Here are my conclusions...
Pinball is an industry based in creativity and mechanical design. At some point, conflict arises regarding those elements, and unforseen, unplanned and most of all, undesired delays occur.
I imagine a month ago, or months ago, both JJP and Stern planned on two major unveils for this show. Being new to the hobby, at this level anyway, I've taken in that TPF and Chicago Expo are...the...two biggest shows for unveilings. That said, it's highly unlikely that Stern planned an entire hour for Steve to banter about aimlessly, and not really give firm answers on what Stern's next game will be. It's pretty clearcut that Black Knight 3000 was to be unveiled here, given the complete aimlessness of what he brought to the literal table. We also have to understand, that without pretense laden PR people, these industry people aren't entertainers, actors, or storytellers. (And I appreciate this level of authenticity!) They're as awkward as you or I might be in a situation like this, so things come off as not polished, not crisp, and "whoopsie daisy" at times and most of all fumbling.
To that point, Jack seemed fairly anxious. He was also fumbling with a water bottle a good bit, and had ample hat supply, along with random call-outs to folks he saw in the audience. Why? Because he didn't want to say something akin to.....
(This is what I assume he might have said, given total transparency.). "Guys, we'd planned to show our next game Willy Wonka: The Choco-dilliest Adventure here at TPF, but we encountered some design issues/code hiccups/parts delays, and we didn't want to repeat what happened with Pirates because we certainly know sales took a dive, and many of you were pissed off at us. Instead, we want Wonka to be announced, and then a month later, be shipping to you. So.....instead of that, I've got a full hour of presentation time, that I'd planned for Wonka, but now I'm going to have to give you this wet thud of an announcement that otherwise was going to take the first five minutes here, or be released as a trailer online, and tell you exactly how disappointed I am, as well as you, that I can't show you Wonka just yet, at the second biggest convention of the year..... That said, here's........... ... .. ." - Not Jack.
Clearly that hour, as was Steve's, was meant to be something more than it was. But Jack can't come out, present what he's able, and undercut a product he wants to sell with complete transparency. That's not how any industry works. So instead, we get a genuinely, ass in the fire nervous Jack, who I really feel sorry for more than upset at, that had to sell a niche collector's product, that was meant to be nothing more than a fill-in for a production stopgap, between their next big release for an entire hour of time.
That said, along with Stern having empty hands, and Deep Root being invisible both in Texas, and oddly on these boards via complaints or their own PR, the one company that has the ability to course correct is American Pinball, and depending on what Spooky shows with ACNC also. Oktoberfest had a really strong showing with Marty from Head 2 Head last night via stream, and Josh from API, and they might just walk away with an upward swing of sales and press, due to more polish in their game, and all of these wet fart bombs landing all around them.
Oh well, off to watch more streams, and chug a lug some beers while doing so. Just figured I'd share some conclusions.