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(Topic ID: 222468)

Is stern evil????


By TwoHeartedMale

2 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 307 posts
  • 118 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 2 years ago by J85M
  • Topic is favorited by 6 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “Is stern evil???”

    • Yea, that wasnt cool guys. 74 votes
      41%
    • Nope, stern can do no wrong. 28 votes
      15%
    • Hear no evil, see no evil. Its pinball baby! 79 votes
      44%

    (181 votes)

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    There are 307 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 7.
    -2
    #51 2 years ago
    Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

    I think the iron madden pin may be the G.O.A.T. but i don't feel the same for the band.

    Completely...I hadn't heard such horrid fucking musak since Metallica....amazingly also a great game. Ok peace pipe out

    -11
    #52 2 years ago
    Quoted from Spencer:

    I wish I could thumbs down this too but for some reason I've used up my quota on the rest of your crazy posts.

    NorCalRealtor

    thank you for making this thread better. your contributions are greatly appreciated. You have completed your mandatory post on every thread, your free to go!

    #53 2 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    They took all your sticker mods. Those dirty dogs!

    Nah that was Planetary Pinball..and it was settled, someone who shall not be named was responsible for that. I've made my peace with it.

    -1
    #54 2 years ago
    Quoted from fosaisu:

    If I'm crusty it's because I'm running on tap water this evening, trust me.

    not you man, you havnt been crusty

    #55 2 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    For those of us that did not listen to the podcast can someone fill in the grey area. Which license, what dud Stern do?

    or read the first 45 posts....

    #56 2 years ago
    Quoted from erak:

    I hope spooky makes a game that blows any Stern out of the water in gameplay and pricing.

    appears their next opportunity will be sometime in 2020.

    Quoted from taylor34:

    if Spooky ever puts out a superior product to Stern and can produce it in numbers, then things could shift quickly.

    'controlled growth' comes with its own limitations.

    #57 2 years ago

    Ever since the pro has gone up about $200 a year, and premium was once the pro by dividing it into two categories charging people $2000+ for more “featured filled games” it’s been the biggest fuck you to the collectors and players, never mind the fact that their code is totally hit or miss and the spike system is questionable at best- but provides a terrific bottom dollar for them....

    With that said, they make very fun games. It’s not shocking to me at all that they’d grab a Godzilla license to spite a competitor, Stern always does what Stern wants.
    Stern was the only company around when nobody gave two shits about pinball. Take that for what it’s worth.

    #58 2 years ago

    So Stern have no intention of making Godzilla and acquired the license just to impede Spooky?

    Never read so much bullsh*t on Pinside.

    (And that’s saying allot).

    #59 2 years ago

    Making Stern out to be the evil empire of pinball is ridiculous. It's not like they're a Monsanto or Chase size corporation that's to big to fail. One bad title can send the company to the brink as we saw a few years back with WWE and Mustang. Stern was literally days away from shutting the doors permanently until they reorganized with fresh investment a few short years ago. While the tactics they employed on this occasion (if true) may be questionable they are the 800 lb gorilla in the room and can hound each and every competitor however they choose to. Spooky did step on their toes with their latest band release and it's obvious that Stern loves their classic rock themes. I read threads here every day here saying that competition is good for the industry. Stern has been laying down the ground work for all these upstarts since the turn of the millennium and had to throw the gauntlet down at some point. If you can't stand the heat get the F out of the kitchen.

    #60 2 years ago

    There are plenty of good themes left in pinball. Spooky needs to focus on creating and making good games or they won’t last. TNA was not a Spooky creation and they were lucky Scott let them build it. Spooky blew an amazing theme like Rob Zombie, so clearly theme ain’t everything. I am a huge Godzilla fan, but I don’t see how this is a good theme for pinball???

    #61 2 years ago

    Stern evil?

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    #62 2 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    There are plenty of good themes left in pinball. Spooky needs to focus on creating and making good games or they won’t last. TNA was not a Spooky creation and they were lucky Scott let them build it. Spooky blew an amazing theme like Rob Zombie, so clearly theme ain’t everything. I am a huge Godzilla fan, but I don’t see how this is a good theme for pinball???

