Codemasters has suspended work on its Club Football series and made 18 members of the development team redundant, throwing the future of the football franchise into jeopardy.
"We've decided to take some time out," a spokesperson for Codemasters told us. "It's such a competitive market for football games out there, but we definitely want to build on what we've learned and get back in there in the long-term."
No further Club Football games are planned until at least 2006, we were told, making any return for the series a next-gen prospect.
The series - which came in multiple team-specific flavours and appeared on PS2, Xbox and PC - has already had three outings since its 2003 debut, including the patriotic England International Football.
Taking on the might of EA's FIFA and Konami's Pro Evolution Soccer at the top of the football game league was always going to be a tough prospect for Club Football. The last instalment, Club Football 2005, received only mediocre review scores.
The other members of the Club Football development team have been assimilated into other Codemasters projects including the successful LMA Manager series, which is unaffected by the suspension.