(Topic ID: 221001)

Any operators going to buy JJP Pirates?


By fattdirk

11 months ago



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  • Latest reply 7 months ago by fattdirk
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#51 10 months ago
Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

I always figured this is why places like D&B use a points system so people can't tell how much they're actually paying to play. I bet some of their pricier games are equivalent to $2-$3 per play. Seems pretty smart.

This is 90% of the reason they do this imo.

#52 10 months ago
Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

Maybe it's just my area. I had attempted to put a starwars battle pod, cost was almost 30k, on 6 tokens per play and was met with fierce resistance. Went to a buck and nearly doubled the plays. I guess not everyone will scoff at paying more than a dollar a play but I do feel people are not informed on what it costs and takes to operate amusements so they rationalize the decision not to pay more than 1 dollar based on that.

It's just a dollar fifty.....

#53 10 months ago

Here's some free marketing advice.

If I had a location getting the JJPOTC, why not pitch a story to the local paper/media (which might require buying an ad) about how you're bringing in a state of the art $10k pinball machine to help reignite the hobby and allow people to see the games latest evolution.

I think it would bring people in to drink, etc., just to see something new, even if they don't know play.

Part of the hook to the story is most people have no idea how much these games cost and that there is a thriving past time.

#54 10 months ago

I played JJP Pirates @ the NW pin show.... meh. Would rather play an old Bally Eight ball deluxe.

#55 10 months ago
Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

Maybe it's just my area. I had attempted to put a starwars battle pod, cost was almost 30k, on 6 tokens per play and was met with fierce resistance. Went to a buck and nearly doubled the plays. I guess not everyone will scoff at paying more than a dollar a play but I do feel people are not informed on what it costs and takes to operate amusements so they rationalize the decision not to pay more than 1 dollar based on that.

No, I think it's that way all over, but the change will have to come because the economics are getting worse by the day. Cost can't stay at $1/play for the top tier stuff. It will have to move. Maybe $1.50/1 play or $3/3 Play to at least get people used to paying more than a dollar, but provide a way for them to still get $1/play if they commit to more plays.

1 month later
#56 9 months ago

I'd love to get another JJP game at some point. There hasn't been a theme since WOZ that I thought would be worth it. Since for the most part, that seems to be what attracts people. gameplay... I haven't played pirates much, but I don't remember there being something easy to get to, say like a multiball or a castle that blows up. Even though gameplay is not as important, if its to difficult to understand by the end of the first game, it won't see much replay other then by the enthusiast.

Pirates barely did better than guardians 1 in the box office, and I guess it did well for stern in 2006... so maybe it looked good on paper.
If you look at how the last movie before the game was released was critically rated, I think you can tell which one people would feel more inclined to stick a quarter in.
rotten tomatoes

pirates 4/5 - 32%/29% 1.0 Billion/794 million decrease in popularity... plus the movies sucked.

guardians 1/2 - 91%/83% 773 million/863 million increase in popularity.

The Hobbit 2/3 - 75%/59% 958 million/956 million about the same.

If anyone gets one, let us know how it does and good luck.

1 month later
#57 7 months ago

So got a chance to drop 5 bucks in one of these last week and I'm glad I didn't end up getting one. A couple of observations:

1. The character selection screen is absurd for a route game. It would be nice if you could shut this off. I was completely confused stepping up to the game for the first time. Each character has some sort of attribute but unless you've played the game I'm not sure how you'd know which one to pick. I could see 4 characters like star wars but 20?
2. The game shoots great. It is really smooth and feels amazing. I really enjoyed the shots.
3. During the game I couldn't really seem to understand what was going on. There were tons of things lit. I did end up getting the balls locked into the chest for multiball. I feel like the shot is too long to qualify for your typical 'dummy shot' though.

