Quoted from Aurich:
Theme matters. This is indisputable. Whether or not you're tired of pinball being dominated by licenses is something else. Here's what bums me out: almost no one here has seen the game, just some little hints. JJP doesn't skimp on toys and features, whatever you think of their games or prices, so excitement is fine, really. Be hype, it's okay.
But ... the hype is fever pitch because it's a familiar theme, and people are all in without seeing it. You're basically an idiot if you run a pinball company and don't use a license now. Even Spooky is doing licenses. And it's because of this phenomenon. We basically beg for the familiar. "I can't wait to hear my favorite movie quotes!" I pine for the unfamiliar, the surprise, the new thing, not the old thing.
I just wish there was a better mix of original game ideas too. After Dialed In didn't catch fire with people maybe JJP is done with trying, I dunno. The 90s pinball we all say we love was a mix. Most of the beloved games from that era like AFM and MM were original, and there were licenses that were still 'free and open' like Scared Stiff and Monster Bash. Those mixed familiar with new, not just staying safe.
Actually I think it has to do with it being too original. It's not really a 'new' game, it's the third in a series, it's basically a license. But people had their own visions of what it should be. They wanted it to be about medieval knights for instance, and don't like the monsters, whatever. It took a little different turn, and is getting blowback for it. It's hard to judge it on its own merits because it comes with the baggage of two previous games, and what people already expected because of that. Nevermind that the BK2000 backglass has a sci fi landscape and demonic castle on it.
Thanks, and I'm glad you like it. For all the issues I think the package evokes the films well, and I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't automatically hate licenses. But that said, so many of the nightmares around making that game were related to the restrictions a license brings. For every little thing it helped there was something it hurt. There's no question my experience with that colors my views of how games are made these days.