(Topic ID: 222468)

Is stern evil????


By TwoHeartedMale

8 months ago



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  • 307 posts
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  • Latest reply 8 months ago by J85M
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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
      16%
    • Hear no evil, see no evil. Its pinball baby! 78 votes
      43%

    (180 votes)

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    There are 307 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 7.
    #101 8 months ago

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    #102 8 months ago

    This is all just business...smart business at that. Spooky needs to man up. Crying about the big bad guy on a pod cast is not going to help anything.

    #103 8 months ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    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.

    This is it. Some people think that if Stern never actually makes a Godzilla pin, then it was a mistake. However, in a hobby where units are only manufactured in the hundreds or the low thousands, every machine not sold by another company is a big win. Literally millions of dollars. These are low production, high cost machines. Clearly the Stern people knew that this game might've been Spooky's best, given how much they covet it. They would have put everything they had into, maybe it would have been an instant classic pin. Stern would lose not only the revenue that Spooky sold on those games, but also on their current games on the production line. Most people, collectors and operators alike, don't have the capital to buy every new release. They have to make decisions.

    So a game bought from Spooky isn't just money that Stern didn't make, it's also potentially a machine that Stern would have sold in its place. It's like taking a vacation if you work a job without paid time off benefits. It really costs you double. The money spent while on vacation, but also the lost revenue whilst you were away.

    20
    #104 8 months 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...

    Really not that big a void to fill? Let's see:

    JJP...got bailed out not once, but twice, before their 2nd game shipped.

    Spooky...500 machines a year can't fill the void Stern would've left. Spooky found their niche and they stick with it.

    Dutch Pinball...disaster.

    Zidware...disaster.

    Heighway Pinball...disaster...one you shilled for.

    Skit B...disaster...another one you shilled for.

    American Pinball...came on the scene well after the resurgence.

    Deep Root Pinball...see above.

    You also mention only 4 good titles from Stern pre-2010...yet, you leave out games like NASCAR, Pirates, Sopranos, Elvis, Avatar, Austin Powers, etc...

    I don't speak for everyone, but I'm sure i speak for enough people, that say they would not own a pinball machine if Stern had closed up shop. My first machine was Transformers LE. I would've never purchased a used machine from the 90's. Out of my 13 machines, I only have one that is pre-2010. (For full disclosure, my Iron Man VE was the 2015 run and I own Spider-Man VE).

    The new pinball market is how this hobby expands. You can't expand a hobby with a fixed number of machines. New machines, allow new purchasers to enter the market.

    #105 8 months ago
    Quoted from guymontag451:

    This is it. Some people think that if Stern never actually makes a Godzilla pin, then it was a mistake. However, in a hobby where units are only manufactured in the hundreds or the low thousands, every machine not sold by another company is a big win. Literally millions of dollars. These are low production, high cost machines. Clearly the Stern people knew that this game might've been Spooky's best, given how much they covet it. They would have put everything they had into, maybe it would have been an instant classic pin. Stern would lose not only the revenue that Spooky sold on those games, but also on their current games on the production line. Most people, collectors and operators alike, don't have the capital to buy every new release. They have to make decisions.
    So a game bought from Spooky isn't just money that Stern didn't make, it's also potentially a machine that Stern would have sold in its place. It's like taking a vacation if you work a job without paid time off benefits. It really costs you double. The money spent while on vacation, but also the lost revenue whilst you were away.

    To expand on your well thought on post, let's look at Skit B, Heighway Pinball, and Dutch Pinball. How many hundreds of thousands of dollars were flat out wasted? That money could've went to Stern, Spooky, JJP, and American Pinball, instead of money being spent on purely nothing.

    #106 8 months ago
    Quoted from NorCalRealtor:

    Like Lord of the Rings and Spiderman and Pirates? And what do you know about pinball factory wages? Can you spare us the baloney virtue signaling?

    Using virtue signaling as a pejorative is such BS, no progress can be made or problems can be fixed if people keep their mouth shut or ignore real problems.

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    #107 8 months ago
    Quoted from guymontag451:

    ...every machine not sold by another company is a big win. Literally millions of dollars.

    They'll likely sell another machine with a different title. The result will probably be zero dollars difference.