Overall Impression:
JJP really missed the mark on this one. The main reason being is they designed the game to be sort of a nerd fest quest vs a game that would appeal to casual players. I think operators are going to take a hit at the coin box due to this. One of the many things that Stern gets right is to maintain that easy to learn, Impossible to master coding of their games. They always include that 'dummy shot' like lil deadpool that gives you almost an instant multiball. JJP does seem to listen to their customers and hopefully they can dumb down the code a bit since the table shoots so well and make it more approachable for a location or casual player.
The game also looks fantastic and the animations on the screen look great. I just wish I knew what they meant quicker.

I'll be saving my money and buying 1.5 Stern pros for the same price.

#58 7 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

JJP really missed the mark on this one.

I respectfully disagree with you.

I have all four JJP pins here. And more and more players are telling me that Pirates is their favorite JJP pin.

LTG : )
Disclaimer : I do work for JJP.

#59 7 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

So got a chance to drop 5 bucks in one of these last week and I'm glad I didn't end up getting one. A couple of observations:
1. The character selection screen is absurd for a route game. It would be nice if you could shut this off. I was completely confused stepping up to the game for the first time. Each character has some sort of attribute but unless you've played the game I'm not sure how you'd know which one to pick. I could see 4 characters like star wars but 20?
2. The game shoots great. It is really smooth and feels amazing. I really enjoyed the shots.
3. During the game I couldn't really seem to understand what was going on. There were tons of things lit. I did end up getting the balls locked into the chest for multiball. I feel like the shot is too long to qualify for your typical 'dummy shot' though.
Overall Impression:
JJP really missed the mark on this one. The main reason being is they designed the game to be sort of a nerd fest quest vs a game that would appeal to casual players. I think operators are going to take a hit at the coin box due to this. One of the many things that Stern gets right is to maintain that easy to learn, Impossible to master coding of their games. They always include that 'dummy shot' like lil deadpool that gives you almost an instant multiball. JJP does seem to listen to their customers and hopefully they can dumb down the code a bit since the table shoots so well and make it more approachable for a location or casual player.
The game also looks fantastic and the animations on the screen look great. I just wish I knew what they meant quicker.
I'll be saving my money and buying 1.5 Stern pros for the same price.

Once you figure how to start and beat modes the game really opens up.

#60 7 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

I respectfully disagree with you.
I have all four JJP pins here. And more and more players are telling me that Pirates is their favorite JJP pin.
LTG : )
Disclaimer : I do work for JJP.

Send me a sample game for my location and if it earns I'll buy it

Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

Once you figure how to start and beat modes the game really opens up.

Maybe I'm not that bright but I figured 5 games on any game I should be able to start figuring it out

#62 7 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

Send me a sample game for my location and if it earns I'll buy it

Do all the tech support I do and you'll wish you bought it instead.

LTG : )

#63 7 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

So got a chance to drop 5 bucks in one of these last week and I'm glad I didn't end up getting one. A couple of observations:
1. The character selection screen is absurd for a route game. It would be nice if you could shut this off. I was completely confused stepping up to the game for the first time. Each character has some sort of attribute but unless you've played the game I'm not sure how you'd know which one to pick. I could see 4 characters like star wars but 20?

Essentially it needs casual mode like Game of Thrones, which is GREAT for routes. Know about the houses? Hold the lockdown bar button until it prompts you and get normal mode with all the houses unlocked to choose. A great solution JJP should adopt for jjPotC.

#64 7 months ago
Quoted from vireland:

Essentially it needs casual mode like Game of Thrones, which is GREAT for routes. Know about the houses? Hold the lockdown bar button until it prompts you and get normal mode with all the houses unlocked to choose. A great solution JJP should adopt for jjPotC.

Exactly this. Not every pinball player wants to have to read a book to play a game. Put a easy and advanced mode into that game because it's a great shooter.

#65 7 months ago

I don't see how the pick a pirate feature is confusing. The game has a "pick a crewmember" callout out at the start of the game. Put a timer in there for location play that auto selects a character after so many seconds and done.

