A dark night for Stern

(Topic ID: 200173)

A dark night for Stern


By jfh

1 year ago



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354
#1 1 year ago

Last night we saw a remarkable difference between the two major pinball companies during their Expo sessions.

Stern gave a presentation on how barcades and beer are their future and talked about their market without talking about the key topics that are important to the pinball buyers that make the difference - enthuisiasts and operators who actually buy the games from Stern distributors.

We heard nothing about how Stern plans to make anything better for their customers, no commitment to excellence, no acknowledgement of growing pains, quality control issues, no understanding that deep and feature complete code matter to a significant majority of their market or why it's important to have open, frequent and transparent communication with those buyers. Gary Stern, arguably the savior of pinball, demonstrated that his company is willing to cede the title of best pinball company to JJP because Stern is more interested in being a manufacturer than delivering world class pinball machines.

It was well understood Stern was not going to reveal a new game. No big deal. The expectation was that they were going to relaunch their flagship 30th Anniversary game, Batman 66, that was released early to meet the 2016 anniversary deadline. At Expo last year we saw a georgous, unplayable game with pretty lights with a promise that designer George Gomez and programmer Lyman Sheets were going to deliver a game that would do the theme justice, exploit the new LCD screen and the amazing audio and video assets they have for Batman.

Early LE and SLE buyers of Stern's most expensive game ever were willing to take the risk because they were big Batman fans, big Stern supporters and believed George when he said Stern was committed to deliver a game both he and Lyman wanted to own themselves. Others were not so sure and distributors struggled to sell Premiums, not because the theme wasn't popular but because the game was barely playable.

From January to May we saw the code improve and hints of greatness to come (parachute pickup mode) and then complete radio silence until Expo when attendees were the first to experience the first update in 5 months. Those that actually paid for their games - some almost a year ago - don't have access to the code (they did get a vague promise that something might be released in a week or so, but that it still wasn't going to be anything close to release level code or the game George and Lyman supposedly want it to be). We got lip service as to why and no commitment to keeping owners in the loop. Owners of Star Wars and other games in serious need of code fixes didn't fare much better.

A couple hours later we saw a company that understood and acknowledged past missteps. Jersey Jack started with comments and presentations that showed they were committed to excellence, were willing to take risks, understood what their customers wanted and then followed that by revealing their POTC game in an 180 degree change from the disastrous reveal for Dialed In last year (a game that has exceeded expectations despite the initial negativity).

I do not care for the POTC theme and will not be a buyer, but the reveal was a home run. The game looks fast (a fast widebody!), fun and incredibly deep. JJP says it will deliver in 1Q18 with feature complete code, similar to what they did with Dialed In. What we saw last night was a game that was supposedly 20% complete that had more code than Stern's three most recent games combined.

The JJP team indicated they are here to stay for generations to come. I always wanted them to succeed and am now convinced they will. Someone said in another thread that JJP has now become the WMS of the 90s (the gold standard) and Stern was again Data East. With the stark differences in build quality now readily apparent to anyone that wants to look, that may be true. Stern may have the greater sales volume, but they are no longer the market leader in pinball.

Unless management at Stern wakes up from their "we own the market" stupor quickly and acknowledges and addresses the needs of the "enthusiast" community their beer and barcades future may be populated with competitor's games. They may see the impressive 40% growth disappear as fast as it came.

I love the idea of a fabulous Batman 66 machine. I like Stern. I want them to be more successful. However after last night I have no faith they want me as a buyer. I'm excited at the possibility of a new, great Elvira game. But I'm no longer going to buy a game for what it might become in the future or what a company tells me they are going to do. Actions speak louder than words. I'm going to be buying on what I get today, not promises of what I'll get tomorrow.

21
#2 1 year ago

Well put.

81
#3 1 year ago

I know it would never happen, but Stern's absolute best counter to JJP's reveal would be to announce a price DROP. It would further establish that they're in the large scale operator and family NIB market, while allowing JJP to tackle the high end "exotic car" market.

