Originally released in 1986 before Miller founded Apogee, the game was later branded and advertised as an Apogee product. Both it and Supernova are the only two games published by Apogee as traditional shareware. Miller permitted the full game to be freely copied and distributed by its users, but they were encouraged to "register" it by sending him a cash donation to compensate him for his effort, to "encourage the author to make new and better games" and to qualify for "telephone support and clues". Although he had hoped that donations accompanying user registrations would become a significant source of revenue, this expectation failed to be realized as most users did not register the game. He concluded that this strategy "was not the way to go." It seemed to him that gamers were "more apt to simply take what they could get for free" and that he needed to introduce a greater incentive to get users to register his games. Miller's experience with Beyond the Titanic and Supernova led him to develop the Apogee model which would become Apogee's standard method of marketing future releases.
Beyond the Titanic was re-released as freeware by Apogee on March 10, 1998. The source code for the game was released under GPL on March 20, 2009.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Down the Rabbit Hole: The shipwreck and subsequent whirlpool in which your lifeboat is caught seem to be just a pretext to get you Trapped in Another World.
- Freeware Games: This game became freeware on March 10, 1998.
- Mind Screw: It starts out straightforward enough with the player character escaping the Titanic. Once you get into the lifeboat...things become a little strange.
- No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: At least aboard the ship, that is. During the early stage of the game, your player character is said to take zero interest in the casino, parties, and other goings on aboard the ship. You are not allowed to interact with the other passengers and every time you enter the crowded party room, you are given a description of the activities and then (after being told that this is not your scene) automatically leave to return to the outside deck. This is an incentive to go to the lifeboats and hang out there until you need to abandon ship, especially since the game gives you no time to do anything else.
- Trivial Title: The fact that this takes place in 1912 aboard the RMS Titanic isn't really crucial to the plot or your character. Once you escape the sinking ship, the game story becomes like most other early Zork style adventure games of The '80s.