(Topic ID: 278888)

Future of Pinball

By cmstruth

1 year ago


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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Krupps4
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    #1 1 year ago

    Future of pinball?

    Sat at home last night reviewing JJP GnR comparing it to my current pins. Not a fan of the theme but couldn’t help but to compare it aesthetically to what the other companies are doing. My gut reaction was “wouldn’t ever own a GnR based on theme but Stern and the others have been put on notice”.

    I hope the other companies wake up and see the depth license access, attention to detail and overall passion that went into GnR and start to follow suit. Better toys, better lighting, better licensing access all around has to evolve from this.

    If LZ comes out and is anything like the past music pins, it will look like a McDonalds happy meal sitting next to a Ruth Chris steak when set up next to GnR.

    I hope this leap forward by JJP pushes the industry forward with better assets, licensing and overall depth of theme ( AIQ Thanos gauntlet effort as the most recent example).

    We wish for titles on here like Jaws, Matrix, Potter etc but with the current build do we want to squander these dream themes on low asset voiceovers etc or would a higher priced more evolved product be worth the money/wait?

    Not taking a shot at Stern here but I think the people can ask for more complete and in-depth games now seeing what JJP has created with GnR.

    I’d vote stern take a 12 month new game sabbatical and pump out a couple VEs to buy some time and reexamine the level of final product they deliver because the bar has been raised. If that means Stern needs to charge 2000$ more a game to get full licensing and deeper assets so be it. I want immersion for the coming games, not surface level interaction that we fall back on “but it shoots great”.

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    #2 1 year ago

    It was a dark night for Stern! (again)

    #3 1 year ago

    The level of license integration with GnR wasn't just due to some extra effort that JJP put in that other manufacturers don't. If that was all it took than JJP PotC would have over the top integration as well.

    Slash came to them, wanting them to design a pinball machine, and gave them everything they could ask for and more as well as participated in the design process. Cuz he loves pinball. Great, but to expect that level of integration with every license is going to lead to disappointment.

    Most licensors could give two sh*ts about pinball, probably make more money licensing lunchboxes.

    #4 1 year ago

    Agree, Stern is Ford and JJP is Ferrari when you put it side by side and I don’t own a JJP. If Stern is going to be the value more accessible pin and that’s the business model..fine. Call it what it is. But LE Stern isn’t in the same ballpark as CE JJP and its more obvious than ever. I’m a big Stern fan, but I wish they had a subsidiary like Volkswagen owns Audi and they had a once a year release, all in, very high end machine that cost an arm and a leg with full license and immersion...we need it.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    It was a dark night for Stern! (again)

    In what way?

    Stern is making bags of money and has been for months... distros cant even keep games in stock they have been selling so fast.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    In what way?
    Stern is making bags of money and has been for months... distros cant even keep games in stock they have been selling so fast.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/a-dark-night-for-stern

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    #7 1 year ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    The level of license integration with GnR wasn't just due to some extra effort that JJP put in that other manufacturers don't. If that was all it took than JJP PotC would have over the top integration as well.
    Slash came to them, wanting them to design a pinball machine, and gave them everything they could ask for and more as well as participated in the design process. Cuz he loves pinball. Great, but to expect that level of integration with every license is going to lead to disappointment.
    Most licensors could give two sh*ts about pinball, probably make more money licensing lunchboxes.

    You aren’t wrong. But I think it’s still fair to me spect the oldest and biggest pin maker to evolve and deliver something on that level every year or two. Keep punching out generic half baked themes and soon you are Ford Motors watching the Tesla evolution roll over you as you stick to your old model and wonder why business is shifting away. Not painting a room and gloom for Stern and really not knocking them....just asking for better on occasion.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    In what way?
    Stern is making bags of money and has been for months... distros cant even keep games in stock they have been selling so fast.

    I hear you, they are making money for sure and the product has demand. I’m just saying that at some point people look at a Ford Taurus..ole reliable and gets you where you need to go without the flair and ask themselves “why can’t we make this better” ..JJP got that message. I want Stern to stick to what they do but also dabble in some real wow factor releases from time to time

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    I hear you, they are making money for sure and the product has demand. I’m just saying that at some point people look at a Ford Taurus..ole reliable and gets you where you need to go without the flair and ask themselves “why can’t we make this better” ..JJP got that message. I want Stern to stick to what they do but also dabble in some real wow factor releases from time to time

    what incentive does stern have here to do anything? as long as people keep shelling out for the same old thing over and over they'll continue to cash in. until sales start to dip they won't care.

