(Topic ID: 92436)

John Popadiuk update thread……MAGIC GIRL, RAZA, AIW…..


By iceman44

5 years ago



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#6001 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

There doesn't appear to be any money to recover. Any money he has "on paper" is what is owed to him by us.
So I don't personally see how legal proceedings will help anything other than permanently kill it and create some theater for the spectators of this thread. But it won't recover any money.
The key is we do not send him any more good money after bad. He's going to have to figure out a way to finance the completion of the games that doesn't include more money from us, he's lost that privilege.

Frolic, I know you have money in one of John's "projects" and you are one of the more vocal people on this thread so I thought I would ask you this question directly.

You patience is admirable in all this but I ask you, when do you say enough is enough and get angry and try and put this guy in jail for all of this? I understand that going after him will guarantee a 100% chance of never getting a game but it would seem at this point there is nearly a 100% chance that none of the games will ever get built.

For the past 6 months there has been ever increasing lies and missed deadlines. It seemed to me that when Ice was on his rampage a few months back on this thread he had John's attention for a short while and got some small results. It now seems like just another line spoon feed by John to all the owners just to calm the masses for a short period of time. We're right back to the norm, John ignores nearly everyone and there is virtually zero progress on games 1 and 2.

I know if a family member of mine was having money of his or hers stolen like this, I would be right there standing at their side trying to put this thief in jail. John may not have intended to start out as a thief (who does in life?) but it sure appears that is what he has become and he has stolen from the Pinball/Pinside family and it's time for him to pay. I feel angry towards the guy just writing this so I can only imagine the rage in some of you. This is absolutely brutal to see people get abused like this.

So what would be a reasonable timeline before a group of owners get together and "get their pound of flesh" via the courts and maybe jail time for John and his vaporware scheme?

QSS

#6002 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

Hilarious tidbit - the whole thing has its Genesis in the Contact Master that Yancy bought from ... (wait for it) ... JPOP.

...and I wore a Zidware shirt last night while assembling Scoregasm playfields.

#6003 4 years ago

QSS,
He said he has had enough but the issue is what resolution will benefit him. That's the issue.

#6004 4 years ago
Quoted from yancy:

...and I wore a Zidware shirt last night while assembling Scoregasm playfields.

Circle of life man. Circle of life.

12
#6005 4 years ago
Quoted from QuickSilverShelby:

You patience is admirable in all this but I ask you, when do you say enough is enough and get angry and try and put this guy in jail for all of this?

Speaking for myself.... "I still want to believe". I want to believe there is hope that this can be completed. So I'm holding onto that.

As much as I might be seen as a ballbuster by John, I'm still a sincere customer. I always just wanted what it was I got into this in the first place for.

I've had some bigger, more philosophical thoughts about this as well that makes me feel sorry for John. I think we all believe him when he says he is there working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Working hard, not smart.

I started my current business around the same time John started zidware. I compare what I've made in this period, financially, with John basically toiling away for nothing. He's doing what he loves, but I also love what I do. I also love what the money I've made allows me to do (buying pinballs is one of them). He's missing that. And I don't care what people say about his wife being totally cool carrying the family, this can't be a good family situation.

So, despite me being out some cash potentially, John has lost a lot more. Prime earning/working years of his life, and his reputation in pinball history.

So basically I'll keep doing what I can, holding his feet to the fire however I can, but holding onto hope there might be an end, and not exactly wanting to flush the toilet on the whole thing.

#6006 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

QSS,
He said he has had enough but the issue is what resolution will benfit him. That's the issue.

I do understand that but what I am wondering is when does this all turn into a huge push for criminal charges? I realize that will leave the owners with virtually nothing to show for all this but it seems from my point of view that the blatant lies and abuse of the people who made deposits is going to continue long into the future. It's been going on for years now with no signs of real change.

QSS

#6007 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Speaking for myself.... "I still want to believe". I want to believe there is hope that this can be completed. So I'm holding onto that.

So basically I'll keep doing what I can, holding his feet to the fire however I can, but holding onto hope there might be an end, and not exactly wanting to flush the toilet on the whole thing.

