The Miami Herald
July 12, 1993
VIDEO CREATOR PLAYS 52 GAMES TO WIN
Author: James McNair, Herald Business Writer
At 51, Vince Perri has called himself a businessman for a long time. But it took fatherhood to help him find what could be the business of his life.
Perri is the brains behind a 3-year-old Miami company, Active Enterprises Ltd., that is offering a new game product for the six million Sega Genesis systems in the United States. His isn’t just another addition to the hundreds of titles on store shelves. His product, Action 52, offers 52 games for the price of two. An investment banker for six years, Perri has seen his share of business opportunities, good and bad. This time, the idea originated at home.
“Having a 9-year-old, I had to buy a lot of video games, and it cost me a fortune,” he said. “A decent Sega or Nintendo costs $55 to $60. I said there’s got to be a way to do this cheaper.”
The breakthrough came by accident.
“I happened to see my son playing an illegal product made in Taiwan that had 40 games on it. The whole neighborhood went crazy over it,” Perri said. “I figured I’d do it legally. It’s obvious when you see something like that, you know there’s something there.”
Perri said he used his overseas banking connections to raise $5 million from private backers in Europe and Saudi Arabia. He farmed out the programming to college students and the technical work to Cronos Engineering Inc., a Boca Raton company that does work for IBM Corp. He expects to begin shipping Action 52 today.
“We’ve sold out of our first manufacturing cycle, so we’re going into another cycle as soon as these go out the door,” he said.
Action 52 is meant to be played on the Sega Genesis system, which, at 16 bits, is faster and more stimulating than the older, eight-bit Sega games. Perri said the 52 games, like G- Force Fighter, Sunday Driver and Haunted Hills, were fashioned for kids between 9 and 12 years old.
Perri said he’d be happy snaring a tiny fraction of the $9.5 billion market for video games. So far, all of his orders have come from oversea s. A sales representative for the United States was hired just two weeks ago, but has already pitched the product to several major retail chains. Perri said Action 52 will sell for $99 to $119, depending on where you buy it. He will sell it over the phone for $99.
Perri’s company might have to clear one more hurdle. Sega of America Inc. in Redwood City, Calif., said third-party developers need a Sega license to sell software for the Sega system. Perri said he doesn’t.
“You need a license if you want to be a licensed Sega game and if you want to display the Sega seal,” Perri said. “We are unauthorized, but not illegal.”
As I read that sentence in the e-mail I had been waiting for over 3 years to receive, I couldn’t believe that many of my questions surrounding Action 52 and its creationwere about to finally be answered. Throughout those three years, I had searched out every possible person that was connected to the game. I contacted several Vince Perris and Raul Gomilas, among several others, all to no avail.
I contacted people who supposedly met Perri or Gomila,
several later admitting they were just lying. To be honest,
I didn’t exactly know why I was so interested in finding out more about the game, and the company that created it, Active Enterprises. However, I know the answer to that now, but I’m getting ahead of myself…