    #10 1 year ago

    Jesus fuck...more carguments please.

    In no way, which was his point.

    #11 1 year ago

    We all know we are in a pinball bubble that will deflate any second, causing a major crash in demand and prices. The only thing you can do to salvage some out of the current situation is to sell all your pins to me dirt cheap, before they become totally worthless

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    I hear you, they are making money for sure and the product has demand. I’m just saying that at some point people look at a Ford Taurus..ole reliable and gets you where you need to go without the flair and ask themselves “why can’t we make this better” ..JJP got that message. I want Stern to stick to what they do but also dabble in some real wow factor releases from time to time

    I disagree with 90% of what you are posting about in the thread, but I do agree that Stern could stand to punch up the LEs a little bit. It was nice when they finally started including the HD glass, upgraded speakers and a shaker (some LEs didn't have even that). But I miss the Star Trek LE level of bling with the lit up side rails, the emblems on the head, etc. Set it apart from the Premium just a bit more and added some wow factor.

    Counterargument: AIQ:LE sold out on day one anyway, so...

    #13 1 year ago

    Gary himself has even compared themselves to Ford. "More wire than a Ford Taurus."

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from paul_8788:

    I disagree with 90% of what you are posting about in the thread, but I do agree that Stern could stand to punch up the LEs a little bit. It was nice when they finally started including the HD glass, upgraded speakers and a shaker (some LEs didn't have even that). But I miss the Star Trek LE level of bling with the lit up side rails, the emblems on the head, etc. Set it apart from the Premium just a bit more and added some wow factor.
    Counterargument: AIQ:LE sold out on day one anyway, so...

    I’m not arguing demand for what they make, clearly their business model works. I’m not saying all they make is crap. I’m saying i wish they had a premium line on the side.....that made one game a year maybe...that was all in game with a premium price and nothing held back. Stern will likely always sell whatever they make...even if they made something as bizarre as a Crest Toothpaste themed pin..probably 500 people out there to buy its LE . I want them to make some effort to make some no hold barred games and if they need to price them at or above JJP to make it work fine by me. Asking for more and better by your customers is what makes the industry continue to evolve

    #15 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    I hear you, they are making money for sure and the product has demand. I’m just saying that at some point people look at a Ford Taurus..ole reliable and gets you where you need to go without the flair and ask themselves “why can’t we make this better” ..JJP got that message. I want Stern to stick to what they do but also dabble in some real wow factor releases from time to time

    There are two different markets really...

    JJP caters to the more "collector" type who wants volumes of shit on their games and all the bling in the world.

    Stern caters to more the hardcore players and locations who dont care how many RGB lights are going to blind them during mulitball.

    I know very few actual "players" that compete etc that give a rip about JJP games.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    I’m saying i wish they had a premium line on the side.....that made one game a year maybe...that was all in game with a premium price and nothing held back.

    That was the original idea with Stern’s LE line (see STLE), but that quickly devolved into “change the art package and have the developers sign a sticker”.

    If Stern were to create an actual “premium” game it would be priced well over $10k and/or devalue the Pro/Premium/LE model. Not going to happen.

    Stern has improved (in some ways significantly) since my “dark night” thread a few years ago. They still have plenty of room for improvement (e.g. playfield quality), but I can’t imagine a new model for game development and production is in their future plans.

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from Elvishasleft:

    There are two different markets really...
    JJP caters to the more "collector" type who wants volumes of shit on their games and all the bling in the world.
    Stern caters to more the hardcore players and locations who dont care how many RGB lights are going to blind them during mulitball.
    I know very few actual "players" that compete etc that give a rip about JJP games.

