From Popular Computing Weekly, 13-19 November 1987
ELITE LEGAL ROW OVER STAR CLASH
ELITE publisher Superior Software was taking legal advice last week over the appearance of a BBC game STAR CLASH published by Gremlin.
Superior Software claims that the game is a clone of its best-selling game, and as a gesture Gremlin boss Ian Stewart has agreed to withdraw STAR CLASH from sale while both companies continue their investigations.
“Several of the original features first used in ELITE also occur in Gremlin Graphics’ game,” said Superior managing director Richard Hanson last week.
“There is even a slight bug in the STAR CLASH program which is identical to a bug that is evident in ELITE. Indeed many of the machine code routines appear to have been copied verbatim from ELITE.”
STAR CLASH programmer Julian Bushell offered an early version of the game to Superior some months ago but it was refused.
“We took one look at the game and refused to publish it because it was so similar to ELITE,” said Hanson. “I must say that my anger is mainly directed towards the programmer, because I have contacted Gremlin Graphics and I firmly believe that they have been duped by Julian Bushell.”
Ian Stewart confirmed that the company has written to Bushell about the affair, but was unwilling to comment further pending his reply.
“It’s no great hassle as far as I’m concerned – but I don’t condone programmers re-using other people’s code.”