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Phantom Gets Insider Bonus, Ex-Xbox Bigshot

simoniker posted more than 10 years ago | from the wackier-and-wackier dept.

PC Games (Games) 39

Thanks to loonyboi for pointing to a HeraldTribune.com article revealing new controversy and a surprising senior appointment for Phantom 'PC game console' makers Infinium. The article reveals: "Infinium Labs Inc. dished out a stealthy stock dividend to insiders as soon as it became a publicly traded company, and without bothering to tell the stock-trading public through traditional channels." Infinium executives "declined... to be interviewed about the four-for-one dividend", but it's also noted, by way of an SEC filing, that "...Infinium has hired Kevin Bachus, who helped Microsoft develop its XBox gaming system... Bachus, with nearly 20 years of experience in the game development industry, has assumed the role of president and chief operating officer."

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Recipe Suggestions? (4, Funny)

Babbster (107076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064047)

What kind of sauce or seasoning should I use on crow. If this console makes it to market (and it's certainly gaining legitimacy), I'll be eating several helpings.

Re:Here's a handy link (4, Funny)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064088)

Crow Recipes [crowbusters.com] .


Gotta love the internet! ;)

Re:Here's a handy link (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064466)

Bambelldu, Press alt-f4, it'll bring up the search window. Then type in your city.
thanks
what screen do i hit alt f4
its asking me to exit mirc
Click yes.
*** Signoff: Bambelldu (Quit: )

Re:Here's a handy link (0)

override11 (516715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065840)

nice! =)

Re:Recipe Suggestions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064207)

I don't know.... Shadowy stock splits at midnight on foggy London streets, just as the new guy swaggers in.

It could very well be his name tag at the executive mixer said, "Hello, my name is: Patsy"

He's just one guy, and some of the snake-oil hucksters have been able to fool almost all of the people for years at a time.

I wouldn't be shopping for crow just yet (1)

*weasel (174362) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064920)

plan for 'founders'
1.) fabricate buzz
2.) sell to suckers... err 'investors'
3.) split money with coconspirators
4.) profit

plan for 'investors'
1.) buy hyped stock
2.) panic - because product is vaporware
3.) realize you have too much invested to bail
4.) hire big name feller to give product credibility
5.) look for second round investors

it's still a terrible idea, and it will fail. unless of course they junk the online content distribution bullshit and throw in a dvd rom -- but in that case i'd argue that it's hardly the 'phantom' console anymore.

Re:Recipe Suggestions? (2, Insightful)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065279)

I don't think it's gaining any credibility. Picking up a major player in the industry doesn't mean much. 3D Realms has had sevral of them, and yet no Duke Nukem Forever. For that matter, once upon a time, John Romero could have been considered a major player. Didn't make Daikata any less bad.

Every time I see something that looks legitimate from Infinium, I go back to their games list: Misspelled titles and developers, games ascribed to the wrong developer, games listed several times for multiple developers (or for the same developer spelled several times), developers that have been out of business for months or years, games that were cancelled before release in the mid-90's, none of the flagship titles (more on these in a second, and not a single game released after the year 2001. For that matter, at least a third of the games on the list date between 1989 and 1995. And as for the flagship titles, they were touted to include UT2k3, Starcraft: Ghost, and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. However, the makers of all three deny that they were developing for the platform, and didn't appear on the game list when it was finally released (and then retracted).

And if none of that sheds doubt on the entire operation, take a look at this [infiniumlabs.com] . A lot of companies have done a lot of weird stuff, but I've never seen one buy itself out and then brag about acquiring their own flagship product from themselves.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064048)

People actually buy stock in this dog? At least SCO has a lawsuit to pin their hopes on.

controversy? (5, Insightful)

ed_roman (744552) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064138)

I don't understand why this stock split news is controversial or important. Their stock split would not change the worth of a shareholder's equity.. it would just increase the number of shares out there, with each share being worth less, right? Why is it such a big deal that the Phantom guys didn't do a press release? Would that affect anyone economically?

Re:controversy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8065682)

Because Phantom is - so far - total vaporware. This is all bizarre and amusing. This whole Phantom thing is getting as strange and weird as the whole SCO thing . . .

Re:controversy? (2, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#8066792)

Anyone who holds Phantom stock the moment is actually splits will want to know why the price dropped. Anyone who bought Phantom stock on Tuesday is screwed. There are many reasons to tell your investors when a stock is going to split, and no good reason to withhold that information.

Re:controversy? (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 10 years ago | (#8067661)

I don't understand why this stock split news is controversial or important. Their stock split would not change the worth of a shareholder's equity

Normally, yes. The article is sketchy, but in this case it looks like they issues more than the number of shares required to do the split, and the extras went to two insiders.

I'm not saying that this is a stock scam, but the type of activity seen here is typical among scams: Talk big about something that's difficult to measure, do funny things with the stock, and then bring in an industry "name" to lend legitimacy. Again, I am NOT saying that this in particular is a scam, but merely pointing out a few coincidences.

