Stop me if you've heard this one before...
Intellivision Amico has been a topic of intense discussion and controversy over the past few years and it somehow is still (somewhat?) alive and kicking. A recent interaction on the Intellivision Amico Discord channel with lead Intellivision Amico developer John Alvarado sheds light on the challenges faced by the company.
The Intellivision Amico, a console once aimed at reviving the classic gaming experience, has been under scrutiny for various reasons, including delayed releases and questions over its market relevance. Crowdfunding, often a tool to gauge consumer interest and secure pre-launch support, seems to have become a battleground for Intellivision.
It all began from a member's simple question:
John, will profits from Amico Home/Switch/Steam be used to fulfill those who invested in an Amico console?
John Alvarado responded:
Profits from Amico Home are will allow us to keep moving forward and attract investors to fund manufacturing of Amico controllers and console.
In response to John Alvarado, another user asked about the possibility of crowdfunding for Amico controllers:
Have you considered starting some sort of crowdfunding campaign for the manufacturing of just the controllers? I would think many of us would support such an endeavor especially if you pack in a game or two with the controller fundraising campaign.
John Alvarado responded:
"We have considered a crowdfunding campaign for controllers. Unfortunately, it would most likely be savaged and sunk by the very active group of detractors that sank our Start Engine campaign. So that is not on the table for now."
Alvarado's response is insane, as it blames their unsuccessful Start Engine campaign squarely on "a very active group of detractors." This would be their FOURTH attempt, but no... HATERS!!!
This clearly points to a defensive strategy, where external factors are highlighted over introspection or acknowledgment of potential missteps in the product or marketing strategy - Shocking, I know...
Alvarado's attribution of the crowdfunding failure solely to critics raises questions. In the cutthroat gaming industry, criticism is not uncommon. Successful crowdfunding campaigns have faced and overcome significant skepticism. The key lies in building trust and excitement around the product. This suggests that the issue might be more deeply rooted in the general public's lack of trust in Intellivision's promises and delivery capabilities.
The conversion continued, as The Retro Bro responded to John Alvarado with sound logic:
To be fair, intellivison ran multiple funding campaigns and raised a Ton of money. I don't think the start engine was hijacked by critics therfore the downfall. I think it had more to do with intellivision not being able to enter manufacturing with the millions previously raised. If I was an investor I wouldn't put forth any money with that kind of track record. Just my opinion if I'm being honest.
To which John Alvarado replied:
I'd like to hear your opinions of Amico Home & games and what we can do to succeed with this product. Let's agree to disagree on the past. Debating it here is not conducive to the purpose of this community. Thanks. 🕊️ I'm particularly interested in your results with Amico Home on your Nvidia Shield. I just published an update to Amico Home and Missile Command apps that I think will make them visible on the Shield app store. 🤞
The ongoing narrative that "detractors" are the primary reason for the failure (Started by Tommy Tallarico, as a shield for any criticism) overlooks a fundamental aspect of consumer behavior. Trust is the cornerstone of successful crowdfunding campaigns, especially in a market as dynamic and competitive as gaming. Intellivision has done anything BUT give gamers (or investors for that matter) a reason to trust them at this point. Potential backers need to believe in the product's value and the company's ability to deliver on its promises. Intellivision has yet to deliver anything after raining over 17 million dollars in funding over the past half-decade. But sure, it's the haters that are ruining their success... Riiiight.
The lack of enthusiasm for Intellivision's crowdfunding efforts might reflect deeper issues of credibility and market confidence rather than just external criticism. While detractors can influence public perception, the ultimate success of a product in the gaming industry hinges on the company's ability to instill trust and excitement in its consumer base.
For Intellivision and the Amico, the path forward might require a more introspective approach, addressing the core issues that have led to public skepticism, rather than attributing setbacks to external criticism alone. As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, only time will tell if Intellivision can pivot effectively and regain the trust of gamers and investors alike. But with most things in the business of the video game industry... Don't hold your breath.