(Topic ID: 92436)

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


By iceman44

5 years ago



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#10151 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballSTAR:

I'm an owner of RAZA and AIW... Yes, the situation sucks. Yes, I'm disappointed in John.
The bottom line is this boys and girls - John never really had the wherewithal to BUILD these games... To conceptualize and design, yes - to build, unfortunately we now know that was a no. He did have potential to make ingenious new mechanisms for a pinball game and a vision to create a unique cool original theme with unparalleled artwork. He really never had the capability (alone) to take conception to completion. That's the fact we now know.
All that matters going forward is this : right now we owners have several choices :
Do nothing and get nothing.
Stomp your feet, throw a fit, cry, type curse words on Pinside, sue somebody, etc... and get nothing.
Take the branch that's been offered by Pintasia to at least have a shot at getting the games made.
I have spoken to a good number of fellow collectors / owners yesterday and today who had spoken to Bill before I had and similar to many comments from others here who also did to a man every single one was impressed and felt that he has the drive, backing, and plans already in place to get this thing going. All were behind it. Then today I spent about 2 hours on the phone with Bill and I got the same impression myself. The guy doesn't need to do this to make money, he has that. He's trying to get these unique games made for all of us, himself included. You have to look at where we were standing for the last few years - blindly, yes - but reality is we had no chance at the end of any preceding day to get these games made. Tonight we do and that's better. I thank Bill for stepping up and putting something together for everyone. He's been working on this for a month and is making progress to fix what he can that went bad and then steer this thing in the right direction.
As far as John's involvement - as much as we all are disappointed with John, I for one want John's style and substance to be included in the completion of these games... Fair or not, that's how we owners get what we came for and paid for. Right or wrong, most of us signed on because it WAS Jpop doing it.
I'm a Predator owner as well and this certainly feels better than that. Somebody's trying to do something here - I'm at least appreciative of that. I think John's games are worthy of the faith to try to get them done because you know you'll have something special if they get done.
Pintasia has my support.
Joe

What do you think about the agreement we've been asked to sign by 1st June? Will you be signing it?

#10152 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I'm going to bed however to answer simply, if john is fielding law suits all day every day then we cannot get out of him what we need in these machines simple as that. We haven't even begun to figure out who gets a machine first but I will be last. If there are fully paying customers it would make sense to get there's out first so there is more profit to get to those with loss but we will cross that bridge after we know we have a manufacturing partner.

It sounds like the machine is very close from yours and Pintasia's earlier posts. And John is not involved in any business decisions as was stated in the e-mail which should free up his plate quite a bit.

If fielding lawsuits requires every waking minute of his day, perhaps he's not the right choice as a consultant. Or perhaps the timeline should be based on when he has the free time to consult.

It just seems like playing both sides of the fence. On one hand you're this 3rd party licensee with no interest in Zidware and who John has no control over because it shields you from his liabilities. On the other hand, there was an agreement sent out requiring people to give up their right to sue this company that you state has no interest in your own. I feel those two things contradict one another a bit.

My feelings are that this proposal would receive a much warmer reception if that language was removed from the agreement. Since it was stated that Zidware has no interest in Pintasia, it should be of no consequence.

#10153 4 years ago
Quoted from Hitch9:

The fact that he was trying to sell others MG or RAZA machines two months before the latest announcement, shows that he has zero integrity.

I have been told that he was still trying to take in AiW pre-orders (money) just 14 days ago.

#10154 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

What do you think about the agreement we've been asked to sign by 1st June? Will you be signing it?

They listened. There is a new agreement and it is extended to June 30, 2015.

#10155 4 years ago

No skin at all in this mess. If I did I would probably sign up to pintasia provided the clause regarding not being able to sue was removed.

The team looks impressive on paper but what pinball manufacturing experience do they have? Or manufacturing plain and simple. I know they want to contract it out but decent knowledge is required still to produce a doable machine.

