(Topic ID: 92436)

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


By iceman44

5 years ago



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#9901 4 years ago
Quoted from NJGecko:

Pinsid

Let me just make a statement here...
Pinside has never officially endorsed these guys. We never said "go out and throw your money at them" or anything like that. Nor did we censor them. We aren't here to tell people where they should spend their hard earned money. Each person made a conscious decision to place orders as they see fit, and if it was based on information learned from this forum, that's perfectly fine...there are currently over 29,000 pinsiders, and they have a lot of information and opinions.
I understand people are really upset..and looking for places to point fingers. I'm floored by this whole thing too, but folks, Pinside didn't facilitate anything here.

I totally support Pinside on this. I made a decision, and will live with losing the money as necessary. Pinside opens up information streams and hence helps, not hinders, the situation. Personal responsibility must be taken. Don't blame the messenger.

10
#9902 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

I'm staying in the hobby, but I'm out on pre-orderers.

Exactly.

Whats the WORST pin-related drama we've seen when you exclude prepayment?

late code? lol- that "drama" probably feels like a paid vacation compared to the guys who lost money on:
Skit-B fiasco
WoZ -Bumper fiasco
This fiasco

Stay in the hobby. Buy real machines when they are ready to ship. Crisis resolved.

#9903 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

I totally support Pinside on this. I made a decision, and will live with losing the money as necessary. Pinside opens up information streams and hence helps, not hinders, the situation. Personal responsibility must be taken. Don't blame the messenger.

I agree. Also don't let yourself be talked into another round of *give me your money* by the new license holder. Remember, he wants your money just as bad a John did. No matter what this mystery person's past history is, one thing is for sure; he has never made a Magic Girl and doing so is damn near (if not completely) impossible.

#9904 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

Stay in the hobby. Buy real machines when they are ready to ship. Crisis resolved.

yep, it's pretty much just that easy.

#9905 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Gm
What are we gonna call the next flop? The Big Le BLOW ski
After all of the evidence as to how "hard" pinball is I don't know why you would have so much confidence in TBL. I hope it works out for you guys because I'd like one too. Afterwards.
Yeah, all this BS has me one foot out the door. My Woz is going up for sale first

Here's why I have confidence.

-I've played it.
-They've proven they can build it.
-No secrets. They've brought multiple protos to many shows around the world
-They've got Roger Sharpe onboard
-They've already shipped a product & are supporting it. I installed a new BOP 2.0 update this morning.
-They communicate. Decent amount of newsletter emails and Barry will respond to my questions almost instantly.

#9906 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

You can't get his house, his Iras or any other protected asset.

Although some states have very generous homestead exemptions (e.g., Texas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Arkansas), Illinois is not one of them... only $15,000 of home equity is protected for an individual, and $30,000 for a married couple.

#9907 4 years ago
Quoted from Razorbak86:

Although some states have very generous homestead exemptions (e.g., Texas, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Arkansas), Illinois is not one of them... only $15,000 of home equity is protected for an individual, and $30,000 for a married couple.

Hmmm, that would not be comforting for John!

Ok Greg, I get the glass is half full argument. It's not all rosy, but like I said, I hope it works out.

#9908 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Ok Greg, I get the glass is half full argument. It's not all rosy, but like I said, I hope it works out.

Sure, it could all go to shit. But my "faith" is based on concrete tangible evidence coupled with transparency. That's more than Shit-Mask & Jplop ever gave their buyers.

#9909 4 years ago

I have been contacted by another Pinsider as a follow up from my previous post about JPop selling games while insolvent.

Again, his identity is kept confidential by myself, in good faith.

This is exactly what he sent me.

<paste>

Not wanting to add flames to the fire, but I emailed John on March 12, 2015
and asked him if any slots were available on all 3 games. John mailed me a
packet with promo artwork, brochures, and purchase agreements for RAZA and
AIW. I emailed him and asked him about MG, and he apologized and said he
has one for me on hold. I received that email March 19, 2015. He followed
up on March 20, 2015 and asked if I needed more info on MG. I debated but
ultimately decided not to purchase and walked away. I had 2 other friends
who did the same thing as me at the exact time, and all of us were promised
a slot for all 3 games. I have the emails if it helps. Just thought I would
let you know.

<end>

FWIW

Thanks to the Pinsider involved for contacting me.

rd.

#9910 4 years ago

So Ice, why won't you out the anonymous licensee?

#9911 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

he apologized and said he
has one for me on hold. I received that email March 19, 2015. He followed
up on March 20, 2015 and asked if I needed more info on MG.

So that shitheel was even still selling Magic Girl! Wow!

