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Phantom Gets Insider Bonus, Ex-Xbox Bigshot 39

Thanks to loonyboi for pointing to a 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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Phantom Gets Insider Bonus, Ex-Xbox Bigshot

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  • by Babbster ( 107076 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (bbabnoraa)> on Friday January 23, 2004 @04:01AM (#8064047) Homepage
    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.
    • by MachDelta ( 704883 ) on Friday January 23, 2004 @04:15AM (#8064088)
      Crow Recipes [].

      Gotta love the internet! ;)
    • 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
    • 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
  • controversy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ed_roman ( 744552 ) on Friday January 23, 2004 @04:33AM (#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? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cgenman ( 325138 )
      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.
    • 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, a

  • Non-compete (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Hmmm... I'm surprised that MS didn't nail Kevin Bachus with one of those non-compete deals that are so common today.
    • 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.
    • 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
    • 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."
  • by samdu ( 114873 ) <> on Friday January 23, 2004 @05:29AM (#8064258) Homepage
    ...but here is some interesting information about the CEO of Infinium:

    HardOCP []

    • 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 t
  • by imperator_mundi ( 527413 ) on Friday January 23, 2004 @05:48AM (#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 [] ;-)
  • Who Cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mrshowtime ( 562809 ) on Friday January 23, 2004 @06:55AM (#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?
    • 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? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by nukem1999 ( 142700 )
      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 bec
    • Re:Who Cares? (Score:3, Informative)

      by bigman2003 ( 671309 )
      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
  • 3DO revisited? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Craig Maloney ( 1104 ) * on Friday January 23, 2004 @07:38AM (#8064598) Homepage
    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.

  • by Metroid72 ( 654017 ) on Friday January 23, 2004 @09:17AM (#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.
    • Good question (Ed Fries, for example), but with regards specifically to Bachus, he left [] MS quite some time ago (mid 2001).
    • 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...

  • by darkmayo ( 251580 ) on Friday January 23, 2004 @09:40AM (#8065000)
    With their shiney Phantom Console.. which was never turned on. Personally I enjoy the "Phantom Unveiled" video they have at definately sold me on the system.. heh

  • 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.
    • 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.

  • A dividend [] is different from a stock split [].

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?