Personal experience- my father had a successful timber window business, used to turn over 5 to 6 mill per annum. Sold it to a group of people who looked great on paper, five years later they are in liquidation, they manage to sell it to a 'better'group of people, this mob lasted 18 months, they managed to sell it again to yet a better group on paper, so far some of the decisions they have made has my father shaking his head....
The common theme no purchaser had any window manufacturing experience and trust me making windows is a hell of a lot easier than making/designing a pinball machine.
Be wary....

PS John popaduik is a 100 percent certified knob.

24
#10156 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Guys I'm not gonna cry if the support is not there and hey all you can do is try. I am spending the time and effort to see if I can get this thing across the finish line that's it. All Pintasia profit from machines will go to the customers until everyone is fully made whole. I will update when more information becomes available and as soon as a JV can be reached, (if it can) with a proven manufacturer. No we are not asking for money up front from existing customers, and thanks to all that has helped us get to this point. We hope that we can help end this pre order model for good, it is one area we focusing on which is sucking the life out of this industry. If we have missed anyone on the email list that's involved please don't hesitate to pm me.

What about all the vendors and contractors that are owed large sums of money from working with zidware????? We part funded the projects on our knowledge and dime to

30
#10157 4 years ago

It seems unbelievable that the 'project' could continue, with no/few vendors being paid, and no pre-orderers refunded even a penny. For the vendors in particular, it is a disgusting, potentially bankrupting situation for them. They don't have an 'angel' to come in and rescue them! And they deserve such an eventuality far more than Jpop.

There are open clauses in the new agreement regarding future costs. It's wide open legally- no protection for the consumer, and of course a 'get out of jail free' clause for Jpop. No sensible person would sign up to this new agreement, and certainly not after 4 years and the lost money and all the shenanigans.

I emailed Jpop with a final request for refund before legal action. On the high likelihood he doesn't reply, I will be going to court over this, hopefully as part of a class action. I know that other people have contacted/will contact the attorney too.

So here's the reality of the situation- Jpop/Zidware is going to get sued. How does that affect this proposed new arrangement? Obviously, it kills it. So why are we pretending otherwise? Zidware is toast. It's over. MG/RAZA/AIW customers need to accept this reality NOW, and not perpetuate this nightmare any further. Maybe later, after the bankruptcy etc, other people can take these machines forward without resorting to a ponzi-type scheme. And I really have had enough of Jpop and his blasted legal agreements!! Enough already.

I accept that I'll probably not get my money back, but there is a point of principle here. And if Jpop has committed fraud, it's out of our hands anyway, because that will be investigated regardless of civil suits.

So people, please, wake up and smell the coffee! Zidware and this 'project' are dead.

#10158 4 years ago

I am in..let us just wait who is going to manufacture,for now he does not need money,so this is the best that happened the last 48 hours.

18
#10159 4 years ago

This is goofballs.

First a ridiculous letter by Jpop, with ridiculous terms, then an immediate extension of the deadline a few days later.

This is already a sign of a lack of competence.

#10160 4 years ago

I guess you can't imply that someone who owes tons of moneies safety may be an issue. This site is silly.

33
#10161 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Guys I'm not gonna cry if the support is not there and hey all you can do is try. I am spending the time and effort to see if I can get this thing across the finish line that's it. All Pintasia profit from machines will go to the customers until everyone is fully made whole. I will update when more information becomes available and as soon as a JV can be reached, (if it can) with a proven manufacturer. No we are not asking for money up front from existing customers, and thanks to all that has helped us get to this point. We hope that we can help end this pre order model for good, it is one area we focusing on which is sucking the life out of this industry. If we have missed anyone on the email list that's involved please don't hesitate to pm me.

