Propaganda 18 ch04

From C64 Diskmag Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
 ESCOM   O                   +--------+
 ESCOM _ Our future?         |Newscopy|

A bit over a decade ago, Commodore
launched a machine that would come to
change our lives. The machine was a
brother to the family success Vic 2O,
and came out looking identical apart
from the color, that is. The Commodore
64 had arrived with pompus fanfares.

The machine itself was a mircale. With
16 colors, 3 soundchannels and sprites
it was a programmer's dream, as well as
a player's dream. By 1983, a handful of
companies were producing games at an
intense level, and we gasped at their

visual bonanza, not having seen anything
like it before.

These were the early days.

Twelve years later
Today, 1995, some of us still sit around
our 8-bit miracles, and it is still re-
markable in my eyes, that software is
being produced. We may appear ignorant
and stubborn, but we have never bother-
ed about that. We have continued in our
own pace, taking machines slightly back
in the shadows. What I have experienced
as fairly sad, has been the departure
of the Brittish software market. The
Brittish companies declared low profit
on 8-bit titles, and naturally pro-

duction ceased at this point. Long gone
are the days, when I connect to the
boards seeing a new zipped fullpricer
from OCEAN or US.GOLD. Instead, we the
sceners, have adapted to the new market,
with Germany taking the lead in the

New markets coming on
Eastern European countries have come on
strong the past few years, and do not
only represent puzzlegames and Tetris-
clones. In fact, once you look at the
games today, comparing them to the old
fullpricers from the United Kingdom, you
quickly come to the conclusion that the
newer games are in fact much, much
better. Despite from the originality,

that might be.

ESCOM rocks the boat
As of March 1995, the German based
company ESCOM bought the remains of
COMMODORE. COMMODORE had long been rest-
ing in a coma, ceasing the production of
the Amiga 12OO,4OOO and CD32. As ESCOM
boarded the ship, they declared picking
up the production again, as well as
producing a POWERAMIGA(PC/MAC/AMIGA) and
relaunching the COMMODORE 64. The
Commodore 64 was in their eyes interest-
ing for entirely new markets; China,
South America and Africa, all fairly
poor countries, not being able to afford
expensive systems such as the PC or
the Macintosh. ESCOM experts have est-

imated sales to reach over 2 million
Commodore 64's sold in the no too far
distant. I startle at the figure.

What we have today
Since 1983, the Commodore 64 has sold
more than 15 million units, making it
the most sold homecomputer of all time.
Today it is hard mapping all active
users, but the various magazines thru-
out the planet speak of something
between 5OO.OOO-85O.OOO users. Out of
these, perhaps 1O-2O% take part in the
actual happenings and turns around the
Commodore 64. The rest are, shall we
say, hobbyists.

With ESCOM stomping ground again, we may
very well see the same market we saw in
1987 in the rest of Europe. May comp-
anies are showing interest in the soft-
ware production again, and most defin-
ately will pick it up. CODEMASTERS,
considering it. For us, as pirates, it
seems almost too good to be true. Here
we are, having hooked on to the 64

| "Ok, the best of days are over, but  |
| I'm having such a good time with the |
|  people around it, that I will stay  |
|    until it really goes down..."     |

and from out of nowhere, we may exper-
ience a boost so big the old days may

What can we expect?
Now, if ESCOM would have been a bit
clever, they would launch a 64, with
stereosid, Flash-8-card and built in
1581. Still compatible with the older
software, it would boost all people
that are still out there, to create
better software and better demos. After
all, it would still be the same machine.

Even though there is an incredible
amount of Commodore software out there,
ESCOM are very interested in the comp-

anies taking part in the production
today. The more games people produce,
the more machines they sell. But then
another problem comes to wide open.
Focusing on countries, that may have
a weaker knowledge in English, the games
may have to be translated. It may not
take long until we see games in Chinese,
Spanish or some African dialect. Who
will take care of that? Most defiantely,
the companies mentioned above, do not
have interpretors ready for the purpose.
And even more interesting, Chinese,
African and South American groups could
appear. I cannot smiling slightly,
thinking of what it could look like on
the boards. Some top European group
firstrelease the Chinese version of an
arcadegame, but will have to be set
aside as a Chinese group launches the

translated version some days later. We
will have to make room for a new breed.

We are on the right road now
When the Easter European countries
opened for the Commodore 64, the west
was reluctant to let them on to the
ride. At that point, they had not quite
yet managed to reach the same qualities
as their West World brothers. Today,
many Eastern Europeans have passed the
lazy rest, and by golly thes scene has
expanded immensly since. Now I see
history repeating itself.

Shortly before ESCOM closed the deal
with COMMODORE, it was rumoured that a

company had bought the rights of the
Commodore 64. Word had it, the company
was intending to use the Commodore as
a cheap Street/Shop-display to be used
around the world. Sure it may have
triggered a few oppurtunities for
talented programmers to produce display
software, but still I am so glad the
rumour was not true.

Could you imagine the future of your
favorite machine displayed in a sleazy
shop showing "RETAIL, ONLY $12.99".
I do not think so.

ESCOM is the way to go.
Personal tools