ZX Vega+ News

(Unauthorised and Unofficial)

Vega+ Shipping Dates

  • End of September 2016
  • October 2016
  • In time for Xmas 2016
  • February 2017
  • A "few weeks" from March 10th 2017
  • Summer 2017
  • 8 weeks from August 9th (October 4th, 2017)
  • Mid October 2017
  • April 2018
  • May 8th - 12th 2018
  • May 12th 2018

World of Spectrum

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Daily Blog

The Vega+ daily blog is now so long that by default it only shows the last 7 entries. If you wish to read the full history, click the button below.

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Monday 14th May 2018

Suzanne Martin posts an update regarding a future update on facebook:

Retro Computers Ltd

Short Update

We will be posting a brief update to Indiegogo later today regarding deliveries and what you need to do.

Also keep a look out for an email from us - this won’t come via the Indiegogo platform.

If you haven’t received an email in 48 hours please contact us at Hello@retro.business

Happy Monday :)

— Retro Computers Ltd

RCL release their 97th update on Indiegogo (taking into account the 13 deleted updates)

Retro Computers Ltd

Final Shipping Details

We are starting to send out emails regarding deliveries of "The Classic Black Clive" and what you need to do.

So please keep a look out for an email from us - this won’t come via the Indiegogo platform .

If you haven’t received an email in 48 hours please contact us at Hello@retro.business

Happy Monday ?

The Team at Retro Computers

— Retro Computers Ltd

A backer on facebook asks why emails are being sent outside Indiegogo and Suzanne Martin claims that Indiegogo don't have the capacity to handle them.

Suzanne Martin says Indiegogo don't have the capacity to handle emails
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Tuesday 15th May, 2018

A member of the public discussion facebook group contacts Indiegogo regarding yesterday's update. "Morning folks. After yesterday's update in which RCL said they would be communicating 'away from the Indiegogo platform', I contacted Indiegogo, showing them the full text of Update #84, and asked them if this was according to their usage rules, apart from all the previous stalling and nonsense. I got a reply..."

BBC

Hi Peter,

Thank you for your note. I've looked into your concern regarding the "The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega Plus Console" campaign. I wanted to let you know that your issue requires investigation from our Trust and Safety Team.

I've already escalated your ticket accordingly, and you should be hearing from us very soon. Thanks in advance for your patience while we complete our investigation!

Cheers,

Christine

— Customer Happiness

Paul Andrews posts in the public discussion facebook group to announce that Chris Smith is taking RCL to small claims court for unpaid invoices and will be heard in the County Court of Luton on September 25th 2018.

Suzanne Martin posts on the RCL facebook page that the units are going out in batches by perk, and a sarcastic reply to Nick Barr about wasting time answering questions about how many units per batch and the order of shipping:

Convicted criminal Suzanne Martin

To be clear they are going in batches because we are a tiny team and most people email several times. We are fully aware you can send a mass email but we can’t answer them as quickly as people like. They are also going out broken down by perk -

Nick H Barr would you a] prefer we worked on production
B] replied to this type of questioning?

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin says the units are going out in batches

George Cropper releases his 53rd video called THE VEGA + - OF COURSE THEY MISSED THE DEADLINE.

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Thursday 17th May, 2018

Suzanne Martin posts on facebook claiming RCL have started sending out emails and there will be an update later today:

Convicted criminal Suzanne Martin

We have started sending emails and we will be issuing an update later today

— Suzanne Martin

Suzanne Martin claims RCL have started sending emails and an update is coming

RCL release the following statement on their facebook page, once again blaming Paul Andrews and Darren Melbourne for yet another delay:

Retro Computers Ltd

Eleventh Hour Challenge by Andrews to Halt Vega+

It is no secret that there has been a very public dispute with Paul Andrews former MD of Retro Computers. But what some of you might not know is that whilst Andrews has publicly held himself out as a saviour of the project, he has simultaneously gone to extraordinary lengths to destroy the project behind the scenes through a series of threats, legal actions and an injunction.

One of the things we deliberately decided to withhold was the games list. This was because we believed that Mr Andrews or his business associate Darren Melbourne would seek to challenge the rights and as they had done previously, contact everyone on the list and offer either to "act for" them against RCL or to acquire the rights to and subsequently withdraw the rights from the Vega+ project.