Bill, regardless of the potential merits of your out-of-court restructuring proposal, the license agreement that you just executed with an insolvent corporation is problematic:

a) Execution date? Unknown
b) Public notice to creditors? No
c) Public auction with price competition? No
d) Arms-length transaction? Unknown
e) Valuable consideration? Unknown

If you had approached this restructuring as a stalking horse bid in a §363 asset sale, these issues would have been transparent and the transaction would have been cleaner.

Because of the inability to assess whether the license transfer was in the best interest of creditors, you may have unintentionally motivated some creditors to file an involuntary bankruptcy petition just to unwind the transaction.

As you probably know, the requirements for an involuntary petition can be easily met here:

1) Filing fee: $335
2) Petitioning creditors: 3
3) Aggregate amount of claims: $15,325
4) Is the debtor generally not paying its debts as they become due? Yes (*)

(*) John Popadiuk, May 22nd letter: "As a result of the foregoing, Zidware is facing difficulty in generating sufficient cash flow to meet its obligations as they become due. Zidware concluded that it had to have help to take the designs that had been created and get them into production or the Company would be forced to pursue a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation."

So if you wish to keep Zidware and its assets out of bankruptcy, to minimize delays/costs and maximize operational flexibility, you should disclose the transaction date, consideration paid, and key terms and conditions of your license agreement with Zidware.

As you undoubtedly know, transparency is very important in distressed transactions, and this one is no exception, especially given the toxic atmosphere amongst the Zidware creditor base here on Pinside.

Alternatively, you could recast the proposal as a stalking horse bid for the assets. Frankly, that's the best way to guarantee clean transfer of title free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.

14
#10162 4 years ago

If I was a company bailing out Jpop, I would want to audit the accounts and find out what happened to $1-2 million, not least to ensure I wasn't abetting criminal activity. It would be the bare minimum of due diligence. So, chaps, what did the audit find?

If there are no accounts to audit, then that is de facto fraud right there. Open and shut case. Corporations are required to keep a certain level of accounting records, which has apparently not been done.

Yet we, the creditors, are not being given any information in this regard. If I were to sign anything, which I'm not, I would insist on this information first.

And what about tax records? If there are 'no records' then that likely triggers an IRS audit at some point.

This whole project is a full-depth nightmare, and we the customers have barely scratched the surface because we don't know the details. But presumably any new company seeking to bail out Jpop and Zidware would do these checks and would have these details. So, have you and do you, chaps? And when will you be sharing this information with Zidware's creditors?

#10163 4 years ago

All that's missing now are the pictures of handshakes and kissing of babies with the "for the good of pinball" campaign seemingly in full swing.....good luck whichever way you vote.

19
#10164 4 years ago

Ok, here are my comments in light of the new information:

1) There should be no effort from a 3rd party licensee to bail out or "save" Zidware or John. The deal should be structured to survive a bankruptcy of Zidware Inc. After all, it will be an asset.

2) John may not want to be "distracted" by lawsuits, but that is his bed to lie in. The best way to avoid lawsuits would be for John to refund people who ask. Whatever money he is getting from this license can be used to deal with that. If it is advantageous to Pintasia for Zidware to avoid bankruptcy (as has been stated) then the "cost" of that may be to make sure the refunds are handled.

3) It is likely John will go bankrupt no matter what. So I go back to point #1.

4) The customer agreements with Pintasia should be thrown out and rewritten to something more like a "Please affirm your interest". Drop the "no sue" clause, drop any potential requests for more money until the day you are shipping machines. The toxic environment that John has created is responsible for this lack of trust, so if you want to pick up the pieces then that is the situation. That means you'll have to bankroll till the end and if you can't then let this deal die.

14
#10165 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I'm going to bed however to answer simply, if john is fielding law suits all day every day then we cannot get out of him what we need in these machines simple as that.

I'm curious why Popaduik even needs to be involved at this point. He is toxic and everything he touches turns to shit. Look at how his involvement in your announcement totally exploded. And if the games are as done as he claims, his job is basically complete. We already know about his checkered history at WMS of being pulled off his games - yes, more than once he was pulled from control of his games - so we know his "best" work is when someone else handles the software.