    I agree with this - use a different theme. What is so special about Godzilla anyway ? Ok ok, I know the answer already, a pinball needs to be based on a licenced theme. Why, I still haven’t figured out, but I read this on Pinside constantly. Wouldn’t some imaginary monster which was freely created with a new back story be even more interesting? It could offer a lot of potential.

    #63 2 years ago

    Yeah I'm pretty sure one pinball theme is not going to make or brake spooky. It's kinda like saying...I like captain and Dr Pepper. All hell no! Coke and captain ain't doing it.

    #64 2 years ago
    Quoted from Gunnut40:

    Yeah I'm pretty sure one pinball theme is not going to make or brake spooky. It's kinda like saying...I like captain and Dr Pepper. All hell no! Coke and captain ain't doing it.

    What’s captain?

    #65 2 years ago
    Quoted from branlon8:

    What’s captain?

    -Mike

    ci-captain-morgan-original-spiced-rum-d263a0fe5dd6c1b2 (resized).jpeg
    #66 2 years ago
    Quoted from Grizlyrig:

    -Mike[quoted image]

    Love that stuff! And it goes pretty well with Dr Pepper as well as the old classic Coke.

    BC18DCC0-B9CE-49C2-BA7B-55849B19A63B (resized).jpeg
    #67 2 years ago

    Has anyone thought that maybe Stern has done Spooky a massive favour?

    Godzilla strikes me as a very average theme, as another maker discovered. About as exciting a theme as Scooby Doo, or Rush....

    Spooky will do something better with a different theme. Like Stern did with a certain Archer themed layout...

    #68 2 years ago
    Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

    I just finished the latest spooky pinball podcast and i now have a bad taste in my mouth about stern. I feel everything chuck said i totally agree with, "thats just business" is what cold hearted people say when they walk all over nice people in order to make a few bucks. Spooky will survive im sure, but when you mess with a business that small, your messing with someones family. If stern did that to my family, id be up in arms. And the thing that really gets my goat is they did it for no reason!!! They wont even make this theme, they threw money away just to stab the emerys in the back. And all of that was after chuck handed stern a GOOD licence on a silver platter. If stern hurts spooky they are deliberately hurting pinball. If they hurt pinball they hurt us. I feel stern just attacked us, as a family.

    Is this guy for real? This has to be a joke right?

    -1
    #69 2 years ago
    Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

    Who was making Pins during the "DARK YEARS", other then stern? do you really think someone would have stepped into a dead market?

    Yes, 100% someone would have stepped into the market. Everyone always says that "Stern saved pinball" because that is the dialog they started and want you to believe. That is merely marketing that stuck. I firmly believe that us pinheads saved pinball. We saved all the good games from going to the dump, we started up shows and kept them running, we kept games accessible and working for the general public to be exposed to.

    If Stern had just closed up shop during the "dark years" then someone else would have stepped in when timing was right and we probably would have seen more innovation and change sooner rather than just the past few years. Stern has done very little positive for pinball history from my perspective.

    Quoted from Eskaybee:

    I thought Alice Cooper was their dream theme?

    Alice was a dream music theme. Then again anyone paying even a sliver of attention to team Spooky knows Godzilla is THE dream theme. Go look at the short history of Charlie/Bug and their first ever pin... or go listen to almost any of their podcasts where for years before even manufacturing pins they obviously loved the theme.

    For all those of you that keep saying "it is just business" please step back and realize that this is not just business. Watch the actions and behaviors of Sterns head licensing guy over the years and he is obviously filled with spite and hatred of a small insecure boy. His actions are what provide a clear understanding of his intent. Those that are paying attention have hit the nail on the head with this one. This license grab was done for spite. I know that can be hard on the feels if you are a Stern fan, but that is reality and a reality we all have to live with when we support them.

    I really do think we are currently in the beginning of the dark ages of pinball. Stern has ballooned out of control and cant possibly sell enough games in the coming years given the looming competition that are taking market share (sorry but all those smaller parts add up). Toss in a little deeproot which seems to be more than happy to use his financial weight and legal ego to sue others into submission. Mix it all together with decreased Stern quality with higher prices (it is all just business right? and they gotta make hay while the sun shines). Exciting times with lots of new games as the NIB high prices market is all tanking.

