I’m making it official.
I’ve been covering the Amico on and off here at MMO Fallout for a while now. Depending on who you ask in the community, I’m either a “real journalist” who has more integrity than the rest because I actually tried out the Amico, or I’m goated with the sauce because I accidentally crashed the system at Crayola. I do see a lot of comments expressing disappointment that I still had a $100 deposit on the console. It’s built a narrative of me expressing hope in the system and otherwise possibly contradicting my own encouragement that people don’t pre-order the Amico.
To make things clear, I put down a deposit on the system not as a measure of good faith or personal belief in Intellivision. At the time there wasn’t much solid reason to doubt that Intellivision could make the October 2020 deadline, as this was before the effects of the pandemic and later component shortage were in focus. I’d imagine there are high odds that if I asked for a review unit that I would have received one (again, had the console met its original launch date). But given the drama of shills versus critics, I didn’t want any doubt in my objectivity.
The emergence of channels offering endless hype and in some cases false promises, and in other cases potentially violating certain laws around disclosure regarding investors and obvious quid pro quo coverage, my objective shifted to watchdog. And then far more qualified websites like Ars Technica put the Amico in their direct line of sight, and I decided to watch from the sidelines. And mostly keep myself divested from the ongoing drama between YouTubers.
But I’ve reached out to Intellivision as of today and received my $100 deposit back. The reason is simply because I have no reason to believe that Amico hardware will ever release, and I’d like to get my deposit refunded before the bankruptcy proceedings start and nobody gets their money back. There’s no reason to have $100 invested in the system.
If you haven’t been paying attention, Tommy Tallarico has officially stepped down as CEO of Intellivision. They also started a new round of fundraising as the company is millions of dollars in debt and seemingly still nowhere near close to putting out a product. The latest SEC filing confirms that most of the promises we’ve been fed over the last two years have been complete crap, from the company’s experience (states the team has limited experience marketing and pricing products), and the absence of financial backing. The company doesn’t have the money to produce the Amico. Shit, they might not have the money to afford asking for more money. There’s talk of raising game prices, raising the console price, and everything seems to be on fire. Jeeze Louise.
I tend to follow the leadership’s example when it comes to business, and Tommy appears to be ready to return to life outside Intellivision. The Video Games Live concert is coming back, and while the only known show is a short plane ride from Tommy’s HQ to Tacoma, Washington in April, it seems like he’s gearing up for life post-Amico. And as such, so will I. I plan on shifting what would have been Amico coverage to covering the Steam Deck and talking about performance with MMOs once I get my pre-order for that.
So I’m throwing an official moratorium on the Amico, now that my money is out. At least until Intellivision either announces its bankruptcy or starts shipping units. And on the off chance that the Intellivision does come out and starts functioning like a business, I will reconsider that moratorium. I may even try to procure a review unit as that’s honestly the only way I can see justifying hands on coverage at this point.
I would like to note before I finish this that the refund process was simple as pie. So simple that I sent the request at 4:15 and had a notice in my Paypal of the refund by 4:43. Shorter than an episode of Star Trek. Very kind people working that contact page.
Otherwise I have no opinion on the matter.