A dark night for Stern

(Topic ID: 200173)

A dark night for Stern


By jfh

1 year ago



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There are 1860 posts in this topic. You are on page 36 of 38.
#1751 11 months ago

Stern’s Iron Maiden looks cool, I’ll enjoy playing it on route, just like GOTG. $5 is about all I’ll risk on a Stern anymore as they have burnt their bridge in multiple ways. The latest price increases don’t help lol

#1752 11 months ago
Quoted from AAAV8R:

The new IM pin has been revealed. The artwork looks amazing, it has a kick-ass song list, the playfield looks awesome, and the Pro model looks like it will come with a bunch of great features included.
So what are we seeing on the Stern Iron Maiden thread? Is it multiple pages of eager buyers? Or is it page after page of people vowing not to buy the pin because of the teaser video the other day?

I agree Iron Maiden looks good, the point is Stern is in the dark ages when it comes to marketing. They have shown no ability to expand their market. They even manage to constantly piss off their most loyal audience. They continue to rely on their aging hard core market yet pull stunts like they did with this reveal. They let their ego get the better of them and they think they are big enough to drop a breathing Darth Vader teaser. That is great marketing when you have millions of grown up kids and your asking them for $20 and offering to let them relieve a moment of childhood. When you asking for $8000 and offering a band that they may not even remember, you need a whole lot more. They tried the teaser after the Super Bowl but had no teaser and no Super Bowl it was a marketing epic fail.

#1753 11 months ago

No one disagrees their marketing is in the stone ages, the argument is whether it matters or not; and it doesn't seem to.
On the other end, JJP makes an amazing announcement and shows everyone how it works! That was 5 months ago... Whom has a JJPOTC at home?

#1754 11 months ago

Stern isnt focusing on us with their sales
So no need for big anouncements

The distributors will buy the games based on a circle of previous buyers , so no need for expensive comercials maybe

#1755 11 months ago

I don't think expensive commercials is the way to go either. I would have spent a few grand on lighting and sound. Set up a booth that looked like a stage with a bunch pins ready to play the music blasting, shot of a few flame canons, did the larger than life blow up Eddie. Had all the pinball streamers on board and ready to go live, glass off and beautiful. Started at Texas and then hit all the major shows. Maybe dropped a teaser video online a week or so before that focused on something big was coming get your tickets booked because its going to be hands on and a few lucky collectors are going to get a chance to own the super rare early release floor models of Sterns latest.

#1756 11 months ago

Then what would happen? They've already pretty much sold out of LE'S. Why is everyone obsessed with TPF? People there are already pinball people.... They're already going to buy the dang thing.

#1757 11 months ago

How is their marketing bad? They just showed a few pics and sold hundreds of LE pins at over $9000 each. Others are already committing to buying premiums and pros. The forum here is lit up with everyone excited. I hesitant buying anything from Stern but don't think they are too worried about my business right now.

#1758 11 months ago

Hard to say if the marketing really even mattered here.. Afaict, they sold out all of the LE models before anyone even glimpsed them. And based on all the postings from folks saying they are ordering this pin, sounds like a winner here. Even more of a winner for Stern if you figure how much money they would of needed to spend to hire folks to promote this in a spectacular way. Based on what I know of Stern (which is just from comments in pinside) seems like recently they have opted to use their money to hire new technical talent. Which should lead to better products. Vs swanky expensive marketing which is probably not needed, as they have free advertising on any of the pin forums. Any marketing message from them, even baseless rumors, will generate a ton of discussion here, maybe just as much as a perfect marketing message..

#1759 11 months ago

Stern added value to the LE for the first time since STLE and IMDN clearly has a number of design elements going for it that elevates it over the last few releases. If Stern had just skipped the Saturday "announcement event", I don't think anyone would have had an issue.

I don't see IMDN as a big seller outside of the LE. I can't imagine anyone other than hardcore IM fans being able to stand that music in a home environment. Will probably do well on route because of the layout (which is the only reason I'll play the game). Had the game been themed as Archer, it could have been huge.

