In a recent email from Intellivision's CEO, Phil Adam, the gaming community was presented with a rather complex narrative that highlighted the company's tumultuous last 18 months. Phil Adam Sends Email Update on Intellivision Amico Status, sharing insights about the company's struggles, its laid-off staff, management restructuring, and a commitment to redefine the business's focus. As we dissect the email, it's essential to approach it with a healthy dose of skepticism, yet also consider giving the benefit of the doubt where it's warranted. The problem with all of this is in the end, it's just more of the same.
Phil Adam Intellivision Amico Email Reflects on Struggles
Firstly, Adam's transparency about the recent hardships that Intellivision has faced is noteworthy. However, the concise description of "a long list of disappointments" raises more questions than it answers. While it's understandable that many companies faced challenges during this period, further specificity would have been welcomed to better understand the company's trials. It would aid in understanding how the company has addressed these issues and how it plans to prevent similar setbacks in the future.
Focusing on Group Play
Next, Adam emphasized the company's core mission: to create a living room experience that encourages group play. Here's where a dose of skepticism is required. While the idea is commendable, it's not a unique proposition. Many gaming companies aim for a similar goal, including titans like Nintendo with its popular Switch console. It's a competitive space, and to succeed, Intellivision will need to differentiate its product offering effectively.
New Partnerships and IP Exploitation
Adam mentioned (once again) a forthcoming announcement about new partnerships and a multi-faceted approach to their intellectual property (IP). This is a strategic move that could indeed bolster their content, but it also comes with significant risks. The success of licensing IP is largely dependent on the quality of the partners and their commitment to the original vision of the brand. Furthermore, acquiring new IP that "embodies Amico" could be challenging given the company's current struggles.
A Changed Business Environment
The most significant admission comes from Adam's recognition of a changed business environment. His acknowledgement that the traditional hardware console model is less viable today is a critical realization... Which is strange when other smaller companies have successfully been launching hardware (Evercade, Evercade Vs., Playdate, etc.) the entire time. However, the proposed "creative deployment" of their intended entertainment experience leaves a lot to the imagination. Does this mean a shift towards a service-based model? Or perhaps a focus on game development rather than hardware? A stand-alone Intellivision Amico controller that works on an Xbox? The details are unclear, making it difficult to predict whether this shift will result in a sustainable business model for Intellivision.
A Console Still in the Plans
Despite the changes, Adam assured fans that the console remains part of the product strategy. He touted the success of pilot units, but that is hysterical when you consider only 2 have been confirmed to be sent out and the two people that received them have never had a bad thing or critical angle on anything Intellivision, nothing they say can be believed anyway. While a video showcasing gameplay is promising, it doesn't necessarily mean a console launch is imminent. A concrete release date would provide more assurance to fans and investors alike, but at the same time, with all their missed dates and broken promises, at this point, I'm not even sure what that would do to help.
The Amico Home Experience
The announcement of Amico Home is intriguing. It suggests a move towards platform agnosticism, which could significantly increase Intellivision's potential user base. Yet, the execution will be crucial. Translating a console gaming experience to a mobile device while maintaining the unique characteristics of the Amico brand will be a challenge. If done right, however, it could be a game-changer for Intellivision.
Is The End In Sight?
Phil Adam's latest email paints a picture of a company that has experienced significant struggles but is determined to redefine its future. While skepticism remains over the lack of specifics and the massive undertaking this redirection seems to imply, the company's "transparency" (yes, heavy quotes) and renewed focus on creating unique gaming experiences are encouraging signs. I'll be watching closely in the coming months for further updates and concrete plans that could give a better understanding of Intellivision's trajectory.
The promise of future partnerships and leveraging IP hints at an ambitious roadmap, but, as always, the proof will lie in the execution. It will be essential to see who these partners are, the nature of the IP being developed, and how these collaborations impact the gaming landscape.
