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Soccer Manager

Pictured from the left are Andrew, Steven and Chris Gore with Cllr Penney, Paul Ferguson of Enterprise Ventures and Peter Adams.

Four computer games fans who set up their own online football game have secured a six-figure finance package from the Lancashire Rosebud Fund.

Soccer Manager was launched in 2005 by Andrew Gore, his younger brothers Christopher and Steven and their friend Peter Adams. It is now one of the leading games of its type worldwide, with 700,000 active players in 39 languages.

The company, which is based in Preston, is currently making the game available on other platforms including tablets and mobiles. The investment will assist with further development and translation costs.

Soccer Manager allows players to ‘manage’ their favourite football team and compete against other teams from throughout the world. Outside the UK, it is particularly popular in South America, Indonesia and southern European countries including Italy, Spain and Turkey. The game is free of charge, with the company’s revenue coming from in-game purchases and advertising.

Andrew Gore, managing director, said: “We grew up playing computer games, especially football games. One day it occurred to us that we could create our own game – one which we would like to play ourselves. Over the years we have remained true to our original mission statement, that Soccer Manager should be a free game with no barriers to entry.

“No matter which country you are from, what income you have, provided you can access the internet, you can play it. We are currently launching a range of apps to allow people to play on mobiles and tablets, which will expand our audience still further, and we have other plans in store for the future.”

Rosebud is a finance package supporting Lancashire firms to grow and expand their business. The scheme is managed by Enterprise Ventures, on behalf of Lancashire County Developments Ltd (LCDL) – the county council’s economic development company.

Paul Taberner of Enterprise Ventures, which manages the Rosebud Fund, said: “These four young entrepreneurs have turned their passion for computer games into a successful and well-run business. This investment will allow them to exploit the game’s worldwide growth potential. It is the latest in a series of investments in digital and creative businesses and demonstrates the way Rosebud is supporting the sector in Lancashire.”

Rosebud supports growing businesses in the following sectors, Aerospace, Advanced Manufacturing, Creative & Digital, Energy & Environment and Finance & Professional.

County Councillor Niki Penney, Chair of Lancashire County Developments Limited, said: “Soccer Manager employs many graduates from UCLan, so we’re pleased that Rosebud is able to support them and create new graduate-level jobs in the county, especially in such a growing market.

“The computer games sector is now a multi-billion pound industry, featuring plenty of creativity and innovation. There is great potential in online games, especially with so many different ways now to access the internet.”

For more information about Rosebud, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/rosebud, email rosebud@lancashire.gov.uk or call 01772 536 652.