The game itself isn't that confusing either. Hit location main movie shots X number of times to light a chapter from a movie(s), hit the starmap area to start chapter mode. Play 5 chapter modes and a movies multiballs to unlock that movies mini wizard mode. There's a ton of other strategy in there but that's it on a basic level. I find ACDC and a number of other Stern games with confusing multiplier focused rules to be much less approachable for the average player.

#66 7 months ago

Agree with the above post but it is very deep meaning a ton of objectives to accomplish and you aren’t going to master the game after dropping $20 in it on location.

#67 7 months ago

As far as new releases go, my DI is the worst earner on the block, and I have the only one in our city.

I’m pulling it out, replacing it with Deadpool and sadly I’ll be selling it which sucks as I love the game. I hope to break even factoring in wear and tear and depreciation. It has been very reliable though.

#68 7 months ago

Few observations after having multiple JJPPotc on my route.

The game looks stunning and I am told this frequently. It is earning in the top of 3 locations currently. Top 1 or 2 for pinballs at each stop.

Here is where the problem lies for a smaller op with JJP, initial cost is 9.5k plus freight. $1/play = almost 20,000 games to get your money even if you do a 50/50 share.

Final thoughts are this, if you have a busy location that enjoys the pinball then it will be a winner. With the code updates, true pinball fans seek this out. I know I get a ton of messages about locations we stock with games and that interest usually translates well for what we do. I would never tell anyone to buy anything, this is simply a small sample of my experience.

Also if you have good support from your distributors and Jack for prizes and promotion for events then you will certainly get the word out that this is a cool game to experience.

C

#69 7 months ago
Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

The game looks stunning and I am told this frequently. It is earning in the top of 3 locations currently. Top 1 or 2 for pinballs at each stop.

This is good. Is it earning 1.5X what a new stern pro does in the first 2 months? I think that's what I'd need to justify the extra cost.

#70 7 months ago
Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

Few observations after having multiple JJPPotc on my route.
The game looks stunning and I am told this frequently. It is earning in the top of 3 locations currently. Top 1 or 2 for pinballs at each stop.
Here is where the problem lies for a smaller op with JJP, initial cost is 9.5k plus freight. $1/play = almost 20,000 games to get your money even if you do a 50/50 share.
Final thoughts are this, if you have a busy location that enjoys the pinball then it will be a winner. With the code updates, true pinball fans seek this out. I know I get a ton of messages about locations we stock with games and that interest usually translates well for what we do. I would never tell anyone to buy anything, this is simply a small sample of my experience.
Also if you have good support from your distributors and Jack for prizes and promotion for events then you will certainly get the word out that this is a cool game to experience.
C

Do you think it draws people in that maybe wouldn’t necessarily come?

If it draws people in seeking to play this particular machine, one would imagine it boosts the other machines a bit too as they are likely to drop some coin into the other games while they are there. You can say this is earnings strictly for the other machines but you could also say a percentage was due to potc being there.

Interesting discussion, 20000 plays is a ton just to break even!

#71 7 months ago

And this is why visitors to my house always prefer to play AFM and FT to all the new Sterns ( no JJP here ) as they have no clue at all what to do in the modern games.

I played Pirates.....

And I had no clue what to do either!

Same for SW but after 100 plus games it started to make sense.

On location I wouldn't have the patience or coin!

#72 7 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

This is good. Is it earning 1.5X what a new stern pro does in the first 2 months? I think that's what I'd need to justify the extra cost.

On average no but 1.5x over some stern times when new, yes.

#73 7 months ago

Didn't Jack say JJP pins were designed to be priced at $2.00 per play and Three plays for $5.00?

That would help with the payback calculations.

#74 7 months ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Didn't Jack say JJP pins were designed to be priced at $2.00 per play and Three plays for $5.00?
That would help with the payback calculations.

If I had a player base that would stomach 2.00 a play I would try it out. Anyone charging 2.00?

