager 4 and Tomb Raider: Angel Of Darkness have been delayed to "enhance the gameplay experience". Yep, that old chestnut.
Tomb Raider: AOD will now launch on PS2 and PC "early in the fourth [financial] quarter" or April/May, while CM4 has been moved back to the end of March. Both had been scheduled to ship at the end of February.
In the statement, Eidos explained that the CM4 delay was "to include a new match play engine to further enhance the game play experience", while on the subject of Tomb Raider, it offered: "Significant progress has been made in the final stages of development. Management believe that the game will benefit from continued game play enhancement, which will require further time."
Eidos chief Mike McGarvey commented: "Whilst the release of Tomb Raider: The Angel of Darkness has been delayed, we believe that the game will benefit substantially from the marketing of the new Lara Croft movie, Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, scheduled to be released this summer."
Sports Interactive MD Miles Jacobson commented on the Sigames.com message board: "[The delay] gives us time to keep tuning the game and make some more refinements - I make no apologies for the changes in dates, as the only thing that is important to us is to give you the best game we possibly can. Thank you for your patience and understanding. It WILL be worth the wait." The demo of CM4 will be released on February 28th in the latest edition of the ChampMan Magazine.
Although it's no doubt annoying to fans of both games (including some of us here at EG) to face yet more delays, at least both developers aren't being forced to rush out unfinished product - and on a business level the slippage won't hurt the sales one bit.
Meanwhile, the notoriously nervous City took the news surprisingly well. At the time of writing, the share price had jumped by around 14 per cent to 114.5 pence. Eidos said it expects to move back into profit for the six months to December 31st 2002.
After the recent Rage debacle, at least one British publisher seems to be capable of producing some good news.