Regarding the expansion into other hardware platforms, we must once again await more details on how the Amico Home will materialize and how it plans to translate the living room experience onto mobile devices. The success of such an endeavor will heavily depend on the balance between maintaining the unique brand identity of Amico while adapting to the demands and limitations of mobile gaming.
In the end, what stands out is Intellivision's resilience and adaptability. The company has openly acknowledged its difficulties and failures (pointing directly at Tommy Tallarico and his litany of lies, without calling him out by name), demonstrating a level of transparency that is somewhat rare in the industry. And while there is a long road ahead, and many questions remain, it is evident that the spirit of innovation and a commitment to group play that made Intellivision a beloved name remain at the company's heart.
The gaming industry is indeed a vibrant and rapidly evolving landscape. It remains to be seen whether Intellivision, under Phil Adam's leadership, can effectively navigate this terrain, leveraging its rich history while embracing new strategies for success. I remain (extremely) skeptical yet interested enough to care, eager to see the next chapter in the Intellivision story unfold.
Phil Adam Intellivision Amico E-mail - Full Transcript
The last 18 months, since becoming the CEO, has been an extremely difficult time for the Intellivision business. A long list of disappointments from both inside and outside of the company had to be taken head on. During this time we laid off a large portion of our staff, restructured our management team, and began the process of reevaluating every aspect of the business, which included the path that lay ahead for Intellivision.
What we have distilled down from countless hours of self assessment is that we are, or more accurately, wish to be, in the business of creating a living room experience that brings people of various ages together in group play. It is the experience between people, sitting in the same room, that will be our primary measure of success. This, first and foremost, comes from offering great content.
As an entertainment business, we realize that creating great content requires world class partners and a focus on strategies where we can effectively achieve the necessary level of excellence to succeed. To this end, we will be announcing a string of new partnerships that will not only help bring fun and innovative content that captures the Amico experience, but also bolsters and celebrates our content's appeal by (1) licensing our IP to development partners who have product pedigrees that are creatively aligned and best poised to bring something great to market, (2) leveraging our IP in ways that ensures delivery on Amico but additionally expands our content to entirely new audiences Intellivision would otherwise be unable to reach and (3) acquiring new IP that embodies Amico and fits our strategic focus. This will include licensing IP for other platforms where it makes sense to do so.
Our commitment to delivering a unique and innovative platform that brings people together has not wavered. What has changed is our philosophy on how to deliver that experience. The business environment is quite different from what it was in 2018 when the original Intellivision business plan was put together. We cannot solely be dependent on a traditional hardware console business model. The cost and time to scale such a business is too great. We must be more creative in how we deploy our intended entertainment experience - not only delivering a better experience for our customers, but also reducing the time and cost to scale the business.
We want to assure our fans that shipping a console remains a part of our product strategy. The development and hands-on testing of our pilot units have been a successful step forward. As a testament of this progress, we are pleased to share with you this video of a father and son playing Shark! Shark! on one of the pilot units in their home!
As part of our expanded strategy, we also plan to bring the Amico experience to other hardware platforms, starting with mobile devices, under the name Amico Home. Amico Home will dramatically reduce the hardware footprint needed to enjoy Amico games and provide more developers the opportunity to explore the creative potential of in-room multiplayer games with our innovative physical and smartphone controllers. This broadening of the talent pool will bring new ideas and gaming that will shape the future of Intellivision and our place in the market.
We are excited for this future and what it means for bringing the Amico experience to the public. Those who supported Intellivision early on helped set the foundation for all that we have been able to achieve, and we are truly thankful to you all. In the coming weeks, those that have maintained a deposit will be able to sign in and verify their spot on the priority list (Amico Club List). The Amico Club List will be used as the primary mechanism to prioritize access to special products, early access to new games and other unique offers. More details to follow.
Again, we thank you for your patience and support as we chart a new course for Intellivision and establish our own unique position in the vast and vibrant video game industry.
- Phil Adam, CEO