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.
I appreciate your passion for originality and creativity. You want a fresh theme. No problem with that, but it’s so fraught with uncertainty. Look what happened to JJP and Dialed In! And that’s arguably a great game (!!) and the theme isn’t even that bad!
But I look at it way differently. What I’m tired of is the lousy CHOICE of themes and to compound things, the lousy implementation of themes, even when they’re good themes.
Stern, back in the day: WOF, CSI, 24, NBA...I mean, wtf were they thinking? No wonder they almost went out of business. JJP: Hobbit and POTC...Jesus, could you pick anything less inspiring and insipid? Everyone agreed the Hobbit trilogy was a bloated piece of suck, but JJP presses on. And POTC? It was tired 3 movies ago...this isn’t Rocket science people.
Here’s a pro tip: pick pop culture icons and favorites. Pick Cult classics. Be COOL. Be edgy. Safe is lame.
Here’s an easy no brainer list of instant hits - provided you don’t fuck it up (you need the assets! And some cool shit under glass):
The Matrix, Pulp Fiction, Jaws, Spinal Tap, The Godfather, Back to the Future, Alien, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Stripes, Trading Places, The Jerk, Oceans 11 and sequels, Bourne Identity series, Despicable Me series, Marvel Universe, Fight Club, Kill Bill, Good Fellas, Something...anything...with Denzel Washington...and for music: Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana......
Give me time, I’ll come up with 20 more. This is easy. Why are these companies shooting themselves in the foot with all these half assed bullshit releases?
To be fair, Deadpool is an awesome theme, but they blew the license for the lack of proper assets. Munsters is decent license, no real criticism there. And WONKA is outstanding. That There have been so many great ideas in this thread alone that if JJp fucked this up I’ll be really bummed.