Seattle Times talks of Amiga Inc. and its assets

Date 19-May-2007 15:04:26
Topic: Internet News

Title of the article:

Kent arena's new benefactor has history of troubles

By Cara Solomon and Jim Brunner

Seattle Times staff reporters

Source: Amiganews Germany

Some excerpts:

Amiga made an appealing pitch to Kent, a city increasingly focused on economic development. The company plans to bring 237 jobs to town by 2009. And it promised to help create the "most technologically advanced center of its size in the United States" — installing equipment that will let fans use cellphones to order food or see instant replays.

Under the naming-rights deal, Amiga is obligated to pay $10 million over the next 20 years. In exchange, Amiga gets its name emblazoned under the ice, on Zambonis and spread across the score clock — the sort of publicity that suggests a big corporate player.

In announcing the partnership, Kent city officials called Amiga the "third most-recognized brand in Europe" and the "world's premier provider of multimedia enabling technologies."

A visit to Amiga's Issaquah offices last week found just McEwen and one other employee in a suite of offices strewn with cardboard boxes and old computers. Although he was introduced by Kent officials as the president of Amiga, McEwen said he is really vice president. He later added that he had recently been named acting president.

Despite the small local operation, McEwen said the company has a total of 79 employees — including 67 in India and a few in New York, New Zealand and England.

The company's Web site sells only a few dozen retro-looking video games, such as a version of the classic "Space Invaders."

McEwen declined to reveal the company's annual revenue or sales figures. The only investor he would name is Amiga's chairman, Finnish-born venture capitalist Pentti Kouri, who operates out of New York.

Ben Wolters, Kent's economic-development director, said only time will tell whether the company will be able to follow through. With any startup, he said, there is the risk that products will not materialize or that the business plan will fall flat. But the potential upside, he said, is "tremendous."

"What we're doing with this is betting on their future," Wolters said. "And they're betting on Kent's future."

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This article comes from AmigaWorld - Amiga Community Portal

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