SEGA Europe has signed a deal to publish Blade Interactive Studios' next snooker title, after previous publisher Codemasters decided not to take on the UK developer's officially sanctioned 2005 clack-'em-up.
The result is a 2005 version of the developer's respected World Championship Snooker series with a slightly rejigged name. "World Snooker Championship 2005" is due out next April on PS2, Xbox and PC. In addition to that, SEGA will also publish a PlayStation Portable version of the game next year.
"We are delighted to be working with Blade, who have created one of the best sports sims in the industry," SEGA Europe MD Mike Hayes commented. "The quality of World Snooker Championship is not in doubt, and at SEGA we plan to capitalise on this to create strong sales for the title."
However, in commenting on the loss of the WCS franchise, a Codemasters rep confirmed that the decision was theirs, and an official statement from the Britsoft publisher argued that Blade's 2005 proposal simply wasn't tenable given the relative costs and market potential.
"Further to a review of the proposal from developers Blade Interactive for a 2005 edition in the World Championship Snooker franchise, Codemasters took the decision not to pursue another annual edition from this team," the publisher said in a statement.
"The proposed development, production and commercial costs, did not make a 2005 edition from Blade a viable proposition, given Codemasters' knowledge of the market and the franchise's potential."
SEGA Europe will naturally be hoping Codies got it wrong. We'll let you know what we think when we get our hands on World Snooker Championship 2005. In the meantime, SEGA has released a few screenshots of the PSP version in action, which you can find here.