In the world of gaming, nothing breeds anticipation quite like a new console release, especially one with a nostalgic brand like Intellivision attached. The Intellivision Amico, announced with fanfare and high hopes, has unfortunately taken a very different path, plagued by delays, broken promises, and a lack of transparency that has left even the most patient fans frustrated and skeptical. It's time to chat about supposed Intellivision Amico's Manufactured Consoles.
My journey in uncovering the truth continued with a phone call to Phil Adam, the CEO of Intellivision back in early November 2022. Phil asked for discretion, promising an official announcement regarding the status of the Amico by the end of that month. I chose to grant his request, anticipating some concrete news for the eagerly waiting community.
Phil informed me that Intellivision was in active talks with a company to manufacture enough Amicos to fulfill the initial pre-order quota. He also made the surprising revelation that they were considering licensing out the completed Amico games to various existing competing consoles. This was quite a shift from their initial stance, signaling a desperate attempt to adapt to the dire circumstances. He further mentioned that after meeting the pre-orders, they hoped to do a smaller regional release.
In our discussion, Phil adamantly assured me that there were 25 consoles and 50 controllers in the final stages of production. However, the consoles, he noted, were not yet fully assembled but would be completed within a week or two. His explanation for this delay was a lack of manpower, and he suggested the consoles were not currently in a manufacturing plant. The entire process was described in such an unclear manner that it left room for confusion. It appeared these 50 controllers and 25 consoles were once in a manufacturing stage but were currently stalled... Way back in November of 2022. Whether they were stuck at being manually assembled or simply sitting untouched remained uncertain. At this point, it's safe to assume they are still just laying around unfinished; if they even exist at all.
Phil then dedicated a heavy portion of our call to his frustrations surrounding the backlash he's faced, particularly about his work with the Coleco Chameleon. He expressed feelings of being misunderstood and targeted, receiving a significant amount of hate mail. He was quick to clarify that he was not on the board of directors at Coleco, but served as the VP of Business Development. I wanted to address this during our call, but as usual, time was not on our side.
Whether Phil was on the board of directors or the VP of Business Development, he was listed as a significant part of the team. It's not about splitting hairs over job titles - it's about acknowledging his role in a project that didn't go as planned. He may feel that he did nothing wrong at Coleco, and that might be true, but being listed on the team and then denying any involvement is what leaves a sour taste. It's not about guilt, it's about transparency, something the Intellivision community has been sorely lacking. The trust of a community isn't earned through promises, but through actions, honesty, and, most importantly, results.
As always, Phil was in a rush during our call, juggling between meetings and seemingly ready to end our conversation at any second. This has become a consistent experience in our interactions, further undermining the trust in his commitments. Yet, in classic Phil Adam fashion, he promised more concrete information would be forthcoming in a few weeks - echoing promises made multiple times over the past few months.
As the CEO of a video game company that successfully raised nearly 18 million dollars in investor funding, one would expect Phil Adam to be relentlessly dedicated to the task at hand. Yet, it appears that personal matters often seem to take precedence over his professional responsibilities. Of course, moments of grief, such as the loss of his elderly mother, warrant time off, as do periods of necessary rest and rejuvenation. Still, frequent mentions of time spent abroad or with family do raise questions. How much time is he truly dedicating to his role at Intellivision? While balancing work and personal life is a cornerstone of healthy leadership, in this case, one has to question if the balance has tilted too far away from the business, leaving stakeholders and fans waiting in the wings for progress that seems to be perpetually delayed.
The situation raises a significant concern, primarily when one considers the high stakes of the gaming industry and the sheer size of investment garnered by the company. Over the years, the gaming industry has evolved into an extremely competitive space, necessitating vigilant and proactive leadership. With Phil Adam at the helm, however, one can't help but question the level of commitment and focus on Intellivision Amico's development and delivery. Repeatedly, Adam has promised updates, detailed plans, and imminent progress, yet consistently, these promises appear to fall by the wayside. While life's demands are indeed unpredictable and personal matters understandably take precedence, the frequency and timing of these absences paint a worrying picture about the leadership steering the Intellivision ship.
More than merely launching a product, being the CEO of a company like Intellivision demands a responsibility to stakeholders, staff, and most importantly, to its consumer base. These are individuals who have put their trust and, quite literally, their money into the company's vision. The seemingly endless delays and lack of concrete action from Adam are disheartening, casting a shadow of doubt over his dedication to his professional role.
In a world where transparency and authenticity are increasingly valued, Adam's approach to leadership seems to be adding more frustration than assurance. Whether his multiple absences are legitimate or not is not the question here. The question is, when millions of dollars and countless hopes of gamers around the world hang in the balance, is this the kind of leadership that can bring the ambitious vision of Intellivision to fruition? Based on the current state of affairs, that remains a question of significant doubt... But I digress.
As Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around at the end of 2022 without any news from Intellivision, the optimism began to fade. The pattern continued into 2023 with more promises but no fruition, prompting questions about the company's credibility. Despite Phil's seeming sincerity on the calls, the constant deferral of concrete news paints a concerning picture.
What's alarming is the silence from key team members at Intellivision. John Alvarado, the lead engineer, and Nick Richards, COO/CFO, both still associated with Intellivision on their LinkedIn profiles, have made no public updates. Although a skeleton crew remains "at" Intellivision, their office closure and employee layoffs hint at an ominous future.
In this context, the leadership of Phil Adam appears to mirror his predecessor, Tommy Tallarico. Both have offered ample promises but have failed to deliver on any of them. Time has slipped away, leaving the Intellivision community increasingly disillusioned.
As we continue to yet again await some form of an official announcement, the biggest fear now is that it may ultimately be focused on bankruptcy, marking the sad end of what was once a highly anticipated console revival. It's a story of broken promises and lost potential, serving as a stark reminder of the importance of transparency and honesty in the volatile gaming industry. The lesson to learn here for many of us, including myself, is to never trust anyone again at face value, and that really sucks to live life with that approach.