I hear that bro and I admire you for that. You're a good man Frolic and you and none of the other owners deserve this. The Pinside family stands right beside you in all of this.

QSS

#6008 4 years ago

Only when every possible opportunity for these works of art to come to fruition has evaporated. The goal is to get games not revenge.

#6009 4 years ago

Can we please stop with the talk about jail or criminal charges. This is a civil matter. It would be a fools errand for any DA to purse criminal charges.

#6010 4 years ago

Jpop's reputation in the toilet is just about all I see coming out of it. If he would just finish one game he would have another volley of take my money buyers.. His games are just so damn pretty.

#6011 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Speaking for myself.... "I still want to believe". I want to believe there is hope that this can be completed. So I'm holding onto that.
As much as I might be seen as a ballbuster by John, I'm still a sincere customer. I always just wanted what it was I got into this in the first place for.
I've had some bigger, more philosophical thoughts about this as well that makes me feel sorry for John. I think we all believe him when he says he is there working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day. Working hard, not smart.
I started my current business around the same time John started zidware. I compare what I've made in this period, financially, with John basically toiling away for nothing. He's doing what he loves, but I also love what I do. I also love what the money I've made allows me to do (buying pinballs is one of them). He's missing that. And I don't care what people say about his wife being totally cool carrying the family, this can't be a good family situation.
So, despite me being out some cash potentially, John has lost a lot more. Prime earning/working years of his life, and his reputation in pinball history.
So basically I'll keep doing what I can, holding his feet to the fire however I can, but holding onto hope there might be an end, and not exactly wanting to flush the toilet on the whole thing.

No offense, but your description of Jpop sounds very similar to the way Kevin of Skit-B was described by many just prior to when the SHTF, i.e. nobly toiling away for love of the game.

To answer Mr68's question regarding practical suggestions, my suggestion is this:

Don't guess at what's going on behind the scenes. No one knows, and Jpop isn't telling you. Deal with what you do know and make your decisions based on that.

My own opinion is you shouldn't be guessing at all. These crowd-funded projects run on the faith of the buyers so rule 1 of any project of this nature is transparency. The process, status, challenges, achievements, etc. should all be communicated openly and honestly. That one aspect of this project combined with it being years late are enough that if I had money in it I would have already taken steps to recover my money.

What's really scary to me about the jpop situation is I learned many buyers paid some or the majority via personal check. In the case of Skit-B, a few have been successful with charge-backs (particularly AMEX customers) but I think with jpop there may be no other choice but litigation. Additionally, I've not heard anything about the money going into anything like an interest-bearing escrow account. If jpop goes down, it will definitely be pinball's Lehman Brothers.

#6012 4 years ago
Quoted from j69:

Pretty sure the guy is legit. He was on the JJP group with the same username. He's from the UK if anyone can check his ip

I don't know if he is legit or not, but he does indeed have a UK IP address.

#6013 4 years ago

If you guys want games, you all need to band together and take control of the project away from JPop forcefully.

That's the only way I see this being successful. You need to have a "board of directors" that manages all aspects of the project, and you need to treat JPop like an employee.

I had thought Ice was well on the way to that, but it sounds like he is being cock-blocked by JPop once again.

#6014 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

What possible reason can anyone offer not to begin legal proceedings to recover money from John Popiaduk? I ordered BHZA and the deadline has way passed and he no longer appears to be even attempting to finish his first game. This appears to be a giant scam.
With this and Predator - there are people on this board who have helped to fleece members here for over $2 million.
When will it stop?
When will Pinside STOP being the preferred media used by scammers to bilk the pinball community?
This needs to stop...no more Scamside.

There is certainly way too much of the financial risk being put on the buyer and not enough on the sellers.

#6015 4 years ago

Jpop and Skit-b not really direct comparisons. While jpop has certainly missed deadlines I don't think you can call this fraud like with Skit-B. Kevin blatantly lied about having a license when he didn't and without a license he could not legally produce and sell the game, and yet he was taking money, knowing that was the case.