#9912 4 years ago
Quoted from McCune:

The pinball hobby is so much more than rich guys pre-ordering a unknown product. If you get out of the hobby for being stupid, then see ya later !

exactly, if your perception of this hobby is as narrow as only paying top dollar for brand new machines when and if they are made your in the wrong hobby. ive had about six machines at this point, never paid over 2k, played them before i bought them, took them home that day. and there are still hundreds of machines to choose from that fall in that category. hell, theres 10+ machines id like to buy in my area right now. theres a difference between participating in the hobby of pinball and the hobby of buying the latest flashy top dollar toys to prove your wealth to yourself. if your getting out of "the hobby" because of skit-b and jpop, i suspect you fall into the latter category.

if youre getting out, ill gladly help facilitate the process of removing those awful games from your home and into mine

12
#9913 4 years ago

you suck john

#9914 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

So that shitheel was even still selling Magic Girl! Wow!

He probably thought he could collect the cash, then pass off the owner to the licensee, knowing what was coming down the pipe (200 MGs).

-3
#9915 4 years ago

Allow me to suggest a maybe stupid solution that you'll probably gonna laugh at: We've all seen what is likely to happen when an anrgy (pinside) mobs starts hiring lawyers and such. Nothing productive, lives get ruined, no games get build, interesting designs will never be taken into production, no positive outcome for pinball in general. I have no horse in this race, which may actually allow me to still look at the situation with some sort of helicopter view.

So John admits he can't produce the games and he's looking for a solution (at least he's looking for a solution). The solution being offered is not favored by many, which is understandable. So, to turn this into something more productive, why don't the people that pre-ordered one or more games unite as a group and come up with an alternative plan to get the games made? If it's unlikely that you'll get your money back, you may as well look into that, so you at least end up with something. I don't know the details, but could the pre-order group as a whole say they 'own' the MG design? If so, the group could then also find a manufacturer for the game. Obviously you'd run a larger run of games, but the end result would still be you get your game and maybe (call me an optimist) end up making some money too. I'm not sure such a construction is something that could be seriously considered, but if it could then there might actually come something good out of all of this.

#9916 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

So Ice, why won't you out the anonymous licensee?

Maybe the same reason I'm not. People tell you things, & you keep it to yourself. I don't know all the players or details on who was trying to save these pinball machines. More stuff keeps coming out, so I guess you have to wait & see.

-1
#9917 4 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

exactly, if your perception of this hobby is as narrow as only paying top dollar for brand new machines when and if they are made your in the wrong hobby. ive had about six machines at this point, never paid over 2k, played them before i bought them, took them home that day. and there are still hundreds of machines to choose from that fall in that category. hell, theres 10+ machines id like to buy in my area right now. theres a difference between participating in the hobby of pinball and the hobby of buying the latest flashy top dollar toys to prove your wealth to yourself. if your getting out of "the hobby" because of skit-b and jpop, i suspect you fall into the latter category.

I love how when somebody can't afford something, that means the people who can are just showing off. Congratulations, you've bought a bunch of cheap pins. Good for you. I'm not in on MG. Not because I can't afford it, but because I can't justify spending $16k on a pinball machine. That said, some people want the game and can justify that money. Good for them, who cares. I don't look at them for a second and think it means they're pulling out the ruler. I'm in on RAZA, and Hobbit, and P3, etc. Not because I'm trying to be a show off, I wanted the games. But between the way John has stolen people's money and the way Jack is treating people regarding the Hobbit, it has definitely soured me on the hobby. And yes, it has me questioning whether I'll stay in or just liquidate and move on. Why does that make me a poser?

So, where exactly do you draw the line of who's showing off their deep pockets, $2100? Give me a break.

#9918 4 years ago
Quoted from unigroove:

why don't the people that pre-ordered one or more games unite as a group and come up with an alternative plan to get the games made?

The problem is (IMO) any "plan" would require nearly starting from scratch from a funding standpoint...

I mean, what are the real "assets" that a new investor is even acquiring?

Some pretty artwork?

It doesn't seem there's much that couldn't just be replicated by a new entity- so not much value in "acquiring" anything from John. The flipside is- all the deposit money that was collected appears to have been completely pissed away....

So there's near-zero motivation for someone to come in and clean-up this mess and take ANY of the liability onto themselves... So the best bet is the folks that lost money might get their game for near-cost, or at a slight discount from someone walking in off the street.

Its hard to see ANY happy ending here..... no matter how many times iceman posts into the thread.

-3
#9919 4 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

I found the thread you are referring to:
https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/buyers-of-magic-girl-only-please
It was locked and you were accused of trolling. Wow. I think you deserve an apology and the moderators should unlock your thread. You did nothing wrong.

If you look more carefully at that thread, you will see that Chuck edited his original post. There were some really mean spirited comments about JJP that he removed. For example ...

Quoted from cppinball:

After buying the Jersey Jack POS that rarely works, bad light boards, no reset buttons, switches fail or fall off , bad power supplies, cabinet with chunks missing and so on. I really not buying anymore Home brew games.