Join the Simoniker Fan Club! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064168)

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MODS ON CRACK (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064233)

How is this a toll? Offtopic, yes, but a troll? Simoniker is the only editor worthy of having his own fanclub


SFC (SIMONIKER FAN CLUB) is the first organization which gathers SIMONIKER FANS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being SIMONIKER FANS.

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FLAMEBAIT? MODS ARE RETARDED! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064367)

SFC (SIMONIKER FAN CLUB) is the first organization which gathers SIMONIKER FANS from all over America and abroad for one common goal - being SIMONIKER FANS.

Are you INTELLIGENT?
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Non-compete (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8064198)

Hmmm... I'm surprised that MS didn't nail Kevin Bachus with one of those non-compete deals that are so common today.

Re:Non-compete (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8065162)

They're likely aware of the fact that the Phantom isn't going to qualify as competition.

Re:Non-compete (1)

EduardoTheBastard (634008) | more than 10 years ago | (#8067133)

As another poster pointed out, he left Microsoft in 2001. He may very well have been bound by a non-complete agreement, but it would have expired by now.

Re:Non-compete (1)

PoopJuggler (688445) | more than 10 years ago | (#8068859)

I don't see how his new job of scamming investors is in direct competition with Microsoft, who is in the business of making crappy software

Re:Non-compete (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 10 years ago | (#8071742)

Actually, Phantom is supposed to be using embedded Windows (don't recall which flavor) as its OS, so they probably waived the non-compete clause which probably WAS in his contract because he went to a Microsoft "partner."

Don't know if this has been posted before... (2, Informative)

samdu (114873) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064258)

...but here is some interesting information about the CEO of Infinium:

HardOCP [hardocp.com]

Re:Don't know if this has been posted before... (2, Interesting)

Ayaress (662020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065424)

It's been posted in a couple other Phantom discussions, and it's probably the most informative post out there on the entire company. If anybody reads the article, I'd like to draw your attention most especially to the fact that the brains behind Infinium Labs were also behind Braodband Infrasturcture Group Corporation, who bilked investers for $15 million so they could live the high life; Intira Corporation, who carried $153 million into bankruptcy; and MCI Worldcom. I don't even have to remind you about their massive fraud, do I? Also, he claims to be the director of at least one company that isn't aware he works for them, and "can't find his email, address, name, or phone number." While your at it, check out the pictures of their mailing address. Last I'd heard (in December), it was still a small empty room next door to Mailboxes Etc, and they are still using a PO box as a mailing address.

Vaporware is in the air... (3, Informative)

imperator_mundi (527413) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064325)

from Heraldtribune:
The shares were selling for $28.50 at the close of regular trading on Tuesday
...the company had 4,577,761 shares
$28.5/stock and 4.5M stocks, that means some 140M$ paper... not that bad, but still far away from something that make you believable if you want to go after sony, M$ and Big N... and the fact that we're talking about financial statement but so far no games's screenshot is available reminds me of the good ol' times.... I still waiting for the flare one [wanadoo.nl] ;-)

Who Cares? (3, Interesting)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064497)

Bill Gates could be named CEO tommorrow and it would not change a thing: The Phantom is nothing more than a Ghost. I see this system being a mere bump in the road for the PS3 and XBox2 to roll over when they come out. O.K. best case scenario:

Phantom comes out and really DOES have just about every game you could play on your COMPUTER. So what? They certainly are not going to have really good "Only on Phantom" custom games, nor be able to play the games from any other current console. The price cannot be below $299 as I am certain that infinium labs cannot lose money on each system, so for the price of roughly both the Xbox and the PS2 and possibly even the Gamecube, one can get a Phantom.

The biggest question everyone should be asking, is WHO is going to buy this system and WHY?

Re:Who Cares? (1)

Bizzle (669385) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065311)

It really suprises me that the X-Box didn't implement this themselves?! Give it a little time and they may just buy them up and merge it into the NextBox.

Re:Who Cares? (2, Interesting)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065412)

The biggest question everyone should be asking, is WHO is going to buy this system and WHY?
I can no longer remember where I read this, but months ago someone went to a Phantom conference or something. The author of the article stood up near the end and asked the following:
"I already have the 3 major consoles and a gaming PC. Why should I buy a Phantom?"
Their response: "You are not our target audience"

So basically their scope is limited to people who haven't touched a gaming system in 2 years, suddenly became (re)interested, and chooses them over their other 4 options despite the (probable) price increase and the (definate) worse game selection. Maybe the 1-2 people who get worked up over downloadable content.

Re:Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8069236)

Not to mention also the fact that if you have broadband, why wouldn't have a PC or console already?

Re:Who Cares? (2, Informative)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 10 years ago | (#8067840)

When a big stack of boxes is sitting at Toys R Us next to PS3 and Nextbox and the Gamehole, who is going to pick up a Phantom? And with only $140 million now, how much advertising will they need to run in order to get brand awareness out there?

There are 3 very good consoles out there now.

  • Nintendo- long-time leader, has money, and an excellent name.

  • Sony- broke into the market when Sega was falling apart, and had a lot of money for a push.