    Not sure being a player and collector are mutually exclusive..and if a “hardcore” player is shooting a beetles pin and saying it’s a great game i guess I’m “softcore” Lol...I want both...i want to be able to get an AIQ level shooter with a metal gauntlet, Chris hemsworth’s voice for Thor and a topper that has more than 6 LED lights sitting there useless but maybe I’m in the minority. If it cost me 12k$ to get the real deal and have a shooter pin with Elwin mechanics and geometry so be it

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    Not sure being a player and collector are mutually exclusive..and if a “hardcore” player is shooting a beetles pin and saying it’s a great game i guess I’m “softcore” Lol...I want both...i want to be able to get an AIQ level shooter with a metal gauntlet, Chris hemsworth’s voice for Thor and a topper that has more than 6 LED lights sitting there useless but maybe I’m in the minority. If it cost me 12k$ to get the real deal and have a shooter pin with Elwin mechanics and geometry so be it

    It sounds like you don't fall into softcore or hardcore player. I'm thinking it's "high-end toy collector" player. And that's fine, if you want to spend many thousands of dollars on toys, go for it. But complaining that not all toy companies make high-end toys that cost $10,000 is absurd.

    Since we are complaining into a void, here's what I want: less toys, less extravagant light shows, no useless powder coats, no useless toppers, basic art packages, basic games that are fun to play and don't cost many thousands of dollars.

    #19 1 year ago

    Also, Beatles is a pretty great game based on the few times I've played it and the many times I have played Seawitch.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    ...and if a “hardcore” player is shooting a beetles pin and saying it’s a great game i guess I’m “softcore” Lol...

    Sounds like it to me. It is a great game, horribly looking, sounding, and priced, but the play is awesome.
    Its OK to want both, but a lot of people don't care. A fake metal hand on the machine doesn't give me a semi, neither does Hemsworth delicious voice.

    Edit: i mean it has a fully realized look and sound, so its well done, just awful for me

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    But LE Stern isn’t in the same ballpark as CE JJP and its more obvious than ever. I’m a big Stern fan, but I wish they had a subsidiary like Volkswagen owns Audi and they had a once a year release, all in, very high end machine that cost an arm and a leg with full license and immersion...we need it.

    So ... something like Batman 66 and Elvira House of Horrors?

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from cmstruth:

    Not taking a shot at Stern here but I think the people can ask for more complete and in-depth games now seeing what JJP has created with GnR.

    Well we all see things differently. I didn't like the instrument overkill on the LE/CE but I do like the SE version. I prefer most Sterns in the Pro version. But using live footage with 50 year old rockers? I don't like that, I don't like the stock JJP kid like SFX and while the light show is great if the gameplay isn't there then who cares. Here's my thing, I want JJP to make pins in their style and I want Stern to stay the way they are. Why do we have to compare this all the time. JJP is a premium boutique manufacturer(for now)Stern is more mainstream. Other than that who gives a shit. Options are as good thing.

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from porkcarrot:

    Since we are complaining into a void, here's what I want: less toys, less extravagant light shows, no useless powder coats, no useless toppers, basic art packages, basic games that are fun to play and don't cost many thousands of dollars.

    Oh man u said it.

    I don't keep pins for very long and I'm a player first and foremost. I don't do mods or shakers or toppers. I always wished Stern would have adopted the Heighway method. Just give me a black solid cab so I can change out the PF's and translite and I have a new game to play.

    Oh yeah
    I could argue with Lee.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Aphex:

    as long as people keep shelling out for the same old thing

    Crappola.

    #25 1 year ago

    Stern and JJP are appels and oranges to me.
    Stern games are fast flow games.
    JJP is more like a solid 90 game, build like a tank.
    Keith's games have more complex layout and shots.
    Erik game's layout is more simple dress-up with more expensive toys and ramps.
    So Keith is the better designer for me, sorry.
    Al true Stern have a ton of people behind keith to back him up. While Erik at JJP have a small team.
    Dailed in from pat is more a smooth remake from the 90's with a perfect playfield design.
    Same as WW but simple layout beautiful dressded up.
    At the end they make both beautiful games.