If Chuck had left out that stuff and just stuck to the MG issue, I don't think anybody would have had a problem with it.

#9920 4 years ago
Quoted from unigroove:

Allow me to suggest a maybe stupid solution that you'll probably gonna laugh at: We've all seen what is likely to happen when an anrgy (pinside) mobs starts hiring lawyers and such. Nothing productive, lives get ruined, no games get build, interesting designs will never be taken into production, no positive outcome for pinball in general. I have no horse in this race, which may actually allow me to still look at the situation with some sort of helicopter view.
So John admits he can't produce the games and he's looking for a solution (at least he's looking for a solution). The solution being offered is not favored by many, which is understandable. So, to turn this into something more productive, why don't the people that pre-ordered one or more games unite as a group and come up with an alternative plan to get the games made? If it's unlikely that you'll get your money back, you may as well look into that, so you at least end up with something. I don't know the details, but could the pre-order group as a whole say they 'own' the MG design? If so, the group could then also find a manufacturer for the game. Obviously you'd run a larger run of games, but the end result would still be you get your game and maybe (call me an optimist) end up making some money too. I'm not sure such a construction is something that could be seriously considered, but if it could then there might actually come something good out of all of this.

Nothing good can come out of this other than partial refunds. The guy has shown that he can't run a company or even manage a project. Any solution that still involves him will likely still result in no games being made. If there was an actual 1 off fully developed pinball that was made at this point (Predator did have as least 1-3 fully finished machines) then there might be something to take to another company, but from what I have seen he doesn't even have half of 1 game done, so there is nothing here to take to someone else. Best solution here is to dissolve everything and try to get some money back by liquidating whatever J-Pop has that the courts can get from him.

19
#9921 4 years ago

What burns the most is that John won't say he is sorry. He has never apologized. He seems to have no remorse.

John needs to just hand over the IP for every game to the owners. All of it. It isn't his. He never paid for it. This should have been his last letter to his customers:

"I am sorry for the mess I made. I can't fix this or make the games, so I am giving the games, the artwork, the cabinets, the parts, the drawings and all of the hardware back to the people who paid for everything. Please accept my apology for lying and not delivering what I promised."

Instead John is trying to force you sign a letter that says you won't sue him. I would never think that John could have made this situation worse, but he did.

23
#9922 4 years ago

I sent this email to him yesterday;

John,
Now I have had all day to think about this mail. Your offer is unfair to all of the kind people that believed in you. Those of us who have waited patiently were ignored for months while you knew that this wasn’t going to work. Even now, your email starts with ‘ I am excited to present you’….. I realise that you are trying to make money and recover your image as a respectable designer but what ever happened to being a respectable person? What ever happened to integrity? Are you the kind of man that cannot admit a mistake? The false positive opening to your offer will not comfort any reasonably intelligent person.
Simply apologise openly for underestimating the project and for avoiding all these trusting peoples attempts at contacting you, that alone would make an enormous impact in the way people feel, including yourself.
I am certain that you are having one of your worst days ever, but this offer and the way it is presented is totally distasteful and appears to be manipulative and dishonest.

I certainly cannot give you any more money than I already have without any real honest information. I have given you 6,500.00 and you are asking me for an additional 10,000 dollars for a game that I do not want……..or lose everything or at a minimum half of my payment. Extortion and fear tactics…..very nice of you.

Integrity is rare, it is also one of the most beautiful virtues that a person can 'choose' to have.

Best personal regards,

18
#9923 4 years ago
Quoted from Robo1:

I sent this email to him yesterday;
John,
Now I have had all day to think about this mail. Your offer is unfair to all of the kind people that believed in you. Those of us who have waited patiently were ignored for months while you knew that this wasn’t going to work. Even now, your email starts with ‘ I am excited to present you’….. I realise that you are trying to make money and recover your image as a respectable designer but what ever happened to being a respectable person? What ever happened to integrity? Are you the kind of man that cannot admit a mistake? The false positive opening to your offer will not comfort any reasonably intelligent person.
Simply apologise openly for underestimating the project and for avoiding all these trusting peoples attempts at contacting you, that alone would make an enormous impact in the way people feel, including yourself.
I am certain that you are having one of your worst days ever, but this offer and the way it is presented is totally distasteful and appears to be manipulative and dishonest.
I certainly cannot give you any more money than I already have without any real honest information. I have given you 6,500.00 and you are asking me for an additional 10,000 dollars for a game that I do not want……..or lose everything or at a minimum half of my payment. Extortion and fear tactics…..very nice of you.
Integrity is rare, it is also one of the most beautiful virtues that a person can 'choose' to have.
Best personal regards,

I know I should stay off of here but I want to say that this is well reasoned and I completely agree!
I can offer one consolation and perhaps clarification (keep in mind I'm technically not affiliated with the new folks - but talked with them)...

