October 16th 2001: Sports Interactive and Eidos Interactive are dancing to the sound of tills ringing as they celebrate this weekend?s sales figures for Championship Manager: Season 01/02. ChartTrack this morning confirmed that the latest season update of the smash hit Championship Manager has trounced its own sales record to become the fastest selling UK PC title ever. The previous record was set by Championship Manager 3, which, according to ChartTrack, recorded sales of 70,000 units during its first weekend of release in 1999. Overall sales for the weekend are estimated to be in excess of an incredible 103,000 units. This figure includes online sales, which alone account for over 25,000 units. This also makes it the fastest selling game on any format for a UK developer.
This is an amazing result for Sports Interactive, particularly as Championship Manager: Season 01/02 is an upgrade the fourth and final upgrade to Championship Manager 3 that the team will produce before Championship Manager 4 is released next year with a brand new engine. It bodes well for the future of the Championship Manager brand, which will move away from concentrating solely on football management simulations with the release of Championship Manager Quiz on PlayStation and PC later this year. Championship Manager Quiz (based on a board game devised by the Sports Interactive team) will be the company?s first foray into the console market.
Paul Collyer, Chairman of Sports Interactive said, "This year?s sales have been astonishing despite being confident that we would have a hit on our hands, I was in a state of shock on Saturday when the figures started coming through. We offered the game for sale on our website for the second year running, and pre-sold just under 12,000 copies of the game from there alone. This move obviously hasn?t cannibalised retail sales at all, with huge sales across the board".
Miles Jacobson, Managing Director of Sports Interactive added, "The sales prove that our strategy to take the game into the mainstream, and to hit the football fans who are casual PC users rather than just targeting PC gamers, is definitely working. The main problem that we have now is ensuring that there is enough stock in the channel to satisfy customer demand in the run up to Christmas".
Jonathan Rosenblatt, Marketing Manager at Eidos added, "Much of the campaign to date has been below the line, building pre-awareness with existing fans and recent converts through retail, mailings and on-line. The bulk of the marketing campaign kicks off in the next few weeks, including radio advertising and promotions and 48-sheet rail and tube posters".
Kirstie Milne, Sales Director from Eidos said, "It just shows what you can do with an incredible game and fantastic support from retail."
Martin Gibbs Head of Games at HMV enthused, Championship Manager yet again proves to be THE franchise in gaming. Predictably huge every year, every update surpasses the one before and stays in the top 10 for a year until the next one launches. Quite simply a phenomenon in any entertainment field.
"It's fantastic to see Champ Manager again performing so well. For the second year running, this series has proved to be one of our biggest pre-orders on the web. Again and again we are seeing that quality, not generic bland bilge, is what the games buying public want. Sports Interactive's policy of only hiring fans of the series has paid off - it's just a shame that the official history books will not include online sales in the records", said Mat Braddy, Head of Internet at Gameplay GB Ltd.