Their LE's can't hold a candle to JJP's standard market, and instead of trying to show value in an $8500 pin, they should drop their 3 price points and dominate the lower tier markets. Put the existing Pro models out at $4750 with a two-for-$9K deal so they can market that you can get 2 Stern Pro's for 1 JJP Pro shipped. That's how you position yourselves strategically.

However, this would make total sense, so obviously Stern wouldn't do such a thing. I have that feeling suggesting a discount to GS is like suggesting a buy-one-get-one-free to Mort.

26
#4 1 year ago

Excellent observation! I’m one of the BM66 suckers as well. I jumped in 14 months ago and the game is still Alpha code. Stern was so embarassed at their new BM66 code update that they wouldn’t release it to owners prior to Expo. I’ve defended Stern for years, but no longer. They couldn’t have looked any more clueless or out of touch with their customers at Expo if they tried too. My future NIB money is going elsewhere.

#5 1 year ago

I am not at Expo and I trust your reaction OP. There are so many things, body language and other non verbal cues that you pick up in person. So after reading your post I think I get what you experienced, at least a little bit. I appreciate the feedback and it helps me to formulate my own opinion about both companies.

-18
#6 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

I know it would never happen, but Stern's absolute best counter to JJP's reveal would be to announce a price DROP. It would further establish that they're in the large scale operator and family NIB market, while allowing JJP to tackle the high end "exotic car" market.
Their LE's can't hold a candle to JJP's standard market, and instead of trying to show value in an $8500 pin, they should drop their 3 price points and dominate the lower tier markets. Put the existing Pro models out at $4750 with a two-for-$9K deal so they can market that you can get 2 Stern Pro's for 1 JJP Pro shipped. That's how you position yourselves strategically.
However, this would make total sense, so obviously Stern wouldn't do such a thing. I have that feeling suggesting a discount to GS is like suggesting a buy-one-get-one-free to Mort.
» YouTube video

Yeah, officially declaring you sell cheap shit is a brilliant marketing strat!

They already dominate the pinball market as a whole so not sure what this would accomplish besides making them look stupid and eating into their profits?

#7 1 year ago

Yes, amazingly good reveal. Also genius to put the designer side by side with decent players while answering questions. A home run..I don't know it's $10k! Also 22 characters...lol..wtf calm down Keith.

#8 1 year ago
Quoted from hawknole:

I am not at Expo and I trust your reaction OP. There are so many things, body language and other non verbal cues that you pick up in person. So after reading your post I think I get what you experienced, at least a little bit. I appreciate the feedback and it helps me to formulate my own opinion about both companies.

I am not at Expo this year. My observations were based on watching the live streams of both presentations. I'm sure it was much more obvious in person.

#9 1 year ago

Very well put!

#10 1 year ago

Like AOL was king but now it’s Google .......always someone to knock u Down with a better product all around

Excellent write up and couldn’t agree more!!!!!

#11 1 year ago

Well said and true.

32
#12 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

Yeah, telling everyone you sell cheap shit is a brilliant marketing strat!

Not really what I said at all, but thanks for trying.

Value propositions for home owners, quicker ROI's and perhaps less maintenance for operators...etc. Show a bang for your buck at lower price points because someone else is owning the $8500-$12K market right now.

Do you think Ford or Chevy (damn, forgot you don't like carguments)... Old Navy, Insignia TV's, (less frills) grocery stores, and anything else in the large scale market runs with a marketing strategy of "we sell cheap shit"? No, they position themselves and cater to a certain market by showing VALUE for what you get... and they succeed.

19
#13 1 year ago

I reply, what i have written in the Ghosting-Thread:
Curiosity killed the cat and arrogance kills Stern.
And i think last night was the first big hurt.
And i think it was not the last.

