Commodore, holding the reins of a former icon…


Commodore International Limited, what can I say that has not already been said by popular journalists nestled within video gaming wealthiest and most powerful conglomerates. The assorted mix of Facebook fan pages and X accounts run by enthusiasts that revel in past 8 and 16-bit escapades, and the YouTube personalities. Some overly loud and obnoxious, others damn right brilliant and worthy of their subscribers.

Geeking and nerding their way through the colossal depths of retro gaming, quoting random trivia like, the Commodore VIC-20 was the first computer to sell a million units and Amiga Basic, the programming language for the personal computer was designed and written by Microsoft, before they created Windows and turned into a behemoth company of greed and wanton destruction.

I can go on, telling you about the history of the Commodore brand, how the company was formed by Jack Tramiel, a holocaust survivor and Manfred Kapp. Talk repairing typewriters, selling calculators, manufactured by Casio and Texas Instruments in countries that no longer exist – although I don’t want to ramble on, because if you do a quick search (insert your favourite engine here) you can digest all the PET, West Germany and Czechoslovak history you want, any time you like, be it from the various popular journalists nestled within video gaming wealthiest and most powerful conglomerates or that lowly Word Press blog, that somehow has a decent comment following, that’s bustling with good banter and not riddled with buffoons and keyboard warriors that simply want to inject personal agendas wherever they can.

Recently I was in the mood for a bit of Thing on a Spring, just to listen to the awesome music once again. I know looking it up on YouTube would be far easier than sourcing an emulator and relevant game files, but there’s great satisfaction with having it on your own TV screen as it was back when Reagan and Thatcher got sent up on Spitting Image and being able to chuckle at yourself, knowing you’re just has bad at the game now, as you were back in the year 1987. You know I’m bad, I’m bad.

This is where is gets close to home, back in the Commodore 64/Amiga era, music was a massive part of gaming – today it seems to be all about FPS and AI infused trickery that has letters like X, D, L, S, V, T, R. People argue over which GPU is better and which console manufacturer sells most. In the Commodore 64 years, gamers got to listen to Martin Galway’s Parallax loading score before enjoying a great game. This takes me to another composer, sadly no longer with us.

Anthony Lees – of The Last Ninja fame, he lived in the same town as me growing up. A friend of mine, a guy called Rob, or VEGE in the gaming realms, knew of him and got invited to his house. Rob and another friend, an Iron Maiden rocker called Mick (Sammi Curr) were working on a demo for the Atari ST. Somehow they managed to get a score created by Ray Norrish, through the help of Anthony Lees, I’m told? But it turned out that score he was working on was already being negotiated for licence to Psygnosis, Baal.

Whilst researching for this article, going back and forth between really dated web pages and repeated copy over several websites  – already aware that the Commodore I knew all those years back had succumbed to not changing with the times. Knowing full well that various companies with newfangled ideas had tried and failed to rescue the brand, then within all my link looking and hopping I stumbled across a something that my grabbed my attention.

The great Commodore is reborn with a group of Italian entrepreneurs, with the aim of bringing the historic brand to the fore once again.

Luigi Simonetti, the company’s CEO, and his team aim to resurrect this historic brand starting from computer science using the business unit named Commodore Engineering and with a business unit dedicated to the development of videogames well known as Commodore Sinapsy.

I’m I reading this correctly, the website looks legit. There’s a contact page, so why not jump in, see if I can obtain some information – is this Commodore aiming to bring back an icon or ride the retro wave simply to look good and make a quick pound or euro.

From my initial rather hopeful email questions (of wanting to see the mighty Commodore bring back the C64 in some shape or form) a gentleman called Luigi took time out to set out what plans Commodore has in store for Commodore.