I do not know the terms of Jpops agreement with buyers, so I don't know what rights they have relative to him missing deadlines in getting refunds. His lack of transparency and communication, as much as anything, is what is creating so much of the angst, so has clearly been stated he is his own worst enemy, but other things happening in the ecosystem is now bring greater focus and pressure. While typically one would think that would help move things along and drive him to be more transparent, that just does not seem to be the case, or at lest, anytime it looks like that is going to happen, it quickly fades (e.g. iceman, fast/mpf, etc.).

#6016 4 years ago
Quoted from DCFAN:

There is certainly way too much of the financial risk being put on the buyer and not enough on the sellers.

hopefully, this "reverse risk" has ended with the meltdown of recent projects...

"buyers" are not investors... they shouldn't be taking ANY risk at all...

#6017 4 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

No offense, but your description of Jpop sounds very similar to the way Kevin of Skit-B was described by many just prior to when the SHTF, i.e. nobly toiling away for love of the game.

Yes, and if Predator actually had a license, Kevin would be building pins on his mom's kitchen table as we speak.

There is no threat of some outside force, whether that is a movie studio or some Anonymous Group that can kill this. A pretty key difference.

My money is long gone, so all I can do is try and see this through, but I won't be spending one more additional dollar to see it happen. So no money paid to a lawyer to send a letter, no legal action, and no more deposit money sent.

The "hail mary" is John's personal value of his pinball reputation and him gutting through this to the end. Because if he fails and we all lose our money he'll be persona non grata in pinball and I don't think he'd ever live that down.

-1
#6018 4 years ago

IMO Ben is the logical savior if anyone can make these games playable, my money is on Ben.

#6019 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Yes, and if Predator actually had a license, Kevin would be building pins on his mom's kitchen table as we speak.
There is no threat of some outside force, whether that is a movie studio or some Anonymous Group that can kill this. A pretty key difference.
My money is long gone, so all I can do is try and see this through, but I won't be spending one more additional dollar to see it happen. So no money paid to a lawyer to send a letter, no legal action, and no more deposit money sent.
The "hail mary" is John's personal value of his pinball reputation and him gutting through this to the end. Because if he fails and we all lose our money he'll be persona non grata in pinball and I don't think he'd ever live that down.

No, there was never strong evidence that Kevin had the means to actually build the games. That's why I got out. He wanted $2750 but no pics of a workshop/warehouse. No staff. No pics of equipment. A prototype that went down constantly at shows. At that time, the game was already a year behind schedule and communication with the community had dried up to a trickle. Later on it was learned that the margins on the game were extremely small, so paying someone else to build the game was not financially viable.

My point is that the license fiasco was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

But here's the takeaway: there are far more similarities with Skit-b and Jpop than differences. I would suggest that anyone holding on to the license difference for hope consider that.

#6020 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

His contract states:
The company will use it's reasonable and best efforts to complete this project in a reasonable amount of time. Any delays or extensions to the planned schedule will be communicated in a timely manner.
Last page has a timeline with delivery date estimated at 4th quarter of 2013.

I posted this a while ago regarding the 'contract' John gave us and was agreed to.

Has John lived up to his end of the deal?

#6021 4 years ago

I am really wanting these games to get made. It will be interesting to see what kind of machine you get for $17K(?). I would be curious to find out how the game plays and what innovations and/or special features it may have that make it worth that kind of money. I hope that it does not end up just being more of a collectors item due to the rarity and/or artwork if it gets made.

15
#6022 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

IMO Big Ben is the logical savior if anyone can make these games playable, my money is on Ben.

If you mean Ben Heck I wouldn't hold your breath, I doubt he wants anything to do with this shit show.

FAST and Mission could probably have done something real, but John wouldn't relinquish a playfield for them to work.

So IMHO he's not really serious about being "saved".

#6023 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

If u paid in full it would be $17k+4,750+10k... So if u paid $20k in guessing u still owed money

Yes, I haven't paid in full for RAZA, though have for MG, so it's about $20k to date, and of course I won't be paying anymore.

