On behalf of the entire amusement game industry, we are sorry to inform you that Ralph Coppola, Founder of ICE, a highly talented entrepreneur, an expert in our coin-op game industry, an astute businessman, as well as an honorable gentleman, passed away suddenly on December 28th at age 70.
Ralph Coppola is known as a founder of the U.S. company Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE), which has as of today given our industry more than 150 favorite amusement arcade games including its first game, the iconic domed ‘Chexx Hockey’.
Ralph’s company was founded in 1982 with the release of the Chexx Hockey that still remains its most famous game. [To learn more about the history of Chexx Hockey and its 376 separate parts, see the article below, ‘The Crank warms up to ice hockey coin-op’ (Frank’s Cranks, Play Meter May 1, 1983]. Later popular games like the Cyclone redemption game, Ice Ball FX and Skill Cranes helped ICE to develop into an industry leading producer of sports games for the home, arcade, FEC, and office. Today ICE continues to build on its product line and remains committed to becoming the most diversified “one – stop shop” in the coin-operated amusement business. ICE sells products into more than 70 different countries.
Ralph Coppola will be remembered as a dedicated family man, with a kind soul and generous heart. He always put family first in every decision he made and everything he did. He enjoyed gathering the family together at various locations each year, creating lasting memories to cherish.
His official obituary read: “Ralph was known for his quiet philanthropy and generosity. This was often on display through the many local charity events auctioning the Bubble Hockey game for their fundraisers, including Make a Wish, American Heart Association and to the local schools [Canisius High School, Nardin Academy, Nichols, Nativity of Our Lord]. Ralph’s greatest treasure was spending time with his wife, Suzanne, family, and friends whether at their place in Siesta Key, Florida, on the golf course, or just being at home in Orchard Park.”
Our prayers go out to Suzanne, his wife of 49 years and five children Joseph, Marcy, Lori, Walter, and Daniel. Ralph will always be remembered and his legacy (ICE) will continue to be ‘the backbone’ of our industry’.