Sky Sports, Hotgen Studios and THQ International Ltd Launch Online Football Management Game

Newly formed joint venture company to publish Sky Sports Football Manager.

Posted by Staff
N.I. Sports Ltd., a joint venture company formed by THQ International Ltd, a division of THQ and HotGen Studios, today announced plans to launch the UK?s biggest online football management game endorsed by Sky Sports. As part of the endorsement package, Sky Sports will market the game through its extensive network of web sites, publications and broadcast media.

?Sky Sports Football Manager? will be a subscription-based service. Versions of the game will be distributed both online and at retail. Sky Sports Football Manager will offer players the chance to manage their favourite English team complete with transfers, suspensions, injuries, promotions and accurate statistics on thousands of worldwide professional footballers. Online connectivity allows players to compete against other human and computer based managers through each season with the ultimate aim of becoming Sky Sports Football Manager of the Year.

The Sky Sports Football Manager programme and the game statistics can be kept current through online updates. The game has also been specifically designed to exploit emerging wireless and digital technologies to expand players? accessibility and gaming experience.

The service, which combines a standalone program running on a PC with an integrated website for content and community operations, will launch in the UK in August. Billing, customer care and online support will be managed by N.I. Sports, with Intel providing a fully managed hosting environment.

?This joint venture brings together some of the biggest names in sport, games publishing and game development,? said Fergus McGovern, Managing Director of HotGen Studios. "With Sky Sports' brand and marketing, THQ's publishing skills and HotGen's technical and design expertise, we have formed a winning team. The game is easy to use but still offers enormous depth of play, with a vibrant community of fans and players, that team managers can join by simply pressing a button on a browser."

Bernard Dugdale, General Manager of N.I. Sports said ?In the past, football management games have enjoyed tremendous success ? but you have never played them like this before. Our players can choose their favourite team, whether it?s Manchester United or Exeter City. They play against other human players and against the computer ? it?s a genuinely multi-user experience where players can use their skill, knowledge and management abilities to see how good they really are at managing their club.?

Tim Walsh, Senior Vice President of THQ International Ltd said, ?We are excited to participate in this cutting-edge football management experience. It represents a quantum leap in gameplay and gaming technology which simply translates into more excitement for football fans and a greater challenge for game players.?

Pre-registration for the game is located at www.nisports.com/prereg/ or at www.skysports.com