    JMHO, but the less I can support a company that ruthlessly takes licenses from others with no intent to make them, continues to decrease build quality/qc, and has increased prices over 30% in the past 4 years, the better for the longer term health of a community and hobby I care for.

    #70 2 years ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    So Stern have no intention of making Godzilla and acquired the license just to impede Spooky?

    No one has shown any evidence of this. It's a claim put forth by several posters.

    As far as the Stern rep walking in on the meeting- everyone was at a licensing convention. Not clear from Spooky's podcast how big the convention was. It may have been an unlikely coincidence. No one really knows but Stern.

    #71 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Everyone always says that "Stern saved pinball"

    Gary Stern DEFINITELY saved pinball!

    #72 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Yes, 100% someone would have stepped into the market. Everyone always says that "Stern saved pinball" because that is the dialog they started and want you to believe. That is merely marketing that stuck. I firmly believe that us pinheads saved pinball. We saved all the good games from going to the dump, we started up shows and kept them running, we kept games accessible and working for the general public to be exposed to.
    If Stern had just closed up shop during the "dark years" then someone else would have stepped in when timing was right and we probably would have seen more innovation and change sooner rather than just the past few years. Stern has done very little positive for pinball history from my perspective.

    Alice was a dream music theme. Then again anyone paying even a sliver of attention to team Spooky knows Godzilla is THE dream theme. Go look at the short history of Charlie/Bug and their first ever pin... or go listen to almost any of their podcasts where for years before even manufacturing pins they obviously loved the theme.
    For all those of you that keep saying "it is just business" please step back and realize that this is not just business. Watch the actions and behaviors of Sterns head licensing guy over the years and he is obviously filled with spite and hatred of a small insecure boy. His actions are what provide a clear understanding of his intent. Those that are paying attention have hit the nail on the head with this one. This license grab was done for spite. I know that can be hard on the feels if you are a Stern fan, but that is reality and a reality we all have to live with when we support them.
    I really do think we are currently in the beginning of the dark ages of pinball. Stern has ballooned out of control and cant possibly sell enough games in the coming years given the looming competition that are taking market share (sorry but all those smaller parts add up). Toss in a little deeproot which seems to be more than happy to use his financial weight and legal ego to sue others into submission. Mix it all together with decreased Stern quality with higher prices (it is all just business right? and they gotta make hay while the sun shines). Exciting times with lots of new games as the NIB high prices market is all tanking.
    JMHO, but the less I can support a company that ruthlessly takes licenses from others with no intent to make them, continues to decrease build quality/qc, and has increased prices over 30% in the past 4 years, the better for the longer term health of a community and hobby I care for.

    Since you seem to know so much more than everyone else, can you please elaborate on which company was going to fill the void if Stern closed up shop in 2008.

    #73 2 years ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    Since you seem to know so much more than everyone else, can you please elaborate on which company was going to fill the void if Stern closed up shop in 2008.

    Maybe no one in 2008. But by 2012 other makers were coming onto the scene. If you think a couple years of no new pins being manufactured would kill 50 years of history then maybe in your eyes Stern could be the only saving grace for pinball.

    I believe that without stern in the picture, nostalgia would have still pushed the hobby into the size it is now, and new manufacturers would have came out of the wood work. (Like they have, even despite Stern saving the industry)

    -7
    #74 2 years ago
    Quoted from Who-Dey:

    Gary Stern DEFINITELY saved pinball!

    lol. Gary Stern ran a business. He definitely did not save anything.

    Roger Sharpe > sure that guy saved pinball. Gary Stern knew how to do 1 thing and that thing was/is the business of making pinball. Pinball machines were still on route and in bars and even in homes during those dark years. Stern make some sub par games, learned how to cut costs during that time, and cheapened the entire product.

    It is not like others had exited the industry because it was not profitable. It merely was not as profitable as other areas where they could leverage the same manufacturing expertise.

    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    Since you seem to know so much more than everyone else, can you please elaborate on which company was going to fill the void if Stern closed up shop in 2008.