#75 7 months ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

Same for SW but after 100 plus games it started to make sense.

My complaint on Star Wars is there is no easy multiball. I bought that one purely on theme since it's ubiquitous regardless of that. Unfortunately, contrary to SW, pirates is a highly forgettable throwaway franchise. I do plan on purchasing Willy Wonka though. I loved my WOZ and think Wonka will be amazing with the JJP touch.

#76 7 months ago
Quoted from MrBally:

Didn't Jack say JJP pins were designed to be priced at $2.00 per play and Three plays for $5.00?
That would help with the payback calculations.

Around here nobody would pay $2 a game. $1 is a tough sell too. Mine is at .75 currently

#77 7 months ago
Quoted from pinballkyle:

As far as new releases go, my DI is the worst earner on the block, and I have the only one in our city.
I’m pulling it out, replacing it with Deadpool and sadly I’ll be selling it which sucks as I love the game. I hope to break even factoring in wear and tear and depreciation. It has been very reliable though.

It was a bad earner after the first month here, too. Already gone. WoZ is the only JJP so far that earns consistently.

#78 7 months ago
Quoted from Psw757:

Do you think it draws people in that maybe wouldn’t necessarily come?

Something to make operators know their locations and players.

It is harder for pinball to have an "attraction" piece. Back in the day it was easier for video games. I had many of the big moving games. And while they did good, my gross went way up. People had to see them, whether they played them or not. And even if not, they did play other things.

It isn't easy to know what brings your customers in. Or if a certain pin is helping a locations other games too.

LTG : )

#79 7 months ago
Quoted from LTG:

Something to make operators know their locations and players.
It is harder for pinball to have an "attraction" piece. Back in the day it was easier for video games. I had many of the big moving games. And while they did good, my gross went way up. People had to see them, whether they played them or not. And even if not, they did play other things.
It isn't easy to know what brings your customers in. Or if a certain pin is helping a locations other games too.
LTG : )

This is still true for me today. Buying games like Halo and HOTD Scarlett Dawn are certainly draw in pieces.

#80 7 months ago
Quoted from fattdirk:

If I had a player base that would stomach 2.00 a play I would try it out. Anyone charging 2.00?

So in a previous post I have said how people were impressed with pirates and the look of it. That is 100% true. Most are people that understand the cost associated and notice the overall difference in build etc.

That is the biggest issue, how do you make them feel comfortable putting in 2x money over a new stern? I dont see it. I'm at IAAPA this week, I will ask that for ya'll and see what they say. Either way it is a huge hurdle and if pinball can jump it, well I can guarantee I'll buy every game for location for years to come.

#81 7 months ago

I won’t operate any JJP games soon.
I don’t like the price nor do I feel connected with the gameplay sadly enough.

There’s something why the game rules don’t do it for me on any Jjp just yet...

Also Some of my players tried them at other places and I received the same reaction from them.

Other operators I know quit buying them due to cost, not earning more and breaking down a lot. Being in Europe does limit support though...

On the other hand I did try to order Alien(paid in full, never received it) and added a tna a month ago so it’s a mix of new sterns, bally/Williams and spooky

#82 7 months ago
Quoted from Bingovit:

I won’t operate any JJP games soon.
I don’t like the price nor do I feel connected with the gameplay sadly enough.
There’s something why the game rules don’t do it for me on any Jjp just yet...
Also Some of my players tried them at other places and I received the same reaction from them.

If you have the 2.0 light kit WoZ is pretty reliable on route, and WoZ earns really well, very consistently. The other JJP, not so much (in my experience).

#83 7 months ago

JJP games have had little to no issues for me on route. There are 1000's of games played on Pirates at this point and only some adjustments to switch levels have been needed. I realize that is not the experience for everyone but JJP has been very reliable for me overall. Hobbit, DI and POTC all have had just minor issues. WOZ was rough at first but the newer builds have also been satisfactory.

