(Topic ID: 11)

Do we really need all those expensive licenses?

By robin

13 years ago


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  • 72 posts
  • 46 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Roostking
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    There are 72 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 3 years ago
    Quoted from robin:

    there's so much cool stuff in the public domain that would be perfect as a theme. Alice in Wonderland

    Gottlieb agrees.

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    #52 3 years ago

    Like Gary Stern always says at EVERY expo, overseas distributors require licensed themes.

    "If a theme is licensed, the overseas guys order container loads. If a theme is unlicensed, they order 2 or 3 games. "

    #53 3 years ago

    I hope the Steves next game can over come that uphill battle....

    #54 3 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Licenses are important to pinball. And as Chris mentions above, having to create assets from scratch is tough.
    Also most original themes aren't original, they're just rip offs of known licenses or tropes. MM is Holy Grail, No Good Gophers is Caddyshack, AFM is every 50s movie, etc. So people know the basic premise when the step up to the machine.
    When you do have a truly original theme like Dialed In people warm to it very slowly, though a large part of that is their fault for not pushing a disaster theme.

    TWD could have been named Dead Walkers and sold just as well. Speech and sound did not come from the show and neither did playfield art. Guess there is no way to tell if it would have sold same numbers with alternate title.

    TWD sales were slow at first and code was a borefest. Some were saying TWD was a throwaway title, like Mustang had been. When Lyman took code in a new direction, interest in the game was rekindled and turned from cold to a warm embrace.

    -1
    #55 3 years ago

    Sterns are garbage. No innovation. Just slap on the next popular things art, and raise the price each time.

    Too bad the Williams all stars creativity at stern pinball has gone stagnant. Is it structured in a way so we don't get these amazing immersive worlds under glass anymore?

    There's a reason some B/W pins are still on location and highly sought after.

    Theme doesn't make a great pinball machine.
    But a great story to explore does.
    I can't think of any modern stern that makes me feel like that. I feel more like I played a commercial than a story.

    #56 3 years ago

    Well I just went down the rabbit hole of vintage posts...jbscar blocked...brokedad retired pinside hero...and so many inactive members...I feel like a paleontologist discovering the evolution of pinside.

    #57 3 years ago

    There is a reason why Stern does what they do. The money is in the Licensed themes.

    #58 3 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Licenses are important to pinball. And as Chris mentions above, having to create assets from scratch is tough.
    Also most original themes aren't original, they're just rip offs of known licenses or tropes. MM is Holy Grail, No Good Gophers is Caddyshack, AFM is every 50s movie, etc. So people know the basic premise when the step up to the machine.
    When you do have a truly original theme like Dialed In people warm to it very slowly, though a large part of that is their fault for not pushing a disaster theme.

    Yes, was thinking the same thing. I like the creativity, but a lot of the unlicensed pins if released today wouldn't standup to a lawsuit.

    #59 3 years ago

    I wouldn't own a pin if it weren't for a license, Metallica. Now I am open to anything.

    Licensed Themes Matter.

    #60 3 years ago
    Quoted from Roostking:

    I wouldn't own a pin if it weren't for a license, Metallica. Now I am open to anything.
    Licensed Themes Matter.

    Metallica pinball is my 1st pinball machine and what got me into the hobby also.

    #61 3 years ago

    Yeah, Ghostbusters definitely helped reintroduce me to pinball, when you think about it like that it makes sense.

    #62 3 years ago
    Quoted from Roostking:

    I wouldn't own a pin if it weren't for a license, Metallica. Now I am open to anything.
    Licensed Themes Matter.

    Metallica is probably the closest thing to an unlicensed game Stern has done in ages.

    #63 3 years ago
    Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

    TWD could have been named Dead Walkers and sold just as well. Speech and sound did not come from the show and neither did playfield art. Guess there is no way to tell if it would have sold same numbers with alternate title. TWD sales were slow at first and code was a borefest. Some were saying TWD was a throwaway title, like Mustang had been. When Lyman took code in a new direction, interest in the game was rekindled and turned from cold to a warm embrace.

    I'm not so sure about this. When TWD dropped, one showed up at a local hipster bar that never had pins before (or since, for that matter), and I'd pretty much guarantee they put it in place b/c of the theme, and weren't sweating the quality of the code. I'd bet that with TWD, as with most pins, theme-based sales more than cover the licensing cost.

