Brothers Paul and Oliver Collyer were in their teens when they created their computer game Championship Manager, which allows a player to manage a virtual football team. It took off when the leading computer-games publisher Eidos Interactive agreed to market and distribute it.
The brothers left their Shropshire bedroom headquarters to launch Sports Interactive in North London in 1992 with Eidos as a 25% stakeholder.
The third series of Championship Manager became the fastest-selling computer game ever in Britain, moving 55,000 copies in its first week on the market in March 1999.
The Collyer brothers use a worldwide network of 1,500 football fans who work as unpaid researchers analysing the performance of players.
Selling 600,000 copies annually, the company increased sales 129% a year, from £281,000 in 1998 to £1.5m in 2000.
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