There are some great points on this thread about the games JJP makes and it's a difficult decision to put down almost 10k with the freight to earn back a buck at a time. I do feel they are making great games with a full array of features that are unique to their brand. That means something to me. I appreciate it and am doing my best to support them.

Looking forward to the next title!!

#84 7 months ago

I had no issues with my Dialed in except for one light board that had a flaky color out of the box. That was resolved in a few days by my distributor. Also had a loose connection on the trough which I fixed in about 5 minutes. Otherwise, I've had no reliability issues. If I was confident I could break the 2.00 barrier with Pirates I'd buy one. I enjoy providing pinball for people to play.

#85 7 months ago

Does this game sell well?

#86 7 months ago
Quoted from cjmjmm2006:

Here is where the problem lies for a smaller op with JJP, initial cost is 9.5k plus freight. $1/play = almost 20,000 games to get your money even if you do a 50/50 share.

I have noticed OPs using a payoff formula when discussing potential success and failure rates for different machines. People saying it will take x amount to pay off machine. My question is do many OPs keep machines that long anyway? If I was an OP I would think that the best route would be one where games change and new ones are introduced often. Older games are sold and newer one's purchased. I could be wrong, maybe there are some OPs that purchased games back in the 90's that are still on route and paid off long ago?

If DI was $9500, but earned $2000 over a certain time and then was sold for $8500, still earned just not as much. May have brought new people in to location that wanted to try it out, that would apply towards helping marketing the location. Sometimes having a newer machine, although not successful bringing in coin-at least helps bring in more people?

#87 7 months ago

We have operated all the JJP games at one point or another (with minimal issues), and will be routing Pirates as well. Fortunately for us we own the location, where the restaurant is the main attraction, and the pinball is the sideshow.

We price our games at .25 for EM, .50 for alpha-numeric, .75/4 for$2 on DMD, and $1/3 for $2. What we make on the games so far has always covered the depreciation (or exceeded) when it comes time to move one, and affords us the opportunity to always have the newest titles available. I know this is not a model that everyone can provide, but it works for us.

#88 7 months ago

I'm not an operator, but as a customer I will say this. My local barcade has older titles and then some stern pro's. Good games, but nothing that has made me go back in over a year. If I had heard a DI or potc was down there, I would have made special trips down to play them. I don't have anywhere to try these games before purchasing, so I would definitely love to see jjp pins on location. When I was first getting into the hobby, I seen a woz in a retro arcade pizza joint an hour away. I traveled up on weekends just to play woz, and that is what made it my Grail game and ultimately I bought one after saving up. I would do the same for other jjp games. The only stern I went out of my way to play was star wars, and it was disappointing and I haven't gone back. Jjp games are more rare, and people like me will go for just that experience.

#89 7 months ago

At Blizzard Mountain Pinball, we have 37 pinball games including two JJP games - WoZ and Hobbit. Our experience is somewhat different from the norm - since we opened 13 months ago, Hobbit has been far above everything else for earnings. Medieval Madness is 2nd but is about 8% below Hobbit. Iron Maiden is 3rd, Gauntlet (4-player video game from 1986) is 4th, and Wizard of Oz is 5th.

If I go back to the beginning of June when we got our Iron Maiden, and exclude data before then, then Iron Maiden is 1st and Hobbit is 2nd, but they're basically tied. Iron Maiden started off good but Hobbit has caught it over the past few weeks. Iron Maiden still gets a lot of play, though, so we're certainly not disappointed with it.

People are surprised when I tell them Hobbit is our #1 earning game, and has been consistent for over a year. I believe it's because we just do pinball and we're not a bar so we're more family friendly. Kids and families love Hobbit, and I believe the longer ball time helps a lot too. Players like getting more value out of Hobbit!

We have a Pirates on order for Blizzard, hopefully it'll arrive sometime in December. I expect it to do as well as Hobbit. Question is, how much will it will cannibalize from Hobbit and other games?