But Stern still has hundreds willing to gamble that the playfield and cabinet woes are behind them.

The new hires show that Stern understands that releasing a box of lights is going to hamper sales and that code / LCD exploitation is more important to sales than they have previously acknowledged. The resurgence in Batman 66 sales show this - demand for the Premium has gone up significantly since the code has gotten to a more defined state.

Stern deserves credit for taking steps to expand George's team and should get even more once we see prolonged improvement over the next few titles.

#1760 11 months ago
Quoted from Darscot:

That is great marketing when you have millions of grown up kids and your asking them for $20 and offering to let them relieve a moment of childhood. When you asking for $8000 and offering a band that they may not even remember, you need a whole lot more.

There really isn't a whole lot of people that can drop $5,500 - $12,000.....multiple times.....on toys. Outside of this dedicated community, there aren't a lot of people that would have a pin even in their top 10 list of "stuff to buy" if they had a spare $10k sitting around.

The market for pins is pretty small. All of us "older guys" grew up with pinball. Trying to get Gen Y, and especially Millennials interested has proven to be tough. I have a 12 and 15 year old at home. I keep trying, but they are much more interested in having their faces buried in their phones or iPads. Now Fortnite is the latest rage. I can't blame them, as I loved playing video games as well.

But, bottom line is, you need to go where the money is. Who can ACTUALLY afford these games? That leaves out A LOT of people, and also explains why Stern is making pins dedicated to "geezer bands" as they are called on here. I don't think Stern would sell a whole lot of Justin Bieber themed pins.

Along that line of affordability, I would also point out that there is hardly any competition for Stern on the entry level pins. Around $5500 nets a guy a nice Pro from Stern. The same guy would be saving another $3000 just to get a JJ entry level model. That is a HUGE disparity.

#1761 11 months ago

My point is they should be using marketing to grow. There is no doubt the hard core will buy. What have they done to convince pin heads that don’t know or don’t like the band? Why are they passing on the big shows? Does anyone disagree that the best way to sell pins is to play them? I’m not saying Stern doesn’t make a great pin. I’m saying they need to get out of the dark ages with their marketing and software. I agree they own the entry level market. What would happen if JJP pulled a Tesla and said we have done the Model X and S but now it’s time for our Model 3 and dropped a $6000 pin. Stern would shit their pants and be in serious trouble.

#1762 11 months ago
Quoted from jfh:

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.

5 months later no sign of POTC yet 2 days after the announcement of Sterns game https://www.facebook.com/sternpinball/videos/10156383167889244/

#1763 11 months ago
Quoted from jfh:

I don't see IMDN as a big seller outside of the LE. I can't imagine anyone other than hardcore IM fans being able to stand that music in a home environment. Will probably do well on route because of the layout (which is the only reason I'll play the game). Had the game been themed as Archer, it could have been huge.

I don't know. I had zero interest in the pin before the announcement and now I am pretty interested. Theme is not all that important to me. Most of the pins I end up liking to play and end up owning have themes low on my list of interest. I bought a MET on gameplay alone and never really cared for any of the music. I wouldn't want to change the music either because it fits the pin. I'm not familiar with Iron Maiden music so that could be an issue if I really hate it. Who knows if it will be considered a successful selling pin but it's off to a much better start than most pins.

#1764 11 months ago
Quoted from jawjaw:

Who knows if it will be considered a successful selling pin but it's off to a much better start than most pins.

Yes, but imagine what the start would have been like with a more wide reaching theme. I'm glad that many pins you like are low on your desired them list, but I expect theme is a key criteria for most home buyers.

I appreciate the Stern music pins because it removes a lot of games from my consideration list. I can't think of any music theme I would like enough in a pinball game.

#1765 11 months ago
Quoted from Darscot:

What have they done to convince pin heads that don’t know or don’t like the band? ...
Why are they passing on the big shows? Does anyone disagree that the best way to sell pins is to play them?

