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As of the year 2000, the X-Com franchise had sold 470,000 games and made just over £1 million smackaroos, creator Julian Gollop revealed at GDC today. Consider that the original cost just £115,000 to make, and it was "a very profitable game" both for Julian Gollop and his brother as well as ye olde publisher Microprose.
But the game that became a legend - and was reincarnated so successfully recently - was nearly cancelled. Twice.
Gollop pitched X-Com to Microprose - his publisher of choice - and the publisher talked it over with him, suggested some alterations and ask that he go away and write a design document for the game.
It's 1983. Thatcher has marched the Conservatives to a landslide victory, the Austin Metro is Britain's best-selling car, and a new BBC Micro game called Time Lords has just launched.