1) (It is my understanding that)John will get ZERO money for this moving forward UNLESS he consults in some fashion which is his desire. Any money moving forward is with the new entity that would be able to hire AND FIRE John

2) The opening to that letter was the definition of distasteful and wrongheaded. Just delusional in fact.

3) It's my understanding that in return for the signing of that contract (that will hopefully be revised) the new people HONOR your payments to John without assuming the prepaid Zidware debt. I assume no one would enter into a business that's over 1 mil in the hole - and they also wouldn't NEED to honor the Zidware stuff if they were evil business men. They would wait for the fire sale and buy for pennys on the dollar.

4) This perspective is important, because what i heard talking with them is integrity - the thing John's actions lacked.

5) They are NOT thrilled with John and this situation (I was witness to the contentious interactions - many of you would have enjoyed it I'm positive) - but they are ecstatic with the work and want to see it completed.

Lastly - again, I'm biased - I want to see my work completed on these machines because I put up with a LOT to get my end done. In essence years of investment that was not financially smart - but the passion was there.

Again - I'm not trying to stir the pot here - just add clarity that is lacking and will hopefully come to light. This is NOT a Zidware/JPOP bailout...

I DO have integrity & I don't want to piss that away by sticking up for this or being perceived as an apologist - I'm just adding in what little perspective and insight I have while disclosing my bias

#9924 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

If you look more carefully at that thread, you will see that Chuck edited his original post. There were some really mean spirited comments about JJP that he removed. For example ...

If Chuck had left out that stuff and just stuck to the MG issue, I don't think anybody would have had a problem with it.

I don't think that JJP jab was distracting, I viewed it as confounding evidence that he's done funding the "false promises" in pinball and being burned.

WOZ is a show stopper, no doubt about that, but their little mission statement on the apron is almost ironic. CPPinball's light boards have been broken for months, I think it's over half a year now since he has contacted JJP to get new ones. I have installed 2 of the USB cables that JJP has sent him to "fix the light boards". They just jerk him around. He's had loads of issues with the thing, many more than the regular "clinkity clankity pieces of junk" that fill his arcade from 20+ years ago.

Again, not sidetracking, just further explaining his justification for that statement and how it related to the incident at hand. He's fed up with bankrolling pinball upstarts based on false promises, then when they deliver (or don't deliver) they don't keep their word.

#9925 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

I love how when somebody can't afford something, that means the people who can are just showing off. Congratulations, you've bought a bunch of cheap pins. Good for you. I'm not in on MG. Not because I can't afford it, but because I can't justify spending $16k on a pinball machine. That said, some people want the game and can justify that money. Good for them, who cares. I don't look at them for a second and think it means they're pulling out the ruler. I'm in on RAZA, and Hobbit, and P3, etc. Not because I'm trying to be a show off, I wanted the games. But between the way John has stolen people's money and the way Jack is treating people regarding the Hobbit, it has definitely soured me on the hobby. And yes, it has me questioning whether I'll stay in or just liquidate and move on. Why does that make me a poser?
So, where exactly do you draw the line of who's showing off their deep pockets, $2100? Give me a break.

the point i was trying to make is that there are about eight million ways to wisely spend your money in this hobby. if you spent any amount of money foolishly, take it out on yourself, not on the hobby.its not pinballs fault you dont know how to make a wise investment.

#9926 4 years ago
Quoted from woodworker:

What burns the most is that John won't say he is sorry. He has never apologized. He seems to have no remorse.
John needs to just hand over the IP for every game to the owners. All of it. It isn't his. He never paid for it. This should have been his last letter to his customers:
"I am sorry for the mess I made. I can't fix this or make the games, so I am giving the games, the artwork, the cabinets, the parts, the drawings and all of the hardware back to the people who paid for everything. Please accept my apology for lying and not delivering what I promised."
Instead John is trying to force you sign a letter that says you won't sue him. I would never think that John could have made this situation worse, but he did.

Rhetorical answer....
How do you tell a narcissist he is wrong?

#9927 4 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

the point i was trying to make is that there are about eight million ways to wisely spend your money in this hobby. if you spent any amount of money foolishly, take it out on yourself, not on the hobby.its not pinballs fault you dont know how to make a wise investment.

Agree with this; I understand frustration, but seeing multiple posters stating they will walk away from the hobby because of this situation is sad, I don't understand the logic. Just pure emotion I guess.

Heck, even Rarehero stating he will sell out if TBL goes south? This from the guy who always is (was?) saying how he does not care if games go down, because he bought many of them for so damn cheap back in the day?

