Beautiful Game Studios general manager Roy Meredith claims that the Championship Manager series has been afflicted by a 90% piracy rate.
Speaking to CVG, Meredith says that the figure is not just a number plucked from the air; “we can measure it and we know that there are a huge amount of pirated copies."
For a series that officially began in 1992, it’s likely Meredith was referring to the series from the point when it broke from ex-developer Sports Interactive and became the livelihood of Beautiful Game Studios. The developer’s first take on the series was Championship Manager 5, released in 2005.
In regards to a possible cure for the series’ piracy ailment, Meredith seemed reluctant to resort to the contentious use of DRM technology. "There’s a real issue around DRM,” he says, “I’d love to defeat pirates, but actually, with all this mess on Spore and Football Manager, which I haven’t been able to play this year…”
"There are actually other ways of dealing with piracy too. One is to compete price-wise. We haven’t got to pay royalties to Sony or Microsoft, so we can go into territories and price-compete."
The next instalment of Championship Manager 09 is scheduled for release this April, a delayed release which Beautiful Game Studios claims is part of its aim to reignite the flagging franchise’s once-glimmering reputation. Encouragingly, Meredith had previously criticised the series as being “mid-table mediocrity”, before adding that “we’re making great strides to become genuine title contenders."