Elite Systems

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Elite Systems
Industry Computer software
Software publishing
Founded 1984
Headquarters Lichfield, United Kingdom
Website www.elite-systems.co.uk

Elite Systems is a UK video game developer and publisher established in 1984 as Richard Wilcox Software.[1] They are best known for producing home computer conversions of popular arcade games.[2] Elite also published games under the budget re-release labels Encore and Hit-Pak.


Under the name Richard Wilcox Software, only one title was published: Blue Thunder for the ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64. In August 1984, the group was relaunched under the name Elite Systems,[3] expanding the team to include graphic designers Rory Green and Jon Harrison; programmers Neil A. Bate, Chris Harvey, Andy Williams and Stephen Lockley; administrators Paul Smith and Pat Maisey; and Wilcox's brother Steve handled sales and marketing.[1] Their first release under the new Elite Systems label was Kokotoni Wilf,[1] which also carried the first of their anti-counterfeiting holograms on the cassette inlay card.[3]

By 1986, the team were hiring freelancers and developing many home computer licenses of arcade machines. Ghosts 'n Goblins, for example, was converted to the Spectrum by freelance programmer Nigel Alderton and graphics designer Karen Trueman, plus Elite's regular team. The Aldridge-based headquarters housed a row of arcade cabinets for games that were being converted. Their hardware had been hacked so the team could analyse the games to ensure an accurate, licensed conversion.[2]

At the 1986 Golden Joystick Awards, Elite was awarded "Software House of the Year" by Computer & Video Games magazine. In 1989 it got a "Game of the Year" award for Paperboy by the British software industry.[4] Converted by Neil Bate, Chris Harvey and Jon Harrison, with the BBC Micro and Atari ST versions produced by a second Andy Williams who joined the company in 1986.

Around 2003, with the rise in the popularity of mobile games, Elite began to publish mobile games, with a focus on mobile conversions of classic games. Elite has also developed and published some new games, such as AVP.

In 2005, the publication Retro Gamer credited the Elite team in Volume 2-Issue 1 as Richard Benton, Matthew Hyden and Steve Wilcox.

Elite is currently working on an update to Paperboy, and also port popular games to Danger's Sidekick devices.

List of mobile games[edit]

List of older games[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "News Input - Elite Under Way". CRASH (9): 43. October 1984. 
  2. ^ a b Smith, Rachael (May 1986). "Your Sinclair" (5): 56–57. 
  3. ^ a b "Frontlines – Holo Victory?". Your Spectrum (9): 3. October 1984. 
  4. ^ Retro Gamer magazine, issue 65. Pages 53, 54

External links[edit]