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Intellivision turns to layoffs and licensing as it struggles to fund troubled Amico

Following scrapped crowdfunding campaign, pre-order refunds delayed as company focuses on production

The woes of the retro console Intellivision Amico continue as the company reveals it has laid of staff and is licencing out its intellectual property to continue funding development.

An email update written by CEO Phil Adams, who took over from Tommy Tallarico in February, was sent out to pre-order customers and shared online by The Nerf Report's Bryant Chappel.

In it, Adams thanks supporters for their continued patience and explains the current situation with the upcoming retro console.

"We have dramatically reined in operating costs, which unfortunately required a significant reduction in staff," he wrote. "Our resources are focused on engineering and testing to ensure we have a quality system, as we cannot succeed by producing anything less."

It is unclear how many employees have been affected by layoffs.

The company is also licensing Intellivision IP to development partners to produce games for other platforms. It is not yet known which properties have been licensed or which platforms Intellivision is targeting, but Adams said Intellivision will announce the first deals "soon."

"These licensing deals will help fund continued development of Amico. A broader distribution of Intellivision classic IP will also help raise awareness of Intellivision while not directly competing with Amico because of Amico's unique controllers and family-focused gaming adaptations."

He added that the company is "slowly processing" refund requests.

"The public's uncertainty of our status in the last few months have understandably led to an influx of pre-order refund requests. Because of reduced staff and financing requirements for continued operation, our responses to and processing of these requests has been delayed.

"Rest assured that our intention is to honour all refund requests."

Intellivision will allocate "a portion" of any new funding it secures to reducing the number of outstanding refund requests, but adds that its "primary focus is funding and completing a quality product ready for manufacturing."

The need for additional funding comes after the company cancelled its StartEngine crowdfunding campaign earlier this year, just a few weeks after it launched. It had raised $58,000 -- less than 1.2% of the maximum $5 million.

"Without better visibility of our path to profitability, we felt this was the right decision in the short term," Adams explained.

He assures all funds from backers were returned in full.

As for the console itself, Intellivision says it has begun a test production run, including an assessment of manufacturing process and quality of the final product, with units expected to be completed "in the next few weeks."

"It is crucially important to show to our current [and] future investors, partners, and customers that we have built a sound platform."

The company hopes to start shipping production units later this year.

The CEO added that initial mass production will be focused on direct orders and two main distribution partners, rather than getting the Amico into retail. This will be the case "until our cost structure can support the margins required for retail channels."

Intellivision Amico was supposed to launch in October 2020, but was delayed to April before again being delayed to the end of 2021.

Back in February, an SEC filing revealed Intellivision Entertainment has yet to generate any revenue and may only be able to operate until July.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He has been a B2B journalist since 2006, and an author since he knew what one was