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By Tim Chaney
€3,757 pledged of €52,500 goal
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About

It was whilst watching The Wolf of Wall Street I realised the time had come to throw caution to the wind and fess with another beer and Virgin Interactive's true story. 

If I had a pound for every time someone said that I should write a book on my experiences at the company, I would most certainly be a rich man.

That is my story of Virgin Interactive.  

When Richard Branson and brother-in-law Robert Devereux lit a blue touch paper under Virgin Games second incarnation in 1991 (the company name changed to Virgin Interactive Entertainment in 1993 ) they unleashed a company, one that would break every rule in the book of 'computer games publishing' to take the industry beyond whatever else the competition were doing or trying. 

Risk adverse was a phrase that didn't enter the lexicography. 

And when competitors tried to copy our style, we would raise the ante.

And then the company launched Archer MacLeans's Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker.

My story will be told in a high quality printed, 200+ page book and will cover in detail the story of this great company, it's rise to fame (or more correctly infamy) and talk about all those who contributed - warts and all.

The cover below is illustrative - the final design is being produced by legendary Crash/Zzap ! 64 and Amtix artist Oliver Frey.

No stone will be left unturned with many of stories, yarns and anecdotes no doubt leaving the reader in shock as I talk about what we got up to to ensure the success of the company (which was somewhat unorthodox to say the least).

The book will contain never before seen imagery of those who worked at the company - behind the scene shenanigans that now deserve to see the light of day. 

We had 6 successive campaigns banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. Clubs were closed for refurbishment, wrecked after launch events. I had to wade in and apologise to a bank manager after one of the secretaries sat astride on the photocopier without underwear and faxed the picture to the wrong number. 

We confronted the music business and in a way, they capitulated. We released singles and albums with a music label called EXP that was run by former Undertone Feargal Sharkey. 

It was the end of The Thatcher Decade in the UK - the mirage of the 80's bubble had burst with unions being nobbled and privatisation going mad; inflation and unemployment was at a boiling point; Superpower #1 and Superpower #2 signed the arms limitation agreement that led to the decade's most momentous event - the fall of the Berlin Wall.

It was now the 90's - we didn't see walls or perimeters. It was the time of Virgin Interactive.

VIE was destined not to make it out of the decade but would do their damnedest to try. We were not The Who who said they wanted to die before they got old, but got old instead - we were Hendrix, Morrison, Cobain, Winehouse...  

Were our games better than sex though?

Probably not. By 2015 video games were generating $74B a year. We had a hand in helping that along.

This book will rightly immortalize our unique legacy in this great industry of ours.  

And let's not forget about the games:

  • Cannon Fodder 7th Guest 
  • Cool Spot 
  • Lion King
  • Command and Conquer 
  • Resident Evil Blade Runner
  • Doom 2 Screamer 
  • Heart of Darkness 
  • Thrill Kill (banned)

..and many more. Each game will be mentioned and the fun/challenges we had to getting it to market. The many iconic developers of those games will lay bare their own unique Virgin stories.

BRANSON

A personalized and signed copy of the hardback version of the book signed by Richard Branson and the author. Your name added as 'Star Backer'.

I was originally the Managing Director of the company and then became International President in 1994.

Name : Indie Retro News Website : http://www.indieretronews.com/

Name : Retro Video Gamer
Website : http://www.retrovideogamer.co.uk/

Name : Fusion Retro Books 
Website : http://www.fusionretrobooks.com

Risks and challenges

The only risk to making this a completely accurate work is getting the dates right. There is a lot of memory loss about what happened 20 years ago. The Internet is often wrong. There may be some rights clearance issues or unforeseen costs with certain photographs that I want to run. The use of Augmented Reality clips that don't come from You Tube, if I choose any, may have the same issues. If it comes down to cost we will be desirous to close at a fair price. If it comes down to a bonehead rights lawyer, and I admit low tolerance, we may not clear such photo or clip for use. We have to find a book publisher that can cover UK and US but if we don't or consciously decide against it, we will publish ourselves. And should the book do well, be well received, we need to commission someone in tune with the times and spirit to write a script. We know people who know people so we should get the right person.

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    A pdf of the book at the same time as paperback book release.

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    As a token of my gratitude towards campaign lift off you will receive a handwritten postcard featuring exclusive unused cover art 6 months before publication.

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    EARLY ADOPTER. As an early adopter, you will get a printed copy of the paperback and laptop stickers + a pdf of the book delivered to you once the book has gone to print. And your name in the book as gratitude for you being a backer.

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    HARDBACK. A hardback copy of the printed book, personalized and signed by the author and laptop stickers. Your name in the book as gratitude for you being a backer

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    A personalized and signed copy of the hardback version of the book signed by Richard Branson and the author. Your name added as 'Star Backer'.

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    Pledge €250 or more About $283

    SHARE and share alike. It's really about making a movie or TV series based on the book, right? This is a big leap of faith and I certainly can't promise a Scorsese or a DiCaprio but - if I sell movie or TV series rights and a movie/TV series goes into production, these backers names will be on the credits, they will receive a personalized shooting script of the movie or episode 1/pilot shooting script of a TV series and the rewards of # 5. There are sizable funds and tax incentives to make movies in Europe and if we self fund, or return to Kickstarter to fund, these backers will get a first right of refusal to reinvest.

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Funding period

- (35 days)