Let's give lots of credit to JJP for having the courage to do this game - original license, lots of innovation, tons of toys, top talent - I think they went all out here.
...when I first saw the theme online my heart JUST SANK. The hero is a guy holding a cell phone into the sky. This is the main image on the flyer and on the playfield and a cell phone is part of the playfield. And he doesn't even look confident, he looks worried to me if you look at his face.
At issue here, and this cannot be overstated, is that even though our cell phones are of course very powerful and have transformed everything in the world, they are as common today as a fork. In my mind, I saw the equivalent of a guy holding a fork into the sky. Phones today are only awesome to people who don't use them 16hrs per day like your grandpa or grandma. I'm on my phone all day long for work and otherwise - why would I want to use a phone while playing pinball? Another issue is that our mobile tech is moving at an incredible pace and this game will look very outdated in just a few years. I really think that these details have not been thought out clearly even given that every other aspect of the game might be awesome.
Since early days, the theme of a game has been crucial to getting the first quarter into the game and I fear that a guy holding a cell phone won't do it - it's really the most uncool thing I can think of. We are all holding cell phones all day long, albeit not into the air, so it's really the most common thing you can see. The name is also very disappointing and won't draw anyone to try this game.
Instead of a guy holding a cell phone(?!?), why not have a robot or something and have some cool name including a robot or something - just really anything you could think of that could be awesome other than a guy holding a cell phone. If the game is fundamentally like sim city or something, then think of something cool and tie the art and name into that - anything other than a guy with a cell phone. Something powerful, something awesome - this is important and can have a great impact on the sales of this game. How about "____ City" or "City ___" where you insert some attention-grabbing cool word. Again, I'm not saying the game can't have a cell phone in it, or utilize a cell phone, I'm just saying don't make it the most visible part of the theme and name of the game - keep everything else in the game the same.
We all want JJP to succeed with this one and it looks to be a winner in terms of every other factor but please consider skinning this with something a bit cooler than a guy holding a cell phone. Change the playfield art a bit and change the name and I think there will be a much better response. Sometimes there can be a lot riding on just a single marketing image or an initial impression of a product regardless of other factors and it's not too late for some minor changes - that guy has got to go!
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