Generation Amiga: Hello Timothy De Groote can you introduce yourself to our readers? How did you discover the Amiga platform?
Hyperion Entertainment: I’m actually a C64 guy turned Amiga when the C64 was at the end of it’s commercial life, I already had friends using an Amiga and was amazed by the things this machine could do, DirectoryOpus 4.X and DPaint IV were awesome back then, so the Amiga was the logical next step. I myself started with a bare A1200, moving up to an Microbotix 1230 with 8MB, then Quake and AB3DII came along and I felt a need for an Apollo040 and a tower conversion into a Micronik Infinitv tower. Later on I ‘of course’ bought a BlizzardPPC040 when I wanted to play the PPC versions of these games and ‘of course’ Heretic II. It’s Heretic II and the knowledge that Hyperion VOF was actually a Belgian company that led me to first become a betatester, then shareholder, and meanwhile a manager.
Generation Amiga: How many people are involved in Hyperion Entertainment, how did it started?
Hyperion Entertainment: Hyperion Entertainment CVBA officially has 2 directors and several shareholders. We have a team of subcontractors who work as developers on a paid and or voluntary basis to make the AmigaOS to what it is today. Since we took over development of AmigaOS 4 in 2001 (a whopping 16 years ago!) in total about 150 people have been involved and that’s not counting the numerous beta testers and translators. Hyperion was founded by Ben Hermans and Evert Carton to bring games to the new Amiga platform which Gateway had promised to roll out when Jim Collas was still in charge. When Gateway sold the Amiga a lot of good intentions died with these plans. Hans-Joerg and Thomas Frieden, Steffen Haeuser, Matthias Rosslund and Peter Annuss were all subcontracted to do these ports. Hans-Joerg and Thomas were at the forefront of 3D on the Amiga back then when they (together with Sam Jordan) created Warp3D and it was only logical that they created the technology (MiniGL for example) needed to port OpenGL based games. With the demise of Jim Collas at Gateway Hyperion stepped in to take over development of AmigaOS in order to secure its future.
Generation Amiga: Hyperion entertainment have acquired the license to port Worms Armageddon, will Hyperion Entertainment ever release the game?
Hyperion Entertainment: The license to Worms Armageddon (and some other games as well) would need to be renegotiated after all this time. As outlined above, with the collapse of Gateway, a lot of good intentions died with these plans.
Generation Amiga: Hyperion entertainment recently released AmigaOS 4.1 Final edition update 1, what are the biggest changes?
Hyperion Entertainment: Update #1 was created as maintenance update and as such brought a lot of bug fixes and improvements in various components to our customers. Most notably are probably the proper support of drive capacities of more than 2TB in Media Toolbox, many updated and even a couple of new OS translations, the addition of LhA to the standard system, the vastly improved Installation Utility and last not least the option to use Zorro 3 memory as system memory instead of paging memory for Classic Amiga computers.
Generation Amiga: Can you tell us more about the future? Is AmigaOS 5 possible or impossible because of legal dispute or finance?
Hyperion Entertainment: There are no legal impediments to releasing “AmigaOS 5”. Our current aim is AmigaOS 4.2.
Generation Amiga: Will AmigaOS ever have SMP and virtual memory support?
Hyperion Entertainment: Virtual memory support exists already since the release of AmigaOS 4.1 in the form of the “pager”using a dedicated “SWAP” partition (or also Zorro 3 memory on Classics). With regard to SMP, nothing has changed in this respect: it is still the central feature of AmigaOS 4.2.
Generation Amiga: How are relations with Amiga inc? Hyperion were granted an exclusive right to develop and market AmigaOS 4 since a 2009 agreement. Have relations improved?
Hyperion Entertainment: We have no dealings with Amiga Inc. The settlement agreement we reached in 2009 with Amiga Inc. and Amiga Inc’s main shareholder has freed AmigaOS from any involvement of Amiga Inc. or any limitation in terms of supported hardware. We have an exclusive, worldwide, perpetual, royalty free license to AmigaOS and its full source-code which under American copyright law means that even Amiga Inc. cannot market or develop or distribute AmigaOS in any way, shape or form.
Generation Amiga: The Amiga trademarks (Amiga/AmigaOS/boing) will end in 2018. What is your stance towards this and how important is this for Hyperion Entertainment?
Hyperion Entertainment: We expect that Amiga Inc. or its shareholders will renew the trademarks. Failure to do so would be a violation of the settlement agreement which was entered as a stipulated judgement in the federal court’s record.
Generation Amiga: AmigaOS 4.1/5 for other platforms such as X86 or ARM, would you support this idea in the future?
Hyperion Entertainment: Anything and everything is possible! 🙂 We are not limited to any CPU architecture but for obvious reasons big endian or bi-endian CPU’s are most attractive to us.
Generation Amiga: The AmigaOne is an exclusive Hyperion Entertainment product currently licensed to A-EON technology. How do you see the future of the AmigaOne series?
Hyperion Entertainment: We are always open for new cooperation with companies interested in producing AmigaOS 4 compatible hardware under the AmigaOne brand.
Generation Amiga: Power Progress Community and ACube systems are working together and will probably release a PowerPC laptop, are you interested in this project?
Hyperion Entertainment: We think this is a very exciting project and as said above, we are always open for new opportunities. We’d welcome them approaching us as soon as the hardware reached a certain grade of maturity.
Generation Amiga: AmigaOS classic(3.1) going opensource, would you support this idea?
Hyperion Entertainment: We cannot legally support this. Once it is open source, this is an irreversible decision that is beyond the scope of our license under the Amiga Inc. Settlement
Agreement. One of the very few things we cannot do with AmigaOS.
Generation Amiga: What is your point of view when it comes to AROS and MorphOS?
Hyperion Entertainment: We have no “views” when it comes to AROS and Morphos.
Generation Amiga: The Italian company Cloanto has the Workbench trademarks and the copyrights of Commodore/Amiga, how are the relations with Cloanto?
Hyperion Entertainment: We are not worried by this. Workbench has been the name of a part of AmigaOS since it first launched with the Amiga 1000. There is no legal way to interfere with our
exclusive source-code license of AmigaOS.
Generation Amiga: Is Hyperion Entertainment interested in new investors? How do you see the future of Hyperion Entertainment by 2022?
Hyperion Entertainment: At the moment we are focussed on Cyrus and Tabor but we are exploring different business opportunities all the time. If an investor can get behind our vision of AmigaOS, we are always willing to discuss. We believe that there is a lot of life left in the Power(PC) architecture but we are not “married” to any CPU architecture.
Generation Amiga: Thank you very much for this interview and good luck with all upcoming projects and products!
Hyperion Entertainment: Thank you for the opportunity, and a very big thank you to all the customers supporting us in the endeavour of keeping AmigaOS alive by buying our products!
(Image courtesy Michael Berseth from distrita)