Phantom Launch Pushed Back

Infinium says that the decision was made at the request of its retail and marketing partners, who would like to have more time to plan promotional and merchandising activities.

Kevin Bachus, president and COO, issued the following statement

We were on track to offer the Phantom Game Service later this year. However, we can’t do it alone; we need our strategic partners to help us get the word out. And many of our key marketing and retail partners, as well as publishers, have told us they believe the best way to make the service successful is to hold off for now.

Retailers gear their 4th quarter holiday promotions around gift-giving opportunities, and they feel, as we do, that our service will not be bought primarily as a ‘gift’ for someone else. It will more likely be a self purchase. One buyer told us, ‘We have a tremendous number of opportunities to showcase the Phantom early next year and we don’t want the Phantom to get lost in all that we already have planned for the holidays. Let’s allow the time we need to make a strong, successful entry next year.’

It actually was not a big deal for us. While we wanted to move faster because we’re excited about the response we’ve been having from everyone, we felt we needed to listen to our partners. And our capital acquisition plan is fine with the move to next year.

One of the upsides to this news, says Bachus, is that a 2005 launch will enable Infinium to “develop fully integrated advertising, marketing and merchandising programs with its partners. ” Additionally, Media buys will be cheaper, the promotional field will be less crowded than it would have been in the fourth quarter, and the extra time will allow Infinium to save money on component and transportation costs.