Beau Jolly were formed in 1984 as a software house that specialised in obtaining the rights to other publisher's games when they were deemed of no further commercial worth.
Their remit was to collect as many of these licences and re-distribute them in the form of compilations, mirroring the record industry which had at that time begun to expand their back catalogue promotions.
The first major acquistion came following the collapse of the original Imagine Software when Beau Jolly stepped in and picked up the rights to a number of their games. From this, their business model snowballed by picking up games from smaller publishers such as Realtime Games, PSS & Anirog.
After a few smaller releases of their ex-Imagine stock on the C64 and ZX Spectrum, Beau Jolly launched their first major release, in a blizzard of an advertising campaign, 10 Computer Hits on a number of formats, including the CPC. The series eventually ran to five releases over the following three years.
Interestingly, the titles on their compilations often varied from format to format depending on what was and was not available.
Their control of the compilaton market began to dry up as more and more software houses realised the value of their back catalogues and released their own compilations. As Beau Jolly never invested in any new software or conversions of software - they were solely involved in the distribution of third party software - and as the smaller companies began to be swallowed by the 'bigger fishes in the Ocean' they did not have enough clout to survive for long into the 90s, their last release for the CPC being made in the Winter of 1991.
The long dead software house were the subject of some controversy in the CPC scene back in 2006. Someone claiming to own the copyright to the phrase "Computer Classics" posted a message on the CPC Zone boards requesting that the title be taken down as it infringed his copyright. After a few attempts at reasonable explanation, the forum regulars were astounded when the proprieter of the copyright continued to bombard the board demanding that references to this title were taken down as it infringed his copyright.
Sadly since the demise of the old CPC Zone boards it is not possible to link directly to the storm but for the people who were there it remains a surreal experience that won't be forgotten anytime soon!
Please note: due to the nature of their output, this list cannot be considered to be exhaustive at this time and should be regarded as a work in progress:
- 1. 10 Computer Hits (1985)
- 2. 6 Computer Hits (1985)
- 3. 10 Computer Hits 2 (1986)
- 4. Five Star Games (1987)
- 5. Computer Classics (1987)
- 6. Five Star Games II (1987)
- 7. 10 Computer Hits 3 (1987)
- 8. 5 Computer Hits (1987)
- 9. Five Star Games III (1987)
- 10. 20 Chart Busters (1988)
- 11. 10 Computer Hits 4 (1988)
- 12. Supreme Challenge (1988)
- 13. 30 Red Hot Hits (1989)
- 14. Soccer Spectacular (1989)
- 15. 10 Computer Hits 5 (1989)
- 16. The Tolkien Trilogy (1989)
- 17. Big Box (1991)
The Beau Jolly - CPC community incident
Back ca. 2006 the CPC Zone received threats about legal action requesting that all references to the company be taken down. In response this page here was created with nothing but the name of the company, typed over and over again. The details have been forgotten with the shutting down of the Zone, but as Nich recalls:
"The discussion was on the CPC Zone forums, and it was so funny at the time!
From what I remember, some American guy was selling educational games with a religious theme under the name of Computer Classics, and was trying to get CPC Zone to remove all mention of Beau Jolly's compilation, Computer Classics because he believed it infringed his trademark. He was also trying to get in touch with Beau Jolly about the same issue. He made repeated demands on the forum, but he just could not comprehend that:
1) Beau Jolly's compilation was released back in 1987 - some years before his own trademark was registered, 2) Beau Jolly stopped selling their compilation a long time ago, 3) CPC Zone was just listing historical information about CPC games.
It's a shame that the discussion wasn't archived, because the American guy gave all of us CPC Zone readers some great entertainment! In the end, Malc Jennings (the CPC Zone webmaster - you remember him, don't you? ) reckoned that he was doing this to try to create publicity for his own Computer Classics software - although if that was true, it was a very strange way to do it."