Alternative Software

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Alternative Software Ltd.
Traded as Alternative Software
Industry Software industry
Genre Software industry
Founded 1985 (1985)

Alternative Software is a British software developer and publisher founded in 1985.[1]

From the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, the company published well over a hundred games,[2][3][4] primarily for the 8-bit computer formats in the budget (£1.99 to £3.99) market. These included both original titles (e.g. Pro Mountain Bike Simulator[5]) as well as reissues of other developers' and publishers' software (e.g. Creative Sparks' River Rescue).[6] The company also released a number of budget titles based on licensed characters (e.g. Count Duckula[7]).

By late 1988, Commodore Computing International were noting Alternative's success, observing that they had topped Gallup's market share charts almost every week since June of that year, been the number one software house in 7 out of 8 Gallup charts and averaged a market share of 11.2% versus their nearest rival Mastertronic with 10.5%.[8]

In a 2015 interview, founder Roger Hulley claimed that by 1990 the company had a 17 percent share of the budget games sector.[9]

During the late 1990s, the company diversified into development of "paint studio", "print studio" and similar-type software. As of 2018, the company is still active,[1] with publication Retro Gamer noting in their 30-year retrospective of Alternative that they had "constantly evolved in order to stay afloat in an increasingly tough industry".[10]


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Total number of distinct titles across various formats including the ZX Spectrum, Atari 8-bit and Commodore 64 as per other references.
  3. ^ "Publisher or Copyright containing 'alternative software'. Found 59 games". Lemon64. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  4. ^
  5. ^^Pro+Mountain+Bike+Simulator$&pub=^Alternative+Software+Ltd$&loadpics=1
  6. ^ River Rescue, Atarimania. Article retrieved 2007-04-22.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Alternative Software Moves On". Commodore Computing International. November 1988. p. 13. Retrieved 2016-07-05. Since the beginning of June, Alternative topped Gallup's market share charts almost every week [being] the No. 1 software house in 7o ut of the last 8 Gallup charts and since the beginning of June, their average market share has been 11.2%. The only other company to have an average market share for this period in double figures has been Mastertronic with 10.5%.
  9. ^ "Alternative history: Three decades of the publisher". MCV. Newbay Media 2016. Archived from the original on 2015-10-31. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
  10. ^ "Company Profile: Alternative Software". Retro Gamer. No. 107. Retrieved 2016-07-05.
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