Have An Amico Week: Tallarico out as CEO; new crowdfunding campaign launched; an SEC document paints a grim picture

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Remy

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#1  Edited By Remy

It's been quite the start to the week for the Family Console Savior of 2022!

First, eager eyes noticed that the "CEO" title had fallen off of Tommy Tallarico's LinkedIn profile. IGN confirmed the story, giving the Amico its first mainstream news story in months. Former Chief Revenue Officer Phil Adam is now CEO, while Tommy remains President and now serves as Chief Creative Officer.

Tommy was quick to reassure fans on Facebook and Reddit that nothing had really changed:

Both Phil and I (and Nick Richards as COO) make a lot of important decisions together... like we always have. The company has grown and its important to have someone 100% focused on the executive side while I focus on creative. I am still president and we all make decisions together. It's always been like that. Phil is GREAT, we've been friends for 25 years and we trust each other 100%. It's also important to show strength as a team. Not just one person. Amico wouldn't be where it is today without the incredibly passionate and talented people we've brought together. It was never about one person. It's the product, the games and the team that are the most important part. ❤️

Then Monday night came the bombshell of a fourth crowdsourcing run - this time seeking $5M on StartEngine, a crowdfunding site with a D+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. D+ isn't failing, I suppose!

The new campaign required a new SEC filing, and...it's a lot! Some highlights:

  • MSRP headed to the mooooon: the Amico is now "expected to have a retail price of between $249.99 and $349.99".
  • $1.35M in pre-payments for electronic components are in jeopardy. "Due to a contract dispute the disposition of those funds are potentially at risk and may not be recoverable as cash or components that have already been purchased on the behalf of Intellivision."
  • The company has a lot of debt with questionable terms. There's a laundry list of loans from board members over the years to keep the company afloat. Most incredibly is a $675k loan from Sudesh Aggarwal which, while accruing no interest, requires Intellivison to pay $100 for each Amico sold until the balance is paid in full. As a reminder, they have yet to sell any Amico. (Amicos? Amici? Amicii?)
  • Despite the $5M target, it's not the last of the crowdsourcing. Page 29 details that they intend to launch another offering to raise an additional $5M down the road.
  • It might not keep them afloat for long. Depending on how much they raise, they'll have cash on hand to stay afloat for anywhere from 1-9 months.

But hey, at least we got a new video of game footage...which looks a little familiar?

What do you think, Amico faithful - is the change in CEO cause to celebrate? Will flexible fundraising fuel a family-friendly fun future? Or will the dream die due to dire debt?

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csl316

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#2  Edited By csl316

I still think that if they launched before Covid, it would've been quite a success. Feels like families early on were looking to spend time together early in the pandemic, and this would've been a way to do it. I was pretty into the idea until they started showing gameplay.

The change in role isn't something I'd look too much into, seems like a change of titles for whatever reason. Though I could certainly be wrong if there's some sort of legal reason.

In any case, launching game hardware right now seems sort of a pipe dream if MS and Sony are even struggling with supply. Hard to stay afloat when there's no product to sell.

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AV_Gamer

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Let that be a lesson folks. Sometimes you can't overcome a bad reputation, so it's best not to get one in the first place. Tommy Tallarico was the wrong guy to try and sell this thing from the beginning. I don't know what the Amico people were thinking. But yeah, it's pretty much dead. Only it's going to die a slow as things start to collapse like dominoes in the coming weeks and months.

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Panfoot

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#4 Panfoot  Online

The Amico being a failure was pretty much a guarantee, and I would have been more surprised if any console ever released.

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PeezMachine

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I think the crown jewel here has to be how all of the crowdfunding campaigns are on different platforms. Textbook snake oil salesman behavior, packing up the show and taking it to the next town, I love it.

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Onemanarmyy

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#6  Edited By Onemanarmyy

Statement of Facts

You guys are pretty pessimistic while this guy is out here saying that their potential audience consists out of 3 BILLION CASUAL GAME PLAYERS. That's a bigh number! All those kids in India playing on their phones? They could be playing games on their expensive Amigo instead!

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TurtleFish

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#7  Edited By TurtleFish

The solution is obvious, they need to take their lead from Cloud Imperium Games and stop publicizing any sort of development goals any more than a single quarter out! Like, that's the key to success, just say nothing! You can't be late if you don't set a date!

Seriously - this thing had red flags from the start and it's just getting worse and worse. Shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic seems like the appropriate metaphor at this point.

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bigsocrates

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@turtlefish: They have done that already. Repeatedly. They are known for announcing release dates and then waiting until pretty soon before them to announce a delay everyone else knew was coming. Most recently they didn't even bother announcing a new date, just said "uhhh, at some point."

The biggest differences between Intellivision and Cloud Imperium (other than solvency) are that Cloud Imperium was making a product people actually wanted and that could actually be economically viable if they pulled it off.

Intellivision was making something almost nobody wanted and that could never have worked anyway because the business model never made any sense (sell cheap, exclusive games on a machine designed only for cheap exclusive games!) The Ouya gets a lot of guff but at least its business model sort of made sense if you assumed certain not crazy things, and of course they actually put out a product and sold tens of thousands of them to customers who may not have been satisfied but at least got roughly what they ordered.

I really do hope that they put out at least a few thousand consoles before they fold (though I have serious doubts about them actually doing so.) I am not going to pay anywhere near the asking price to own one myself, but I would love to get a big hunk of coverage from sites like Giant Bomb about how weird this thing is.

I want a 2 hour stream of @jeff making sour faces and saying "what is this? why is this?" and then trying to explain it to everyone else on the Bombcast.

At least his future GOTY Dolphin Quest is scheduled to release on actual platforms like the Switch so even if this thing folds without shipping we'll get to see him Quick Look that.

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myke_tuna

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@bigsocrates: I definitely would enjoy another console launch stream. Especially if it was for the Amico.

Alas, I'm not surprised that this thing was in trouble. I haven't been following it very intently, but the fact that I've only really heard about it because it's been in trouble/shady the last couple of times really sealed the deal this thing was trash. The initial pitch was already a tough sell.

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toltendo

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First off, I rarely post here but I wanna chime in on my opinion:

If they actually made the controllers optional and made it smartphone accessible so you can use a touchscreen version of the controller, delivered it much early, didn't rely on German taxpayer funds, cut their personnel and Tommy lost his ego, did his work and actually talked to larger outlets, didn't go with people who were Yes Men-cult people, then it would've had a 1%+ added chance.

In conclusion, it was bound to fail anyway because there were many other options available! Switch, Wii which is still widely accessible and available, and other family-related games were out there when the Amico was announced.

I will say that I've been following the news thanks to Pat the NES Punk, who despite the criticism they get from covering Amico and how they talk about the people and its operations because they wanted to get their 'just desserts' after being personally attacked, they did such a good job at covering almost everything about this travesty.

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MerxWorx01

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@toltendo: German Taxpayers had to subsidize some of this things start-up costs? That's got to be a hard pill to swallow watching money go down the drain in real time. Was it some arts and entertainment grant that some places like Canada have? Or was a Curt Shilling-Roade Island Bank loan?

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teletrong1

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Not even loans but Uwe Boll style grants

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bigsocrates

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@teletrong1: People say Germans don't have a sense of humor but the German government has subsidized a whole lot of laughable "Art" over the years.

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teletrong1

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There are a lot of new developments happening all at once suddenly. I registered here on GiantBomb as a fan of your previous writeups and look forward to your next update!

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teletrong1

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Check out the comments at the StartEngine pitch page for Intellivision. They are incriminating themselves out in the open there.

http://startengine.com/intellivision