Macsen Software

Status: No Download, Findability: 1/5

Not sure how we managed to miss this one, but at some point there were plans for a Commodore 64 game based on the UK soap EastEnders, to be published by Macsen Software around 1987 time.

The game eventually saw release on the ZX Spectrum and was panned by all for being a terrible game. C64 users were seemingly lucky and didn’t see anything released.

The question is whether anything was ever started at all, and does anything still survive of the game? It may not be great, but we’re still curious! Perhaps the game was being developed by Huw Ford, who had done some other titles by Macsen?

Well, contributor Professor Chaos found a link to the game via Julie Dunn’s archived website, which suggests that she could well have done music for Macsen. Sadly nothing has surfaced of the music at this stage – but if the game can be found, there might be some long lost music from Julie to be recovered too.

Interestingly, the Amstrad CPC and BBC Micro platforms also have their versions missing too. So what happened overall? Was it the poor reception of the Spectrum version that killed the others?

Shortly after adding this entry, contributor Edwin Drost found a competition in Software Choice Guide – December 1986, where you win a copy of the game on the C64. Also, the advert actually features a boxed edition of the Commodore 64 game! (See scans for blown up version of the case).

So surely this must have got quite far along? Did it even see a very limited release perhaps? Gaz Spence found via MobyGames that Macsen Software closed in 1987 after owing around £350,000. It seems most likely that the C64, Amstrad and Beeb editions got caught up because of that.

Hopefully we can get hold of the developer sometime in the future to see if something can be recovered of the game (and Julie’s music!).

Contributions: Einar Saukas, Professor Chaos, Edwin Drost, Fabrizio Bartoloni, Gaz Spence

Supporting content

Update history

  • 10/09/23 – Confirmation about Macsen collapsing in 1987.
  • 09/09/23 – Added details of BBC Micro and Amstrad versions thanks to Fabrizio.
  • 28/06/23 – Edwin Drost provides a copy of competition page with the C64 version shown.
Posted in: GTW64 archive | Tagged: | 9 Comments

9 Responses to EastEnders

  1. I think the most likely thing was that the company folded closely after the Spectrum release of Eastenders and the other versions did not make it out before the doors were shut. The Mobygames entry for Macsen Software states that in 1987 the “Company closed owing around £350,000”.

  2. While reviewing a similarly themed games on CPC (Deadenders, that is) the reviewer wrote: “In the UK there is a long-running soap opera (some may say too long) on TV called Eastenders. There was a game adaptation of this released on other formats, but it was never released for the CPC, and that’s despite a famous episode or two featuring product placements for the GX4000!”. So the CPC version could be a further lead.

  3. Interestingly enough, there was a Macsen Software competition in “Software Choice Guide” in December 1986. As you can see here the C64 version could be won: https://ibb.co/LZs2qZJ

    PS:If the screenshot is too fuzzy, I will make another.

    • Great spot! Thanks Professor Chaos! Will update now quickly and put in a credit. I think its very likely that she was brought in to do the music.

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