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Miles Jacobson tells all on Eidos/Sports Interactive split

Football Manager dev describes the "stress" of leaving Championship Manager IP behind

Sports Interactive's Miles Jacobson has broken the silence on the Football Manager studio's split from Eidos nine years ago.

Speaking at the Game Horizon conference - reported by Edge - Jacobson described the circumstances surrounding his decision to leave the Championship Manager IP with Eidos in 2003.

"At the time we felt there was a lack of respect that we did for our work from Eidos," Jacobson said in a session that also included Eidos president Ian Livingstone. "There seemed to be an attitude at the time in the industry that anyone could make games."

Jacobson believed that Eidos was lining up a team to replace Sports Interactive on the franchise. However, Livingston claims that it was just "preparing" for what it saw as Sports Interactive's imminent decision to leave.

"Eidos wanted more control. We wanted more control. We were asking for high royalties," Jacobson continued. "Eidos set up Beautiful Game Studios nine months before Championship Manager 4 was due to come out. They told me that BGS were making a platform game. I thought our number was up."

Ultimately, Jacobson's decision to move on proved successful. Despite leaving the Championship Manager IP behind, Sports Interactive signed a deal with Sega the following year, which produced the successful Football Manager franchise.

"A developer can't go through anything bigger than breaking up a brand that took 11 years to build. I can't believe there is anything more stressful for a developer.

"I collapsed at E3 when the final decision to leave was made. It was partly because I had glandular fever, and partly down to the stress."

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Matthew Handrahan avatar
Matthew Handrahan: Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.
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