The warning signs on this have been as large as the Hollywood hills sign for a long time, especially post expo. Sending money for at the moment vaporware games carries big risk. This should not be a newsflash. Take all the risks you take on by buying a sight unseen game from across the country from someone you barely trust (shipping risk, unseen damage risk, is the person even going to ship you the game?), then multiply those risks by a hundred it seems.

#9928 4 years ago
Quoted from stainedundies:

the point i was trying to make is that there are about eight million ways to wisely spend your money in this hobby. if you spent any amount of money foolishly, take it out on yourself, not on the hobby.its not pinballs fault you dont know how to make a wise investment.

I don't view pinball as an investment, however, if I were to sell my collection and balance sheet my net, I would be about 200% of original dollars spent (jpop fiasco included). That said, I don't need your clarification on what is or is not a wise pinball investment.

And if certain events drain the fun out of the hobby for me or someone else and we decide to get out, how is that "taking it out on the hobby" exactly? I risked money that I could afford to lose on a jpop game that I wanted. I'm way more pissed about his lying and overall handling of the situation than the actual money lost.

Nobody is disparaging you for buying low budget games. Why do you need to come in here and throw stones at people that took a chance trying to buy games just because you can't afford them? That's really constructive.

#9929 4 years ago

New thought that I have not seen brought up:

What are the odds the "licensee" is just a LLC shell type company John has created to transfer his liability from himself to the new entity?

Sounds like madness, but from John's perspective it sounds like a perfect solution. He gets to protect himself, and he gets to keep noodling for another 4 or so years. It also explains the lack of logic in the plan.

Truly a desperation play, but in desperate times what else you gonna do?

Sorry if this was already brought out, it has been hard to keep up.

#9930 4 years ago
Quoted from greatwichjohn:

Maybe the same reason I'm not. People tell you things, & you keep it to yourself.

And this is how a shitshow like this gets to this point, instead of stopping at a more reasonable state - no one talks.

#9931 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I know I should stay off of here but I want to say that this is well reasoned and I completely agree!
I can offer one consolation and perhaps clarification (keep in mind I'm technically not affiliated with the new folks - but talked with them)...
1) John will get ZERO money for this moving forward UNLESS he consults in some fashion which is his desire. Any money moving forward is with the new entity that would be able to hire AND FIRE John
2) The opening to that letter was the definition of distasteful and wrongheaded. Just delusional in fact.
3) It's my understanding that in return for the signing of that contract (that will hopefully be revised) the new people HONOR your payments to John without assuming the prepaid Zidware debt. I assume no one would enter into a business that's over 1 mil in the hole - and they also wouldn't NEED to honor the Zidware stuff if they were evil business men. They would wait for the fire sale and buy for pennys on the dollar.
4) This perspective is important, because what i heard talking with them is integrity - the thing John's actions lacked.
5) They are NOT thrilled with John and this situation (I was witness to the contentious interactions - many of you would have enjoyed it I'm positive) - but they are ecstatic with the work and want to see it completed.
Lastly - again, I'm biased - I want to see my work completed on these machines because I put up with a LOT to get my end done. In essence years of investment that was not financially smart - but the passion was there.
Again - I'm not trying to stir the pot here - just add clarity that is lacking and will hopefully come to light. This is NOT a Zidware/JPOP bailout...
I DO have integrity & I don't want to piss that away by sticking up for this or being perceived as an apologist - I'm just adding in what little perspective and insight I have while disclosing my bias

Why in the world would they want to deal with John at all. The guy is toxic and this new group it's doomed with any involvement from John. Have someone else finish the thing. Dennis Nordman or some other great designer that is not John would be a better bet.

People hate John and want nothing to do with him. I'm not on board if John is involved or collecting a paycheck. John deserves nothing. This new group should take his designs, hire a respected designer and finish this project. I sure as hell am not signing anything that limits my ability to go after John.

John ruined any possibility of a resolution with his stupid antics. Now, he needs to face the firing squad that is coming.

#9932 4 years ago

1)This is NOT a Zidware/JPOP bailout...

You're right, it is not. I wish it was. If the new license owner (who is in no way assuming any Zidware liabilies) was fully vested then he would also be refunding anyone who wanted out. The new license owner does not want to send YOU any money, he wants you to send HIM money. Let's stay very clear here one what the *new deal* really is.

#9933 4 years ago
Quoted from ralphwiggum:

Rhetorical answer....
How do you tell a narcissist he is wrong?

Does he not own a mirror? He has no business being a narcissist.

#9934 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

You're right, it is not. I wish it was. If the new license owner (who is in no way assuming any Zidware liabilies) was fully vested then he would also be refunding anyone who wanted out. The new license owner does not want to send YOU any money, he wants you to send HIM money. Let's stay very clear here one what the *new deal* really is.

I agree - but why WOULD anyone assume John's mistakes and debt? (NO ONE was willing too - from what i've heard)

I don't think any PROVEN business person would enter that situation - it's a loss regardless initially. The goal is to get rad machines to the owners - what they paid for... again - my bias is clear here - so I'm playing devil's advocate. Don't misinterpret my intent here.