    ANY company that came along and decided it was a market space they wanted to be in. You can easily predict the alternate history... A previous company could have started back up. Multiple new companies could have started. The reality we now see would likely not be much different in number of players if Stern had closed shop.

    Do you really think JJP and spooky only entered the market because Stern was still around? They entered the market despite Stern being the big player with a history of how they act.

    I gotta say, it really is not that big of a void to fill... From 2000 to 2010 they made ~30 different titles. How many of those are currently considered good? 3 maybe 4 if you are a stern lover.

    LOTR, TSPP, Spidey, Tron

    All the rest is largely junk titles that nobody really seeks out or rates highly now. Stern during the dark years is not very good...

    12
    #75 2 years ago

    This is one of the most insane threads I've ever seen on pinside. The podcast was *one side of the story*. There is no direct evidence of Stern's intentions. And to top it off, Spooky's games aren't that great. Stern would have made a a better Rob Zombie, and they'll make a better Godzilla. Toho is better off with Godzilla in Stern's hands. I can't wait to see a Stern Godzilla, I almost guarantee I'll buy one.

    #76 2 years ago

    So TOHO, Spooky & Stern walk into a bar, , , ,

    20
    #77 2 years ago

    It amazes me how silly some of you are.

    This is nothing more then stern deciding to let Spooky know that they see them. You want to make tna and take a pile of our sales then this is what you are going to get. Spooky is not the only company trying to put a roof over someone's head and that has employees to protect. No one knows if stern is going to make Godzilla or not. None of you will be whining if Brian Eddie rolls out a killer Godzilla game next year with ZY artwork.

    Yes it sucks for Charlie but there are lots of cool themes for him to do and now he knows how things will be with stern moving forward. They have the big stick and you have to be able to work around them.

    Everyone always wants competition but expects them to help each other out and not really compete.

    #78 2 years ago

    In the end the valuable lesson here for this one sided story is keep your hand a secret. If it went down the way Chstlie said, Spooky learned a hard lesson that will make them better in the future. Dont give the competition an edge. Dont tell everybody what you love. Hateful people and businesses thrive on slitting throat moves like this. Is it right, no of course not. And saying it's just business is not either. As a small business owner of a shop for 14 years I've seen many of the big dog companies mimic what I do cause its working. Take the compliment Charlie. You got under their skin and that's a big win. It's when that dont give 2 craps about you that you aren't making a difference. It's simple Gary Stern, of the 7 nib games I bought in the last 1 1/2 years, 1 has been a stern. That me putting my money where my mouth is. I'm not trolling that's a fact. Stop being petty Stern and build better games that everybody wants not just bar atmosphere types. Do I own stern games that I love, absolutely but not in a awhile has their business practices made me want to invest in them.

    #79 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    lol. Gary Stern ran a business. He definitely did not save anything.
    Roger Sharpe > sure that guy saved pinball. Gary Stern knew how to do 1 thing and that thing was/is the business of making pinball. Pinball machines were still on route and in bars and even in homes during those dark years. Stern make some sub par games, learned how to cut costs during that time, and cheapened the entire product.
    It is not like others had exited the industry because it was not profitable. It merely was not as profitable as other areas where they could leverage the same manufacturing expertise.

    ANY company that came along and decided it was a market space they wanted to be in. You can easily predict the alternate history... A previous company could have started back up. Multiple new companies could have started. The reality we now see would likely not be much different in number of players if Stern had closed shop.
    Do you really think JJP and spooky only entered the market because Stern was still around? They entered the market despite Stern being the big player with a history of how they act.
    I gotta say, it really is not that big of a void to fill... From 2000 to 2010 they made ~30 different titles. How many of those are currently considered good? 3 maybe 4 if you are a stern lover.
    LOTR, TSPP, Spidey, Tron
    All the rest is largely junk titles that nobody really seeks out or rates highly now. Stern during the dark years is not very good...

    This is complete nonsense. Because making pinball is so easy even after stern held on and started to see the comeback.

    You just know how to make things and take the market share, anyone can do it.

    #80 2 years ago

    If your playing poker , you don't show your hand to the person next to you.