37
#14 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

I know it would never happen, but Stern's absolute best counter to JJP's reveal would be to announce a price DROP. It would further establish that they're in the large scale operator and family NIB market, while allowing JJP to tackle the high end "exotic car" market.

Don't need a price drop for this.. they just need to stop marketing fake 'high end' games like SLE editions, etc. Gary continues to promote the old 'location pinball' vs 'home buyer' mantra for longevity of the industry. Ok.. so that is their vision... start building games that make that vision a SUCCESS and stop trying to be half and half and suck at both. Build games with servicability, not undocumented parts that require full swaps unique to each game. Build games with features that make them servicable onsite. Add functionality that would improve the earnings or analytics of games for operators. Actually DO SOMETHING to make your market a success.

Instead, it's just an excuse of why they aren't doing what some home buyer asks...

-63
#15 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

Not really what I said at all, but thanks for trying.
Value propositions for home owners, quicker ROI's and perhaps less maintenance for operators...etc. Show a bang for your buck at lower price points because someone else is owning the $8500-$12K market right now.
Do you think Ford or Chevy (damn, forgot you don't like carguments)... Old Navy, Insignia TV's, (less frills) grocery stores, and anything else in the large scale market runs with a marketing strategy of "we sell cheap shit"? No, they position themselves and cater to a certain market by showing VALUE for what you get... and they succeed.

It's exactly what you said and it makes no sense.

I don't see Ford or Chevy slashing their prices or offering twofers to compete with Mercedes.

Your idea makes zero sense at all but thanks for trying.

#16 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

Value propositions for home owners, quicker ROI's and perhaps less maintenance for operators...etc. Show a bang for your buck at lower price points because someone else is owning the $8500-$12K market right now.

The Operator strategy has always been about what YOU EARN - not your entry price point. Games have residual values and always have. Operators care about coin drop above all else. What is Stern doing about that???

#17 1 year ago

I agree it was not a good day for Stern but this has been coming for some time. The only thing I disagree with is the Data East comparison.

20
#18 1 year ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The Operator strategy has always been about what YOU EARN - not your entry price point. Games have residual values and always have. Operators care about coin drop above all else. What is Stern doing about that???

Continuing to offer the only viable games for an operator to build a route on.

Ops can go JJP, and take an extra year or two to make up the difference on the already abysmal ROI on pinball.

They can go with more expensive boutiques that all play terribly and have reliability and will-they-exist-in-a-year issues.

Or they can keep doing what they are doing.

27
#19 1 year ago

If anyone was unsure what you get with a new Stern title at this point, that's on them. Take a hot theme and cut and paste artwork and playfield layout, forget any unique interactive toys. It's ok for location pinball. Those folks are casual players and just want to interact with their favorite theme for a few minutes. Stern still has a place as long as they continue to latch onto the hot themes. I'll continue to play their games on location, but my space is too limited to have a bunch of their cookie cutter titles.

#20 1 year ago

Great show for JJP, tough show for Stern. Last year with GB and Batman '66 it was the opposite. Sometimes that's just the way it goes.

I don't think there is any debate that SW isn't what it should have been, and Stern doesn't want to shotgun another title out to let it find it's legs.

JJP was ready for this and took something no one was really exited about and crushed it! Good for them!

50
#21 1 year ago

I refuse to buy a game with unfinished code from Gary ever again as I have zero faith that it will ever get done in a timely manner... or even finished at all. I despise having someone take my money just to put me on a back burner while they work on other new projects. To me that's a slap in the customers face. Then to have the audacity to expect me to hop on the bandwagon and shell out money for the next latest and greatest when he still hasn't completed his original obligation to me is the epitome of absurdity.

#22 1 year ago

Very interesting points, I will agree that Stern should use lower pricing to their advantage and I hope they would consider that when they re-release some of their very popular pins.

