ZX Spectrum game developers concerned over Elite Systems Kickstarter

By Stephany Nunneley, Friday, 31 January 2014 20:41 GMT

Developers are worried the ZX Spectrum keyboard, which emulates the microcomputer of the same name from the 80s, will allow users to play unlicensed versions of their games.


Elite Systems has the keyboard up on Kickstarter and and as of press time, the funding goal has reached £64,614 with 81 minutes left.

An app full of classic ZX Spectrum titles to play with the keyboard, developers of which have stated are not licensed, according to an extensive report on the matter at Polygon.

One of these is Daley Thompson’s Decathlon who declined to be involved with the keyboard. He also said Elite Systems published a mobile version of his game anyway.

Steve Wetherill, a developer for Odin Computer Graphics and Paul McKenna gave Elite the rights to sell their games in 2010 but have yet to receive another royalty check depite the title still selling.

Dynamite Dan developer Rod Bowkett also claimed to have not received royalties from Elite.

Furthermore, Elite’s ability to use the Spectrum ZX name and image were acquired by an unnamed license holder.

Elite has said it plans to clear some of this up at some point today.

“A number of the appeal’s backers have requested that we make a statement in response comments posted on the forum of the Kickstarter appeal for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrumm,” stated Elite on it’s Kickstarter page. “We are preparing a statement which we trust will satisfy the appeal’s backers.”

The ZX Spectrum keyboard will connect to iOS, Windows and Android devices over Bluetooth.

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