    Quoted from guymontag451:

    Clearly the Stern people knew that this game might've been Spooky's best, given how much they covet it. They would have put everything they had into, maybe it would have been an instant classic pin.

    Maybe Spooky would have spent too much on development and made a dud. Stern has no way of knowing that and basing a business decision on that line of thinking would be silly (but possible).

    Quoted from guymontag451:

    Stern would lose not only the revenue that Spooky sold on those games, but also on their current games on the production line.

    Stern isn't losing additional revenue unless a competitor would have sold MORE of the title the competitor didn't make than the title the competitor makes in its place. Stern has no way of knowing this.

    17
    #108 8 months ago

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    #109 8 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    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...

    Calling bullshit on this. I know plenty of fans of various titles. In my case my number one missed machine that I owned was RBION. Last night my buddy was over and at 3 in the morning we were still up playing 24. It is a game he never played and while we lampoon the callouts the shot layout has great flow. Right now I am working hard to ensure I get a bbh pro in a couple weeks, a title I have been after for a few years. What makes it even more rich is that your current collection has one game made after 2000? Your wishlist has zero. What is your dog in this fight, go play with those early solid states you seem to love.

    #110 8 months ago
    Quoted from dung:

    What makes it even more rich is that your current collection has one game made after 2000? Your wishlist has zero. What is your dog in this fight, go play with those early solid states you seem to love.

    While whysnow is certainly no fan of Stern (he rates Metallica and Tron LE extremely low) he does have considerably more games than he elects to show as current in his collection for whatever reason.

    #111 8 months ago

    Yay stepping on the little guy! Dilly dilly!

    #112 8 months ago
    Quoted from TwoHeartedMale:

    A stern person walked in on a meeting with spooky and TOHO(Godzilla)/(The Emery family drug of choice) and just basically outbid The smallest name in the game just to do it. Stern could have at least waited till after the meeting!?!?!?!? am I right?

    Have you asked yourself how did Stern know the meeting was taking place were they invited to start a bidding war

    #113 8 months ago
    Quoted from Trekkie1978:

    My first machine was Transformers LE. I would've never purchased a used machine from the 90's. Out of my 13 machines, I only have one that is pre-2010. (For full disclosure, my Iron Man VE was the 2015 run and I own Spider-Man VE).

    I'm impressed you kept buying after Transformers LE.

    12
    #114 8 months ago

    Godzilla could be cool but it would need some really cool "destruction mechs". Stern will just have a building on a spring.

    This isn't the first license they've sniped. It's to a point where Charlie (or any other company) could trick Stern into buying something just by talking with them.

    #115 8 months ago

    Allowing a "bully" to enter a meeting uninvited , listen to them, and side with them doesn't sound like a very honorable thing to do in Japanese tradition.

    Just saying.

    Something doesn't add up here.

    #116 8 months ago
    Quoted from erak:

    Batman 66 was my tipping point.

    If you are going to bitch about money grabs then you need to talk JJP CE games

    #117 8 months ago
    Quoted from RonSS:

    Allowing a "bully" to enter a meeting uninvited , listen to them, and side with them doesn't sound like a very honorable thing to do in Japanese tradition.

    I think you've seen one too many movies perpetuating a positive stereotype.

    #118 8 months ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    They'll likely sell another machine with a different title. The result will probably be zero dollars difference.

    Maybe, maybe not. We are both speculating. But I would bet it has some effect based on all the people I know (collectors and operators alike) telling me they have x amount of money per year to spend on new games, and they have to choose which game they buy. They don't just buy both. The money is the limiting factor. Some people this is not the case, hence your point. But I would still argue that this is the case for many people, and thus has an effect. Not one for one exactly. But there is an effect.

    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Maybe Spooky would have spent too much on development and made a dud. Stern has no way of knowing that and basing a business decision on that line of thinking would be silly (but possible).

    Certainly. Again, we are both speculating. I was not trying to hail Stern's decision as a great one, or stating that I would have made the same decision in their shoes. I was merely offering a view as to what their thought process might have been. It seemed reading this thread, that many people just thought it was a vicious stab at a competitor and a total waste of money. I ascertain that it is a little more nuanced than that.

    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    Stern isn't losing additional revenue unless a competitor would have sold MORE of the title the competitor didn't make than the title the competitor makes in its place. Stern has no way of knowing this.

