Commercially supporting the BBC Micro and Master series ...
... is more of a labour of love, rather than a means of making many thousands
of pounds. David Bradforth explains how ProAction operates, and then slips out
some news of future ProAction releases ...
As I would hope you realise, the BBC Micro commercial market is basically dead.
There have been no significant BBC Micro commercial releases for a few years
now, and it was with this in mind that I started ProAction.
ProAction's aim, as far as the BBC Micro and Master series part goes, is to
provide a service to the BBC Micro market, with good quality software offered
in as professional a way as possible. To be able to offer the software titles
on our range, we pay the author(s) a royalty on every copy sold - our titles
are NOT public domain software, hence cannot be distributed without the written
permission of the authors and/or the publishers. Our royalties vary from
between £0.50 and £4.00 per title. Then we need to produce it.
As you can appreciate, 5.25" discs are very difficult to come by; but I shall
shortly be purchasing a couple of hundred for ProAction - and the price works
out to around 30p + VAT per disc.
Then we need to add the packaging. For the Aardvark Collections, we use a
black and white image printed on colour paper; whilst for the Repton 3
Compendium (and everything else apart from TimeSlip), we use a colour inkjet
printout on high-quality paper; and a plastic A5 disc wallet (£1.20 + VAT) to
keep everything in.
With all of the components put together, the total cost for producing the
Repton 3 Compilation is £6.94, and we price it at £11.95 (or £8 to 8BS
With the R3 compilation, the instruction leaflet is being redesigned by
ProAction, due to my not remembering that the leaflet we currently use hasn't
got the details of all 18 data files on it. When we've redesigned it, we'll
photocopy it and produce a manual for ease of use. But it will just be a
photocopy - or a laser print out - due to the fact it's not viable for us to
spend hundreds of pounds producing the laminated sheets used previously by
Superior Software. Likewise for the inlay.
As I would hope you can see, the production of these games is time-consuming
and the financial rewards theirselves are not that much; but we continue. The
only way we can continue is to sell software. At the very least, we have to
cover the costs of producing each title; and if we cannot do this we cannot
continue - quite simple, really.
AND NOW FOR THE FUTURE RELEASES
We have the following titles for imminent release:
* PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 19 - expected RRP £11.95, price to 8BS members £8.00.
featuring 3D Pool plus three new games
Write for complete details - will be released circa May 14th.
* PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 20 - write for details
featuring one ProAction current title plus three new games
* LABEL IT PLUS - expected RRP £1.95, price to 8BS members £1.95
an extension of the Label It program, offering new export facilities
(including PC RTF, RISC OS Impression DDF format and even ASCII text!)
* THE ADVENTURE COLLECTION - expected RRP £11.95, price to 8BS members £8.00.
featuring four completely new graphic adventures, in the veign of Quest from
Superior Software, guaranteed to puzzle.
PLUS IN DEVELOPMENT
* SUPERB TOP-SECRET GAME - expected release July, write for details
* WEB BROWSER FOR BBC MICRO AND MASTER SERIES - expected July
SO YOU SEE
The BBC Micro is a good machine, and ProAction hope to prove that over the
coming months - but please help us to do so! Please note that, for future
purchases, cheques should be made payable to PROACTION rather than to me
personally. This will allow me to keep ProAction's affairs, and my own,
If you wish to order something (see issue 55 of 8BS mag) or just have any
comments / suggestions or even programs you'd like us to consider for selling
commercially, please WRITE to me at the address given below. I'd prefer NOT to
receive telephone calls.
40 Honiton Road
Essex, RM7 9AJ
And remember ... may the Beeb be with you!