Miles Jacobson, studio director for Sports Interactive, has broken his silence on why his studio left Eidos in 2003. Turns out, the studio though Eidos was looking to replace it with Beautiful Game Studios, while life president Ian Livingstone said the firm brought the later into the fold because it has heard rumors Sports Interactive were planning to split.
Speaking together during a "fireside chat" at the GameHorizon conference, both Jacobson and Livingstone explains their perspective sides. Jacobson saying they thought Beautiful Game Studios was brought in to take over Championship Manager; Livingstone saying they brought them in to protect the firm in case the studio jumped ship.
“I’m sure there are two sides to this story,” Jacobson said “We have never spoken about in the past. At the time we felt there was a lack of respect that we did for our work from Eidos. There seemed to be an attitude at the time in the industry that anyone could make games.
“Eidos wanted more control. We wanted more control. We were asking for high royalties. 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."
Jacobson continued stating that there was nothing more stressful than "breaking up a brand that took 11 years to build," but that Sports Interactive is stronger than ever in the hands of its parent company, SEGA, where it is in charge of the ever popular Football Manager.
“I went for a curry with the CEO of Sega in Japan and Europe and he made me an offer on a napkin,” Jacobson recalled. “I kept telling them we were not for sale. I told them they would have to double the offer for me to even discuss it with Paul and Ov Collyer."
The following day, SEGA doubled the offer, securing the studio's financial future and enabling the studio to retain independence.
Sports Interactive will reveal the next Football Manager in the fall which is said to contain a less conservative design than past iterations.
Big thanks, Edge.