Beyond Software

Founded By:
Location:Competition House, Farndon Rd, Market Harborough, Leics. LE19 9NR
Year Started:1983
Year Wound Up:
Titles in Database:17
Rights Now With:Hasbro Interactive
Beyond Software was a video game publisher in the UK in the 1980s. It was set up by the EMAP publishing group in 1983 and published numerous titles on the Commodore 64, Dragon 32, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, but met with very little success until the release of Mike Singleton's Lords of Midnight in 1984. The Tolkien-esque strategy game became an instant success and allowed Beyond to establish a distribution deal with American developers First Star, as well as a publishing deal with C64 developer Denton Designs.

After being acquired by Telecomsoft in late 1985 for a six figure sum, Beyond continued to operate as a unique label, mostly releasing games that had already been in development for some time, as well as a number of conversions of existing titles. Telecomsoft did very little with the Beyond label beyond these releases. A number of high profile titles, such as Star Trek: The Rebel Universe ended up on the Firebird label, while a highly anticipated Mike Singleton project, Eye of the Moon, failed to materialise

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Company History


Added: 21 May 2013
Beyond Software was originally part of the EMAP Business and Computing Publications empire. Set up in 1983, Beyond's first released game was Space Station Zebra. It wasn't an enormous success, but Beyond games after the initial few releases stood out from the crowd, mainly due to their very distinctive (and very bright!) A5 sized yellow cardboard slip cases with red logos.

Beyond's next few releases included Spellbound and Psytron, but the game that catapulted the company into a major publishing force in the UK was The Lords of Midnight, written by Mike Singleton and published in late 1984 for the Sinclair Spectrum. This game is still considered by many (admittedly now much older!) Spectrum owners as a classic. It was unique in many ways, and there are plenty of web sites dedicated to the game and it's inevitable sequel, Doomdark's Revenge (published in 1985). With a plot heavily influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien, this war game featured a new 'landscaping' game engine that had never been seen before.

Beyond bought the rights to publish and convert a number of games for the UK market from US developer First Star, including Spy vs Spy (converted to the Spectrum by Tag and the kid). They also followed up the success of the two 'midnight' games with Shadowfire and it's sequel Enigma Force from Denton Designs. Sorderon's Shadow utilised a landscaping engine similar to the 'midnight' games but had a text adventure system thrown in, and character graphics from Denton Designs.

Other Beyond games included My Chess II, Psi Warrior, Ankh, Aztec, and Mr Robot, with a fair number of them only ever appearing on the C64. Beyond then introduced a new label, called Monolith in 1985. Amongst other titles, Monolith published Denton Designs' arcade sports game Bounces. Mike Singleton started work on the final part of his 'midnight' series to be called Eye of the Moon, but he got diverted to help out another Beyond project Quake Minus One (C64 only).

In late 1985, Telecomsoft bought Beyond from EMAP. At the time, Bill Delaney, managing director of Beyond said: "We have no qualms about going to BT and are happy that they've taken us on. There won't be any significant changes in Beyond. We will continue with our planned range of products". Telecomsoft were flush with the success of the Elite conversions at the time, and they allegedly paid a six figure sum for the company. Some of the management within British Telecom felt that they paid over the odds for the company.

Telecomsoft's ownership of Beyond saw them publish the Amstrad CPC conversions of Doomdark's Revenge and Enigma Force, C64 only games Quake Minus One and Infodroid, and release a compilation called The Best of Beyond in 1986, which contained Doomdark's Revenge, Shadowfire, Enigma Force and Sorderon's Shadow for the Spectrum, or Shadowfire, Enigma Force, Quake Minus One and Psi Warrior for the C64. It also included the audio dramatisation of Mike Singleton's short Doomdark's Revenge novella which had been commissioned by Francis Lee when BT bought the company from EMAP.



First Star's Superman game was originally considered a key title in Beyond's portfolio, and was one of the reasons why BT bought Beyond from EMAP. Initially released by BT in the UK for the C64 on the Beyond label, it was soon realised that the game was (to put it bluntly) awful. Anthony Taglione's Spectrum conversion was therefore released as a budget title (at �2.99) under the First Star label but published by Telecomsoft in a double-cassette jewel case (unusual for a budget release) and distributed by Prism Leisure.

Telecomsoft didn't do much with Beyond once the titles that had been in development were completed. Star Trek: The Rebel Universe was initiated to mark Beyond's ownership under BT. That title, along with Mike Singleton's Dark Sceptre were originally due to be published under the Beyond label, but ultimately they appeared as part of the Firebird range instead. By then, the third part of the 'midnight' trilogy was in limbo on the Spectrum. 8-bit sales were on the decline, an

Added: 21 May 2013
Beyond Software was a video game publisher in the UK in the 1980s. It was set up by the EMAP publishing group in 1983 and published numerous titles on the Commodore 64, Dragon 32, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC, but met with very little success until the release of Mike Singleton's Lords of Midnight in 1984. The Tolkien-esque strategy game became an instant success and allowed Beyond to establish a distribution deal with American developers First Star, as well as a publishing deal with C64 developer Denton Designs.

After being acquired by Telecomsoft in late 1985 for a six-figure sum, Beyond continued to operate as a unique label, mostly releasing games that had already been in development for some time, as well as a number of conversions of existing titles. Telecomsoft did very little with the Beyond label beyond these releases. A number of high-profile titles, such as Star Trek: The Rebel Universe ended up on the Firebird label, while a highly anticipated Mike Singleton project, Eye of the Moon, failed to materialise.


Softography


Added: 21 May 2013
Title Developer Genre Released for Year Format
Goodness Gracious Paul Jay Arcade Commodore 64 1983 Tape
Kriegspiel Ron Potkin Strategy Dragon 32 1983 Tape
Space Station Zebra Pat W. Norris Arcade Sinclair ZX Spectrum 1983 Tape
Up Periscope Ron Potkin Strategy Dragon 32 1983 Tape
Ankh Datamost Inc. Puzzle Commodore 64 1984 Tape
Aztec Datamost Inc. Arcade Commodore 64 1984 Tape
Lords of Midnight Mike Singleton Graphic Adventure Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC 1984 Tape, Disk
Mr. Robot Datamost Inc. Arcade Commodore 64 1984 Tape
My Chess II Datamost Inc. Board Game Commodore 64 1984 Tape, Disk
Psytron Psy-Sci Tactical Combat Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 1984 Tape
Spellbound Pat W. Norris Arcade Sinclair ZX Spectrum 1984 Tape
Spy vs. Spy First Star Software Arcade Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC 1984 Tape
Bounces Denton Designs Arcade Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 1985 Tape
Doomdark's Revenge Mike Singleton Graphic Adventure Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC 1985 Tape
Psi Warrior Psy-Sci Arcade Commodore 64 1985 Tape
Shadowfire Denton Designs Tactical Combat Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC 1985 Tape
Shadowfire Tuner Denton Designs Game Editor Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 1985 Tape
Sorderon's Shadow Nick Eatock, Simon Welland Graphic Adventure Sinclair ZX Spectrum 1985 Tape
Quake Minus One Mike Singleton, Warren Foulkes RTS Commodore 64 1985 Tape
Superman: The Game First Star Software Arcade/Strategy Commodore 64 1985 Tape
Enigma Force Denton Designs Tactical Combat Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 1986 Tape
Dante's Inferno Denton Designs Arcade Adventure Commodore 64 1986 Tape
Infodroid Denton Designs Arcade Commodore 64 1986 Tape
Romper Room Educational Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 1986 Tape
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Added: 14 Nov 2018
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