I don't see a way John gets out without filing bankruptcy - which mean everyone gets nothing in the end (or close to it). But as with everything leading up to this - John keeps me out of the loop - so i don't know what he's going to do or not.

That said - the upselling/RAZA and AIW situation is perplexing to me admittedly... I suggest emailing that email address and make a plausible argument that helps the situation - they will listen (and hopefully remove John from having the same ability?) They are good intentioned.

#9935 4 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

Does he not own a mirror? He has no business being a narcissist.

Through the looking glass, people...

Jpop epitomises AIW, and not in a good way.

#9936 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

You're right, it is not. I wish it was. If the new license owner (who is in no way assuming any Zidware liabilies) was fully vested then he would also be refunding anyone who wanted out. The new license owner does not want to send YOU any money, he wants you to send HIM money. Let's stay very clear here one what the *new deal* really is.

True, they are not signing up to send anyone any money. John basically straight stole everyone's money and no one would sign up to send the prepayers any money...there is no reason for them to do that. Zidware has failed, John is a failure, lier and a thief to boot.

What they are doing is signing up to get the games built though. Do they need more money to do this? Yep, there is no flipping prototype and no money available to build one or build any games for anyone. They need more money.

Will they get more money? Remains to be seen. RAZA and AIW owners are rightfully unhappy with the situation more than MG owners (though there is a lot of overlap) as MG owners at least get a dollar for dollar conversion.

#9937 4 years ago

I am not in on Zidware pre-orders. I do know several that are, and I feel for them, and all of you in or out of this deal, b/c sad for anyone in pinball.

My add to the conversation is something new (I hope). Converting every one's deposit to a shareholder position, along with the new licensee, and as a group of owners, hire a factory, and start over with vendors, build games.

After reading the letter, and being involved in a few equity positions of small firms, there may be a way out using another approach.

1. Licensee is buying rights to build that title. Not liable for any $ sent or spent by John pre-June 1.
2. There are no assets for a 2nd or 3rd party to buy - prior pinball shutdowns sold remaining parts (hard assets) to one party, and licensing to another (for example PPS, now owns the Williams licensing and IP to be able to produce games, and get royalties on repro parts.)
3. Given #1, there is no money going to JPop, one benefit is that he bails from build commitment,
4. Given there are no assets, except maybe a few parts, Licensee is not buying Zidware, but taking over the license, newly converted deposits > shareholders would join her/him/them. If you don't convert your deposit to equity - the only other option for Zidware is bankruptcy ch 7. Vendors and deposits spend money to chase $0. ZW/JPop remains a debtor to vendors and folks that don't convert to an equity position.
5. Regardless of Zidware and JPop's financial outcome - a Licensee could still do the games on their own nickel.
6. June 1 appears to be a small fraction of signers, based on posts in this thread, and comment from buyers telling me themselves - the letter, in current form, is dead on arrival.
7. Unless Ice and others are correct about the "angel" having a big revival of trust that MG, etc. will get built - I doubt the Licensee will make any second offer that will be accepted.
8. I presume no amount of changing that letter/offer will change minds to sign it.

So what's the last ditch idea?:
A counter offer that Zidware deposit $ become shareholder $, so become equity owners of the License, along with the angel Licensee, with share of ownership equal to the amount deposited. Of course, to be confident as a part owner - you'd want to know who the big "Licensee" co-owner is (perhaps they have money down, and would be a shareholder anyway?).

A conversion does at least 3 things:
A. every body with $ in, gets a share of future games made - if the Licensee is right that 199 MG's can happen, you have the potential for upside. It might still fail, and you get $0, but at least high risk has a potential for high returns, without upside, your high risk has a return of just great harm. Re: rareness being part of the value of the $16k, at least you'd get some $ from new orders for yours being "less limited".
B. The lawsuit threat goes away for the new owners - drop the "no suing for 4 years" clause for the new entity, yet existing claims on Zidware / Jpop remain. In other words, conversions of deposit into equity shares, should prevent ability to sue yourself (as a new owner) or fellow co-owners.
C. Only those with enough energy remain "in" the project, and are cheering on the effort to get games done - some hope of getting your game, + some upside $ for the risk/pain taken.

What it doesn't do:
A. Can't guarantee anything. But your risk now has some $ return, vs. todays almost certain 100% loss.
B. Still leaves a problem of who is the management person/team. That may be the toughest part, but also some of these posts show some smart, savvy business guys that would be good candidates - should be a fellow shareholder who has skin in the game.
C. It isn't free. This new owner group would need to put in capital - a capital share equal to your new ownership - $ to get parts, hire a builder, and someone to manage all that business side.