  • Microsoft- had enough money to shove their way into the market, and keep things going until it finally got good.

With 3 huge players out there, the Phantom would need to spend billions of dollars to get some attention. I don't think they will get billions of dollars. The market is maturing, it would be much tougher to break in. The current consoles are good, and the next ones will be better. Running PC games in a simple manner is not the holy grail of gaming anymore- because console games are getting good on their own.

Maybe they are hiring former Microsoft employees, in the hope that they still have contacts at the home base. The best thing that could happen to them would be that Microsoft buys them out. Even if it is just to shut them up, and close the company down- that would be a better business plan than actually trying to compete with what is out there now, and even worse, the next generation from the big 3.

3DO revisited? (3, Interesting)

Craig Maloney (1104) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064598)

So they got someone who has game industry experience. This doesn't lend credibility to the project, it instead makes me wonder how they got this far without it. Witness the 3DO. They had Tripp Hawkins, who's rhetoric probably could have sold 3DOs to people without electricity or televisions. When the chips were down, and Sony and Sega rolled out their 32 bit machines, 3DO started the hype machine for the M2, which was going to knock everyones socks off. Rumors flew like doves at a wedding. The 3DO faithful would be rewarded for not straying from the one true machine. Months marched on, and the M2 rumors turned to circling like vultures, wondering if the M2 would ever see the light of day. Would Panasonic manufacture it? Almost weekly the answer changed. When it was all said and done, the M2 didn't appear. The revolutionary hardware that would have changed the world of gaming might have shown up in some obscure arcade machines, but the console never showed itself to the waiting public. The hopes died with the hype.

I'm much more jaded nowadays when companies promise to release "the next big thing" without showing hardware sitting on a table hooked to a monitor. Any company can make rendered pictures of hardware, blowmold prototypes, and hire top name executives. What matters is hardware and software. Show me the Phantom running on a table... let me download some games to it and play them. Until then you can blow press releases out of your ass. You won't impress me; I've seen that act before.

Re:3DO revisited? (1)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065098)

I would be rather impressed to see someone blow press releases out of his ass. That would be a neat party trick.

Why are Xbox executives fleeing? (3, Insightful)

Metroid72 (654017) | more than 10 years ago | (#8064875)

Is it just me that perceives that MS Xbox operations is constantly bleeding executives? It reminds me of Sega of America during the 90's Does anyone of you know how many former Xbox team members are out there? The program is not that old to be yielding so many 'Veterans'. I wouldn't be surprised if Ken Lobb turned out working on another 'Phantom' company soon.

Bachus Left MS in 2001 (1)

superultra (670002) | more than 10 years ago | (#8066881)

Good question (Ed Fries, for example), but with regards specifically to Bachus, he left [gamemarketwatch.com] MS quite some time ago (mid 2001).

Dionysos approved (1)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 10 years ago | (#8068620)

Is it just me that perceives that MS Xbox operations is constantly bleeding executives?

/me mumbles something about rats and sinking ships.

Although, I'm very pleased with this sentence: "Bachus, with nearly 20 years of experience in the game development industry, has assumed the role of president and chief operating officer."
It makes the whole thing seem blessed by the gods...

They were at CES this year. (2, Interesting)

darkmayo (251580) | more than 10 years ago | (#8065000)

With their shiney Phantom Console.. which was never turned on. Personally I enjoy the "Phantom Unveiled" video they have at www.infiniumlabs.com definately sold me on the system.. heh

A useful definition for all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8066166)

Ponzi scheme ( P ) Pronunciation Key (pnz)
n.
An investment swindle in which high profits are promised from fictitious sources and early investors are paid off with funds raised from later ones.

[After CharlesPonzi (1882?-1949), Italian-born speculator who organized such a scheme (1919-1920).]

Will The Public Accept No Media. (2, Interesting)

liquidzero4 (566264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8066897)

I personally can't see buying a game console in which I will never physically own any games. I find the whole conecpt very strange. I could see from a cable or hotel industry perspective how this type of media delivery system would be appealing but I can't the general public accpeting this.

What's the advatnge to the customer to have to download media over broad band. Seriously unless the games are 50% the price of their physical media counterparts I'm not interested.

Re:Will The Public Accept No Media. (1)

Jeffool (675688) | more than 10 years ago | (#8068014)

I've seen the guys talk, and it seems that they really like to pimp the idea of this being the video game world's Tivo or iTunes.

I'm one of those folks who thinks that 'if' this comes out, it won't live for long. But, I actually want it to succeed. A console where developers can make games and sell/rent them directly to customers themselves? Sounds like a great idea to me.

Re:Will The Public Accept No Media. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8074686)

There is no consumer advantage. The advantage in having no media and using existing games is that the con artists get to run their scam longer without producing specifications. This affords the con artists time to sucker even more people into investing into the fake product, so that when the lid blows off and the con artists have to flee, they flee with more money than they would have otherwise. HTH

HeraldTribune editors aren't investors, apparently (1)

theMerovingian (722983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8069503)


A dividend [investorwords.com] is different from a stock split [investorwords.com] .

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