As for reliability, we've found both JJP games to be about average. Both games have had fairly minor issues overall. Hobbit was down for several days when one of the rollover buttons popped out of the playfield and became a small gobble hole! Woz has had the light board issues typical of this title. Otherwise it's just been keeping playfields clean, adjusting switches, and replacing rings as they split or wear out.

Kevin

#90 7 months ago
Quoted from pinmister:

I have noticed OPs using a payoff formula when discussing potential success and failure rates for different machines. People saying it will take x amount to pay off machine. My question is do many OPs keep machines that long anyway? If I was an OP I would think that the best route would be one where games change and new ones are introduced often. Older games are sold and newer one's purchased. I could be wrong, maybe there are some OPs that purchased games back in the 90's that are still on route and paid off long ago?
If DI was $9500, but earned $2000 over a certain time and then was sold for $8500, still earned just not as much. May have brought new people in to location that wanted to try it out, that would apply towards helping marketing the location. Sometimes having a newer machine, although not successful bringing in coin-at least helps bring in more people?

This is interesting. I do not have a formula as we keep pins long term in most cases because we have so many stops to move them to. Most games we keep long term go to approximately 20-25 locations. They are rotated 3 times a year with usually 1-2 weeks of maintenance done at the shop. So that usually means we have them a minimum of 7-9 years.

#91 7 months ago
Quoted from Psw757:

Do you think it draws people in that maybe wouldn’t necessarily come?
If it draws people in seeking to play this particular machine, one would imagine it boosts the other machines a bit too as they are likely to drop some coin into the other games while they are there. You can say this is earnings strictly for the other machines but you could also say a percentage was due to potc being there.
Interesting discussion, 20000 plays is a ton just to break even!

Sorry for the late reply.

I do think there is a factor at the beginning of a production run that motivates people to come to our locations to play these games. Most may be making a purchase potentially and it's probably better to throw $20 at a game to see if you like it enough. Plus it's hard to judge the games at shows as they are usually set very shallow and floaty. You get to immerse yourself more and if you come to a stop I have early enough you won't have others interrupting you.

That's my logic. I dont think any pin is a long time draw as more are released and players want to play what is new but there is usually a 2 month window of draw to a location per pin.

#92 7 months ago

I went to padavan’s NY (just outside St. Louis) Restaurant yesterday and they have Pirates there. Great location with 15 newer games in great shape!

#93 7 months ago

POTCLE on Free play here in Dallas, TX.

#94 7 months ago

This game is not approachable for the casual player. Quite some time ago I watched an hour + STDM YouTube video with Keith Johnson explaining the concepts. I tried to play a production game this weekend at the Nashville show. For me it was really rough getting into the flow of the game and understanding what was happening and what I needed to do. The LCD screen on the apron was never looked at by anyone I saw. You never think to look at it, and you will drain if you do. I doubt this will earn well for the long term unless they incorporate a casual mode. The game just tries too hard if that makes sense. Sometimes less is more.

#95 7 months ago
Quoted from kermit24:

Sometimes less is more.

#96 7 months ago
Quoted from kermit24:This game is not approachable for the casual player. Quite some time ago I watched an hour + STDM YouTube video with Keith Johnson explaining the concepts. I tried to play a production game this weekend at the Nashville show. For me it was really rough getting into the flow of the game and understanding what was happening and what I needed to do. The LCD screen on the apron was never looked at by anyone I saw. You never think to look at it, and you will drain if you do. I doubt this will earn well for the long term unless they incorporate a casual mode. The game just tries too hard if that makes sense. Sometimes less is more.

PSSShhhhh it's so simple you pleb!! /S

Quoted from PanzerFreak:

The game itself isn't that confusing either. Hit location main movie shots X number of times to light a chapter from a movie(s), hit the starmap area to start chapter mode. Play 5 chapter modes and a movies multiballs to unlock that movies mini wizard mode.

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