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GamesBeat Summit 2020 April 28-29, 2020
Intellivision Entertainment is winding up for a big launch of its retro video game console on October 10, 2020, or 10-10-20. That number is a little piece of flair that Tommy Tallarico, CEO of the reborn Intellivision Entertainment, is adding to his master plan.
Tallarico grew up with the joy of playing the Intellivision video game console, a machine from Mattel that gave Atari a run for its money in the early 1980s. He has acquired the rights to the console and its original games, and he plans to relaunch Intellivision as a retro brand. And at the recent Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, he showed working machines off with some fun games. And I interviewed him about his plans. (He’s not ready to talk about the games just yet.)
Tallarico is capitalizing on the wave of nostalgia has hit gamers, with Nintendo and Atari taking advantage with launches, both recent and pending, of older game consoles.
Tallarico is a veteran video game developer and musician who heads Video Games Live, a concert company that travels the world and plays orchestral music from video games before live audiences. The success of that venture enabled him to purchase a stake in Intellivision Productions from the estate of former owner and founder Keith Robinson, who passed away in 2017.
Tallarico has relaunched the Irvine, California-based company as Intellivision Entertainment, and he is serving as president alongside some of the original Intellivision team members. At E3, Tallarico showed off some of the games being made for the console. I played them and they were definitely focused on family entertainment on the couch.
Originally released in 1980, the Intellivision console and its successors sold millions of units over three decades. The new Intellivision Amico will carry on the company tradition of “firsts” with its new concept, design and approach to gaming, Tallarico said.
I also played the original Intellivision when it debuted in 1979. It was my first game console, and I played it with my brother. We liked it because the games were more fully developed and engaging, compared to the original Atari 2600 titles, which we played at our friends’ houses.
Here’s an edited transcript of our interview.