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"Rebuilt" iPhone ChampMan soon

"More accessible and intuitive" than FM.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

A new and "completely rebuilt" Championship Manager game for iPhone will release either at the end of September or beginning of October, developer Beautiful Game Studios has revealed.

The exact date is in Apple's hands, studio boss Roy Meredith told Eurogamer - the game's being submitted for approval in the third week of September.

Price, too, is yet to be decided. "We don't know yet," admitted Meredith. "We're toying with two prices: a cheap one and a slightly less cheap one. I wouldn't call it expensive. It's not top range as compared to other games."

Other games could mean age-old genre rival Football Manager, which costs £7 on iPhone. But on Apple's device, Meredith believes his team has the momentum.

"It's okay," he said of the Sports Interactive's iPhone game, "but it's not built for the format. And I'm not knocking them by saying that, because Football Manager on PC is an excellent game. But it comes with its frustrations.

Meredith continued: "Ours is more accessible. Ours is more intuitive, because it's built for the iPhone. It's a bit unfair to comment on theirs. I don't want to get into a competitive match with theirs, because I like their game. There's nothing that's disastrously wrong with their game. I feel uncomfortable knocking them, really."

The new Championship Manager for iPhone is, unlike previous versions, built specifically for Apple's hardware. Menus, team selections, tactics and so on are all bossed by clever swipes of your fingers, and the game - as demonstrated to Eurogamer - is responsive and uncluttered.

"You're getting a full ChampMan experience," promised Meredith. "We tested out the iPhone format two years ago on ChampMan '09, but that was a Java port so wasn't in any way suitable for iPhone in terms of top quality. But I wanted to see how it sold, and it sold very well. We built ChampMan 10 on the iPhone, but that was mostly Java code with some tweaks. But this year we've rebuilt it completely."

Meredith said the iPhone game will deliver a 'just one more play' complusion, but one not "too overbearing and deep". "You play a match when you go to make a coffee," he gave as an example, "or you play for 20 minutes on the tube on the way in to work. Or you'll play why you're waiting for your supper to cook."

He hopes to get around "five or six opportunities" for people to play CM iPhone each day, but in "snack-sized chunks" rather than "one meal".

"It's not to replace the Championship Manager or Football Manager experience," he added, "it's to give an alternative to those people who say, 'I love signing players, I love building-out my version of Birmingham City, but I just don't have time to do all the training and all the and-and-and.'

"We've still got to have challenges in there, you've got to have some variation - so we've got media in there, we've got signing players in there, we've still got some training, some set-pieces, but again they're all built to be fun and quick and accessible and allow you to progress throughout the game."

Incidentally, while Championship Manager is playable on iPad, it will be so as an upscaled iPhone game. However, tailor-made experiences for Apple's new device are coming.

"The future of games on iPad is huge," declared Meredith. "I don't think anybody's nailed it yet.

"At the moment we're not revving up to the HD capacity the iPad allows. You can play it on there, but press 'double the size' and it becomes a bit pixelated.

"We will make games for it," he continued. "Whether they're exactly the same as what we're producing on the iPhone - they won't be. They'll be different. I'm obviously talking with some sort of knowledge that I'm not good to impart at the moment.

"But as Tim [Hodges, brand manager] said, it's another format. And it's exciting. I just don't think developers have yet found out everything about it."

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