Regarding the RedKid series of chips that AtGames has been using in its Sega Genesis compilation plug-n-play systems, I found a claim in a Sega-16.com thread last year
that it's actually derived from the single-chip Genesis implementation that Radica created for their Arcade Legends (later renamed "Play TV Legends") Genesis systems in cooperation with Sega Toys (who sold them in Japan). There was no concrete proof given on that point, but the user did give a link
to the summary of a lawsuit that he/she claimed led to that development. Starting from there, I found a partial trail that does seem to support the claim.
The lawsuit cited is the only easily locatable part of a series of lawsuits, probably because it's the only one in a US District Court, rather than a California state court. The legal action story seems to start with Radica filing suit against AtGames. There is no date given for that action in this August 2005 SEC filing
, but it says:
Previously, Radica Macao had filed suit in the California Superior Court, Los Angeles County, West District, against the attorneys representing AtGames. The Radica Macao complaint alleged misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion and unfair business practices. This suit has recently been settled on terms satisfactory to Radica Macao which are designed to protect its proprietary information.
The "previously" in that is in relation to the filing's primary topic, other legal conflict between Radica and AtGames during 2005 (which I'm about to get to). What we do get dates for, combining the US District Court case's summary and the SEC filing, are the following (note that the undated "previously" suit likely took place after some of these dated events, particularly the first one):
- January 4, 2005: AtGames obtains an exclusive OEM license from Sega for their old platforms' software library.
- March 2005: AtGames sublicenses some Sega titles to Jakks Pacific (almost undoubtedly for plug-n-play purposes). Recall that Digital Eclipse converted a few EA Sports Genesis titles to the Sunplus SPG110 for Jakks Pacific. I don't know precisely when that was done (though Jakks' EA license acquisition itself was announced in July 2004), but a January 2005 Amazon.com user review proves it was released earlier than this action. As the conversion was primarily done via an automated, custom tool (created by noted Atari 8-bit programmer John Harris), further Genesis projects likely could have been done with minimal resource investment. The Genesis library was thus probably that much more attractive to Jakks--or, well, maybe Jakks would have just used AtGames' Titan hardware, but I think it would not have been to their satisfaction.
- March 2005: AtGames sends a letter to Radica, challenging their exclusive plug-n-play Sega license. Radica meets with Sega and threatens them with legal action if Sega allows AtGames' Jakks agreement to proceed. Sega decides to side with Radica.
- April 2005: AtGames commences arbitration against Sega, scheduled to begin in November 2005.
- June 13, 2005: AtGames launches a civil suit against Radica in California Superior Court, "alleging intentional interference with contract and unfair competition."
- July 12, 2005: Radica files to get the action moved to federal court, based on a legal convention about foreign arbitral awards.
- October 7, 2005: US District Court grants AtGames' motion to remand back to state court, based on the fact that no arbitration agreement exists between Radica and AtGames.
That's all I have, unfortunately. Nothing about what actually happened during the AtGames-Sega arbitration. What the Sega-16.com forum user asserts is that the settlement resulted in a sharing agreement between Radica and AtGames, including Radica's Genesis hardware forming a new base on which AtGames built their subsequent Genesis products.
There is one AtGames-side element that vaguely supports this assertion. My LinkedIn quote in post #40 of this thread
, from the AtGames engineer, says about the RK/RK2 (RedKid) chips, "Conducted technology transfer." When read with no context, this phrase could have many possible meanings. With Radica added into the picture, though, it suddenly could refer to the transfer of Radica's Genesis technology to AtGames, then getting modified to become RedKid.
Therefore, it does seem quite possible that AtGames' 2012 Sega Genesis plug-n-play systems are direct descendents of Radica's 2004 Arcade Legends Genesis line. An interesting find! Radica itself, meanwhile, was bought by Mattel in 2006 and is no longer in the plug-n-play market (they do other tech toys for Mattel now).