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Jon Radoff’s BBS-related correspondence

Yesterday entrpreneur and tech pioneer Jon Radoff shared on Facebook a letter he found from a former player of his early internet game Legends of Future Past. I asked him if might have similar letters related to his earlier BBS door games, Space Empire Elite and Final Frontier.

Today he found some and gave me permission to post them on Break Into Chat!

Here’s more explanation from Jon:

You can thank my mother Anna Radoff for keeping these things for me and then putting them in a scrapbook a few years back. I would have been about 14-15 at the time of these letters. Two are people ordering/requesting a copy of the games (yes kids, people used to send disks in the mail!) and another is the first page of a license agreement I did with someone to port the Atari ST version to the PC.

Side note — why were those two letters sent by mail instead of just leaving me a message on my BBS? I’m not exactly sure, but: a) the phone line was probably busy a lot and this was a single-user system [later I wrote a multiuser BBS for the Amiga and had two lines, but that postdated this tuff] and b) international phone calls were exorbitantly expensive at the time. One of the letters is from Germany, the other is from Australia.

Jon Radoff, creator of “Space Empire Elite” and “Final Frontier”

Jon Radoff is an internet entrepreneur whose career has gone from dial-up to “Beam me up.”

Jon Radoff Headshot

Radoff broke into the gaming business as a teen, writing the BBS door games Space Empire Elite and Final Frontier for the Atari ST in the late 1980s. He built one of the original commercial games on the internet, and founded several gaming and net-related companies since then.

These days he’s the CEO of Disruptor Beam. The company’s latest game, Star Trek Timelines was released for Android and iOS on Jan. 16.

Space Empire Elite is probably the first BBS door game I played as a kid. Did you ever play? Share your memories in the comments. Want to try these old games today? I’ve included links to BBSes at the end.

This interview was conducted by Skype on Jan. 29. It has been edited for length and clarity.

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