Why would you want anything to do with him?

The only reason I can see is it allows you to get the sweetest terms to access what little IP he has.

#10166 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

It seems unbelievable that the 'project' could continue, with no/few vendors being paid, and no pre-orderers refunded even a penny. There are open clauses in the new agreement regarding future costs. It's wide open legally- no protection for the consumer, and of course a 'get out of jail free' clause for Jpop. No sensible person wold sign up to this new agreement, and certainly not after 4 years and the lost money and all the shenanigans.
I emailed Jpop with a final request for refund before legal action. On the high likelihood he doesn't reply, I will be going to court over this, hopefully as part of a class action. I know that other people have contacted/will contact the attorney too.
So here's the reality of the situation- Jpop/Zidware is going to get sued. How does that affect this proposed new arrangement? Obviously, it kills it. So why are we pretending otherwise? Zidware is toast. It's over. MG/RAZA/AIW customers need to accept this reality NOW, and not perpetuate this nightmare any further.
I accept that I'll probably not get my money back, but there is a point of principle here. And if Jpop has committed fraud, it's out of our hands anyway, because that will be investigated regardless of civil suits.
So people, please, wake up and smell the coffee!

My take as a fellow RAZA vaporware owner, or possibly loser. This is the one chance to "possibly" make everyone whole again, including all three game owners, and "possibly" unpaid vendors. We won't know how strong the "possibly" is until we hear more details, see the completed prototype in action to figure out if it really is the bomb, and learn who will manufacture the game, etc. However, it sure sounds like Pintasia is charging out of the gate in the right direction. Yes, if JPoP goes bankrupt at this point, it might kill the whole thing by having the designs auctioned off to someone who will have no obligation to honor everyone else's previous investments, hence the clause we all hate. I believe the Licensee folks (fellow Pinsiders as we've just found out), who are also suffering vaporware game owners/vendors, would probably have no desire to save JPoP, but that might be necessary in order to salvage this. The question of the moment for those of us with money at stake is, does our desire for revenge on JPoP rank higher than "possibly" salvaging our investments? JPoP's reputation is already ruined, so there's that at least for the outraged mob carrying torches and pitchforks. Yes, bankruptcy would hurt his ego, but does anyone really believe that he would go to jail, or that he hasn't protected his personal property? So, he wouldn't be hurt much more than the hundreds of us who would lose our money for sure. And yes, the losses would severely hurt some of the pre-order folks and vendors (fellow Pinsiders, by the way), who have many more times than $6,500 or so invested. Yes, the current situation stinks, but we'll have to hold our noses with any deal at this point. So, we who have money riding on this deal have to analyze the situation, do some due diligence on the Licensee, learn more details, and decide whether to go forward or burn the place down. Meanwhile, the Pinside coliseum is full of screaming people motioning thumbs down.

26
#10167 4 years ago

It is a losing argument to ask that some of the owners who want to sue for their money back not do so for the sake of the owner's that want to stay in.

The blame for Zidware's bankruptcy if it happens is on John, not people who have been ripped off by him.

Some people want their money back. End of.

If that is the situation, and if John doesn't have any, then he will go bankrupt.

As I stated earlier, if there is value to Pintasia to avoid Zidware's bankruptcy, then they will have to come up with a solution to solve that.

If there is NO value to Pintasia to solve that situation, then for God's sake let's start the bankruptcy and then pick up the pieces.

It should NOT be handled by pitting some owners against others, and blaming some for the bankruptcy.

10
#10168 4 years ago

Here's another idea:

My contract with Zidware states if a new buyer for my spot cannot be found I'll be paid 75 cents on the dollar.

This clause should be used to handle refunds, because it is fair, and is what I agreed with (and I assume everyone did), and Zidware is not replacing owners so it is legit.

