The core PC Championship Manager series is "on hold", Beautiful Game Studios boss Roy Meredith has told Eurogamer. When it will come back, he "really, really couldn't say".
Roy Meredith, general manager at Eidos developer Beautiful Game Studios, has admitted that the Championship Manager franchise has suffered due to poor quality since original team Sports Interactive left the series.
Football Manager or Championship Manager? If we were to judge these two on merit and quality alone, then the choice would be simple. Football Manager 2008 remains superior to Championship Manager 2008 in virtually every department, possessing a level of detail and realism that the CM series simply can't compete with, hardly surprising when you consider that Sports Interactive has had an almost fifteen year head start over Beautiful Game Studios.
But how about we approach this from a slightly different angle? No, CM2008 can't go toe to toe with its greatest rival in a straight scrap - most notably when it comes to realism - but what it can do is offer you something a little different, a little easier, something a little more instantly gratifying.
If you're looking for a hardcore management experience then you may as well stop reading right now, because you won't find it here. While CM2008 is rooted in reality (its extensive collection of leagues and accurate player stats are testament to that), its team building and strategic depth are relatively shallow compared to FM. Take control of one of the world's larger clubs and chances are, you'll be amassing trophies in no time. While success may be slightly harder to come by when managing smaller teams, at no point will you feel like your tactical talents are being tested to the max, meaning that if you're looking for an easier, less detailed and more accessible version of Football Manager, you could well have found your match here.
It's slightly weird how the staff of Beautiful Game Studios - the development team behind the current Championship Manager games - refer to 'The Split'. There's always the tiniest of pauses before someone mentions it, and it's pronounced slightly softly, with a teeny bit of trepidation. Everyone else even stops reaching for the little bowl of Celebrations in the middle of our meeting room. It's as if 'The Split' they're referring to was when the lead designer's mum was cut in half by a car crash.
Eidos has announced that Championship Manager 2008 will be out this Christmas on PC. It will sport a redesigned look and is billed as the most accessible instalment in the series so far.