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'Diversification is key' for ChampMan brand - Meredith

Plus BGS general manager is adamant that games must be designed for their platforms

Following the recent news that Square Enix Europe developer Beautiful Game Studios has inked a deal with Shanda Games, GM Roy Meredith has told that continued diversification is the single biggest challenge - and opportunity - that the business is facing.

Earlier this year the company opted to take a break from the annual iteration of its Championship Manager boxed PC title, but with an iPhone title on the App Store and plans for the Chinese market, Meredith stressed the need to be agile.

"I think it's the diversification that we need to undertake," he said. "We're talking about doing something with Shanda, we're talking about a PC game although it's on hold at the moment, we're talking about an iPhone game - we have to get it right across those platforms.

"Taking the brand out in different ways is a huge challenge for us, because we have to get it right - but also the opportunity is there. We have to be agile and flexible, and you need to be that in this industry now. Two years ago nobody would have predicted Apple and Facebook, and now they're there. We could be chasing completely different pots of gold, and different rainbows [looking ahead]."

Meredith also commented on the need to make sure that games were appropriate for the platforms they were released on, and that it was no longer good enough to simply port products across from one to another.

"We need to assess... what the reasons are that somebody plays a game on that format - what does it bring to that person's life? And then build a game around it," he explained.

"I think that every game should be made for the format it's on, rather than just ported over blindly, because I don't think you get the rewards; and neither does the consumer. So when we look at the iPhone, it's about what we want ChampMan as a game to be - we want to make that game more like large snacks, rather than the full banquet, so if you're playing it four or five times a day you're still progressing, still getting satisfaction."

And he conceded that while taking a break from the boxed PC product might upset some people, the brand would suffer more in the long term if the wrong product was released.

"There will be people that, if we only took six months off from the PC game, wouldn't like that decision," he said. "We have to consider those people, but at the same time we can't be everything to everybody.

"We have to move on - I think there was more danger for us in staying the way we were, that would have been more damaging for the brand."

The full interview with Roy Meredith is available now.

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