I'm not disagreeing but I'm not really agreeing either. I for one can't stand the music, and haven't played it, but ordered one.
Actually the 3 pins before this (NIB) I didn't play before I bough them. One of them was a JJP...which I don't remember if they really had info than Stern.

#1766 11 months ago

I think Iron Maiden looks promising.

Stern has made some changes since Expo which is promising. It is still a work in progress. I though the code situation was horrible. They hired now programmers. I thought their LE versions became a joke. Iron Maiden LE sounds promising from the feature matrix. They hired Brian Eddy. They hired Keith Elwin. They hired Josh Sharpe.

I'm still in the wait and see category but this is the first game in a while that I've been excited to play.

#1767 11 months ago

What’s the point in spending time and money on marketing a new pinball machine?
Stern is much more likely to see great sales by simply inviting Jack Danger over for another Deadflip video.
Truth is, most of us would love to see big money ads, telling us what we can look forward to, but we’ll still wait for code before buying any title.
I was disappointed in the released info/video last weekend but after seeing the video on Tuesday, I really want this game and will be getting one.
So yes, it would be nice for Stern to waste lots of money for us to watch something cool, but I doubt it would sell any more machines. They’re better off continuing to hire more coders to help make all of their titles complete with 1.0 code.

#1768 11 months ago
Quoted from Chambahz:

What’s the point in spending time and money on marketing a new pinball machine?

I agree. In 2004, I walked into a "Sharper Image" store with a LOTR on display. I was totally consumed with work and pinball fell off my radar screen entirely. When I saw the LOTR, I couldn't believe how awesome it was. Didn't realize new titles were even being produced. Ended up looking up a distributor and buying one soon after (the Sharper Image Retail "tax" was silly). So rather than fancy traditional marketing with commercials/ads, the more opportunities for folks to "bump into" a game, the better for sales. When non pinball folks visit my home, most of them are unaware pinball machines are even being produced.

snaroff

#1769 11 months ago

Interesting thread, I appreciate Stern for bringing pinball back to life, but I look at JJP as taking pinball to the next level. American Pinball could do this as well given time.

#1770 11 months ago
Quoted from tacshose:

Stern’s Iron Maiden looks cool, I’ll enjoy playing it on route, just like GOTG. $5 is about all I’ll risk on a Stern anymore as they have burnt their bridge in multiple ways. The latest price increases don’t help lol

Or you could just wait a year after release before buying anything Stern and make sur the game is solid, code is near complete that you have played on route and feel the need to now own one. Even pick up a used Pro at a discounted price. Theres a way to avoid the hurt so whats with the bullshit regarding risk via Stern? you don't have to buy it right away.

#1771 11 months ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

t wait a year

The modus operandi seems to be 2 years or longer or not at all.

Quoted from Hazoff:

game is solid, code is near complete

#1772 11 months ago
Quoted from Whitenoise3000:

Iron Maiden LE sounds promising from the feature matrix. They hired Brian Eddy. They hired Keith Elwin. They hired Josh Sharpe.

I think you mean "the other Josh" - Zach Sharpe

15
#1773 11 months ago

I see from the 5+ Iron Maiden threads, along with a complete sell out of the Maiden LEs without ever being shown, that Stern is doing it all wrong again.

Parts of this thread read like a funeral. Geez. They are killing it with this new title and no one has played it. I’m no fanboy, but I own several Stern games that are fantastic. I’m a pretty loud critic of the more recent pricing structure and have recently stopped buying NIB Sterns and LEs. Despite that, there is no denying how they are dominating the industry with calculated measures of change when needed.

As part of my Hobby, I listen to several Pinball podcasters. Some are insiders, some are hobby or tournament oriented and some are just pure gossip and speculation. I can appreciate how lack of news can lead to wild speculation and frustration. It doesn’t make any of it true. Widen the timeline and look at the Pinball news cycle in months instead of days. It totally changes the perspective.