On the 10th May we received a threat from Mr Melbourne and Mr Andrews - copied to a number of our associates and rights owners whose games we have already removed.

So imagine our surprise when we received a letter from one of our partners at the close of business on Tuesday 14th May saying the following:

"This is in light of allegations by Paul Andrews that you do not have the right to include certain games in the consoles. I appreciate that you have deliberately held off circulating a final list of games as this is changing, but you will appreciate why we need this reassurance from you."

In short, we have to resolve this issue before we can ship - there is nobody more fed up than us. We are working our way through the required reassurances and undertakings. We will be sending out the emails as promised and we hope that this will not take too much longer.

Retro Computers Limited 17th May 2018

— Retro Computers Ltd

Darren Melbourne responds by posting the following reply in the public discussion facebook group:

Evening all, as I've also been named in RCL's latest round of utter nonsense let me set the record straight regarding this issue.

As ever there is a grain of truth in what the PR Guru has written. However, as usual, RCL have taken that grain and chipped at it, twisted it and eroded it to such a degree that's it's now virtually unrecognisable as the truth!!

To cut a long story short a few of the games on the original VEGA belonged to my friends and I. We had allowed RCL to put them onto the VEGA as a favour to Paul Andrews. We all elected to have our royalties paid directly to GOSH (The Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital)

After Paul left RCL I wrote to David Levy and asked him to provide me with royalty statements and proof that our royalties had been paid to GOSH! This is where it all went wrong. Instead of acting like a normal decent human being and providing me with the statements (which contractually should have been issued every quarter) David chose to repeatedly attack me instead.

I won't bore anyone with the details but suffice to say RCL never sent me my royalty statements and never showed me any proof that they had paid GOSH on my behalf. Instead I was told that all payments had been made and I had to take David and Suzanne's word for it!!

Being the paragons of virtue that David and Suzanne are you would think this would be good enough for my cohorts and I.........

So, I wrote to RCL again and asked again for the royalty statements and proof of payments to GOSH. This time however I also said that if I didn't get satisfaction from them within a specified period of time that I would contact everyone that I personally knew that had supplied games to RCL and I would ask them all to start chasing their royalty payments and statements and that I would encourage anyone who hadn't been paid to cancel their license agreement, meaning the games couldn't be used on the VEGA+.

There it is, the hidden grain of truth!!

Needless to say, the deadline came and went and (this was 2016 and at that time I was still to learn that deadlines are only guidelines) to this date I've still never seen a royalty statement or proof of payment!!

Being a man of my word I picked up the phone the next day and started calling people!

To this date I think between 300 & 500 games titles were pulled from RCL. Did the rights holders do this because they are in my thrall and do as I command? Did they do it because they wanted to join my obvious nefarious plot to delay the VEGA+ indefinitely or did they do this because (shock horror) they hadn't been paid? Not the odd one here and there that had slipped through the net, none of them had been paid! None of them had ever seen a royalty statement!!

In fact the only people to have been paid at that point had been paid by Paul Andrews before he left the company.

Suzanne is also right when she talks about me representing the rights holders to get their money on their behalf. It's true! I run a licensing company and I'm working for some of the IP holders to get RCL to pay up! I will also state that this is pro bono with every penny that I manage to extricate from RCL going to the rights holders or GOSH!!

What RCL's bleating press release fails to address is that if they paid people they would still have 1,000 games on the VEGA+!! They literally only have themselves to blame!!

— Darren Melbourne

A new article appears on That Retro Video Gamer called Vegawatch 17th May - FCK’d.

RCL delete more than 120 comments from their facebook page. The majority of comments were asking RCL to supply a photo of the manufactured Vega+ consoles, asking about shipping details or refund requests.

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Friday 18th May, 2018

Gareth Corfield releases an article on The Register called What's up with that ZX Spectrum reboot? Still no console. Highlights of the article:

  • Flailing ZX Spectrum reboot firm Retro Computers Ltd has, once again, failed to meet yet another promised delivery deadline.
  • In a series of updates published to its Indiegogo backers over the past couple of weeks, RCL promised to start shipping its Vega+ device between 8 and 12 May. So far nobody appears to have received anything.
  • If RCL fails to ship by the end of this month, Indiegogo has promised to send in a debt collection agency.

