In 1983 Martin Alper, Frank Herman and Alan Sharam founded the computer game publishing company Mastertronic. The three had some financial backing from a small group of outside investors and previous experience in video distribution.
Their initial venture involved bundling packages of 100 tapes ("dealer packs") and sending them to news agents, toy shops, motorway service stations, or just about anyone who would take them. At that time (1984) mainstream retailers generally refused to take the risk on budget games because of poor quality and sales. Mastertronic eventually won them over with a regular supply of good quality and high selling games. Another key figure at the time was ex-Notts Cricket batsman Richard Bielby who ran a distribution network servicing a large number of small retailers.
Mastertronic started the "trend" of budget-priced games, selling most of their software for just £1.99.