So people interested in continuing with Pintasia can get 100% credit for staying in, and those that must get off the ride can get 75% back from Zid.

That is a fair motivation for people to stay in and avoid the lawsuits.

#10169 4 years ago

Now the response to this might be "Zidware has no money for refunds".

Well, that is a guaranteed path to bankruptcy. So what I am saying is the license between Pintasia and Zidware must include some cash for refunds to save the company.

It's either worth doing that or it isn't.

#10170 4 years ago

The problem is, you have no legal right to go after pinstasia regardless of what promise is made.

By law you must go after the company you paid, with the bumper mess bumper 3 sent out letters that they took over all liabilities and your money was transferred and safe.

When bumper 3 were taken to court the judge said you didn't pay this company

They should file bankruptcy and the ip goes to the highest bidder, then people get back so many cents in the dollar, they can even offer special pricing to zidware customers whoever the new owners will be.

The bankruptcy lawyer will undo this licensee agreement

#10171 4 years ago

I can't believe that there are people seriously considering throwing more crap at the wall and hoping some of it sticks. (Donating more money and hoping things work out)

Sucker born every minute.

Time to cut your losses.

#10172 4 years ago

Pintasia should literally call EVERY owner up (that's only ~100 people), and make a list of everyone's intentions. Know what they are up against, how many potential lawsuits/refunds there are, and see if they can make a go of it.

#10173 4 years ago

And boy... that Magic Girl demo that is scheduled to come up. It better knock everyone's socks off. You're now not just showing it to 19 people, you've got to convince hundreds more that it is a $16k machine.

-1
#10174 4 years ago

Also

No bill of material, no idea what it will cost to build a game or who will build it.

#10175 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

pinballnut3 hits the nail on the head. Each show you go to eats up multiple games worth of profit, not to mention time.

Even for distributors who now have used show only pins rather than the desired new in box.

#10176 4 years ago
Quoted from GetTheJackpot:

Time to cut your losses.

Quite.

I don't think it's sunk in yet for people that it's definitively over now. People are going to have to pay for MG etc again, and wait 4 years, again, and receive nothing, again.

Whilst I understand that we desperate suckers will grasp at any straw going, the fact is that this is over. For instance, when Zidware is declared bankrupt, its IP will be sold, and that means the new company cannot use it. That is, they cannot legally make MG etc.

Any new agreements that people think they've made will be unpicked and voided.

It is now time to leave the casino, and stop listening to the conmen.

#10177 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

It's either worth doing that or it isn't.

Based upon what I read in some recent posts, they're checking on the cost of manufacturing the games and are calling people to see who's willing to stay in. After that it's pure economics and like you said, either worth doing or it isn't. One thing's for sure, they've got big brass ones to take this on given the huge pre-order deposit deficit and strong emotions on all sides.

#10178 4 years ago

easy for you guys to say everybody should sue JPOP,i live in the netherlands,europe.
everything is out of reach for me.
I can only hope the pins get build and be superdisgusted having to look at it when it is delivered.
I can do nothing but feel stupid and read pinside to get info?
John,i am sure you read this, you are insane,i am selling everything with your f ing name on it.

#10179 4 years ago
Quoted from aberdeentp:

jacked on this pinball, jacked on predator, a few weeks back I was told I am next up for amh but there was a delay in some part, and tomorrow I'll probably be told a tornado destroyed everything.

That "next up" line seems to be used often. It was used on me(then of course the "delay" line followed) and I've seen at least 5 or 6 more people say it with excitement.

To be honest, I don't know how some of you guys justify the delays to yourselves? Our AMH was *only* 2-1/2 months late(5-1/2 month total wait time) and at the end it was completely pissing me off. I didn't give a rat's ass what was being said, I just knew that my hard earned money was in someone elses possession and I had nothing back for it.

This one experience has totally turned me off from ever buying a game that isn't shipping when I pay... ever.

Good luck to everyone involved in this mess.