An owners of GitRDone Pinall, it might look like this for example:
Lets assume 30 MG deposits at $8k , that's 240,000
Lets assume 100 RAZA deposits at $5k thats 500,000
Lets assume 50 AIW depositings at $5 250,000

Let's toss in a 10k rounding to get a $1,000,000 of deposits.
Every 10K in deposits is worth 1% ownership, and participate in future revenue from larger MG and RAZA production runs.

Lets guess MG BoM/labor at $9k per Bheck's estimate and a $1k profit per game. Sell another 100 magic girls and shareholders split 100K, i.e. a 10K original deposit = 1% = $1k per new MG sold.

To me, that's a bet i can think about, that has both up/down sides, and gets me something for my deposit rather than almost certain $0 in bankruptcy, and maybe below $0 if I have to pay someone to collect my claim. Remember, a claim from a judge, doesn't mean you won't have to pursue collection on that judgement.

#9938 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

You're right, it is not. I wish it was. If the new license owner (who is in no way assuming any Zidware liabilies) was fully vested then he would also be refunding anyone who wanted out. The new license owner does not want to send YOU any money, he wants you to send HIM money. Let's stay very clear here one what the *new deal* really is.

Why on earth would the new license owner offer to refund people out of his own pocket?

The "new deal" and clarification is coming. If you don't like it, ignore it.

Some people will, some people won't.

It's just a F ing option. What about that concept can there be that people don't get?

Without the "option", you are left holding the bag guaranteed. Listen to what Yeti says.

#9939 4 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

New thought that I have not seen brought up:
What are the odds the "licensee" is just a LLC shell type company John has created to transfer his liability from himself to the new entity?
Sounds like madness, but from John's perspective it sounds like a perfect solution. He gets to protect himself, and he gets to keep noodling for another 4 or so years. It also explains the lack of logic in the plan.
Truly a desperation play, but in desperate times what else you gonna do?
Sorry if this was already brought out, it has been hard to keep up.

John's not that smart/business savvy.

#9940 4 years ago

@ those who feel soured towards pinball over this
you have every right to be upset, but this is a great community, full of people who want to celebrate pinball.
when all this is behind you, pinball will still be a great hobby

18
#9941 4 years ago

Sigh.

I am still reeling from the reaming I took several years ago when I was one of the lone voices that expressed concern over the nature of JPop's "business dealings", the need to sign a NDA and non-disparage agreement, the lack of detail of what actual resources he had available to produce a game and not merely design graphics for it? We had some heated Pinside-Style™ fights over the difference between an open, well-documented production team like JJP and the mysterious cloud of who was working with JPop. The fans would hear nothing from anyone skeptical. We were called "haters" and chased off the forums.

I would submit this is not a "Ponzi" scheme like others have been suggesting. A Ponzi scheme implies that some people in the short term get paid off. There never has been any pay off by anybody. The JPop deal was always straight-up gambling.

I'm sorry some people lost money, but I'm not surprised. Very little has actually changed from then to now as far as any of us can tell. There's never been any actual evidence the products could be brought to market. There's never been any details of actual people with business experience and pinball production experience being completely committed and on board to make the project work. Just promises... like the promise that the lottery ticket you just bought might pay off big time by that happy guy on tv.

You people that bought into it... you took a gamble. Had it paid off, you'd be sitting pretty and waxing poetically about how brilliant your move was. It didn't turn out that way. Don't hate too much on JPop. It wasn't hard to see that the deal was very unstable from the very beginning. Some people just let their hopefulness blind them to the reality of the situation. I hope some take some responsibility for that... it was a risky deal from day one. And lot of you viciously attacked people like me who had the audacity to question whether it was a prudent decision, so I'm having a hard time being super-sympathetic when my butt still hurts from being poked by pitchforks many of you were wielding.

In any case, I hope everybody gets their money back, and JPop makes things right. This isn't the first time we've had a "hobbyist" or someone without a team decide they were going to be a "manufacturer." How many times does this have to happen before people start to recognize it takes more than enthusiasm and pre-orders to mass produce pinball machines?

In the wake of the "proposed solutions" for customers, my opinion on this can be summed up in something other than words....

cb.jpg

#9942 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

Nobody is disparaging you for buying low budget games.

Quoted from Cheeks:

Congratulations, you've bought a bunch of cheap pins. Good for you.

hmmmmmm

Quoted from Cheeks:

Why do you need to come in here and throw stones at people that took a chance trying to buy games just because you can't afford them?

it has nothing to do with wether or not i can afford them (which i can), it has to do with people acting like pinball as a whole let them down, when in reality they were let down by their own inability to make good use of their finances and a few bad apples who took advantage of them.

youre so defensive about finances, sorry if i hit a nerve during a tough time, but seriously dude, im not the one your mad at, pinball is not the one your mad at. youre mad at jpop for taking advantage of you which is understandable. take a chill pill and go play some pinball.

