Eidos has confirmed that Championship Manager 5 will not be released in October as planned, following a week of speculation which saw the publisher's share price drop to an all-year low. Eidos also reiterated that it is "continuing to pursue discussions in relation to the possible sale of the Company."
"Further to the announcement on 2nd August 2004, the release of the PC version of Championship Manager 5 will not now take place in October. Eidos is continuing to work towards release of the PC version of the game shortly before Christmas, although this may extend into the New Year," the company warned.
"As previously stated, the much anticipated Xbox and PS2 versions of Championship Manager 5 remain firmly on track for release in Spring 2005 and the [separate] online version will be available through subscription shortly after the PC game's release."
Bad news for Eidos then, but music to the ears of Sports Interactive and SEGA Europe, we imagine, who plan to release competing title Football Manager 2005 on November 5th, and released a "Gold demo" of the game on Friday for PC and Mac.
Many have characterised the battle between original Champ Man creators Sports Interactive and Eidos' CM5 from upstart Beautiful Game Studios as a "face-off between game and brand", and, judging by Eidos's revelations this morning, the first half belongs to SI and SEGA.