Exitilus was originally coded by a developer named "Tao Ge" in 1996. In 1998, Exitilus was sold to ECI Software. ECI Software released several 3.XX versions of Exitilus, the most popular being 3.17 and the last known version being 3.20 released in 1999. However, not all the areas of the game were fleshed out by ECI Software, and most that are available are significantly different from the 2.XX versions.
As an interesting aside, Tao Ge was famous for not being able to be found. After the sale of Exitilus to ECI, nobody on the entire internet has been able to find him, and nobody seems to know who he really was - not even ECI Software!
In researching ECI Software, they seem to have gone out of business and lost the rights to their domain name shortly after May 20, 2002. At that point, the domain name turned into a parked site featuring advertisements for lewd sex sites among other things. Currently the ECI Software website simply brings up a page that says "Note: We do not produce video games. We provide software to web developers."
After Exitilus's last known release in 1999, the game apparently fell into disrepair, losing funding and support from the mother company. In a press release dated Feburary 22, 2000 on ECI Software's website (according to a cached copy dating 2001), ECI's then-lead technician Robert Scheibel writes:
Hello Exitilus Fans! I know it's been a very long time since you've heard from me or anybody else from ECI Software. This Press Release was created to try to answer all questions regarding Exitilus. If you have any more questions, please email me at email@example.com and I will try to answer them.
First of all, Exitilus is not Dead. It's just been hibernating for a little while. The reality is that code was given to Ricky Link to continue on with the Extilus creation. He go (sic) so far, but then work and family overwhelmed him and he had to stop production on Exitilus. This just recently happened. Ricky did a great job and we thank him greatly for his contributions to Exitilus. Now that Ricky is no longer working with us to finish Exitilus and keep it alive, it just leaves me.
ECI Software, LLC is doing fine with their Internet Division. However, they have been losing money constantly with Exitilus. So, they are not going to be putting any more money into it. This means that I am the only one Programming and handling Exitilus. ECI Software will still keep their Copyright on the Product, along with keeping the Web Site up for Exitilus. They will also keep funding the BBS and perhaps even allow us telnet access to the BBS.
This means that Exitilus is going ***REGISTERWARE***. What is Registerware? Registerware is Software that is free of charge to use, but you just have to le me know that you are using it. This lets me know whether I should continue spending time on Exitilus, or if it's a dead project. I personally do not want to let Exitilus die, because I love the game... but I know it needs a ton of work.
So what am I promising? Not much. What I'm saying is that I can give Exitilus at least one hour a week of my time. Any more is questionable, but I will try extremely hard to give it at least that much time. Also, at this point in time, we are not going to be recruiting any help, so please do not offer programming talent. Lately it just hasn't been working... so you're stuck with me and only me.
When's the next version coming out? I have not (sic) clue. Please do not ask this question, as I really don't have an answer. It will come out when it is done and ready to come out. Simple as that. I may sound stubborn, but that's the way it's going to work. I know it's a bad deal for all of you, but that's life.
Features, Look, Feel, Working of Game, etc. All of these things need a lot of work, since we're going towards a working v2.05 product (even though we are using no v2.05 code). So, if you have ideas or any information that you have hacked out of the old code (especially anything dealing with personal level ups), I will gladly take it. Please post all messages relating to how you want the game to function in the Message Board. I promise to read each and every message in there, but will not respond to many, unless I have a question or need clarity on an issue. I would rather spend my hour or two a week writing code than chatting in the message board...I'm guessing you all agree with me on this. So, please do post your suggestions and comments. I love to hear them, but will most likely not respond to many of them unless things change with my current situation.
Also, with the Message Board. There have been some bogus posts from people claiming to be me. To prevent this from happening, all of my posts will contain a line of text under the [Follow Ups] [Post Followup] [Exitilus Message Board] [FAQ] line of text. Nobody else can make a line of text appear there, so if it's there, you'll know it's me posting the message.
Well, I would like to thank all of you that are still hanging in there with Exitilus. I never intended it to turn out this way, but shit happens. =) Thanks again!
Since that was posted as a legit press release hosted on the company website, I have to assume that the only employee of ECI Software was in fact, Robert Scheibel. If that's the case, it should technically make him the actual copyright owner (if he actually does own legit copyright of the product, as he hints at). After much web scouring, I have not been able to find evidence of work done by any other division of ECI Software.
According to an archived copy of Ricky Link's résumé on his personal EarthLink website, he indeed appears to have left ECI Software sometime in 2000, my guess being just before the press release.
I have read that Robert Scheibel was contacted after the "death" of Exitilus, and claimed that due to multiple hard drive failures over the years, he no longer has any copies of the uncompiled sources of any of ECI Software's Exitilus releases. I have not been able to find a means of contacting Tao G.
Robert Scheibel and Ricky Link have kindly provided with me their contact information.
Exitilus is copyrighted by people who don't care about it. Exitilus Online is Copyright (c) 2012 the Exitilus Online Team. Legal issue?