#9943 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

I have been contacted by another Pinsider as a follow up from my previous post about JPop selling games while insolvent.
Again, his identity is kept confidential by myself, in good faith.
This is exactly what he sent me.
<paste>
Not wanting to add flames to the fire, but I emailed John on March 12, 2015
and asked him if any slots were available on all 3 games. John mailed me a
packet with promo artwork, brochures, and purchase agreements for RAZA and
AIW. I emailed him and asked him about MG, and he apologized and said he
has one for me on hold. I received that email March 19, 2015. He followed
up on March 20, 2015 and asked if I needed more info on MG. I debated but
ultimately decided not to purchase and walked away. I had 2 other friends
who did the same thing as me at the exact time, and all of us were promised
a slot for all 3 games. I have the emails if it helps. Just thought I would
let you know.
<end>
FWIW
Thanks to the Pinsider involved for contacting me.
rd.

hey John:

tumblr_llc83vs52z1qdxwduo1_500.jpgtommy lee.jpg

#9944 4 years ago
Quoted from BC_Gambit:

Heck, even Rarehero stating he will sell out if TBL goes south? This from the guy who always is (was?) saying how he does not care if games go down, because he bought many of them for so damn cheap back in the day?

Hold on now - I didn't say I'd sell out. I said I wouldn't buy any more NEW games. Honestly, I'm sorta there anyway - as I won't buy new Sterns at launch anymore & have no interest in the Hobbit. I'll still be happy with my cheapo games of yesteryear. However, if TBL got boned somehow...I'm just done with new games forever. All companies making new pinball will lose me as a customer....sorry.

#9945 4 years ago

Raise your hand if you are a MG owner and don't like this

Raise your hand if you are a vendor and don't like this

I'm in on RAZA and AIW

They are counting us to convert to MG to fund the build of 199

I'd say the risk lies there doesn't it?

10
#9946 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Raise your hand if you are a MG owner and don't like this
Raise your hand if you are a vendor and don't like this
I'm in on RAZA and AIW
They are counting us to convert to MG to fund the build of 199
I'd say the risk lies there doesn't it?

This was a poorly constructed deal. Paid up MG owners (fewer than 19) have little to lose if they don't want to sue, sign the paper and get to the front of the line.

The remaining 124 RAZA buyers and whatever Alice buyers though, the majority, are asked to put themselves at more risk by paying more money. This was a huge miscalculation.

#9947 4 years ago

I'm kinda following Jeremy's sentiments here. Ultimately this is a case of trying to make the best out of a bad situation. (And I admit I have even less skin in this game than Jeremy.) At least somebody is trying to do something. Although I hope there will be more info and an extension of the deadline--my personal assessment is there's too much being asked for on faith right now.

#9948 4 years ago
Quoted from pinballrockstar:

They are all going , my enthousiasm sure got sour, i am defeated and done.

hope you reconsider. John is a super douche, but you should not let it ruin your love for Pinball. Maybe sell the Jpoop stuff and get AcDc or IM.

-1
#9949 4 years ago

Dose all this mean TOM and other jPop games will lose value????

#9950 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I know I should stay off of here but I want to say that this is well reasoned and I completely agree!
I can offer one consolation and perhaps clarification (keep in mind I'm technically not affiliated with the new folks - but talked with them)...
1) (It is my understanding that)John will get ZERO money for this moving forward UNLESS he consults in some fashion which is his desire. Any money moving forward is with the new entity that would be able to hire AND FIRE John
2) The opening to that letter was the definition of distasteful and wrongheaded. Just delusional in fact.
3) It's my understanding that in return for the signing of that contract (that will hopefully be revised) the new people HONOR your payments to John without assuming the prepaid Zidware debt. I assume no one would enter into a business that's over 1 mil in the hole - and they also wouldn't NEED to honor the Zidware stuff if they were evil business men. They would wait for the fire sale and buy for pennys on the dollar.
4) This perspective is important, because what i heard talking with them is integrity - the thing John's actions lacked.
5) They are NOT thrilled with John and this situation (I was witness to the contentious interactions - many of you would have enjoyed it I'm positive) - but they are ecstatic with the work and want to see it completed.
Lastly - again, I'm biased - I want to see my work completed on these machines because I put up with a LOT to get my end done. In essence years of investment that was not financially smart - but the passion was there.
Again - I'm not trying to stir the pot here - just add clarity that is lacking and will hopefully come to light. This is NOT a Zidware/JPOP bailout...
I DO have integrity & I don't want to piss that away by sticking up for this or being perceived as an apologist - I'm just adding in what little perspective and insight I have while disclosing my bias

I know this sounds terrible, but if nothing comes of these games, would you ever consider selling the art to another developer (Ie. Stern or Spooky)?

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