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RIP Infinium Labs, 2003 – 2005

Posted: November 21st, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: gadgets, technology | 1 Comment »

Kevin Bacchus resigns as Infinium CEO after 14 weeks on the job.

That’s not good. I worked in Infinium’s Seattle office (where Kevin was based) and was, like, employee #5 there. The company’s been running on empty for about a year now, still trying to scare up investors with Kevin as figurehead, but this I think has got to be the final nail in the coffin. It’s really too bad as the product idea is fantastic, and the development team was amazing; we were saddled with a legacy executive team though (who Kevin took over from) and let’s just say the decision making wasn’t always the most bestest evar.

For those of you who are like “what???” Infinium was developing this thing called the Phantom Gaming Service, which was a console-like system that allowed users to play PC games in the living room environment. It was a games-on-demand service that required broadband internet. The Phantom gets a lot of hate due to the broad and mostly ridiculous claims made by the early executive teams, but the actual product idea would really have benefitted the game industry. It would have provided an alternative publishing platform for PC game developers who can no longer sell their games in Electronics Boutique and Gamespot due to decreased shelf space and console game domination. It would have allowed independent game developers to get distribution, it would have provided another revenue stream for older games, and it would have let PC gamers play in a more social, fun environment than just hunched over a desk.

If you read the comment boards on any gaming site about Infinium, you’ll see a whole lot of conspiracy theories about how Infinium is some sort of fake company to drum up investors, a big scam, etc. (It’s totally not.) The reality is that Infinium is a great company with a great product ideas but deservingly terrible PR. It’s hard to come back from missing multiple carved-in-stone ship dates, especially with a history of grandiose press releases and over-the-top claims. I’d like to say I hope Infinium has another chance for the sake of my friends who still work there… but I’m not that delusional.

One Comment on “RIP Infinium Labs, 2003 – 2005”

  1. 1 Ryan said at 12:55 pm on November 22nd, 2005:

    It is sad. I agree with you though that it’s hard to see how things are going to be successful at this point. Maybe they can sell off the individual IP that have. I still want my lapboard dammit!

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