10
#23 1 year ago

The whole focus on barcades is Stern waving the white flag on a polished product. They are just conceding that they are going to build games that are good enough to earn and hold together for a while. Ghosting and and other "minor" defects are here to stay. I don't think your average operator cares. Same goes for code quality they are just not going to bother anymore. How important is quality code in a bar?

#24 1 year ago

I think to put it another way, JJP is making it clear they are concentrating on the home market. This makes sense with their insane prices for the (equally insanely stocked!) pins. They will be able to create deep games and allow customers to keep them in their collections for years to come. I hope this is built into the price -

Stern however broadcast clearly that they are going to concentrate on location gaming, which I think it is fair to say JJP is pretty well ignoring (on purpose). This probably means the games will be simpler in code (which lowers cost) and maybe have less toys on the PF. In my opinion, stern should keep adding mechs (reusing things seems like areally smart idea to me) but lessen the code complexity. If you're doing location stuff, what matters is the initial bling of a game (gets the quarters put in) and scoring, and just fun in general. If you have to study a game for weeks to 'get' it, this isn't a good location strategy. It's great for home.

I am actually glad Stern is doing this, because for pinball to survive, there needs to be more players/buyers! The games need to be awesome! So therein lies the problem: Stern has got to put pins like B66 (in terms of playfield layout and toys, bringing people over to see 'what is this thing' - using LCD screen and 'bling' AND a good PF) on location, which will make people want to play and later on buy. Maybe by that point they'll buy a JJP?

I wonder if they could retheme certain games, like take Aerosmith, which is a perfect example - cool toys, VERY fun to play, not super deep. But the theme turns people off. Could it be rethemed into a court jester or card player type game and re-released? I'd be fine with that.

19
#25 1 year ago

Crazy is right, Stern isn't going to stop selling pins overnight, especially pros

To sum up what JFH posted, both Jack and Abess said "they are committed 100% to delivering what the customer wants"

They realize the HUO guy is their market. And they just took it to another level

Stern should focus on a pro and premium model now with their base game or foundation game, whatever they call it. Their LE market has been blown up

Then do the LEs on the lower run boutique games like BM66 and see how that goes

21
#26 1 year ago

Pinsider Shapeshifter dropped this picture from JJP's POTC reveal in a post within the BM66 Club thread. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one shows us which pinball company is the new Williams, and a few plays of BM66 will show you who's the old Data East, or worse. I'm not even a JJP fan, nor have I ever owned one of their games and it's crystal clear to me.

POTC (resized).jpg

24
#27 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

It's exactly what you said and it makes no sense.
I don't see Ford or Chevy slashing their prices or offering twofers to compete with Mercedes.
Your idea makes zero sense at all but thanks for trying.

No, it's how someone who incorrectly interpreted it thinks it reads. Ford and Chevy know to stay out of pools in which they can't swim. They know their bread and butter is in trucks and commuter cars. When they try to tap into those exotic markets, more often than not they're unsuccessful. Hyundai Equus, VW Phaeton, Chevy SS, Pontiac G8 - all failures. Smart companies know what works, and they stick to that for the vast bulk of their business.

If you think my idea which basically entails a revert to 2015 pricing, a value proposition, and a promotion that takes shot at someone who is taking away market share, makes zero sense (zero, like not even a shred, just absolute zero... because you're the know-all!) then please, be my guest to explain your $0.02 better than just misinterpreting my words and acting in your typical dismissive self.

32
#28 1 year ago

Anyone think Stern felt embarrassed after seeing what went down last night?

-4
#29 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

No, it's how someone who incorrectly interpreted it thinks it reads. Ford and Chevy know to stay out of pools in which they can't swim. They know their bread and butter is in trucks and commuter cars. When they try to tap into those exotic markets, more often than not they're unsuccessful. Hyundai Equus, VW Phaeton, Chevy SS, Pontiac G8 - all failures. Smart companies know what works, and they stick to that for the vast bulk of their business.
If you think my idea which basically entails a revert to 2015 pricing, a value proposition, and a promotion that takes shot at someone who is taking away market share, makes zero sense (zero, like not even a shred, just absolute zero... because you're the know-all!) then please, be my guest to explain your $0.02 better than just misinterpreting my words and acting in your typical dismissive self.

