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22 Votes - 2 Comments
SPECTRUM MEMORIES PART 4
Budget Re-releasesWe're not talking Playstation platinum here, where re-released games still cost a pocket-money busting 20 quid. These were proper budget prices!As the Spectrum entered the beginning of the end, the major publishers all gradually re-r...

Posted by jdanddiet on Jan 19, 2011 19:43 (Jan 19, 2011 19:43)

Budget Re-releases

We're not talking Playstation platinum here, where re-released games still cost a pocket-money busting 20 quid. These were proper budget prices!

As the Spectrum entered the beginning of the end, the major publishers all gradually re-released their and others back catalogue. It got to a stage eventually where you never bought a game full-price; you just waited for the inevitable budget re-release!

Ocean had The Hit Squad. US Gold had Kixx. Elite had Encore. Hewson had Rack-It. Most released old games with the latter releasing original titles as well. And this was in competition with the existing budget software houses such as Mastertronic and Alternative who were also re-issuing old games willy-nilly.



For the consumer, this was good news. Most of these games were £2.99 - a third of a full price game. As I mentioned in Spectrum Memories 3, Lloyd Mangram writing his lookback on 1986 had already noticed a trend towards budget games in general: 1987 would become the year of the budget re-release.

Of course, Mastertronic had been doing this surreptiously for a few years. Some of their early titles such as Formula One and Chuckman were actually re-issued full price games, although full-price back in the early 1980's had meant £5.95 rather than eight or nine pounds as was common by 1987.

The Hit Squad was one of the most active budget labels. Ocean plundered their back catalogue, steadily re-releasing them for £2.99. Eventually all their titles would appear on The Hit Squad, generally only a few months after its initial release.  Classics such as Green Bert would mix with recent games such as Midnight Resistance and Shadow Warriors.    Other publishers titles would be fair game too and I remember several Domark games appearing under the Hit Squad banner, including Star Wars.

Encore was probably my most fondly remembered of these labels, if only because of the superb back catalogue that Elite had to offer.  As well as classics such as Bombjack, Ikari Warriors and Paperboy, they acquired several old Durell titles which was perhaps a bit cheeky, offering creaking titles such as Harrier Attack! for £2.99.



But what of Kixx?  Well US Gold always had the most variable of quality control and the Kixx games reflected that, although they sensibly avoided re-releasing their biggest clunkers.  The Multimixx £4.99 compilations were a good idea too!

The late 1980's were a truly brilliant era for budget gaming.
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#7 Jan 24, 2011 19:55:04 ( Jan 24, 2011 19:55 )

boyo
Getting a budget release never felt as special as getting the game when it was first released. So I never did bother with them.
#6 Jan 24, 2011 19:46:24 ( Jan 24, 2011 19:46 )

jdanddiet
well you live and learn!
#5 Jan 23, 2011 09:34:00 ( Jan 23, 2011 09:34 )

WhizzBang
 It is generally. But Game here sometimes get rid of old stock at ludicrous prices - usually PC games.
The only thing that is much cheaper here in Sweden than in the UK is houses. This is through deliberate effort by the socialist government as they tax all consumable good quite highly but want everyone to be able to afford a home. It is very common to have 2 houses here. You can't rent them out though, it is just not worth the effort, where as in the UK you can make a lot of money renting out housing property. 
#4 Jan 22, 2011 21:58:53 ( Jan 22, 2011 21:58 )

jdanddiet
i thought everything was more expensive in Sweden!
#3 Jan 22, 2011 20:41:36 ( Jan 22, 2011 20:41 )

WhizzBang
 I am in Sweden, they actually cost 10 Kroner which is about 75p in real money. 
#2 Jan 22, 2011 18:40:15 ( Jan 22, 2011 18:40 )

jdanddiet
ps2 game for 75p from game?  all mine seem at least 4.99!
#1 Jan 22, 2011 12:54:07 ( Jan 22, 2011 12:54 )

WhizzBang
 £2.99 is still the yard stick I use at which anything below this price is worth taking a punt on due to these Spectrum releases. I recently bought 3 PS2 games in mint condition from Game that cost 75p each and the thought did cross my mind that I would have jumped at this price in the Spectrum days so I had to get these.
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