The Championship Manager/Football Manager series is a series of British football-management simulation computer games, the first of which was released in 1992.
The Championship Manager brand and game was conceived by two brothers: Paul and Oliver Collyer. In a scenario typical of many self-made computer game programming teams in the early days of the industry, the original Championship Manager game was written from their bedroom in Shropshire, England. The brothers subsequently founded a development company to take the game further, Sports Interactive, and moved to Islington, North London. Championship Manager became the most popular football management sim of the later 1990s and early 2000s, regularly setting sales records.
In 2003, Sports Interactive split with Eidos, the publishers of Championship Manager. On 12 February 2004, it was announced that Sports Interactive, had retained the rights to the source code but not the rights to the title 'Championship Manager', which were held onto by Eidos (who previously acquired the brand rights from Domark upon their merger in 1995). These developments led to a further announcement that future Sports Interactive football management games would be released under the Football Manager brand name.
Whilst the Championship Manager series would go on, Eidos no longer had any source code, or, indeed a developer for Championship Manager. Edios retained the name and interface, with Beautiful Game Studios taking over the development of Championship Manager.
Having been left without a publisher for its football management series, Sports Interactive teamed up with Sega and later, in April 2006, Sports Interactive was acquired completely by the publisher in a continuing trend of consolidation within the games industry.
The first game released under the newly acquired Football Manager brand was Football Manager 2005. Commonly known as "FM 2005", it competed directly with Championship Manager 5 from Eidos-funded BGS.
Although the two series initially ran alongside one another, the sales of Championship Manager began to fall below those of Football Manager. The most recent full version of Championship Manager was Championship Manager 2010, with an Apple mobile game in 2011 the final game to date released by Eidos.
Football Manager Handheld was first released on 13 April 2006 on the PSP. This was Sports Interactive's first ever game for a handheld console. In April 2010 the game became available on the iOS products. In April 2012 the game was also made available on Android devices.
On 20 April 2007, Sega Europe Ltd and Sports Interactive released details for Football Manager Live which would be a brand new massively multiplayer online game.
Source: Wikipedia, "Championship Manager series", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
Source: Wikipedia, "Football Manager", available under the CC-BY-SA License.