At Expo 2017, Stern didn’t show GOTG and JJP showed POTC. The wild rumpus began... As fans of Pinball, we benefited. JJP got much deserved spotlight for a nice game, but you still can’t buy it six months later. GOTG launched shorty after. It wasn’t a massive hit, but they have likely already sold more than POTC will sell in all models put together (I just purchased a used one).

At TPF, Stern didn’t launch. Spooky and American got some well deserved Spotlight. Again, we benefited (TNA on order here). A few weeks later they launch Maiden and have probably already made more of them then all of the Houdini’s and TNAs currently out there.

I feel like it’s a great time to be a Pinball fan, collector and player. Huzzah!
Yes, I’m up early drinking coffee.

#1774 11 months ago
Quoted from Nevus:

I see from the 5+ Iron Maiden threads, along with a complete sell out of the Maiden LEs without ever being shown, that Stern is doing it all wrong again.
Parts of this thread read like a funeral. Geez. They are killing it with this new title and no one has played it. I’m no fanboy, but I own several Stern games that are fantastic. I’m a pretty loud critic of the more recent pricing structure and have recently stopped buying NIB Sterns and LEs. Despite that, there is no denying how they are dominating the industry with calculated measures of change when needed.
As part of my Hobby, I listen to several Pinball podcasters. Some are insiders, some are hobby or tournament oriented and some are just pure gossip and speculation. I can appreciate how lack of news can lead to wild speculation and frustration. It doesn’t make any of it true. Widen the timeline and look at the Pinball news cycle in months instead of days. It totally changes the perspective.
At Expo 2017, Stern didn’t show GOTG and JJP showed POTC. The wild rumpus began... As fans of Pinball, we benefited. JJP got much deserved spotlight for a nice game, but you still can’t buy it six months later. GOTG launched shorty after. It wasn’t a massive hit, but they have likely already sold more than POTC will sell in all models put together (I just purchased a used one).
At TPF, Stern didn’t launch. Spooky and American got some well deserved Spotlight. Again, we benefited (TNA on order here). A few weeks later they launch Maiden and have probably already made more of them then all of the Houdini’s and TNAs currently out there.
I feel like it’s a great time to be a Pinball fan, collector and player. Huzzah!
Yes, I’m up early drinking coffee.

Im really confused. You say that Stern is kicking ass with the Iron Maiden pin but they're doing it all wrong "again". After you say that Stern is selling more games than all the other companies combined and its a great time to be a pinball fan.

#1775 11 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Im really confused. You say that Stern is kicking ass with the Iron Maiden pin but they're doing it all wrong "again". After you say that Stern is selling more games than all the other companies combined and its a great time to be a pinball fan.

He was sarcastic...the Stern white knight can’t see the forest through the trees.

#1776 11 months ago

Yes, I was being sarcastic.

-3
#1777 11 months ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

He was sarcastic...the Stern white knight can’t see the forest through the trees.

I would probably take offense to that but coming from a guy that has WOZ ranked #1, your idiotic comments are understable.

#1778 11 months ago

You know what they say, “It’s always darkest before the dawn!” Iron Maiden is the dawn!

#1779 11 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

Oh ok, i couldnt figure out what you was trying to say lol.

I would probably take offense to that but coming from a guy that has WOZ ranked #1, your idiotic comments are understable.

WOZ is my favorite game of all time, just ahead of MM and SM. It’s MY opinion. Not sure what that has to do with anything, but apparently you think it’s an indicator of intelligence. Ironic?

-1
#1780 11 months ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

WOZ is my favorite game of all time, just ahead of MM and SM. It’s MY opinion. Not sure what that has to do with anything, but apparently you think it’s an indicator of intelligence. Ironic?

Well that would explain why you tend to call Stern fans “white knights”.
To each their own.
It’s actually pretty funny how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure in this hobby.

-12
#1781 11 months ago
Quoted from Pimp77:

WOZ is my favorite game of all time, just ahead of MM and SM. It’s MY opinion. Not sure what that has to do with anything, but apparently you think it’s an indicator of intelligence. Ironic?