#6024 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

He may have lost money on Predator but not a penny with Jpop.
His post here is a secondary attempt to manipulate himself into the private owners group. His first attempt failed in an embarrassing way.
You would not believe how many Pinsiders have tried to get in. This guy and Kaneda were more entertaining than most..

I didn't want to scan my MG contract in order to validate entry to the FB page, but wasn't terribly diplomatic in my PM about that- apologies. But I am a genuine pre-orderer for MG and BHZA/RAZA. Fair enough if you don't want to 'grant entry' though.

Last few days I've been reading this thread about MG etc and getting quite frustrated. I shouldn't have described Jpop in such negative terms though, and apologies to him for that too. Time will tell where the truth lies.

Anyway, I contacted Jpop via email and had some encouraging dialogue. Somewhat more useful than the maelstrom that pinside can be Overall though I'm still asking for a refund rather than waiting further, although in the absence of a refund it's probably the same thing. I truly hope MG gets made, but I'm considering the money lost now. Even if paid by c/c (which it wasn't), the timeframe would probably be beyond what card companies would accept for compensation. I follow the adage that you shouldn't spend/invest what you can't afford to lose, but $25k (if it does prove to be lost) is a lot Yes I want to support pinball, but I also feel something of a mug.

Out of my 7 current pre-orders, 3 are probably toast (MG, RAZA, Predator). The 4 remaining looking ok (Hobbit, Nemo, MM-R, P3). I won't be pre-ordering again though. That era is surely over, certainly for me.

#6025 4 years ago

Since John hasn't returned my last three emails over the past two weeks, can you give us some detail about the encouraging dialogue?

#6026 4 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

Since John hasn't returned my last three emails over the past two weeks, can you give us some detail about the encouraging dialogue?

Maybe he is allowing everyone wanting a refund to receive it as a credit towards the 6th Zidware pin?

17
#6027 4 years ago

As much as we beat him up, I'll beat myself up just as much if not more. I can't believe I was that blind and STUPID.

Buyer beware, I felt Kevin was a no hoper and for some reason put my faith in John, what I felt was at least the better jockey by all counts.

I really didn't think he was the business dumb ass that he actually is. He impressed me with a presentation he did at the Pacific NW expo several years ago.

I can accept a whole lot of dumb ass, but not communicating with the people that funded this shit fest as owners and then crapping on all the vendors is just too much to take.

I don't how many "wtf's" I say to myself on a daily basis but this cluster F takes the grand prize on most days.

#6028 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I can't believe I was that blind and STUPID.

Don't worry Ice, we believed in you!

#6029 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Don't worry Ice, we believed in you!

Thanks Aurich! Needed a good laugh.

What can I say, I'm an idiot.

#6030 4 years ago

Hey he talked a good talk. It's easy now to see he was full of shit. But at the time it was a good pitch. No one should beat themselves up too much.

#6031 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Hey he talked a good talk. It's easy now to see he was full of shit. But at the time it was a good pitch. No one should beat themselves up too much.

I know, I really don't care, life lesson, seriously. I've made a whole lot bigger mistakes in my life than this very tiny bump in the road. I just love pinball and want to support it.

Thankfully I've been a whole lot more successful to overcome the speed bumps of life! Frolic is right, John doesn't seem to understand this.

Actually, I'm happy to put my $$$ into future pinball projects with people that have their shit together, and I'm not talking about just buying a pinball machine

#6032 4 years ago

Would u believe that people still think he's only a year out.... Seriously, the way he functions a year would be a miracle... He will continue to burn bridges and make minor progress

