British publisher Eidos has announced that key PC title Championship Manager 5 will miss its planned release slot this month, and may even slip into the New Year, following speculation last week over the status of the game.
As we previously reported, rumours of a possible delay to the game in share trading circles was blamed for causing a 52-week low of 89 pence in the company's stock value last Tuesday.
At the time, Eidos declined to comment on the rumours, saying only that it was still planning towards the previously announced October date, but in a terse statement issued to the City this morning, the company admitted that Championship Manager 5 would miss October and that while it is working towards a launch just ahead of Christmas, a New Year date is a possibility.
Championship Manager 5 is the first game in the hugely successful series to be developed by Eidos-owned team Beautiful Game Studios, which was formed to take over the franchise after the publisher split from former development partner and series originator Sports Interactive.
London-based Sports Interactive has since signed an extensive development deal with SEGA Europe, and is thought to be on track to launch its first new soccer management game, Football Manager 2005, on November 5th.
This morning's trading update from Eidos also confirmed that the company is still in talks regarding a possible sale of the business, and is currently in the process of selecting a preferred counterpart.
Shares in Eidos (EID) were trading down a penny - just over one per cent - following the news this morning.