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Ocean Software enters ELSPA “Hall of Fame”

UK computer and games industry pioneers honoured

Friday 3 December 2004/... David Ward and Jon Woods, the founders of Ocean Software, have been honoured by the UK computer and video games industry at the annual dinner, InDin, last night.

Ward and Woods were presented with the ELSPA(Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association) Hall of Fame award, which celebrates the achievement of the UK games industry's pioneers and honours those who have helped put the UK games industry on the global map.

"Many people consider Ocean Software to be pioneers who helped to transform the UK computer and video games into a real multi national business," says ELSPA director general Roger Bennett, "Together Ward and Woods coined much of the terminology of the games industry and instigated many of its milestones, including the use of brands and franchises from traditional media and the formal processes of protecting intellectual property."

Founded in the early eighties, the partnership oversaw the rapid adoption of the personal computer and established the commercial, legal and technical framework to turn the development and publishing of games software from a hobby into a business.

The advent of dedicated games consoles in the late eighties saw Ocean Software go from strength to strength with titles such as Platoon and Top Gun, sport simulations Daley Thompsons Decathalon and Hypersports and classic arcade hits like Operation Wolf and Renegade.

As the financial stakes were raised in the 90's and games sales expanded rapidly with the advent of Sony as a hardware competitor, Ocean Software broke all records and agreed to the (then) largest ever guarantee for a single title "Jurassic Park", which subsequently exceeded all previous sales and set the formula for the remainder of the decade.

The company was finally merged into a public company which eventually became known as Atari, the seminal interactive brand.


About ELSPA -

ELSPA (The Entertainment & Leisure Software Publishers Association) was founded in 1989 to establish a specific and collective identity for the computer and video games industry. Membership includes almost all companies concerned with the publishing and distribution of interactive leisure software in the UK.

ELSPA's activities include: Official Chart and Industry Reports, Anti-Piracy UK and EU, PR and Communication, Events. More information on all these activities can be found at

The UK Interactive Leisure Software Industry - Facts & Figures from ELSPA/Screen Digest/Chart-Track:

  • The UK is a world centre for games development.
  • In 2003, UK sales of video games, other leisure software products and games consoles topped £2 billion, for the second year running.
  • Over 20,000 people are employed in the UK leisure software sector.
  • The British games industry generated £494m of exports in 2003. 33% of all PS2 games bought in Europe originate in the UK (the same proportion as US originated products and ahead of Japan and any other country).

For further information on ELSPA or to arrange interviews, please contact:



Tel: 01462 456780

Fax: 01462 456781

Email: /

Issued by: Barrington Harvey, Trooper's Yard, Bancroft, Hitchin SG5 1JW

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