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Elite Timeline

Elite Timeline


"Elite" was written by David Braben and Ian Bell starting in 1982 while the authors were still at Cambridge University. It was first published by Acornsoft on the BBC Micro in September 1984 to huge critical acclaim.

"Elite" set many firsts, and was the first genuine 3D game on home computers. Even many years after its release it is fondly remembered. For example "Probably the best computer game ever" (The Times, December 1988). It went on to sell around 1,000,000 units, and is popular still.


"Frontier: Elite II", which the company is named after, was the long awaited sequel to Elite.

"Frontier" also set a number of firsts. It was the first game to have real-sized planets, where cities could be viewed from orbit, it was the first to use curved surfaces (Bezier), the only game to do a palette-fit every frame to get best use of colours (Amiga and ST only), and (apart from First Encounters) is the only piece of software (games or otherwise) that attempts to simulate our entire galaxy.


"First Encounters" was the sequel to Frontier. It was released in Easter 1995 and was well reviewed, despite being released before the development team thought it it was ready.

The detailed modelling of the geography of the planets was groundbreaking, using procedural texturing to generate the vegetation, snow, etc. on the planet surfaces. Mountain ranges, cliffs and wonderful alien landscapes and atmospheric effects all contributed to the mood of the game.


"Elite: Dangerous" Kickstarter campaign was announced in November 2012 and was successfully funded in January 2013 with backers raising over £1.7 million to date.

"This is the game I have wanted Frontier to make for a very long time. The next game in the Elite series - an amazing space epic with stunning visuals, incredible gameplay and breath-taking scope, and also fully multi-player." - David Braben (Frontier founder and CEO)

Be part of the legend and join the ranks of the Elite

Jul 7, 2013
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