#6033 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

There won't be any scorched earth because there will be no lawsuits of any kind. It's just not reality, what lawyer would waste his time on such nonsense and who would pay him? Nobody gets a pinball machine and only the lawyers get paid.
That said, I just got off the phone with John, spent the last hour and a half with him.
There is a ton of misinformation out there.
He's not moving at the pace everybody would like, which he fully acknowledges, but there is a ton of stuff to show and reveal that will be done by opening up the Blogs on each project to everybody so they can see for themselves, and him adding additional stuff to it.
News flash, John has an accounting firm that handles all the tax issues and reporting. He does have the cash to build our pins with the remaining deposit money due. I told him to use me as a resource from that standpoint and he plans to take advantage of it.
We talked about firing himself from the $15 an hour work that an assistant does and focusing on what matters. That is easier said than done for a non business guy. He's had an assistant that he had to get rid of because she got nothing done timely!
I'm an excellent judge of character and John is the farthest thing from a scammer, con artist, etc. That's MY judgement after speaking with him for that length of time.
John is a good guy that gets his feelings hurt and that's just the way it is, I told him what I think and how he should react to the negativity and criticism, including from myself. Don't retreat, embrace it head on, full disclosure and "don't let the bastards wear you down".
There are people working and helping to get things done. John's no dumbass as a designer and there is a shitload of stuff to conquer, i.e. JJP Like Jack, he's not the master of communication or thinking things through.
John and I agreed to talk at least WEEKLY, with updates and whatever help I can provide him from a legal, tax and financial standpoint. I'll pass on whatever info he gives me.
Anybody can feel free to call him, don't be intimidated, he's a great guy.
It's time to put the pitchforks down, you will get an incredible pinball machine at the end of the day.
For the record, he hasn't paid himself in months and offered to allow me to verify that claim.

I can't believe he's blown you off after only a month or so.

#6034 4 years ago

So basically this is destined to be Predator 3.0 - just skip 2.0 all together. This guy is taking it to other levels....

I am sorry for all who have $$$ invested in this. Reading this thread since January, it seems like hope it quickly fading. Hope it works out, I really do, but it just doesn't look good .

-1
#6035 4 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

I can't believe he's blown you off after only a month or so.

I can

Edit Sorry Ice, I was poorly informed

#6036 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Would u believe that people still think he's only a year out.... Seriously, the way he functions a year would be a miracle... He will continue to burn bridges and make minor progress

These pre-orders have led me to believe people are capable of some amazingly naive/stupid shit. If I lost $5K on a pre-order, damned if I'd send any payment on another pre-order through Paypal which bends over backwards to tell you not to use them for pre-orders. Yet Pinsiders continue doing just that. Really boggles my mind.

#6037 4 years ago

If Ice is lost, then this is over. John by his own admission doesn't have what it takes to get this done, and every olive branch has been used up at this point.

His enablers did him no favors. All the shiny lights and artwork don't make a lick of difference if the business fundamentals aren't there.

#6038 4 years ago

JPop needs to realize that the Ice conversations were the best thing to happen to him. One representative to deal with to quell the storm, to prevent people from looking into filing suits, police reports, etc.

#6039 4 years ago

Python's Pinball Circus guys,this its a true pinball project!

#6040 4 years ago

Illinois Attorney General Consumer Complaint On-Line Submission Form
https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

"If you’ve been victimized by fraud, deception, or unfair methods of competition, the Consumer Protection Division of the Illinois Attorney General’s office may be able to help. Although our attorneys cannot represent an individual in a lawsuit, our limited mediation program can assist in resolving disputes or complaints filed by individual consumers. Promptness in making a complaint decreases the likelihood that a fly-by-night operator will move, leave town, or go out of business before consumers can gain assistance."

#6041 4 years ago

It is a gone dead train.
I only got thumbs down stating Skit-b was a gone dead train.
I guess I am going to get them again.

Yep it is apples and oranges in many ways.
But it is the same in many ways.
No one will get any money back from Skit.

No one will get any money back from Jpop.
1. This project is dead in the water.
2. The pre-purchase money is gone and not available for refund.

After a 2.5 year fling with JJP I knew right then and there I will never pre-order again.

Good luck everyone with money in this.
I hope I am wrong.

#6042 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

If Ice is lost, then this is over. John by his own admission doesn't have what it takes to get this done, and every olive branch has been used up at this point.
His enablers did him no favors. All the shiny lights and artwork don't make a lick of difference if the business fundamentals aren't there.

I can't make him talk to me.

I can't force him to let me help him with Jack and/or Gomez.

