Intellivision falls on hard times
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Phil Adam, CEO of Intellivision, posted a message to customers who are expecting to get shipments of the company’s Amico game console.
He thanked people for their patience and noted that when he took over the CEO job from founder Tommy Tallarico (who took time off to take care of an ailing father), he said he had to make some tough decisions to ensure the company could launch a quality product.
He said he pulled down an investment campaign on StartEngine a few weeks after it launched in February of this year. The original schedule was to launch in October 2020, but the pandemic put an end to that plan and Intellivision has been trying to adapt ever since.
“Without better visibility of our path to profitability we felt this was the right decision in the short term,” Adam said. “Any funds committed by StartEngine investors as part of the campaign were returned in full. Of course, this required us to take other financial measures to make up for the foregone new investment.”
He said the company has dramatically reined in operating costs, which unfortunately required a significant reduction in staff.
“Our resources are focused on engineering and testing to ensure we have a quality system, as we cannot succeed by producing anything less,” he said.
The company started working with game development partners to license classic Intellivision intellectual property (IPs) for publication on other platforms. These licensing deals will help fund continued development of Amico, Adam said.
A broader distribution of Intellivision classic IP will also help raise awareness of Intellivision while not directly competing with Amico because of Amico’s unique controllers and family-focused gaming adaptations, he said.
“Many people in the retro gaming community have embraced us because of our family focus and the fact that all our games (including retro titles) are adapted for group play. While Amico’s broad catalog will continue to include retro titles, our mission has been and remains cross-generational, in-home, family entertainment,” Adam said.
The company has begun a test production run of Amico that includes every aspect of the product including packaging. This is first and foremost an assessment ofthe manufacturing approach and overall quality of the delivered product.
“It is critically important to show to our current/future investors, partners, and customers that we have built a sound platform that delivers on the in-home family experience, which requires our immediate focus on value engineering and hardening of the platform. These units should be completed in the next few weeks,” Adam said.
Meanwhile, the company is slowly processing refund requests.
“The public’s uncertainty of our status in the last few months have understandably led to an influx of pre-order refund requests. Because of reduced staff and financing requirements for continued operation, our responses to and processing of these requests has been delayed,” he said. “Rest assured that our intention is to honor all refund requests. We will allocate a portion of all new funding and staff time to winding down the refund queue, while our primary focus is funding and completing a quality product ready for manufacturing.”
Requests for refunds can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He said the company will focus initial mass production on fulfilling pre-orders and supplying the two major distribution partners. The focus will remain on direct orders until the cost structure can support the margins required for retail channels.
“Obviously, the markets continue to be somewhat volatile with rising inflation, rising energy costs and lingering supply chain issues that affect all manufacturing businesses,” Adam said. “This has impacted both our costs and pricing, and it has required us to narrow our initial distribution strategy. Our hope is that we start shipping production units this year. Many challenges lie ahead for the business, and we appreciate our investors, partners and customers for your patience and support.”
He said company will be formally announcing some new IP licensing partnership deals soon, as well as showing off the Amico units currently in production. These units will be shared with partners, investors and a select few in the media.
“As more production units become available we will broaden the distribution to media outlets that cover our target demographic,” Adam said.
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