CORE was the name of the Traveller product development group formed early in 1996 to generate supplements for the (then) new edition of Traveller (T4). Andy Lilly was given permission to publish an adventure ('The Long Way Home') to accompany the launch of Marc Miller's Traveller at European Gen Con in September 1996. The Long Way Home, written by David Burden and Andy, was published by BITS, but carried a CORE logo on the front cover - the intention being to promote CORE as a high quality amateur writing group in a similar manner to the near defunct HIWG (History of the Imperium Working Group).
After the success of The Long Way Home (later republished – but never paid for – in two parts as Gateway! and Long Way Home by Imperium Games) CORE expanded to include Jo Grant. Andy had already collaborated with both David and Jo in submissions to various Traveller magazines. Andy, Jo, and Lesley Grant wrote 101 Cargos and 101 Plots, which were first released at OrkCon in October 1996.
At the same time, impressed by The Long Way Home, Imperium Games recruited CORE to begin work on products for T4. Joe Walsh and Stuart Dollar (from the US) joined CORE, then Dave Elrick, Michael Barry (Australia) and Suz Dollar (US). CORE authors wrote or contributed to key T4 products such as Pocket Empires, and wrote several products (including Aliens I - Vargr, Aslan and Graytch) which remain unpublished because of the collapse of Imperium Games. However, although credited as coming up with the concept, CORE did not write the awful – and canon busting – Annililik Run.
Regrettably, various pressures led to some writers leaving CORE in 1997, but an increasing number of BITS members (Sarah Lilly, Martin Dougherty, Dominic Mooney, David Thomas, Timothy Collinson and many others) and other Traveller enthusiasts have continued to contribute to CORE such that the 101 series continues to expand with new releases each year.
It is important to note that CORE is a very flexible venture - essentially it is simply a collection of writers who create Traveller material which is then edited (massaged, mangled, hacked, twisted, etc.) into a form suitable for publishing by BITS. However, the legal entity behind the production of licensed Traveller products is BITS, which is a small business which does all the nasty things like pay for print runs, submit tax and VAT returns and all those other scary things.
In 2005, it was decided that the CORE logo would no longer be put on the BITS products as it was still causing confusion!