    They lose if a customer who was going to buy the next NIB Stern, instead buys the NIB Spooky game. They don't just buy both usually. I am willing to concede that some fortunate people with the extra money might. But that is not the norm. Hence, a loss.

    #119 8 months ago
    Quoted from shacklersrevenge:

    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.

    No the biggest FU is the JJP CE at over $12,000

    #120 8 months ago

    Someone should just make bootleg versions of all games that people can afford just like clothes and watches. What if there was a store that offered ghosted playfields or splitting cabinets for less or not so perfectly color matched plastics. Kind of like a Ross style store but for pinball. All things pinball are evil. You have Stern then planetary with all the licensing they do nothing with that people need and then you have the front line evil flippers who swoop up all the pins. Maybe companies who own licensing should let 2nd parties build or make stuff and take a percentage.

    16
    #121 8 months ago

    After thinking about it I now have to agree, stern is really evil. I mean they haven't stole anyone's money like Skit-b, Zidware, heighway, Dutch, or nearly went under with over 1000 preorders like jjp. But they are for sure evil. They make games and if you like them you can buy them. They try to get the best licenses to make most desired games. Pure evil I tell you.

    #122 8 months ago

    Anyone have any idea what Stern has paid for other "licensing rights"? I realize not all licensing costs are the same but I wonder how much Stern paid for the TOHO Godzilla licensing and if part of the deal was "if we sell you the rights you have to make the pin" by a certain year.

    #123 8 months ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    No the biggest FU is the JJP CE at over $12,000

    Have you forgotten BM66 SLE?

    #124 8 months ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    I think you've seen one too many movies perpetuating a positive stereotype.

    Wrong sir, I've seen at least a dozen too many movies perpetuating this!

    Don't worry though, I balance it out with conspiracy theories

    #125 8 months ago

    I think the whole thing stinks of Russian meddling to take down an American icon like pinball.

    #126 8 months ago

    Hard to judge the "soul" of a business if you dont know its future plan for survival to begin with.

    #127 8 months ago
    Quoted from frunch:

    Have you forgotten BM66 SLE?

    No I have not forgotten BM66 but that was sold out when they built it JJP CE is for every game and they are still trying to sell out DI CE game

    -1
    #128 8 months ago
    Quoted from roffels:

    Using virtue signaling as a pejorative is such BS, no progress can be made or problems can be fixed if people keep their mouth shut or ignore real problems.
    [quoted image]

    I think you missed the "baloney" part. The OP was spouting BS.

    #129 8 months ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    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.

    Yeah, those "support pegs" on the Pro and lack of shakers for any game now really emphasize everything they're taking out...I mean putting in...each game : ).

    Sorry, but I had to. There are very obvious cuts in production over the years.

    #130 8 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Spot on 100%
    Stern cares about noone bu their bottom line. Many of the people in charge don't even care about pinball or the people.

    You are a goof with this evil pinball empire narrative you spew. I’ve met a few of the Stern people in charge and know Gary. They care about pinball and the people who work at the company or with customers that buy that product. That’s part of the reason they have survived and been successful. If they did not care about the bottom line. You would have a lot of people out of work.

    #131 8 months ago

    Evil

    #132 8 months ago

    Godzilla could have been the next Rob Zombie or AMH priced at $6800 and delivered in slow increments starting at the end of 2019/2020.

    Now this will never come to be.

    #133 8 months ago

    If Stern is evil, I don't wanna be good.

    35
    #135 8 months ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Spot on 100%
    Stern cares about noone bu their bottom line. Many of the people in charge don't even care about pinball or the people.

    In January of 2018, I took a vacation in Chicago. I got a wild hair up my ass to email Stern on a Sunday and just asked if I could take a tour sometime of the week I was in town. I didn't really think there was a chance of touring on such short notice......a Chief Revenue Officer for Stern (I am purposely leaving his name out) emailed me back early Monday morning and said "When can you tour?" I was blown away that "Stern" responded so quickly. They don't know me. I did explain in my email...I had bought a few NIB machines in the past to carry some weight for a tour..... 48 hours later, my friend and I were touring Stern's factory.... The assembly line was shut down for inventory that week, but we didn't care. After the tour was over (The CRO also gave the tour) dropped us off in the area where you see Jack Danger and others play the different Stern pins on the live streams. The CRO stated he sincerely appreciated my business, gave me his business card, with his cell number on the back. He then said he was going back to his office...and play all the pinball you want...and just left us there to play as much pinball as we wanted. I couldn't believe he just left us there...unattended...what a cool experience.