    #81 2 years ago

    Spooky has produced 1000 machines, that's millions of dollars in revenue that the competition (Stern) isn't getting. Should we feel bad that Stern isn't getting that revenue, that they were here "first", that they kept the lights on all those years and are owed something, or is it just business?

    Of course it's just business.

    #82 2 years ago

    What the hell is a TOHO?

    #83 2 years ago
    Quoted from Chambo:

    Has anyone thought that maybe Stern has done Spooky a massive favour?
    Godzilla strikes me as a very average theme, as another maker discovered. About as exciting a theme as Scooby Doo, or Rush....
    Spooky will do something better with a different theme. Like Stern did with a certain Archer themed layout...

    This guy hit the nail on the head.

    #84 2 years ago
    Quoted from gliebig:

    What the hell is a TOHO?

    I think it's a monster made out of Tofu ??

    #85 2 years ago

    A good pinball company and a good pinball product is not a theme or a license. It's the company and it's people and the decisions they make as whole. Spooky just needs to continue to do what they do best and remember that "Big Brother" is watching!

    #86 2 years ago

    As a person that has supported both companies for their entirety, I am not sure what to say other than this sort of thing happens in all businesses daily.

    First I want to thank both manufacturers for contributing what they do to the hobby/business as they have help me to provide my customers with some pretty cool products.

    Spooky is where stern was in the dark ages when they made AMH. Game is cool, had a lot of issues and was lack luster on route. Fun and cool but hard to keep running. I will be the first to say, I liked Charlie, his passion and I wanted to support him. So I did. Every game with the exception of dominos and jetsons as they were not exactly his in house designs. And yes I think spooky has done everything right, that makes it easy to want to support them. Service, support are excellent. But back to the point of all this, is there not a new Godzilla movie or a buzz around this license for them to be in Vegas? Sucks how it went down but Stern at this point may have more to offer a licensor than spooky. I want them to compete and I want them to be here and I will always support Charlie even if I question the product choice, theme etc.

    Stern makes a very good product for route guys. We have little issues, have a few hundred out there and I have read the horror stories but out of all those units I've had reliability issues with 2 games. Kiss node board failure and a strange problem with star trek that I'm still trying to shake down. Smaller issues with adjustments upon set up are expected. Some of the things said on this thread are not my experience so I'm not saying they are not true to each individual stating them but I am saying I have a pretty reasonable understanding based on what we have out there.

    Back door Board room politics are part of manufacturing businesses, especially ones that rely on known IPs to develop their ideas from. I've been to licensing shows before and rarely was anyone there but stern then JJP came along (jack or an elaut rep has been there previously) but this is new to see all these other pinball manufacturers looking for licensed properties at these events. It's good too but there is a steep learning curve with all this as experience matters a lot as well as proof of product. Again, think about the experience stern has over our other manufacturers. But the smart play has been for the other pinball manufacturers to hire people with experience in these matters to make it easier on them with the process.

    Any way you slice it this happens a lot. This time it comes to light but I know of other road blocks in manufacturing of licensed products that have happened in coin op perceived out of spite. The dirty part of the business does show itself from time to time.

    #87 2 years ago
    Quoted from Chambo:

    Has anyone thought that maybe Stern has done Spooky a massive favour?
    Godzilla strikes me as a very average theme, as another maker discovered. About as exciting a theme as Scooby Doo, or Rush....
    Spooky will do something better with a different theme. Like Stern did with a certain Archer themed layout...

    I think the theme might be better than average , but I'd agree Spooky has an opportunity to do something even better or morph their theme into something that is their own and non licensed. They could potentially make it their best game yet if they run in the right direction.

    #88 2 years ago
    Quoted from NoQuarters:

    I think the theme might be better than average , but I'd agree Spooky has an opportunity to do something even better or morph their theme into something that is their own and non licensed. They could potentially make the their best game yet if they run in the right direction.

    Agreed!

    #90 2 years ago

    Here's what really happened:

    Stern aquired the license to the upcoming Godzilla WARNER Movie, then heard of Spooky/ TOHO and blew the party.
    While I don't know if they're intending to do a "limited edition" Version of Godzilla with the Toho license ore just don't want to be 2 Godzilla Pinball games around at the same time I don't know.

