Feeds

Elite Systems pulls ZX Spectrum games after deluge of 'unpaid royalties' complaints

'A personally chastening experience,' says boss Wilcox

Mobile application security vulnerability report

The owner of Elite Systems Ltd finally broke his silence on Saturday after a number of British game developers for the 1980s 8-bit ZX Spectrum home computer claimed that Steve Wilcox had failed to pay royalties owed to them.

As The Register reported on Friday, Wilcox, 44, raised more than £60,000, via a Kickstarter campaign, to build funds for a Bluetooth ZX Spectrum keyboard that he planned to develop.

But as the allegations grew louder, and some supporters began to reduce the amount of cash they pledged to the project, Elite Systems' boss could not be reached on the telephone or via email for comment.

Wilcox finally responded to the developers' complaints in a statement on his Kickstarter page just as pledges for his Bluetooth ZX Spectrum keyboard were set to expire.

He promised backers that the project would go ahead now that it had been funded and added that he hoped to have the device ready for backers in September.

Wilcox then addressed the accusations of unpaid royalties:

We wish to assure all of the appeal’s backers, including the game developers that have posted, that having been in business for 30 years we take our contractual relationships most seriously. We urge the game developers to set out any issues which they wish to be addressed in writing and send them to us directly.

We will then investigate and respond in writing and in detail and if able to do so will place our response in the public domain.

He later added: "For the avoidance of doubt, any and all game developers with whom Elite has a contractual relationship will be paid."

Wilcox told El Reg that our "message was lost in a blizzard of communications" on Friday. But he failed to explain why he hadn't responded to our telephone calls.

He instead pointed us to a statement on Elite Systems' website, which confirmed that Wilcox was in the process of having ZX Spectrum games removed from app stores.

Wilcox said he had "failed" in his duty to pay royalties to developers, including Rod Bowkett - the man behind Dynamite Dan I & II.

"This has been a personally chastening experience," he added.

Late last week, Bowkett told the Reg that he had had no response from Wilcox since he agreed to a non-exclusive licence deal with him. Royalties had gone unpaid for successive quarters from the Lichfield-based outfit, he claimed.

Wilcox claimed that he will pay the developers the money they are owed within the next 28 days. But it's unclear where those funds might come from.

His Kickstarter campaign raised £63,194. It's understood that the total amount owed to the ZX Spectrum game coders is around the £10,000 mark. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax
Without representation, too. Time for a Boston (Lincs) Macbook Party?
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple ran off to IBM
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Apple gets patent for WRIST-PUTER: iTime for a smartwatch
It does everything a smartwatch should do ... but Apple owns it
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.