In 1990, Codemasters announced the CD Games Pack – a compilation for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64 and Sinclair Spectrum with 30 games which would be read from a stereo CD player via a lead that plugged into the headphone socket on the stereo to a joystick port on the target computer.
Versions for the Commodore 64 and Sinclair Spectrum were eventually released but the Amstrad CPC version remained unreleased. No explanation was given.
In 2015, I took the chance while interviewing Codemasters co-founder Richard Darling for ‘Life in a Fantasy World – The Story of Dizzy’ to ask what happened to the CPC version. He told me…
This one is easy – We thought the CD Games Pack was going to be a great success. 30 great games for £19.99, much faster loading than cassette – what is not to like? I think we originally intended to launch it simultaneously on the 3 formats but had some difficulties with the Amstrad version, so we launched with C64 and Spectrum intending to follow-on with Amstrad. However, when we launched it for Spectrum and Commodore 64 the sales levels were very low, so we decided not to roll-out the idea to the Amstrad. In hindsight I think we made some mistakes, for example by assuming that 30 games would have a very strong appeal (e.g. 30 times that of a single game), when in fact people are interested in specific games for specific reasons with some appealing to some people and others to others. Also, the new hybrid technology which was a stepping stone between cassette loading and CD ROM drives, was hard to communicate clearly and seemed to have less appeal than we anticipated.
He didn’t say if any prototype software still existed but I will continue to endeavor to find out. The leads for the C64 and Spectrum are compatible.