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FM 2009 "has a chance" at Christmas No.1

Jacobson talks up WOW rivalry.

Sports Interactive boss Miles Jacobson reckons Football Manager 2009 is in with a shot at the UK Christmas number one slot after entering the UK All-Formats list at three this week behind record-breaker and festive rival World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

"We're very happy with the sales of Football Manager 2009 for the first weekend," Jacobson told Eurogamer.

"We've had a very friendly rivalry with World of Warcraft sales-records-wise over many years, and as soon as I got the figures through I congratulated the people I know over there at Activision Blizzard.

"Whilst not a player of the game myself, I have lots of friends who are who constantly tell me how great it is, so they deserve their success," he said.

Jacobson said that Football Manager 2008 had spent 22 weeks as the number one full-priced PC game before spending a further 12 weeks on top of the PC budget list.

He expects a similar performance from Football Manager 2009, but says chart positions are far less important than fan feedback, which has already been "pretty damn positive".

"I expect for Football Manager 2009 to be in the PC top 10 until we either go to budget price, or release our next PC game," said Jacobson.

"As for Christmas number one, who knows? We've certainly got a chance, as long as word of mouth continues to be positive for the game. I don't really set targets like that, but it would be lovely if it did happen, as it would make our mothers very proud!"

Football Manager 2009 performed well in a chart littered with disappointment this week, thanks in part to a well-placed advertising campaign and a recognised brand.

The same wasn't true for many other key releases; Wii Music entered at 16, LittleBigPlanet slipped down to 19, Mirror's Edge arrived at 20, and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts failed to make the top 40.

"Releasing new IP at this time of year is always a difficult thing to do, as people only have a certain amount of money to spend," reasoned Jacobson.

"I haven't played Wii Music yet, but both Mirror's Edge and LittleBigPlanet are superb games, and I believe they'll do really well in the long run - although LBP's sales are already pretty good in my opinion."

That's exactly the same opinion held by Sony UK, would you believe.

Football Manager 2009 is out now on PC and PSP. The desktop version features, among other things, a 3D match engine for the first time in the series.

Bend your run behind our Football Manager 2009 review to find out what we thought.

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