Quoted from Cenobyte:
They might have underestimated licensing and international business stuff here, but you can't compare some boutique pinball setup that has been working for 5 years on the same pinball design to these guys, who went from planning to actually building 5 prototypes in a matter of one year?
It's a little more than one year, that's just the public perception. Regardless, you're right. I still believe in the vision DP has for TBL. The prototypes look great. The design is inspired.
The funny thing is one reason I initially got in was because I was so impressed with all the work they'd done to secure the licenses. 20 songs. Brunswick. All the hoops they jumped through to get the actors set. I don't know what to credit Phil with or not, but he definitely was an integral part of that. You haven't even heard about it all, there's more, a lot of work was put in. I left Expo seriously impressed.
So people shouldn't think the license stuff was just blown off. It seems like it's more just some impatience to get to Expo and show the product before everything was signed off on. I never had any worries about Universal suing DP or anything like that, more concerns that they'd decide the partnership wasn't working out because the rules weren't being followed and just pulling the license. That would be game over of course.
I don't think Barry and Jaap are trying to defraud anyone. I don't think DP is a scam.
What I am seeing is some really creative people who don't have running a business under control. And the problem is that shit matters. You can't just be creative. You get Jpop and Zidware when that happens.
You don't have to take Phil's side to have concerns here. Bride shipping late, no communication. Turns out Bride is unfinished, which is a big deal for a software-focused project. No communication (just Scott trying to post what he can in the forums, all very vague). That was the last straw for me on getting out on TBL, I can't handle a company that won't communicate doing pre-orders.
And now, once again, total silence in the face of issues. How a company handles a crisis is sometimes the best trial for their competency. Surely everyone expect TBL to ship late too, this isn't an industry known for first timers nailing deadlines. What kind of communication could we expect then? Where is the company now?
Even if you ignore all the issues Phil brings up, it's hard to feel comfortable with the response level. If you want to be a silent creative genius then IMHO you should build the game in silence, and show it when it's done. This "show it early, build hype" model fails badly when you can't keep the communication alive.