A new article appears on That Retro Video Gamer called Vegawatch 18th May - Only the crumbliest, flakiest, PR

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Monday 21st May, 2018

A website called The ZX Vega+ Shareholders Petition is announced on social media. From the front page of the website:

Dear Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega Plus Backers,

The Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega Plus was and is still an amazing concept, but with so many false deadlines and no real evidence of production, and also an imminent delivery deadline with Indiegogo for the end of May 2018 it looks like the campaign will be shut down and backers will come away empty handed.

It is for this reason that we have created this petition site, to give backers the opportunity to inform those who are in charge and whose salaries we've paid that they need to finally resolve this once and for all and attempt to restore some faith and the good name and brand of Sir Clive Sinclair.

We are requesting that all backers of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega Plus fill in their backer details in to the appropriate fields on "The Petition" page of this site. Your information will then be inserted into the petition template email for you to review. Once you are happy to proceed and your details are correct please click the "Send" button. Your Petition email will then be sent on to the appropriate personnel at Sinclair Research Limited and other companies of relevance to inform them of how we, the backers (investors) have been let down time and time again by the current management at Retro Computers Ltd and are requesting them to legally force a shareholders' meeting in an attempt to bring about some form of resolution and potentially save this campaign.

— ZX Vega+ Shareholders Petition

Vega+ shareholders petition

Backers and former backers of the Vega+ are welcome to fill in the petition.

Twitter account @A_Hero_In_Hell is suspended after posting links to an online petition to have David Levy, Suzanne Martin and Janko Mrsic-Flogel prosecuted for fraud and theft.

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Tuesday 22nd May, 2018

RCL release an update forcing users to follow a link to facebook to avoid the post being taken down. The post claims all backers will be emailed during the day regarding delivery options.

Retro Computers Ltd

A Message From Dr Levy

https://www.facebook.com/retrocomputersltd/posts/1760744157301881

Please our public statement over on Facebook. It is posted there to avoid it being taken down.

We will be in touch later today by email regarding your delivery options in light of the latest intervention

— Retro Computers Ltd

In the facebook post, David Levy admits that RCL do not have the rights to the 1000 games and RCL will have to contact all rights holders thus causing another delay.

Retro Computers Ltd

Dear Vega+ Backer,

We were advised last week by one of our commercial partners that Paul Andrews and his business associate Darren Melbourne had been contacting them frequently, making allegations about us in order to cast doubt on whether we have the rights to use all the games in the Vega+. This is very much in keeping with Andrews’ previous actions designed to bring about the collapse of Retro Computers Ltd ("Retro"). Andrews has publicly admitted (online) doing this, and his business partner Darren Melbourne has publicly admitted (online) contacting all the games rights owners in an endeavour to persuade them to withdraw their games from the Vega+.

The result of Andrews’ behaviour is that we have now been asked to provide irrefutable proof of all the licence agreements or irrevocable transferred rights we have with the games rights owners. Retro's intellectual property licensing agreements had been negotiated by Andrews himself , as is confirmed by what he wrote in his section of the eBook "Creating the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega" - an eBook that was sent to all the backers of our company's first product. :

“In due course I met David, we agreed to collaborate on the project, and we discussed the ins and outs of creating the new system. We agreed that I would handle the firmware licensing and much of the business side of the project, including the promotion and marketing, while David would work with Clive on the more technical areas.”

So Andrews has all the licences, but when he and Chris Smith resigned as directors of Retro in April 2016 he failed to deliver almost all of them in the hand-over – he delivered just 4 out of roughly 140. And as for those few rights owners who followed Melbourne’s request and asked Retro for their games to be removed from the Vega+, we did remove them, and we replaced them with other games, many of which were developed specially by Spectrum fans in order to provide us with new games.

Since we now have to prove that we have licences for all 1,000 of the games, we now have to go back and write to all the games rights owners, ask them to confirm that we still have a licence in place for using their games in the Vega+, and await their replies. If any of them now decide to jump on the Melbourne train and withdraw their games at this late stage, we will replace them with other games. But this whole process will take some time to complete, not least because some rights owners take a long time to reply to emails, and the request to provide irrefutable proof will therefore mean that we now have yet another delay forced on us as a direct result of the action by Andrews and his cohorts.

