|Elite Systems Limited|
|Headquarters||Walsall, West Midlands, England|
|Other Names||Richard Wilcox Software
Elite Systems Ltd. (also known as Elite) is an English game development company founded by Brian Wilcox and his sons Steve and Richard. They were known for their Commodore 64 games such as Airwolf, Commando, and Ghosts 'n Goblins.
Elite used the following names:
- Richard Wilcox Software was the initial company name. On 1984-09-27, Crash magazine reported the rename to Elite Systems Ltd.
- Hit Pak (late 1986–1988) was a publication label for compilations of new and mostly old games.
- Encore (1988–1990) was announced as a company founded to re-release Elite's best games for £1.99.
- Motivetime (late 1989–c. 1999) was a subsidiary originally intended for console games. Most of Elite's developers would move over to Motivetime who would pay their employees bonuses based on the company's profits, but over time, the profits eventually reduced to virtually nothing. One of the developers guesses that Motivetime kept their profits deliberately low so as not to pay out big bonuses, for example by leasing computer equipment and office space off Elite at inflated prices and using some of the remaining Elite staff as "consultants".
In 1986 or 1987, Elite temporarily changed some employees to freelancers. Some people founded competitors Future Concepts, Arc Developments, NMS Software. Many ex-employees hired Mark Cooksey, mostly freelance, and often uncredited (particularly when Cooksey was employed elsewhere). Some Elite games (especially on the NES) do not have credits either, but it is unknown why.
On games, according to HVSC, the first two soundtracks and driver are by Neil Bate. In February 1985, Mark Cooksey joined and was given Bate's driver for his first games. Apart from that, everyone used their own drivers. Programmers often asked Cooksey to arrange their favorite songs, believing computer music to be a gray area in copyright.
All of Elite's NES games were composed by Mark Cooksey. He wrote the music in Notator on an Atari ST, and would use a utility to convert his music to his sound driver. Mark would use the same sound driver for his work with Spidersoft on their game Cliffhanger (NES) and NMS Software for a couple games.
- Chris Davison - Title music composer for Dragon's Lair (SNES) (1993).
- Chris Harvey (employee 1984–1986).
- David Whittaker - Arranger and composer (freelance 1986–1989).
- Jason Brooke - Arranger and composer (freelance 1988–1989)
- Mark Cooksey - Lead composer (employee 1985–c. 1986, freelance 1987, employee c. 1988–c. 1991)
- Paul Walker
- Richard Frankish - SNES sound driver programmer (1988–1995).
- Rob Hubbard - Composer on two games (freelance 1985, 1987).
- Rob Mann - Composer and sound programmer (1991–1993).
- Stuart Middleton - Sound programmer.
- Tim Round - Sound programmer.
- Tony Williams - Composer for Power Slide ECTS Demo (SNES).
- Trevor Scott - Credited for music in Dragon's Lair (GEN).
- elite-systems.co.uk - Official.
- mobygames.com/company/108/elite-systems-ltd/ - MobyGames on Elite.
- mobygames.com/company/20831/hit-pak/ - MobyGames on Hit Pak.
- mobygames.com/company/6769/encore/ - MobyGames on Encore.
- mobygames.com/company/109/motivetime-ltd/ - MobyGames on Motivetime.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elite_Systems - Wikipedia.
- spectrumcomputing.co.uk/list?label_id=4345 - Spectrum Computing.