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Press Cuttings

Who were the most influential people in the UK games industry in 1991? ACE ran a feature split over many pages in its July issue to list them; Here are those involved with Mastertronic. This article appeared precisely at the time that Virgin Mastertronic was splitting into the Sega and non-Sega parts, hence the confusion between whether people worked for Virgin or for Sega UK.

Gerry Tucker had joined as Financial Director when Virgin acquired the whole of Mastertronic Group in 1988 and made an unexpected switch in career to head up the UK games publishing part of the business in 1990 (which was known as Virgin Games although it included Mastertronic and Melbourne House). Geoff Heath left Virgin Mastertronic soon after the takeover. Philip Ley had recently joined as head of marketing for Sega. Alan Sharam, described here merely as "sales manager" became MD of Sega UK at this time.

The third member of the original Mastertronic triumvirate - Martin Alper - continued to head up Mastertronic Inc in California and was shortly to take over control of all of Virgin Games.

The feature also lists Mr Ishihara as head of Sega UK ( as was common with Japanese businessmen, first names were not used much). This refers to a mainly separate organisation dealing with sales of amusement arcade machines and operation of leisure centres. Surprisingly Nick Alexander, MD of Sega Europe and previously long-standing boss of Virgin Games, did not get a mention, Nick left Sega a year or so later to join Pearson.


The authors of this piece, Gary Whitta and Gary Liddon, clearly knew Frank ("An explosive temper") and Alan ("a propensity to hesitation") very well.