I think its an indicator that you don’t know Jack sh*t about pinball lol.

#1782 11 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

I think its an indicator that you don’t know Jack sh*t about pinball lol.

In all fairness, Woz is amazing at what it does. It’s just that “what it does” is quite different from Stern machines.

-10
#1783 11 months ago
Quoted from Chambahz:

In all fairness, Woz is amazing at what it does. It’s just that “what it does” is quite different from Stern machines.

It’s probably a fun game but i couldn’t own it because of the theme alone. Its also nowhere near a #1 ranked pin unless you’re a 10 year old girl maybe.

#1784 11 months ago
Quoted from Chambahz:

Well that would explain why you tend to call Stern fans “white knights”.
To each their own.
It’s actually pretty funny how one man’s trash is another man’s treasure in this hobby.

LOL.
Did I call Stern fans white knights? No. I called one individual that who happens to incessantly defend any halfway critical comment of Stern games. He even jumps on sarcastic comments that are actually praising Stern! That was the funny part!! LOL.
My top three favorite games are JJP, Williams, and STERN! I’m a Stern fan. In your definition I’m a Stern white knight too I guess.
*shrug*

Quoted from Who-Dey:

It’s probably a fun game but i couldn’t own it because of the theme alone. Its also nowhere near a #1 ranked pin unless you’re a 10 year old girl maybe.

1 week later
#1785 11 months ago
Quoted from jfh:

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.

L. O. L.

Never change pinside.

#1786 11 months ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

L. O. L.
Never change pinside.

Never count the wise old guy with experience out. I remember the screenshot of Gary looking at TBL (on the video he then walked away with a drink in his hand) Someone commented with an ethnic slur that he was afraid that his money was going to someone else. We all know how that worked out.

Free Khalua drinks and a 22nd floor "private" party for those who gave money for basically nothing for years has not made up for what happened.

I still remember Gary walking out, waving his hand, from the JJP event at TPF in Grapevine after Jack insulted him.

Gary, while about fifteen years older than Jack knows the manufacturing business.

He will retire comfortably. The JJP company may not allow the early retirement that it was designed to provide.

14
#1787 11 months ago

Time to give credit where credit is due. Stern has gotten a lot better over the past year. They took a ton of criticism over splitting cabinets, playfield issues and code delays and rightfully so. They deserved it but they seem to have learned from it and as a result Stern is better today.

#1788 11 months ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

Time to give credit where credit is due. Stern has gotten a lot better over the past year. They took a ton of criticism over splitting cabinets, playfield issues and code delays and rightfully so. They deserved it but they seem to have learned from it and as a result Stern is better today.

Stern has definitely improved in some key areas and deserves credit for taking action to address the criticism and complaints.

-3
#1789 11 months ago
Quoted from Who-Dey:

It’s probably a fun game but i couldn’t own it because of the theme alone. Its also nowhere near a #1 ranked pin unless you’re a 10 year old girl maybe.

I agree, the game is actually pretty damn good but the theme just plain sucks, for me anyway. You don't have to be a 10 year girl though to rank it #1 you could be an adult man just a tad curious is all.

hqdefault (resized).jpg

-2
#1790 11 months ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

You don't have to be a 10 year girl though to rank it #1 you could be an adult man just a tad curious is all.

#1791 11 months ago

Competition has been good for Stern and for us. Leads to a better product. It’s a great time to be looking for a new machine.

#1792 11 months ago
Quoted from JJHLH:

Competition has been good for Stern and for us. Leads to a better product. It’s a great time to be looking for a new machine.

Yeah i agree, the more choices we have the better. Iron Maiden must be really good because nobody has been in this thread complaining about it yet. I'm gonna go play it in the next 3 days, cant wait!

#1793 11 months ago

All of these companies are going to step on their schwantz at some point or another. Looks like JJP is now dealing with a serious revolt from loyal fans. See “Who is second guessing their jjp potc preorder” thread.

