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%% Amiga News %%
Late-Breaking News! Commodore US Liquidation Sale!
Thursday, September 8, at 10 AM, liquidation will commence on Commodore
US. For a free brochure, contact Ross-Dove Co., Inc. at:
A message from Amiga World's editor:
August 16. No Commodore Deal Yet.
While rumors abound that David Pleasance's Commodore UK Management Buy-out
was a done deal, that's not the case. We talked with Pleasance last night
in London, and he doesn't expect a decision until the end of the first week
of September. His bid is in, his financial backing is in order, and he
makes his final presentation this week in the US before the liquidators and
He is, however, very confident that his bid will carry a lot of weight
because it is for the entire company and product line--not solely for the
technology, or a portion of the inventory, or for part of the operation.
However, CEI, Samsung, Philips, and maybe one or two others are still in
the picture, so it will be a few more weeks before any decision is made.
On another matter: AmigaWorld has taken some hits lately because the size
of the magazine has shrunk over the last few issues. No kidding?
Everyone--most notably the developers and vendors who advertise in our
pages--is stressed out over the Commodore liquidation. Most are holding
their wallets pretty tight and reluctant to invest their advertising
dollars until this situation gets resolved.
When advertising dwindle, so do the editorial pages. Overspending your
budget for three or four issues in a row during times like these is akin to
financial suicide. Since AmigaWorld plans to be around for a good long
while, we have to avoid those kinds of mistakes. Nobody, including us,
likes to be in this position--but if you want to be around in the long run,
you have to endure the lean times with the fat.
When the dust settles and things start moving again in the Amiga market,
we'll be able to quickly beef up the size of the book. Lets hope Mr.
Pleasance or another pro-Amiga group like his gets things rolling again
soon. When that happens, AmigaWorld is committed to help the new owners
jumpstart the process.
Three-Way Merger Creates Desktop Video "Super Company"
August 17th, Sacramento, CA - A merger between three desktop video
pioneers was announced today. The companies are Digital Creations, Progressive
Image Technology, and a group of eight senior staff members who left Video
Toaster maker NewTek earlier this year. Working seperately the three groups
launched and dominated the successful desktop video market on the Amiga
computer. By joining forces the companies have set their sights on redefining
the desktop video market for PC compatible computers.
The new company, Play Incorporated,will be headed by Mike Moore as Chairman,
Paul Montgomery, as President, and John Botteri, as CEO. "Between the three
groups we've shipped over 50 products" said Botteri, "Each of us has dominated
in our own area: hardware, software, and marketing. Together, we will be the
leader in PC video."
The Progressive Image Technology team, led by Mike Moore and including former
Grass Valley Group engineering talent, began creating hardware for personal
computer in 1978. Progressive has been a pioneer in computer video since the
early eighties when they engineered desktop video products for both IBM and
Apple. Since then Progressive has designed many successful video peripherals
including video effects hardware, overlay cards, genlocks, digitizers, and time
Digital Creations, headed by John Botteri, has been a leader in video
applications on the Amiga since 1986. In addition to marketing and writing the
applications software for all of Progressive's desktop video products, Digital
Creations developed three breakthrough video paint systems. Exploiting the
expertise in real-time graphics, Digital also created several award-winning
entertainment titles for Electronic Arts.
The group from NewTek includes former Vice-President Paul Montgomery as well as
NewTek's former directors of sales, marketing, and software development. The
group also includes key software engineers from the Emmy-award winning Toaster
team and Kiki Stockhammer, the industry's best-known spokesperson. "Helping
create the Video Toaster and with it the desktop video industry, was a
fantastic seven year adventure," commented Montgomery, "Now we've found the
perfect partners to take the desktop video revolution to the next level". Play
is owned entirely by its employees and is debt-free. The new company is based
in Sacramento, California and will begin shipping the first of its PC video
products within 90 days.
And, it wouldn't quite be an Amiga magazine these days without the obligatory
message from Mr. Pleasance. Reprinted from CU Amiga.
As you might have gathered, things have been pretty hectic here recently.
In case you've been living on Mars for the last few weeks and havenn't
heard, Colin Proudfoot and myself are heading up a team busy working on a
management buy-out of Commodore.
If we succeed, and I'm very confident that we will, this means that there
will be a new, UK-based team manufacturing and selling the Amiga. We'll be
independent - ie no American parent - and we'll be benefiting from
investment from some of the UK's biggest financial institutions.
Why am I confident we'll succeed?
Well, we've managed to satisfy the liquidators of Commodore International
that we've got financial support. And now they've got to make up their
minds whether to recommend our bid or someone else's. But we're pretty
sure they'll go with us. Either way, we should know by the end of August.
Good news so far. But:
Can we supply Amigas in time for Christmas?
It will be tight, for sure. But if our bid is successful, we'll be
manufacturing in the UK which means we can press the button immediately we
know we've won the bid. And because we haven't got to ship product halfway
round the world anymore, we are confident in getting products to the shops
just at the right time to take advantage of the expected high level of
demand that Christmas promises.
What about software?
Software publishers never release much at this time of year which is
traditionally quiet for the games business. But they've been amazingly
supportive of the management buyout (MBO) and are even more supportive of
the Amiga 1200 and CD32. They know it's a big business. And they'll be
launching plenty of new titles in the run up to Christmas. I expect the
first announcements to be made at the ECTS trade show in early September.
What about the high-end Amigas?
Here the message is 'don't believe everything you hear'. The MBO team is
100 percent committed to the Amiga 4000. It's far and away the best
machine for specialist users and knocks spots off the competition as a
multimedia platform. PLUS, it's a really low-cost development platform -
particularly for CD32 titles. So not only will we be pushing it very
hard, we'll be devoting plenty of R&D resources to growing this end of
our range. Which brings me on to:
Future products - will there be any?
We don't need telling you that without R&D and new products coming
downstream there isn't a long-term future for the business. Lew
Eggebrecht - the guy who's been responsible for most of the Amiga's
recent technological strides - has reconfirmed that a team of experienced
Amiga engineers based in the states have some wonderful new products at
various stages of development. You will not be disappointed.
Will we have enough money to promote the Amiga range?
Again, we know that all this is no good if no one knows what's going on.
So we've ensured that we've built a comprehensive marketing budget into
the plans for new business. That means you'll be seeing us at three
shows between now and Christmas: Live '94 at Earls Court in September,
The Motor Show at the NEC in Birmingham in October and last, but
certainly not least, at the European World of Amiga at Wembley in
November. Plus, we'll be advertising as usual and making sure you've all
got plenty of chances to win equipment and software in the press and TV.
I hope I've given you a brief look into what we're planning. Of course, I
really hope that the MBO succeeds and that we're around running the new
company and making sure the Amiga continues to be the only choice for
right thinking people everywhere.
But rest assured. Even in the extremely unlikely event that we don't pull
it off and Commodore ceases to exist, the Amiga won't die - especially
with people like you to support it. It's bigger than Commodore and bigger
than any new company we run. There are a lot of you out there. About five
million loyal and devoted fans. And there are a lot of Amiga titles -
about 4,000. And there are a lot of Amiga-specific magazines - about
600,000 copies are sold a month. And that doesn't include all the
manufacturers of peripherals, the servicing agents and so on.
It's a huge industry. And it will go on regardless.
But you can't get rid of me that easily- I'm confident that I'll be
celebrating when I write again in September.
Wish us luck!