Copyright 2004 www.tombraiderchronicles.com

[ October 13th 2004 ]

Shares in British publisher Eidos dropped to a 52-week low of 89 pence in trading on the London Stock Exchange yesterday, as rumours spread that football management title Championship Manager 5 could slip past Christmas and into next year. The game, which is the first in the series to be created by new developer Beautiful Game Studios after Eidos split from franchise creators Sports Interactive, is still officially on track for an October launch.

However, several UK retailers GamesIndustry.biz spoke to this week are advising consumers that a November launch for the title is expected - while rumours flew in the City of London yesterday that it could be pushed back to March 2005. An Eidos representative today declined to comment on the release date speculation, reaffirming only that the company is still citing an October launch and planning towards that date. This speculation pushed Eidos' share price down to a new low of 89 pence in trading yesterday, although it recovered to 91.5 pence by the close of business and is currently trading at 91 pence, having dipped under the 100 pence mark once more towards the end of September.

Former Championship Manager developer Sports Interactive, meanwhile, is thought to be close to completing work on its own challenge to the brand it created, with new title Football Manager 2005 due to be launched by SEGA on November 5th. Many within the industry are watching the battle between Championship Manager 5 and Football Manager 2005 with interest, as it has been characterised as a "face-off between game and brand" in some quarters.

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