RVG Interviews - Elite Systems.

RVG Interviews - Elite Systems.

Elite founded by Richard and Steve Wilcox in 1984 as leading developer and publisher of groundbreaking games for the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore 64 home computer systems. We made contact with Steve for a brief chat, huge thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Enjoy.



Carl
How many copies of Space Invasion were actually sold/ made?

Steve / Elite
We'd have to recover the data from some ancient back-up tapes to be able to say but from memory, "several thousand; almost exclusively for the C64 and the German-speaking markets"

AmigaJay
How different is the gaming industry now to how it was when Elite first started in the 80's?

Steve / Elite
How long have we got to answer that one. It's perhaps easier to say what's similar. It's a little glib to say it but great product is still vitally important; as is being first or early to market (whether it's on a new platform or by creating a new product category) and being able to get your message out there. Also, with the advent of mobile the wireless devices the barriers to entering the market have fallen in recent years, back to levels not seen since the mid-80s. The differences are in many cases more obvious; both the size and the geographical and demographic spread of the market for games is much, much greater. Consequently, the number of people engaged in the games business is much larger than when Elite entered it in 1984. At that time, even though this is obviously not true, it felt like we knew or knew of everyone in the business, not just in the UK or even in Europe but also in North America and in Japan. These days I'm not sure we know or know of everyone in the business in Staffordshire!

AmigaJay
What system was the most fun and challenging to work on and why?

Steve / Elite
In the late 1990s we worked with Kumyang Co Ltd to develop and commercialise the racing game Ford Racing for the Korean company 's 2nd-generation coin-operated, motion-base video game simulator. As a closet petrol-head, from a personal point of view, I found that was a real pleasure - even though the products we produced fell somewhat short of meeting our hopes and others' expectations.

AmigaJay
If you could turn back the clock and cancel one of your released games, which one would it be and why?

Steve / Elite
There are few too many of them to name one!

TL
Elite were working on several games for the Atari Jaguar including Virtuoso and Powerslide. Virtuoso was known to be finished and has been in the hands of the publishers Telegames for many years now but they claimed they couldn't release it because Elite wanted too much in royalties, is there any truth to this?

Steve / Elite
I'm sure any terms that may have been discussed would have been "commercially reasonably".

TL
A prototype of Powerslide for the 3DO turned up recently, do you know what happened to the Jaguar version?

Steve / Elite
It may well be residing on a disc in Elite's office.

zapiy
Will Elite ever release any next gen games?

Steve / Elite
We're working on XBLA! games as I write. Does that count?

zapiy
Do you have any sneak peaks for us of any future releases?

Steve / Elite
For the next few months we'll be refocusing our effort from 'retro' to sports. Can you guess why?

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