ZX Spectrum Kickstarter project stalls over unpaid developer bills

13th Feb 2014 12:00

A Kickstarter project to recreate the ZX Spectrum is in disarray after it was revealed that many of the original developers of the included Spectrum games had never been paid for the inclusion their work.

Elite Systems raised £63,194 to make a Bluetooth version of the classic British ZX Spectrum computer on Kickstarter, offering rewards including the Bluetooth Spectrum itself, printed artwork from spectrum games like Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner and the ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection app for iOS and Android. As well as being used to play Spectrum games, Elite Systems plans to ensure that the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum will “optionally” work as a standard bluetooth keyboard for Windows and Mac computers.

But it is the app, required to use the device to play Spectrum games, which has led to disgruntled developers coming forward. The ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection app was first released on Apple’s App Store in September 2010, boasting of “100% original and ‘officially licensed’ ZX Spectrum games”. Through in-app purchases, a further 25 collections of Spectrum games were added over the next three years.

But despite the licensing agreements being signed, it seems very few developers were actually paid the royalties they were owed for the inclusion of their old games in the Elite Collection app.