It gives us great pleasure to announce our latest interview with Coleco Holdings CEO Mark Thomann.
COLECO HOLDINGS LLC OWNS THE TRADEMARK RIGHTS TO THE ICONIC GAMING BRAND COLECOVISION AS WELL AS THE COLECO TOY BRAND. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH ATGAMES DEGITAL MEDIA, INC., THEY WILL BE LAUNCHING COLECOVISION FLASHBACK CONSOLE AT RETAIL IN OCTOBER OF 2014!
"The re-launch of the iconic ColecoVision brand will resonate with the millions of people that played on the legendary gaming console in the 1980's while appealing to a new consumer that is seeking a portfolio of family-friendly games that have endured the test of time" said Mark Thomann, Managing Partner of Coleco Holdings and Chief Executive Officer of River West Brands, LLC.
Enjoy the Interview
Company Website Here
Firstly let me say thanks for agreeing to this interview, can you tell us a little bit about you and what interested you about bring the Coleco brand back to life?
I grew up playing on my ColecoVision and always appreciated the brand for their gaming innovation, such as the expansion module, that allowed them to differentiate from the other game systems.
Can you tell us what you own in terms of Coleco, would it be right to assume the games are licensed and if so how easy was that to resolve to get them on the Flashback system?
Coleco Holdings LLC own the Coleco, ColecoVision, Head To Head, Electronic Quarterback, and various other associated trademarks. As far as the game titles. In some cases we own the game titles, in other cases we license the game title or AtGames licenses the game title.
Can you tell us the definitive list of games that will be on the Flashback System?
In collaboration with Atgames, we will jointly confirm the entire list of games…stayed tuned.
How did the decision to include some homebrew games come about?
This was a decision by Atgames.
Sam's Club will have a version with the standard selection of 60 games, but a handful of additional overlays can you confirm what they are?
Not at this time.
How much will this cost in the US, UK and the EU? $39.99 USD.
Will the UK/EU and other international areas get special editions?
I've bought almost every AtGames system with a cartridge port or SD card slot. As original equipment ages having fully functional Coleco systems will become increasingly important for enthusiasts. Are there any plans to make a new Colecovision with cartridge or SD slot?
The Neo Geo X system accepted fully licensed, encrypted SD cards with additional games. Has this route been considered for future systems?
I will definitely discuss with AtGames.
Given the fact that there are Adam enthusiasts out there who are devoted to the Coleco Adam (http://www.adamcon.org) do they have any plans to revive it?
Not at this time. I am very much aware of the Adam enthusiasts out there and have not ruled it out.
How did the idea to create the Flashback unit come about? Who approached whom?
AtGames approached me and we worked out a deal rather quickly.
Can you explain some of the logistical challenges that were faced when creating the console?
We needed to assemble the list of titles which took time and money.
Based on the list of games I've seen, some of the key titles the ColecoVision is known for are missing (e.g., Donkey Kong, Lady Bug). Is it safe to assume this is due to licensing issues? Are these issues that could be addressed if a second generation ColecoVision Flashback is created?
We are constantly working on adding new titles and you certainly may see these titles in the second generation CV Flashback. Yes, the issue is securing a license to these games.
How did you acquire the license for ColecoVision?
We acquired the trademarks and associated intellectual property so we own the brand and do not license ColecoVision.
Have you worked with homebrew developers for projects outside the Flashback unit?
Atgames, our licensee certainly has worked with the homebrew community. We are looking forward to embracing the community and will hopefully tap into the community to develop new games or new versions of some of the older titles.
Besides the Flashback unit, any plans for additional merchandise related to the ColecoVision?
We are looking to relaunch the Coleco Head to Head handhelds and the mini arcades.
How was the decision made for the selection of overlays that will be included with the Flashback unit?
This was an AtGames decision.
The original ColecoVision had special controllers (e.g. SuperAction Controller) available. Any plans to make something similar for a Flashback unit if the special games for that controller can be included in a future unit?
We are discussing internally.
The Coleco Sonic is a handheld game console released in 2006 by a revived Coleco, also marketed as PlayPal in Canada & United Kingdom and Pocket Gear in Europe. Can you tell us about how this came about and how successful was it?
Coleco Holdings launched these products and we had a good deal of success with these products. I just knew we could do better!
What was the thought process around putting Sega games on this revival console?
It just made sense.
Any plans for a version with Coleco games?
Once again, a huge thanks to Mark for taking part in our interview.
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