Publisher Elite Systems has pulled a number of emulated Sinclair ZX Spectrum games from Apple’s App Store after several game developers complained about lack of royalties or copyright infringement.
Elite Systems recently successfully crowdfunded on Kickstarter for a bluetooth keyboard that closely resembles the Sinclair ZX Spectrum home computer keyboard from the 1980s. Especially the small rubber keys were characteristic and can be found on the replica. The game publisher has also ported approximately two hundred Spectrum games to iOS and offered these titles in various game bundles for sale in the App Store. However, this move by Elite Systems was not appreciated by a number of developers because they had not given permission to re-release the old games or because no royalties had been paid despite earlier agreements.
Steve Wilcox, president of Elite Systems, has gone through the dust after the fierce criticism and has decided to remove all titles from the App Store for the time being. Gamers who have previously purchased ZX Spectrum classics from the App Store can continue to play the games, but new games can no longer be purchased via in-app purchase or the App Store for the time being.
Wilcox also pledged to contact all affected developers promptly to resolve the issues and pay out any overdue royalties within 28 days. The Elite Systems director calls the situation undesirable and says the more than 450 angry emails about the matter were a “chastisement” to him.