I can't help but be dismissive of a terrible idea that makes zero sense and has already been proven a failure in the industry.

The only time in the ENTIRE HISTORY of the pinball business anybody actually cut prices (and made it a marketing point!) was in 1990 when Premier created the "street line." You know how that worked out?

I don't want to sound like a "know it all" but trust me, it wasn't the explosive success you outlined in your posts. And Premier wasn't even the market leader at the time either, they were a couple years away from going tits up. It was a desperate move that failed spectacularly with each meager-selling model doing worse than the last - why would Stern, the market leader, try the same thing?

I'm sure the explanation has something to do with cars but it isn't going to convince me.

silver (resized).jpg

#30 1 year ago

Not gonna lie, all this Stern bashing has me 2nd guessing whether to put my order in for a Star Wars Pro. On one hand, there is no other competition in the $5k range, but on the other hand, now I'm wondering if I'm getting ripped off, and not getting my money's worth, the way some people are making it out to be.

13
#31 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Stern should focus on a pro and premium model now with their base game or foundation game, whatever they call it. Their LE market has been blown up.
Then do the LEs on the lower run boutique games like BM66 and see how that goes

Absolutely. Gary made a big deal that they are actually doing 12 models a year (3 games Pro/Premium/LE). That clearly isn't working (and probably hasn't since Star Trek).

I'd rather see them narrow their focus and do more with fewer models. It's now pretty clear they can't (or don't want to) compete with JJP in the LE/collector market.

#32 1 year ago
Quoted from japespin:

Not gonna lie, all this Stern bashing has me 2nd guessing whether to put my order in for a Star Wars Pro. On one hand, there is no other competition in the $5k range, but on the other hand, now I'm wondering if I'm getting ripped off, and not getting my money's worth, the way some people are making it out to be.

I didn't need this thread to change my mind about buying SW. I'm sure it's great for people who like a lot of flow, but I like a little game interaction. To me SW seems like the closest pin to a video game that I've seen since the 2000 games.

#33 1 year ago

Stern can still complete with focusing on tournament-style games. It doesn't have to be expensive or packed to be fun.

However, put any Stern next to POTC2 on location and charge the same and I'm betting POTC2 takes the Lions share of coin drop.

JJP just dropped The Matrix and now all other action movies look dated in comparison.

#34 1 year ago
Quoted from japespin:

Not gonna lie, all this Stern bashing has me 2nd guessing whether to put my order in for a Star Wars Pro. On one hand, there is no other competition in the $5k range, but on the other hand, now I'm wondering if I'm getting ripped off, and not getting my money's worth, the way some people are making it out to be.

Have you played it? To me (and obviously only my opinion), it just felt... disconnected. Somebody posted in another thread it was like playing a random pin with Star Wars on the tv playing in the other room. I played it on location for about an hour, about 20 games (hey I was learning it!), and I immediately went to the next game (a Tron, I think) and played that one, which was of course awesome. But no LCD!

then I realized they had a DI. Didn't leave that game all night, no kidding. First time I'd played it too. (full disclosure: I've owned 2 JJPs)

11
#35 1 year ago

I also want to say that I love playing my Stern pins, they are a blast to play.

I was their "LE guy" prototype

Great themes, got spoiled by TWD code with Lyman and figured every game thereafter would be to that level

Makes ZERO sense to buy a Stern LE, never did really, but this nut job is done with that program, maybe a premium down the road

#36 1 year ago

From the video, one could almost sense that all of the people on stage, were anticipating a tough question regarding J.T.

36
#37 1 year ago
Quoted from Darscot:

I agree it was not a good day for Stern but this has been coming for some time. The only thing I disagree with is the Data East comparison.