Incidentally, since the beginning of last week, when we informed our backers what Andrews and Melbourne have done, a number of you emailed us to say that they would prefer to have their Vega+ without any games already installed. This would allow them to add games they already have access to themselves. We are currently considering offering this option for those backers who ask for it, though naturally the default will be to provide the Vega+ with 1,000 games already installed.

Meanwhile Andrews has now admitted publicly that he has sent correspondence as if from a fake law firm, but using his home address, with letterheading that contains the UK's Solicitors Regulatory Authority's registration number of a law firm which is no longer trading. It is ironic that allegations from such a person has been responsible for Retro being required, at this late stage, to do something which will add a further delay to the project.

We naturally very much regret this further delay to the delivery of the Vega+. We will of course keep you all informed as we get replies from the various games rights owners.

Kind regards,

David Levy
[Chairman - Retro Computers Ltd]

— Retro Computers Ltd

In the same thread, Suzanne Martin avoids all questions regarding providing photographic proof that the consoles have been manufactured.

Suzanne Martin avoids providing photo proof questions

Paul Andrews posts a brief reply and includes information about the shareholders meeting, that has been called for the latest possible date:

It hardly seems worth posting a response to the constant lies from Martin and Levy, such as those posted by them today. I have already posted up the ONE (exact as sent) letter sent to their lawyer which DID NOT have any law firm on it etc. etc. as per THIER LIES - I cannot say for certain if fake documents have been created by anyone hypothetically, it has been known...

As also shown in prior posts we also posted our responses to LEVYS email to rights owners, not us…

At the end of the day Levy and Martin can shout and scream and lie to backers as much as they want, they have had the ZX Vega Plus backers money, it ALL came in after we left, they haven’t delivered, they have lied repeatedly, and so on.

Inciting backers against me, Chris and Darren and others, is all well and good. But… the paperwork doesn’t lie, so basically … whatever…

After two years of lies about me, and abuse of me, and everyone around me, it’s not that effective anymore, and again just makes them look sad. Show the proof, show the product, pay the games rights owners, pay GOSH, or refund everyone..

But for info for you all, Levy issued a notice of a shareholder meeting (as legally required) yesterday. As was expected it was left till almost exactly the last minute legally permissible on the 21st day, and the meeting has been called for exactly 28 days after that the legally furthest away date they could call it. When there is something more to tell about that we will of course. Other than the fact that as also expected it leaves one week after that meeting till Levy and Martin are unavailable as they informed the courts for three months then.

— Paul Andrews

RCL release a second update called Blankety Blank detailing a new plan to ship the console without any of the 1000 games that were promised to be installed on it:

Retro Computers Ltd

Blankety Blank

Since the beginning of last week, when we informed our backers what Andrews and Melbourne have done, a number of you emailed us to say that they they prefer to have their Vega+ without any games already installed. This would allow them to add games they already have access to themselves. And we would then issue a software update once the games are signed off. We are currently considering offering this option for those backers who ask for it, though naturally the default will be to provide the Vega+ with 1,000 games already installed.

We will be emailing out about this option and in the meantime if you would like to receive your Vega+ without the games please email hello@retro.business with the “Blankety Blank” in the subject line.

— Retro Computers Ltd

Jonathan Humphris posts on the Indiegogo comments page "Now we are able to ‘get one’ blank could anybody explain how I could add games to the console myself? Any links or explanations? I’m a novice on this games installation business??" and Lee Fogarty replies:

Lying Lee Fogarty

@Jonathan Humphris – It should be a simple process – simply put the file on the SD card, and an additional ‘keymap’ file – there will be examples around at the time, and any text editor can set them up. However this was one of the many, many items not working properly on the only FW version ever seen… It’s doubtful Janko responded well to threats to recover £50k paid to (badly) install an emulator – so where is the software?

— Lee Fogarty

Lee Fogarty says games loaded from the SD card are not working properly

Lee Fogarty posts two further times to say that loading games is not a simple task because you have to create keymap files for each game and the latest firmware is incompatible with the original Vega keymaps. 