    #26 1 year ago

    These “amazing assets” are all video from their current tour. Does any one really want to see a fat 60 year old axl Rose? Like it’s cool they they got so much stuff but... is it the right stuff? I fail to see how this is a better music pin than AC DC.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinballwil:

    Stern and JJP are appels and oranges to me.
    Stern games are fast flow games.
    JJP is more like a solid 90 game, build like a tank.
    Keith's games have more complex layout and shots.
    Erik game's layout is more simple dress-up with more expensive toys and ramps.
    So Keith is the better designer for me, sorry.
    Al true Stern have a ton of people behind keith to back him up. While Erik at JJP have a small team.
    Dailed in from pat is more a smooth remake from the 90's with a perfect playfield design.
    Same as WW but simple layout beautiful dressded up.
    At the end they make both beautiful games.

    Agreed.

    Bring on the downvotes, boys!

    I watched a gameplay video of GnR and read their promotional language for the various models and man it seems like it's multiball heavy.

    I think Elwin said in a recent interview that he tries to limit multiball, he tries to focus on single ball play. He also really puts energy into offering various strategies to approach beating a game and tries his best to not offer a single strategy that can almost "break" a game (Super Awesome Pinball interview).

    A game is designed, from the ground up, with these basic goals in mind. IMO GnR looks like, from inception, multiball is a big part of the gameplay (even though you can make MB adjustments, the shots and gameplay look like they were designed around MB).

    I have a large collection and already own Hobbit and PoTC. I have my Hobbit set up to severely limit the multiball, so it's not about chopping wood and is becomes about discovering the modes/adventures. PoTC is all about stacking multiballs to jump from a 100,000 score to 1,000,000 if you do it right...at those moments of multiball, it's a bit like flailing around. Still, to set those multiballs up takes a lot of skill -- so it stays in the collection.

    I'll be in the market for 2-3 new machines in early 2021. At this point, I would shy away from GnR...the LE looks absolutely mind blowing for music; eye candy; light show effects; etc but I'm wary of the layout. Looks cluttered to me and MB heavy and I already have 2 JJP's that offer a similar experience. Contrast this with AIQ, which is so flowy and well-thought out; JP2 which I played about 10 times at an arcade in March and absolutely fell in love with (the shots just like nothing else, fun and varied and challenging - they get you thinking after you leave the arcade)...or even EHOH (which I also played 10 times at the same arcade) with the long ball times/"easier" but great flowy design and depth of the scenes/code. And Mr. Ritchie has yet to release Led Zep...

    JJP's are jam packed with high quality components; busy screen stuff going on; great lights and sound, etc. But are they really boiling down the layout and trying to produce "classic" layouts that focus on success in single ball play?

    Sterns are obviously cheaper in BOM and more flimsy for cabinet etc...but IMO the design and conception is lately at a higher level. It's all about the shot design; refinement; and rules. Not that JJP ISN'T about these things...just saying Stern and JJP seem like they are focusing on bringing different things to the user's experience.

    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    It was a dark night for Stern! (again)

    It also was a cold night at Shawshank.

    #29 1 year ago

    Oh shit I love the fan boys!
    Zeppelin is by far the better band but I bet Steve is seeing GnR and saying I need mo money Gary!

    #30 1 year ago

    GnR looks amazing and im buying an LE, BUT theres no way JJP will get that level of theme integration and IP access for future pins like Toy Story. This was a one-off case where slash knew Jack and reached out to make a Pin. They got unprecedented access to the IP.

    I have avengers and GnR coming eventually. Im going to be interested to see which shoots better vs which looks better. GnR looks radically different and awesome, but I dont have a feel for how it shoots yet. Looking forward to it.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from romulusx:

    Oh shit I love the fan boys!
    Zeppelin is by far the better band but I bet Steve is seeing GnR and saying I need mo money Gary!

    Ur stealing my Schtick man

    I disagree, I've said it before Stern doesn't care what JJP is doing. A fast playing Zeppelin pin with Ritchie flow? ok probably gonna be light on the toys and features and I'm all for it, none the less JJP GnR is no threat.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from Hazoff:

    A fast playing Zeppelin pin with Ritchie flow? ok probably gonna be light on the toys and features and I'm all for it, none the less JJP GnR is no threat.

    I agree. Regarding the Zep pin, at the end of the day, I just hope it’s cool. That’s all we can ever hope for and it can be accomplished in a number of different ways, even if it’s not the same way as JJP’s approach.

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