Yeah that DE comparison just isn't fair. DE games were better than anything Stern is putting out right now.

#38 1 year ago
Quoted from japespin:

Not gonna lie, all this Stern bashing has me 2nd guessing whether to put my order in for a Star Wars Pro. On one hand, there is no other competition in the $5k range, but on the other hand, now I'm wondering if I'm getting ripped off, and not getting my money's worth, the way some people are making it out to be.

Anyone thinking of Star Wars LE should be reconsidering. Those guys are gonna take a bath come sale time. If you are looking for a Pro, you'll have fun with it. Should be keeping your eyes peeled for one to come up for sale, but a new one still shouldn't be too bad if you can snag one for as close to $5k as possible.

#39 1 year ago
Quoted from Darcy:

From the video, one could almost sense that all of the people on stage, were anticipating a tough question regarding J.T.

Almost better no time was wasted with it. They would have had a rehearsed answer ready for any of those types of questions, which would satisfy no one. At least someone asked about the book.

#40 1 year ago
Quoted from Darcy:

From the video, one could almost sense that all of the people on stage, were anticipating a tough question regarding J.T.

Why would it be a tough question. 'He is no longer employed with Stern Pinball. Next question'. Easy peasy.

#41 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

I can't help but be dismissive of a terrible idea that makes zero sense and has already been proven a failure in the industry.
The only time in the ENTIRE HISTORY of the pinball business anybody actual cut prices and made it a marketing point was in 1990 when Premier created the "street line." You know how that worked out?
I don't want to sound like a "know it all" but trust me, it wasn't the explosive success you outlined in your posts.

I don't think anyone is asking for another Street Line, and no one is asking to mimic anything Gottlieb ever did or created (yet to be fair, didn't Title Fight have 5 flippers?).

So you're opinion is that Stern should do nothing, pretend like JJP didn't just blow up the $8-12K market with the ace historically only up Stern's sleeve (a Disney License), and not consider any way at all this Expo to steal JJP's thunder and orders that most certainly are rolling in? Also, look at how many people are saying SW/GOTG/personal sales dollars are now going to JJPOTC. Stern should just watch that potential revenue go out the window?

A modest price revert to 2015, hell, keep pricing as is and throw in that HD glass and/or shaker for the remainder of 2017. Maybe that stupid candy apron that looks to have had zero sales to Pinsiders so far. Usually when your competition hits a grand slam, you have the bullpen warming up. You just don't stay the course and let the bases get loaded again. You act. Any promotion can be conceived, approved, and announced by end of day and involves no R&D. You don't always have to combat with "the next release".

#42 1 year ago
Quoted from taz:

I didn't need this thread to change my mind about buying SW.

Not just this thread. Damn near every thread on Pinside since last night.

Quoted from Rdoyle1978:

Have you played it? To me (and obviously only my opinion), it just felt... disconnected. Somebody posted in another thread it was like playing a random pin with Star Wars on the tv playing in the other room.

I actually enjoyed my time playing it on location. Did the playfield feel bare? Yeah, I'll admit to that. Disconnected? Nah I didn't see it that way. But then again, it's the dream theme to me. Had this been a theme I cared less about, maybe I'd be less torn. At the end of the day, my 40 plays into it have been super fun.

Quoted from spazzman90:

shouldn't be too bad if you can snag one for as close to $5 as possible.

Yeah, bottom line, I don't want to be taken for a sucker. I can't throw $5k around whenever I want on games. It's a big purchase for me. Decisions decisions.

Anyways, didn't mean to hijack the thread. Carry-on folks...

#43 1 year ago
Quoted from japespin:

Not gonna lie, all this Stern bashing has me 2nd guessing whether to put my order in for a Star Wars Pro. On one hand, there is no other competition in the $5k range, but on the other hand, now I'm wondering if I'm getting ripped off, and not getting my money's worth, the way some people are making it out to be.

