The decline of the boxed PC games market has claimed one of its most high-profile casualties yet with news that the PC arm of famed football management series Championship Manager has been put “on hold”.
Instead, developer Beautiful Game Studios is to focus on expanding the series into growing markets as well as onto growing platforms such as the iPhone.
“We were fixated on one format – a format that was in decline in boxed copies,” studio boss Roy Meredith told Eurogamer. “With the market shrinking it was quite a risky or dangerous situation to be in. So we took the decision to put the PC game on hold and build up our business in other areas.
“We've seen retail almost ignore PC. I don't think boxed copy on PC is going to last much longer. It just feels like the boxed PC game is on its way out. You go to any GAME store, you go to HMV and you'll be lucky to find [PC games]
“I was in GAME at the weekend and I couldn't believe it, how little there was. I saw a game, Bus Magnate I think it was, and I thought, 'Wow, is that what the PC market has come down to’.”
When asked when, or even if, the series would return to PC, Meredith simply stated “I really, really couldn't say”.
Meredith went on to explain that a new version of Championship Manager for iPhone will be submitted to Apple for approval on the App Store later this month. And he also thinks that the game could fare well in comparison to arch rival Football Manager, which is currently available on the iPhone for £4.99.
“I'm not knocking them by saying that, because Football Manager on PC is an excellent game. But it comes with its frustrations,” he added.
“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 develop has also confirmed a partnership with Chinese online specialist Shanda Games to take the brand to the Eastern market.