“Pizza of the Caribbean”

Ouch.

#1794 11 months ago

The economy ha been doing well the past couple years. I do get concerned that if we have a recession (which we will have another one) the pin manufactures will be in trouble. Not sure they all can survive one. (Stern, JJP, American Pinball, Heighway, Chicago Gaming, Spooky)

#1795 11 months ago

I agree choices are great and competition can only help but this pin and its greatness is a product more so of Keith and his layout/rules and the theme and great artwork help a lot but as for Stern stepping up their game due to the other companies I'm not buying it. I think 3 in a row that blow everyone away and yeah its justified but B/W released many games with gems a plenty but also a fair amount of shit aswell. Spooky only has 500 units to sell and JJP while many may disagree is still a boutique pinball manufacturer with a pin a year and really its less than that. I hope this is a new standard for Stern and the pros all come with quality service rails, spinners etc but lets not get ahead ourselves.

#1796 11 months ago

I think Stern is stepping up their game. Their recent hiring of Brian Eddy is another example of that. Not sure they would be doing all this without the increased competition from other manufacturers.

#1797 11 months ago
Quoted from JJHLH:

I think Stern is stepping up their game. Their recent hiring of Brian Eddy is another example of that. Not sure they would be doing all this without the increased competition from other manufacturers.

Why would they need any other reason to hire Brian Eddy other than the fact that the man has made a few of the best pins ever created? Listen if Stern is raising their game due to outside competition thats good news but their next release could go right back into the category of Pinsiders tearing it a new one and all the other crap thats come with it. Personally I don't think JJP, Spooky or any other company has any affect on Stern. JMO and really who cares as long as we get great pins.

#1798 11 months ago
Quoted from Hazoff:

Why would they need any other reason to hire Brian Eddy other than the fact that the man has made a few of the best pins ever created?

One reason would be to keep him from being hired by the competition. And you are right, he’s a design genius when it comes to pinball, having two masterpieces to his credit. Definitely not the guy you want to be competing against.

#1799 11 months ago

I think that Stern will take notice at how happy people are to be getting the small things like spinners and service rails and continue the trend. Lets hope so anyway.

1 week later
#1800 11 months ago

I have received a few notes claiming that I was hypocritical for pointing out Stern's problems while ignoring the POTC situation.

The original post was about how two presentations came across at that point in time. Stern struck out and JJP hit a home run. Their trajectories seemed to be going in different directions. Clearly hundreds of Pinsiders though my post had merit.

But I suspect impressions would be different if we heard presentations today. We wanted to see improvement from Stern and we have. There are still many things that can be better, but things are looking up. Stern has obviously gotten the message that good software is key to customer sat (and more importantly, selling games). Look no further to see what the code updates have done to spur demand for Batman 66. Maybe they figured out that nickle and dimeing had gone too far (support pegs?) as we see a move with IMDN to redefine the value proposition with the LE concept. Maybe we never see the days of STLE again, but again movement in the right direction.

JJP went in the opposite direction with the disastrous "couple of tweaks to Pirates" video about the removal of the spinning discs (and change to the trunk). Maybe that was inevitable, given how widely praised the reveal was - there was no where to go but down. I don't buy in to the "Pirates will sink JJP" storyline, but the throw the designer under the bus video certainly shot large holes in the JJP Premium Pinball model. Removing one of the two signature innovative toys coupled with the lack of video/audio assets from the movies may leave POTC dead in the water flying the "oh what it could have been" white flag.

The JJP we heard at Expo would have re-engineered the wheels and trunk to address reliability concerns. Instead, they took the "screw it and ship it" page out of the book Stern was using at Expo.

I have faith that JJP will somehow salvage the ship - don't forget how Dialed In went from disaster reveal to hit disaster game - but how they have (apparently) decided to handle POTC may indicate the ideals they espoused at Expo are goals rather than foundations for success.

Dark Night? White Flag? Just anecdotal points in time. How each company responds long term is all that really matters.

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