Absolutely, this wont affect the pros, and if you buy one youll lose less, getmone for 5k and it will sell for around 4500 for a long time. Where as on a dialed in hobbit or this one after a while youll loose more like 1k when you sell.

#44 1 year ago

Stern just got picked off sleeping at first base like Jose Lobaton did last night to pretty much lose the game against the Cubs for the Nationals.

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=21006470

#45 1 year ago
Quoted from japespin:

Not gonna lie, all this Stern bashing has me 2nd guessing whether to put my order in for a Star Wars Pro. On one hand, there is no other competition in the $5k range, but on the other hand, now I'm wondering if I'm getting ripped off, and not getting my money's worth, the way some people are making it out to be.

Where else will you get a $5k game? TNA via Spooky is onlything that comes to mind. Stern has their market and JJP has their market. Not everyone can afford a $10,000 game.

15
#46 1 year ago
Quoted from Yoko2una:

I don't think anyone is asking for another Street Line, and no one is asking to mimic anything Gottlieb ever did or created (yet to be fair, didn't Title Fight have 5 flippers?).
So you're opinion is that Stern should do nothing, pretend like JJP didn't just blow up the $8-12K market with the ace historically only up Stern's sleeve (a Disney License), and not consider any way at all this Expo to steal JJP's thunder and orders that most certainly are rolling in? Also, look at how many people are saying SW/GOTG/personal sales dollars are now going to JJPOTC. Stern should just watch that potential revenue go out the window?
A modest price revert to 2015, hell, keep pricing as is and throw in that HD glass and/or shaker for the remainder of 2017. Maybe that stupid candy apron that looks to have had zero sales to Pinsiders so far. Usually when your competition hits a grand slam, you have the bullpen warming up. You just don't stay the course and let the bases get loaded again. You act. Any promotion can be conceived, approved, and announced by end of day and involves no R&D. You don't always have to combat with "the next release".

I think Stern has smart people running the show now, and they aren't going to impulsively change direction based upon one day of Pinside posts, just like JJP didn't cut prices on or cancel Dialed In - a masterpiece - when everybody shat all over it a year ago. You are asking them to react to...what exactly? What has changed for them in the last 24 hours? Are they suddenly broke? Have their distributors abandoned them? Are they now on the precipice of bankruptcy?

Any long-term decisions they make are going to be based on months and years of market trends and research, not 12 hours of pinside nonsense. They've been making games for thirty years now. Whatever they do, cutting prices and marketing themselves as a cheap alternative is a huge mistake for a market leader, one that no company lead by sane people would ever do.

#47 1 year ago

I can’t help wonder if the whole JT thing scuppered what Stern wanted to do at expo and they killed the project he was working on - if that turns out to be true then hats off to Stern, they did plan to talk about a game the Chris was working on. Or maybe after the no flippin batman they decided to listen and only announce a game when it’s ready. Batman’66 has been bad for Stern sadly.

JJP though still have challenges on volume build to overcome. But POTC is the first game I’ve been interested in.

Neil

#48 1 year ago
Quoted from woody76:

Where else will you get a $5 game? TNA via Spooky is onlything that comes to mind. Stern has their market and JJP has their market. Not everyone can afford a $10,000 game.

Honestly I'd take TNA over most Sterns. Of course there are notable exceptions (Tron, Spider Man VE, I own a boutique-ized Metallica) but a lot of companies are making it look like Stern isn't even trying right now.

#49 1 year ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

I can’t help wonder if the whole JT thing scuppered what Stern wanted to do at expo and they killed the project he was working on - if that turns out to be true then hats off to Stern, they did plan to talk about a game the Chris was working on. Or maybe after the no flippin batman they decided to listen and only announce a game when it’s ready. Batman’66 has been bad for Stern sadly.
JJP though still have challenges on volume build to overcome. But POTC is the first game I’ve been interested in.
Neil

I was actually thinking the same thing.

#50 1 year ago

Certainly possible. If not likely.

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