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Games rights-holders tell ZX Spectrum reboot firm: Pay or we pull titles

So, about that '1,000 games bundled with Vega+' boast, Retro Computers...

By Gareth Corfield, 26 Jun 2017

The owners of the rights to about 200 games to be bundled with the ZX Spectrum Vega+ is withdrawing permission for them to be included with the consoles unless its maker pays royalties for games on a previous device, The Register has learned.

A representative from games studio Zenobi told us Retro Computers Ltd (RCL), the company at the centre of the ZX Spectrum Vega+ debacle, still hasn’t paid royalties months after El Reg revealed it owes Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital tens of thousands of pounds.

"We have not been paid by RCL for our Vega or Vega+ games to date. If they don't pay up within seven days then we will withdraw our titles from the Vega+," the Zenobi spokesman said. We understand Zenobi's agreements cover circa 200 titles intended to be bundled with the Vega+ and that the cutoff date expires this Thursday (29th June).

The Vega is RCL’s previous product, a modern reboot of the classic ZX Spectrum gaming console.

Some 5,000 people paid an average of £100 each to RCL for a Vega+ through crowdfunding website Indiegogo. Despite taking the cash, RCL has failed to deliver after more than a year of apparent inactivity, social media updates and court cases aside.

In addition, representatives from Atlantis Gaming Studios, another ZX Spectrum games rights-holder, confirmed that it had delivered a similar ultimatum to RCL, covering 60 titles. A veteran of the retro gaming scene also told us that RCL still hasn’t paid for the use of his titles either.

Other companies with the rights to significant numbers of titles failed to respond to our questions.

Originally RCL promised to bundle a thousand games with the Vega+. With the company having already missed several promised delivery dates for the console and now game authors and other rights-holders withdrawing permission for their games to be bundled with it, questions are mounting as to whether RCL will ever deliver its promised product.

RCL chairman David Levy refused to answer our questions asking why the company had not paid for the software, or paid Great Ormond Street. He simply stated:

“We are not making any comment to The Register”. ®

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