Lying Lee Fogarty

If you end up with a unit and no games, you can’t just dump games on. You need to create individual keymap files for them (RCL forgot to tell you that). And the last known FW was incompatible with the original Vega files so already created keymaps won’t work properly – if at all.

@Ian Arthur – Nobody has seen the new software (if it exists) so it’s best guess… Creating a file is easy enough, but people seem to think it’s a case of downloading a load of games and dumping to an SD card – that will never work.

— Lee Fogarty

Lee Fogarty says you cannot dump games onto an SD card and have them working

RCL post a poll on facebook to find out what people think about releasing the Vega+ console without any games. The poll is available for those that haven't been banned from their facebook page for asking questions about photographic proof of the device, refund requests or shipping details.

RCL poll to release the Vega+ without any games

A message appears on the ZX Vega+ Shareholders Petition site explaining that the site has been reported:

Vega+ Shareholders Petition website has been reported
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Wednesday 23rd May, 2018

George Cropper releases two videos, THE VEGA+ - NO GAMES AT ALL ??? and THE VEGA+ - COMPLAINTS SITE DOWN!?

 A new article by Gareth Corfield appears on The Register called 'Clive, help us,' say empty-handed ZX Spectrum reboot buyers. Highlights from the article:

  • Customers of Retro Computers ltd, the ZX Spectrum themed reboot firm, have now set up a website asking Sir Clive Sinclair to intervene in the non-delivery debacle.
  • The petition asking the Spectrum daddy to get involved was set up by disgruntled RCL customer Graham Kenny at the web address CliveHelpUs.website, with text on its homepage exhorting people who paid money to RCL via crowdfunding website Indiegogo to sign it with their order ID number to prove their authenticity.
  • Recipients of the petition to Sir Clive will include “relevant personnel at Retro Computers Ltd and other companies,” meaning Sinclair Research Ltd, which is Sir Clive’s corporate presence on the RCL board.
  • When asked to comment on the petition, RCL chairman David Levy said he would raise the matter at a planned general meeting of the company on 18 June.
  • On the agenda for that meeting is a motion brought by company shareholders, Paul Andrews and Chris Smith, to have Levy and fellow RCL directors Suzanne Martin and Janko Mrsic-Flogel removed and replaced with Kenneth Tointon of K Tointon Ltd, who appears to be an accountant.

An announcement on the CliveHelpUs.website informs backers the site is working again and the site has been upgraded to a secure website.

Save

Suzanne Martin argues with Graham Kenny on twitter, and is caught lying about Graham not being a backer:

Graham Kenny is a backer

Indiegogo update their terms of use policy, including the following section that applies from May 25th 2018:

BBC

AGREEMENT TO ARBITRATION. BY AGREEING TO THESE TERMS, USERS AGREE TO RESOLVE DISPUTES WITH INDIEGOGO THROUGH BINDING ARBITRATION (AND WITH VERY FEW LIMITED EXCEPTIONS, NOT IN COURT), AND USERS WAIVE CERTAIN RIGHTS TO PARTICIPATE IN CLASS ACTIONS (AS DETAILED IN THE DISPUTE RESOLUTION, ARBITRATION AND CLASS ACTION WAIVER IN SECTION 20 BELOW

— Indiegogo

Latest Funky Spectrum RCL Videos

For the time being, another site helping backers raise queries about the state of the device and their investment has been put to rest.
(23/05/2018)

To counter the trolls, sorry, games rights owners they've not contacted, RCL have been pushing the idea of releasing the system without any games.
(23/05/2018)

And why wouldn't they, they've missed all the others. why break the habit of a lifetime ?
(15/05/2018)

Indiegogo Campaign

"Our Indiegogo campaign is to raise funds to manufacture the first 2,500 or more units of the Vega+ in the UK, and to prepare us for the second production run."

— RCL (15/02/2016)

Vega+ Status

  • All refunds processed:
  • Roll of honour email:
  • Address confirmation:
  • Battery specification:
  • PEGI certification:
  • Final specs released:
  • Games list released:
  • Finished box design:
  • Manual released:
  • Working website:
  • Final devices made: 0
  • Small claims victories: 0
  • Prototypes made: 20-30