Coleco Chameleon developer closes up shop, triggers flood of 8-bit tears

Coleco Chameleon
Coleco Chameleon

Remember the ColecoVision sequel that promised to bring cartridge-based gaming back into the living room? I've got some bad news: it's dead.

In a strange series of events today, the manufacturer of the Coleco Chameleon, Retro VGS, lost support from Coleco Holdings, a.k.a. the company that actually holds the rights to the name "Coleco," only to then disappear completely.

In a statement to Engadget, Coleco Holdings said that "Retro has decided that the work that they have created is not sufficient to demonstrate at this time. Consequently, we can no longer proceed with the project and the Chameleon project will be terminated. This separation is amicable. We wish Retro luck in the future."

So what did Retro VGS do when Coleco told us the news? It shuttered its website and closed its Facebook page. The Chameleon, as of right now, looks like it's utterly dead.

The Coleco Chameleon was announced back in December when it promised to "accurately play compilations of favorite games from the past," as well as new games that released in an 8-, 16-, and 32-bit style. A real unit showed up at the New York Toy Fair, however, it seems as though the working prototype wasn't enough for Coleco Holdings.

Without a viable project to work on the future of Retro VGS is unclear and without any public-facing channels, the state of the company is as unclear and unreadable as the cartridges it was trying to save.

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Nick Pino

Nick Pino is Managing Editor, TV and AV for TechRadar's sister site, Tom's Guide. Previously, he was the Senior Editor of Home Entertainment at TechRadar, covering TVs, headphones, speakers, video games, VR and streaming devices. He's also written for GamesRadar+, Official Xbox Magazine, PC Gamer and other outlets over the last decade, and he has a degree in computer science he's not using if anyone wants it.