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Amiga Flame's Christmas Message

This year is unlike any other in that no new games were released for the Classic Amiga platform, which might lead some analysts to ask do we have reason to celebrate. It is a fair question to ask and one that demands an answer.

A few years ago I wrote that the transition from the classic Amiga platform to the next generation would be a difficult one. This statement was accurate as developers have found it increasingly difficult in this period, as they have had to choose between developing for the classic line or waiting for the release of the new platform. Initially developers were willing to continue work on software for the classic line, for instance Mr. Horbach of KDH-Datentechnik even persuaded Epic Interactive to convert Software Tycoon to the Amiga, in the hope that, “the game might ease the waiting time for new hardware products”. However, this year as work on the AmigaOS 4 intensified and new hardware became available, it became clear that no more titles are coming to the classic line.

Although it has been a poor year for gamers, it has been a year in which community spirit was re-awakened. Bill Panagouleas, CEO of DiscreetFX, launched an effort to have Mozilla/ Firebird ported to the Amiga, encouraging users to support the effort by contributing to a fund that would be given away to the first team to port the application. Over eighty users have so far supported the effort, giving amounts such as ten US dollars from Paul Townsend to over four thousand US dollars from a former Netscape Executive. Another community inspired initiative was the AmigaOS 4 on Tour, which was organised by members of the user groups and some retailers. With tour events taking place across the world, users for the first time were able to see and tryout for themselves the new Amiga operating system running on AmigaOne hardware. The initiative appears to have been a huge success as crowds of users and former users attended each event.

Leading figures in the community like Ben Hermans and the rest of the Hyperion team, and Alan Redhouse and his partners have not allowed the negative attitude of some people to get them down. According to sources, Ben Hermans and his team went without holidays and celebrations in an effort to complete the task of AmigaOS 4. Alan Redhouse stunned Amiga users this year, for along with his partners work continued on new Amiga hardware for the consumer market. The Micro AmigaOne (sometimes referred to as the AmigaOne Lite) was demonstrated at a number of shows and is expected to be ready in the first half of 2004. Alan Redhouse also explored opportunities for the new hardware in the Far East such as in China, which if successful might lead to reduced prices. Even the staff at Amiga Inc are worthy of commendation for they have survived against the odds with members of staff going without pay simply because they believe in the Amiga.

It is my belief that we do have reason to celebrate this year, for although petty squabbles may have given the impression that the community was at war with itself, the real story of this year is that community spirit has returned. The squabbles only ever involved a small vocal number of individuals as the vast majority of users in the community worked together this year on initiatives such as the Mozilla/ Firebird port and the AmigaOS 4 on Tour. The leaders in the community such as Ben Hermans and Alan Redhouse remain committed and with the support of the community I believe that 2004 will be an exciting time for us all.

Merry Christmas everyone and hopefully we'll see the first wave of games for the AmigaOne soon.

If you wish to contact Philip Cosby of Amiga Flame, then e-mail me at:-


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