Quoted from kvan99:
I don't know if it's been said here, but thank you for bringing back normalcy into the hobby, this LE, SLE business were never a good idea for the hobby, different codes and mechs and all.
Over the last 6 weeks I have been to three shows and talked to hundreds of pinball enthusiasts, and at least 75 times I have been asked a question such as 'is this the LE' or 'how many models will there be' and when I answer there is just the one, 100% of the time the response back was along the lines of 'good, I hate the multiple model thing'. So, from where I sit, it is clear that the market does not want it, but clearly some companies believe it is a good thing, at least for the bottom line.
As the person creating the rules and writing the code, I can't imagine having to do it for two or three versions of rules and mechs, and then keeping it all straight, let alone getting it completed (needless to say, but I'll say it, pinball code can be extremely complex).
I always thought the original intent of more than one model was to have a lower cost model, with less complex toys that would work well for operators vs collectors who wanted more. But even if that was the original intent, that does not seem to be where it has evolved to. But as we have seen with the airlines and other businesses different levels of service/product, obviously can have a benefit to the bottom line and often the customers have not real say in the matter.
Personally, I'd rather see some machines that are designed/geared for the street but still great at home and for collectors and vice versa, since there are plenty of LE games out on location, so clearly some operators what the full loaded games for their locations. We have seen some very basic games come out, that I would say were geared more towards the non-enthusiast market, that some collectors still wanted. Joe Balcer is very focused on making Houdini as reliable and street friendly as possible, for example, you would need to remove nothing from the playfield to give it a good cleaning. At the same time, I have been focused on making sure the game is fun for novices, enthusiasts, and the hard core skilled/strategy guys. Of course no game will ever make everyone happy.
I can understand how manufactures want to maximize profit and I can see a place for add-ons that provide the 'bling' or extras (invisiglass, toppers, etc.) or even certain features that are not core to the games functionality (e.g. shaker motors when not really critical to the game) that some folks want and others don't really care for, and if that kept fully functional and developed games at a more affordable price, then great.
I also don't get how those who are paying more for an LE often get their games after the standards/pros/etc. Seems if you are paying more, you should get yours first, but thats just me.
Obviously I don't make all the decisions here at American Pinball, and some of the comments above are my views and I'm not necessarily speaking on behalf of AP, but I think you have a sense of the things that I will continue to push for and be vocal about.