    I'm calling bullshit when you say "Many of the people in charge don't even care about pinball or the people". Your hatred for Stern is embarrassing and has caused a lot of people to lose money in shoe string operation pinball manufacturers.

    #136 8 months ago
    Quoted from Stones:

    In January of 2017, I took a vacation in Chicago. I got a wild hair up my ass to email Stern on a Sunday and just asked if I could take a tour sometime of the week I was in town. I didn't really think there was a chance of touring on such short notice......a Chief Revenue Officer for Stern (I am purposely leaving his name out) emailed me back early Monday morning and said "When can you tour?" I was blown away that "Stern" responded so quickly. They don't know me. I did explain in my email...I had bought a few NIB machines in the past to carry some weight for a tour..... 48 hours later, my friend and I were touring Stern's factory.... The assembly line was shut down for inventory that week, but we didn't care. After the tour was over (The CRO also gave the tour) dropped us off in the area where you see Jack Danger and others play the different Stern pins on the live streams. The CRO stated he sincerely appreciated my business, gave me his business card, with his cell number on the back. He then said he was going back to his office...and play all the pinball you want...and just left us there to play as much pinball as we wanted. I couldn't believe he just left us there...unattended...what a cool experience.
    I'm calling bullshit when you say "Many of the people in charge don't even care about pinball or the people". Your hatred for Stern is embarrassing and has caused a lot of people to lose money in shoe string pinball manufacturers.

    Exactly this!

    -1
    #137 8 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    Yeah, those "support pegs" on the Pro and lack of shakers for any game now really emphasize everything they're taking out...I mean putting in...each game : ).
    Sorry, but I had to. There are very obvious cuts in production over the years.

    They've gotta love Pinball. They'd probably be making slot machines if they didn't.

    I'm waiting for the switch to plastic playfields. I'm not even sure I'd consider it a bad thing.

    #138 8 months ago

    Why don't people say what they really mean to say and stop pussyfooting around? There are some Spooky fanboys here that think the team in WI can do no wrong (just like some Stern fanboys). They want to pump them up no matter what type of product comes out, and have taken it as their mission that if you don't like Spooky or agree with everything that they do, you don't like pinball. I have played most Spooky titles out so far (have not played ACNC) and simply put, I am not a fan of their games. I am a fan of them as a company, and see great improvement in their efforts and wish them continued success.

    But back to the fanboys, all the wishing and bitching and moaning about the Godzilla license will amount to jack. You don't know if Stern is going to make a Godzilla pin to coincide with the movie coming out and even if they did get the license to sit on it, that is business. It happens every day, and unless you work for Spooky or Stern in a higher capacity, this does not materially impact anybody commenting on this thread. Also, none of these scenarios makes Stern "bad" and Spooky "good". It is in the end, just business.

    #139 8 months ago
    Quoted from Stones:

    In January of 2017, I took a vacation in Chicago. I got a wild hair up my ass to email Stern on a Sunday and just asked if I could take a tour sometime of the week I was in town. I didn't really think there was a chance of touring on such short notice......a Chief Revenue Officer for Stern (I am purposely leaving his name out) emailed me back early Monday morning and said "When can you tour?" I was blown away that "Stern" responded so quickly. They don't know me. I did explain in my email...I had bought a few NIB machines in the past to carry some weight for a tour..... 48 hours later, my friend and I were touring Stern's factory.... The assembly line was shut down for inventory that week, but we didn't care. After the tour was over (The CRO also gave the tour) dropped us off in the area where you see Jack Danger and others play the different Stern pins on the live streams. The CRO stated he sincerely appreciated my business, gave me his business card, with his cell number on the back. He then said he was going back to his office...and play all the pinball you want...and just left us there to play as much pinball as we wanted. I couldn't believe he just left us there...unattended...what a cool experience.
    I'm calling bullshit when you say "Many of the people in charge don't even care about pinball or the people". Your hatred for Stern is embarrassing and has caused a lot of people to lose money in shoe string pinball manufacturers.

