Intellivision Entertainment has roped in former Microsoft executive and Xbox co-founder J Allard as its Global Managing Director ahead of the company's Amico game console release starting October. As Microsoft's former Chief Experience Officer and Chief Technology Officer of the Entertainment and Devices Division, Allard's mark and legacy in the games industry stem from two decades at Microsoft in which he co-founded the Xbox, Xbox Live, Live Arcade and Xbox 360 among many other tentpole software products.
"We are thrilled to add such an amazing industry legend to our team," Intellivision CEO Tommy Tallarico, said in a statement on Thursday.
"J's experience, like-minded vision and leadership in the technology and video game industries as a visionary, product designer, and gamer will further strengthen the executive leadership team and innovation legacy at Intellivision."
The Intellivision home video game console was released by Mattel about 40 years ago. It established many industry firsts and captured almost 20 per cent market share at the time.
Building upon its gaming legacy with support and expertise from industry veterans and superstars, Intellivision is now back with the mission to bring people together by delivering simple, affordable, family-friendly entertainment.
Intellivision will launch Amico, a video game system that will come with two easy-to-use colour touchscreen controllers and is designed to be fun for all ages.
Intellivision Amico is planned to release beginning in October and pricing for the system starts at $249.
A lifelong gamer, Allard grew up with the original Intellivision and published his first game Lemonade Stand in the early 80s for the TRS-80 Color Computer.
In his new role at Intellivision Entertainment, Allard will provide insights to support the final development of Amico.
"Amico's vision speaks to me, not just because I grew up with Intellivision, but because I grew up playing with my family and friends," said Allard.
"Playing together is a timeless concept that I feel the video game industry has largely forgotten. The Intellivision team is deeply committed to bringing back shared fun and affordable gaming for everyone."
Allard was recruited by Microsoft in 1991 and went on to deliver over 40 products, was awarded over 50 patents, and helped build four multi-billion-dollar businesses.
He made an impact early on in his career when he wrote a memo titled "Windows: The Next Killer Application on the Internet," outlining why Microsoft needed to change its course and redefine itself with the Internet. The memo led to Bill Gates -- Co-Founder and CEO at the time -- to overhaul the company's strategy and Allard became known as "Microsoft's Father of the Internet."
In 1998, Allard co-founded Xbox, ushered Microsoft into the video game console space with the company's first game console in 2001, and grew the business into the fastest one billion dollar business in the company's history.