Paul and Mark started work on Championship Manager 97/98 in early 1997. One of the greatest quotes ever came from this “Oh – this’ll be easy – it’ll only take a couple of weeks”, said Paul, the eternal optimist. It took a solid ten months to get it together and released – and that was just the English language version. The Championship Manager 2 engine was brought to its outer limits as nine leagues were combined with the possibility of running three simultaneously – almost every part of the game needed to be modified and many improvements were made.
A database of some 20000 players and 2500 teams was put together with researchers helping out from all corners of the globe. This final version of Championship Manager 2, released 31st October 1997 at an update price, went straight to number one of the all formats chart and remained in the top 20 for many many months. In the meantime, Oliver, who had taken a well earned rest after 18 months solid work on Championship Manager 2, started to conceive the first ideas for Championship Manager 3. The game would once again be totally re-written.
In March 1997, Oliver and new staff member Marc Vaughan launched themselves into the Championship Manager 3 project. After a lengthy three months of interviewing, the right people were found to work on Championship Manager 3. With the team assembled, work on Championship Manager 3 steamed ahead and all involved worked hard to make it into a great game. The game was (finally) released on March 26th 1999 and made history as it was the fastest selling PC Game in the UK of all time shifting over 55,000 units in its first.
Championship Manager 3 continued to sell well staying at the top spot of the all formats for 3 weeks and has been top of the PC charts for 11 weeks in total since release. Three foreign language versions of Championship Manager 3 were released in May 1999. The languages included were Italian, French and Portuguese and has proved popular in all these countries as well as all the other countries where it has been distributed.