It's never over, I'll always be willing to help, but what can I do when it seems impossible.

Show me the books and let me help you run with this thing, it's what I do.

#6043 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

If Ice is lost, then this is over. John by his own admission doesn't have what it takes to get this done, and every olive branch has been used up at this point.

His enablers did him no favors. All the shiny lights and artwork don't make a lick of difference if the business fundamentals aren't there.

Quoted from jayhawkai:

JPop needs to realize that the Ice conversations were the best thing to happen to him. One representative to deal with to quell the storm, to prevent people from looking into filing suits, police reports, etc.

These guys bring up solid points! This keeps getting darker every week! Man, I really hope John is reading these threads... maybe not and working 24/7, as he states.

I've been really quite, but my blood pressure is about to JPop!

#6044 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

Would u believe that people still think he's only a year out.... Seriously, the way he functions a year would be a miracle... He will continue to burn bridges and make minor progress

Uhhhh, no.....you are correct

He's going to try and run the clock out like Kevin and it will probably end the same way, except he has a whole lot more to lose...........a reputation and whatever else

At this point, I don't really even care anymore, I'm looking to support other pinball stuff.

I hope we can move past the shit stain and stick a fork in it, I'm really f ing pissed off right now!

Btw, I'm done with the private owners blog, what's the point?

#6045 4 years ago

I can have respect for a guy that will bust his ass trying to make things work for everybody's benefit. Have some shame and character. Right? I don't think we have that here do we?

Recap:

John has taken in how much $$?

How many vendors has he Jpop'ed?

How has his communication been to the very people that staked this fiasco?

Enough is enough, hopefully Jack or Gomez will put him out of his misery and take this thing over, or not, who really gives a shit at this point, I don't.

I'm afraid John is done.

Does 2 + 2 = 4? Yes or no?

15
#6046 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I hope we can move past the shit stain and stick a fork in it, I'm really f ing pissed off right now!

I'm ready to stick a fork in it too. This has taken years off my life and I'm sick of it.

John has repeatedly ignored my refund requests so I've just logged a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General. It takes less than five minutes. The last option on the form is to send a copy of the complaint to the business, yes please.
https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

#6047 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

I'm ready to stick a fork in it too. This has taken years off my life and I'm sick of it.
John has repeatedly ignored my refund requests so I've just logged a complaint with the Illinois Attorney General. It takes less than five minutes. The last option on the form is to send a copy of the complaint to the business, yes please.
https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/

Life is too short for sure Chris, the AG will probably do less than this prick.

When people like Ben and Charlie are getting it done every day and this guy just simply has no shame regarding what he is doing to all of us is just sickening.

He will have to live with what he has done the rest of his life. He can't get it done, a complete loser and deadbeat.

I can have sympathy for somebody that will communicate and pay his vendors.

This is just too much to take and not acceptable. F it, time to move on for me.

The beers are on me fellas! I'd love for us to all get together soon, have a bunch of laughs/tears and put this disaster behind us.

Thanks John

#6048 4 years ago

Yeah I still have a ton of respect for the guys who fail but go down fighting, but John just buried his head in the sand. Unacceptable as a business owner, unacceptable as a man. I've lost all respect for someone I'm sorry to say I was once starstruck by when I first met.

14
#6049 4 years ago

I'm gonna say this as a warning to anybody even considering making any payments on any Jpop pin, especially AIW, which he has been working with invoices lately.

Don't do it, not a dime. Hopefully that's obvious, but if its not, reach out to somebody before you do.

Wake me up if we ever come close to a pin.

#6050 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I posted this a while ago regarding the 'contract' John gave us and was agreed to.
Has John lived up to his end of the deal?

He did with you Rai, come on, you keep posting in here and you forced him to give you a "refund" along with your buddy.

You cried/whined/complained whatever until it got done. Congrats. You told me.

Did you threaten to sue John? Ok, whatever, contact Rai for the refund process whomever thinks they can get one.

Why on earth would you keep interjecting yourself into this shit storm, keep stirring it up, after YOU have gotten your refund?

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