    Source: Common Sense, since it would be money thrown away any other way. And Spooky will sell their 500 games of whatever they produce anyway, so it doesn't matter (to Stern) what license they get.

    16
    #91 2 years ago

    Stern isn't "evil".

    Stern is consistently manufacturing the best games out today, and that makes them a target. Being #1 invites the most criticism and blind hate. Stern could release the most amazing game in pinball history and some people would hate on it purely because it came from Stern.

    Take a step back from the godzilla licensing story that everyone wants to turn into some kind of nefarious evil villain plan.

    For example, how many companies besides Stern get UL certification on their pins? Do you think Homepin or Team Pinball are going to even attempt to pass FCC or UL tests? According to the UL, only Jersey Jack, Stern, and CGC have approved machines.

    The Mafia game doesn't even have a milled shooter lane. It's going to bang around exactly like Magic Girl did.

    Point being, Stern has top notch engineers, coders, designers, artists, etc... And they have lots of them now. Stern is at a completely different scale than all the other manufacturers and are putting out games where the little touches show how much they put into each game.

    #92 2 years ago
    Quoted from DS_Nadine:

    Here's what really happened:
    Stern aquired the license to the upcoming Godzilla WARNER Movie, then heard of Spooky/ TOHO and blew the party.
    While I don't know if they're intending to do a "limited edition" Version of Godzilla with the Toho license ore just don't want to be 2 Godzilla Pinball games around at the same time I don't know.
    Source: Common Sense, since it would be money thrown away any other way. And Spooky will sell their 500 games of whatever they produce anyway, so it doesn't matter what license they get.

    STOP MAKING SENSE!

    #93 2 years ago

    Hey whysnow, how do you know that Stern doesn’t intend to actually make a Godzilla game? Did Spooky say in the podcast that the Stern guys told them that?

    I have no trouble believing that Stern saw a competitor going for a license and swooped in to outbid them. It seems less likely, though not impossible, that Stern’s spending money on licenses they have no interest in using. I’d want to hear some evidence before reaching that conclusion myself.

    EDIT: ds_nadine’s theory makes some business sense at least. Maybe that’s what’s going on?

    #94 2 years ago

    Original poster is more emotionally driven that any person(female or male), that I have ever encountered. Not quite sure if that is good or bad, but all in all if he is serious, I would speculate that he is very high maintenance.

    #95 2 years ago
    Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

    Ive always had a love/hate feeling with stern, on one hand they single handedly kept pinball alive, but they did that with paying VERY low *Bleep* and making crap games.

    Crap games like TSPP and LOTR your a tool

    #96 2 years ago

    If you think a pinball manufacturer is evil you need to take a break from pinball and maybe get outside. If Stern is evil than everyone is evil which is same as saying no one is evil. Stern makes pinball machines. They seek out licensing and growing their brand. That's it. Maybe some people that work there are a-holes but c'mon. If you don't like their brand then don't buy it.

    #97 2 years ago

    My takeaway from this:

    Stern is afraid of Spooky.

    #98 2 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    According to the UL, only Jersey Jack and Stern have approved machines.

    CGC also has UL certification.

    #99 2 years ago
    Quoted from Only_Pinball:

    CGC also has UL certification.

    Good catch, I forgot to search for them.

    I edited my list to include them.

    #100 2 years ago

    Sounds like a lame move to me

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    $ 79.99
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 15.00
    Cabinet - Other
    Filament Printing
    $ 20.00
    Cabinet - Other
    Apron Envy
    $ 9.99
    Cabinet - Other
    Bent Mods
    From: $ 42.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: $ 40.00
    Cabinet - Other
    ModFather Pinball Mods
    From: € 0.39
    Rubber/Silicone
    Scandinavian Pinball
    $ 29.95
    From: $ 99.99
    Cabinet - Other
    Lighted Pinball Mods
    $ 229.00
    Cabinet - Toppers
    Tilttopper
    $ 265.00
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    Pinball Mod Co.
    $ 10.00
    Playfield - Other
    Loop Combo Pinball
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