Sometimes progress is more important than substance. The artwork, imo, was the last thing they focused on prior to Expo. And from playing it there, to playing it at TPF, it was pretty obvious, the table was so close to being presentable, that they did present it at Expo, with Twisted Sister our favorite bar maid contortionist, along with Oafish Otto, who has a grin so large you can see his rear molars, not to mention Mr. P.C. Monkey the Magician and his disapearing hand. They needed to get it out to show they can compete, they can develope, that they are significant players in the arena. Did they stumble? most would say they didn’t leave the blocks clean, and have been limping ever since. I think they wanted to capitalize on JJPOTC’s mech misteps and get 2 alternate titles, and thus alternate buyer choices to the market to capitalize.
Then CGC got their MBrLE in line for Expo, JJP got Eric to stand and play games with us players and explain his POTC creation, and everyone went and bought a MBrLE, or a AFMr or a MMr, or a JJPOTC, or DP, or BM66Prm, or IMDN, or any number of other Stern titles to choose from, and Mr. Poor Castrated Monkey was left holding his own hand and crying while Pinside rips the Artwork, the LCD, and the animations, does a double take at JJP WOZYBR’s price, thinks about waiting for WW, TS, GNR, thinks hard about a Munsters Premium, and plops it’s money down on BKSoR LE and waits.
I think in any other timeframe than this one, Oktoberfest would have been a great machine, could have been (or could still be, with some changes) a big seller, and would have cemented AP as a player in the game. Right now, they have something, but people are confused as to what that “something” is. They are acting like Gottlieb if you ask me sincerely, kind of a runner up, or always the third wheel when talking the big three.