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The Mastertronic site on Guter.Org

In Memoriam:
Frank Herman March 2009
Alan Sharam April 2012

 

Introduction

 

Between 1985 and 1991 I worked for Mastertronic (later Virgin Mastertronic). I was Financial Controller until 1989 and then Systems Manager. By 1992 the games publishing part of the business had become secondary to distribution of Sega products. It was renamed Virgin Interactive Entertainment, moved to the USA and the distinctive Mastertronic budget games were no longer published.

At its peak in 1987 Mastertronic was the dominant computer games publisher in the UK, publishing most of the "budget market" (games retailing at 2.99 or less). It owned the famous Melbourne House label and was involved in ambitious projects for new arcade game systems with a new emphasis on USA-sourced software. Virgin Group was a part owner. Mastertronic was exclusive wholesaler of computer games to Woolworth's, Toys'R'Us and other leading retailers. 

Today the memory of the label and its many successful games (as well as a large number of deeply bad ones) is kept alive on a number of websites. I am not trying to compete with any of these. Instead these pages explore the history and image of the company.

Copies of the original games can be downloaded and replayed on games emulators. In theory this is a breach of copyright. In practice, not only have some of the authors publicly renounced their copyright, but nobody has any commercial interest in the titles. (However some games may well convert nicely to run on smartphones and tablets).  

In August 2003 two veterans of the UK software scene announced that they had bought the Mastertronic name and released a new range of budget priced PC games. More about this in the Press page

If you have any questions about Mastertronic I will be happy to try to answer them. Please remember that I was not a games programmer and cannot answer questions about coding, solutions or cheats.

Mail me

Anthony Guter

 

 
 

Sean De Bray - An Apology

My history section has previously included an incorrect allegation that Sean De Bray (author of Angleball and On Cue) sold us a game that had already been marketed by another company. It was not Sean who did this, but another author. and I have of course removed the offending paragraph. If your website has used material drawn from that page, please ensure that it does not mention Sean De Bray in this context.