    I'm all for it if companies choose to make new, unlicensed themes. But I also respect that they are businesses that need to make money to keep the lights on and the investors satisfied. And there's no real financial upside to going with an unlicensed theme. If you do one, you're doing it for the creative freedom (or if the rumors about Steve Richie's next pin are accurate, to keep one of your stars happy), not because it compares favorably vs. licensed themes on a financial basis.

    #64 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Metallica is probably the closest thing to an unlicensed game Stern has done in ages.

    What makes Metallica more "unlicensed" than other licensed titles like KISS or Aerosmith that also used original artwork? Did Metallica give Stern more creative freedom or something? It feels pretty well integrated with the Metallica license to me.

    #65 3 years ago

    Yeah, if anything, Iron Maiden would be as it doesn't even feature the band members at all. (Which is awesome).

    #66 3 years ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    What makes Metallica more "unlicensed" than other licensed titles like KISS or Aerosmith that also used original artwork? Did Metallica give Stern more creative freedom or something? It feels pretty well integrated with the Metallica license to me.

    Metallica was a big deal when it came out. A Stern game with hand drawn art, original character toys with full interaction and voice acting, kick ass animation/dot work with again, original designs. Nothing about it was canned and pumped out from a license. Kiss is a band pin, it's about the band. Aerosmith felt like a half assed attempt to recreate Metallica's magic, that failed in my mind. It's more like Kiss really, just with a Sparky knock-off.

    Quoted from valgalder:

    Yeah, if anything, Iron Maiden would be as it doesn't even feature the band members at all. (Which is awesome).

    Iron Maiden is very licensed, it's following the story and characters and themes of the existing comic and mobile game. Nothing 'original' about it at all. This isn't a judgement of value, just saying it's not something that was created in house at Stern, all that stuff was already out there. Metallica was genuinely original, you can't find Sparky somewhere else, the only place the art referenced was the original one-off that Dirty Donny did. https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2009/10/metal-on-metal-behind-the-scenes-on-a-custom-pinball-game/

    #67 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Metallica was a big deal when it came out. A Stern game with hand drawn art, original character toys with full interaction and voice acting, kick ass animation/dot work with again, original designs. Nothing about it was canned and pumped out from a license. Kiss is a band pin, it's about the band. Aerosmith felt like a half assed attempt to recreate Metallica's magic, that failed in my mind. It's more like Kiss really, just with a Sparky knock-off.

    I agree that Metallica is a more appealing overall package than KISS or Aerosmith. But Metallica definitely uses the brand of the band heavily (down to the voice work and toys), and rightly so since it's a Metallica machine. So it seems more like a question of execution than of "licensed-ness."

    #68 3 years ago

    Remember that these licenses are not expensive.

    Roger Sharp has said that the licenses come out to ~$20 per game.

    Now add to the fact that the licenses often come with an "art book" of approved images, so much money is saved by using the stock art, rather than having to create it from scratch.

    #69 3 years ago

    I've often though the images and symbols used in the Metallica game are based on a very tiny subset of what makes Metallica if you consider the texts of their songs. They just picked a few things like hammer, snake, gravestones and electric chair - less significant than greed, despair, war or mythology in terms of song texts, but probably easier to use to make a pinball game. That would give the game a certain "unlicensed" character. On the other hand, that the band members got involved and did call outs in their own way, etc. makes the game delightfully licensed.

    #70 3 years ago

    If Seawitch 2 ( The Beatles ) was released as Seawitch 2 or Seawitch Revenge , being an unlicensed theme would it sell well? This would appeal to the classic SS pinball guys ( thats me) It would have to be a lower price point to reflect the lower BOM.

    Would this be game to attract new players being a simpler ruleset or because it isn't licensed would people just ignore it?

    #71 3 years ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    less significant than greed

    To be fair, Addams Family has greed pretty well covered.

    #72 3 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Metallica is probably the closest thing to an unlicensed game Stern has done in ages.

    That's true. I had no idea what it would be like. What music? What art and most importantly, would it be good. Fortunately I was not burned and am now part of the the hobby.

    There are 72 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.

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