    I am pretty sure I know who you are referring to as CRO and my experiences with him when I had issues with my BM66LE where brilliant, along with Pat they both pushed to get me made whole and to ensure I knew they wanted my continued business.

    Yes the original QC screw up shouldn’t have happened with my BM66LE but more couldn’t have been done to ensure everything was made right and I was ultimately happy plus some.

    #140 8 months ago
    Quoted from J85M:

    I am pretty sure I know who you are referring to as CRO and my experiences with him when I had issues with my BM66LE where brilliant, along with Pat they both pushed to get me made whole and to ensure I knew they wanted my continued business.
    Yes the original QC screw up shouldn’t have happened with my BM66LE but more couldn’t have been done to ensure I was ultimately happy.

    Super great guy. I never felt rushed, or like we were an annoyance. Glad to hear they got you squared away.

    #142 8 months ago

    Je ne vois pas bien à quoi sert cette discussion

    #143 8 months ago

    If it wasnt for stern, spooky wouldn't exist as pinball would never of survived.

    They carried it through the dark days.

    #144 8 months ago
    Quoted from Thrillhouse:

    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.

    Just to point out, the investors came in almost nine years ago. Stern wasn't in trouble when WWE ( 3 years ago ) came out, which may not have been a great seller, and Mustang ( 4 years ago ) - didn't Ford pay for some of that ?

    LTG : )

    #145 8 months ago
    Quoted from pinnyheadhead:

    Godzilla could have been the next Rob Zombie or AMH priced at $6800 and delivered in slow increments starting at the end of 2019/2020.
    Now this will never come to be.

    Cheer up. Maybe it will now be the next Iron Maiden for $5600, shipped en masse.

    #146 8 months ago
    Quoted from Outlanes:

    If it wasnt for stern, spooky wouldn't exist as pinball would never of survived.
    They carried it through the dark days.

    Thats very true. I feel that way too. But that dosnt give them the right to bush league the bush league lol

    #147 8 months ago

    Have you ever owned a business? It’s easy to say what a company should do but until you own something and it’s success or failure is down to your decisions you can’t arm chair quarterback the way someone runs their business. I am glad we have all these companies making machines. Do I love everything stern does. No I don’t. I have been disappointed lately that they seem to have lowered the bar rather than striving to make the best most creative machines. I think you can both make a great product and make money. I haven’t felt stern is making the most of some pretty cool licenses lately. But people keep buying their machines so they must be doing something right. I have only bought stern machines until now but have a deposit on JJPOTC because despite the price I feel like they are striving to put out a great product. I may feel that way about stern again some day but until then my money will be spent elsewhere.

    -7
    #148 8 months ago

    -2
    #149 8 months ago
    Quoted from DBLM:

    Why don't people say what they really mean to say and stop pussyfooting around? There are some Spooky fanboys here that think the team in WI can do no wrong (just like some Stern fanboys). They want to pump them up no matter what type of product comes out, and have taken it as their mission that if you don't like Spooky or agree with everything that they do, you don't like pinball. I have played most Spooky titles out so far (have not played ACNC) and simply put, I am not a fan of their games. I am a fan of them as a company, and see great improvement in their efforts and wish them continued success.
    But back to the fanboys, all the wishing and bitching and moaning about the Godzilla license will amount to jack. You don't know if Stern is going to make a Godzilla pin to coincide with the movie coming out and even if they did get the license to sit on it, that is business. It happens every day, and unless you work for Spooky or Stern in a higher capacity, this does not materially impact anybody commenting on this thread. Also, none of these scenarios makes Stern "bad" and Spooky "good". It is in the end, just business.

    personally I view pinball as more of a hobby then a business. The number of people in the hobby is much greater then the number of people in the business. don't belive me, just try and find an empty seat at the next "how to cope w/ your failed pinball venture" meeting. lol that's just me

    13
    #150 8 months ago

    Stern is in business the make and sell pins. They win and they fail . It’s competition, not a silly game of round robin
    with titles and the competition. I don’t understand this thread.

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    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
    $ 5.00
    Playfield - Decals
    Doc's Pinball Shop
    $ 22.00
    $ 5,799.00
    Pinball Machine
    Classic Game Rooms
    $ 9.00
    Playfield - Other
    Hdmike mods
    $ 24.95
    Playfield - Toys/Add-ons
    ULEKstore
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