First off I'm a huge JJP fan and own both a WOZ and TH. Code support for WOZ has been absolutely stellar. When WOZ was released code updates were released frequently and updates to polish the game continue to be released. The incredible code support from JJP for WOZ helped make the game a masterpiece. Also, a final wizard mode for WOZ was coded into the game by the end of its first year.
Fast forward to The Hobbit. A game with 31 unique modes, several multiball modes, and 3 Arkenstone mini wizard modes, all with excellent use of licensed assets and great music / audio queues. Code updates for TH in 2016 were released regularly up until a few months before Expo 2016. At Expo 2016 Jack said that a final code update for TH would be released. This came across as rather alarming as the game certainly didn't feel complete. Thankfully another update came this year.
This past June a 2.0 update was released for TH and JJP made a statement about code over on the JJP forums. I won't post it here but owners were told that more updates would be released as time permits. This is concerning as the game still doesn't have a final wizard mode coming up on nearly 2 years after its release...again WOZ had it's wizard mode in the game by the end of its first year. The other ideas that JJP mentioned for TH sound cool but again it's unclear when, if ever, they will be implemented.
Also, there's now a thread with over 100 posts on the JJP Google group (a lot for that group) about the state of Hobbit code and how a good number of owners feel that the game is being neglected due to the development of other games. So far JJP has not replied to the thread to provide an update about Hobbit code development. The thread was started a month ago.
I've been critical of Stern in the past in regards to code support and it wouldn't be fair of me to sweep similar code concerns for JJP games under the rug. I would still say code support for TH has been better then nearly every Stern game but it just doesn't seem to have been given the same level of attention as WOZ.
Just like considering purchasing another Stern game I won't consider buying another JJP title until code for TH is completed, polished and hopefully at least some of the suggestions from the community are implemented. Many of us spent $7500-$9500 on the game and deserve to see it completed in a reasonable time.
At this years Expo JJP said that they are committed to games that hold their value. Well, the current state of code for TH has impacted its value in a negative way. We've seen how excellent code support can positively affect a games value, examples include Star Trek, Metallica and WOZ. All 3 of those games went down a bit in value before it's code was completed / polished.
What are the main concerns amongst owners?
1. The lack of a final mode
2. Lack of cohesion and a reward system for beating multiple book modes.
3. Same qualifiers for all 3 Arkenstone modes, becomes repetitive for each Arkenstone mode attempt
4. The desire for more Smaug and Gandalf voice actor callouts if they exist and are just not in the game yet
5. Ability to turn off multiballs for book modes, too many multiballs
6. There's 31 book modes but only 3 need to be completed to reach the 3 Arkenstone modes (1 for each). Need more incentive to play through the other 28.