#10180 4 years ago

I'm still waiting for my Full Throttle, and generally Heighway is considered a "pinside darling", just like Spooky. Not slagging, just stating the reality here.

It's foolish to look at all these companies, the difficulties they have getting machines out, and think "THIS TIME it will be different" with this whole new company and a project that has been in development hell up to this point.

I think really in this case "money talks". So Bill, be prepared to cut some big checks, and not ask for a dime more till machines are shipping. If that can't be accomplished, then you are asking too much of the community.

#10181 4 years ago
Quoted from labnip:

Jpop does not need contractual protection to eliminate his legal obligations, risks & responsibilities with all paying customers... so that a new business entity & team may proceed.
Those are 2 completely separate relationships and obligations.
Insist that the arrangement between Jpop and a new business entity/team be completely independent from ANYTHING related to CUSTOMERS.
Then a 3rd contractual & financial arrangement needs to be made between Jpop, the new business entity/team & VENDORS.
Jpop (in the past, currently, and going forward) is to maintain ALL LEGAL & FINANCIAL risk/burden for the success or failure of each of these products even if a new business entity/team is added into the mix to assist in his business. The new business entity/team can choose to accept contractual/legal & financial risk by working with Jpop, or not.
NO NEW CONTRACTS should be required for CUSTOMERS. NONE !

New contact should be just what you want to do with your credit and a request to not bringing any lawsuits against John for the next 120 days. Why not make John truly work his 7 x 14 to finish this or face the firing squad. John should be consulting for free in a specified time frame in hopes of avoiding a lawsuit.

#10182 4 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

John should be consulting for free

I agree. His motivation should be saving his reputation and seeing his work (these games) see the light of day.

He's already been paid twice over (the original time line for the games, and the additional 2 years drawing salary). So now he wants 3 times over?

#10183 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Here's another idea:
My contract with Zidware states if a new buyer for my spot cannot be found I'll be paid 75 cents on the dollar.
This clause should be used to handle refunds, because it is fair, and is what I agreed with (and I assume everyone did), and Zidware is not replacing owners so it is legit.
So people interested in continuing with Pintasia can get 100% credit for staying in, and those that must get off the ride can get 75% back from Zid.
That is a fair motivation for people to stay in and avoid the lawsuits.

I love this idea. It is a fantastic option as no one is going to sue John over 25%

#10184 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

Quite.
I don't think it's sunk in yet for people that it's definitively over now. People are going to have to pay for MG etc again, and wait 4 years, again, and receive nothing, again.
Whilst I understand that we desperate suckers will grasp at any straw going, the fact is that this is over. For instance, when Zidware is declared bankrupt, its IP will be sold, and that means the new company cannot use it. That is, they cannot legally make MG etc.
Any new agreements that people think they've made will be unpicked and voided.
It is now time to leave the casino, and stop listening to the conmen.

I see is quadruple the amount of people/companies involved. It sounds like they're basically starting with no money (possibly a lie) and whatever parts JPop fleeced vendors out of. Split up the amount of games to be made and that fact that all of these new investors will also want to be paid. With all due respect to Pinsiders involved, it doesn't add up.

This is a shell game, buying time just like every other pinball shell game. They don't need your money now, but after they string you along for a year the story will change. Just like now you'll keep buying in because "you've come this far". I feel terrible for the people that have tens of thousands of dollars in this, and I think this is where someone NOT invested sees things more clearly.

Talk is SO easy. Everyone does that well, and its even easier to swallow when you want to believe. You have one aborted launch now backed up by a bunch of people with no pinball experience, no factory, and working for free. It doesn't add up. Pull the ripcord on ever getting a machine, its not going to happen. Sue Zidware to oblivion and hope that you get something back out of it.

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#10185 4 years ago

Gary Stern is having a beer behind his computer,laughing himself silly...so my stern machines weren't good enough for you guys?at least i deliver bitches! LOL!
Guess who's all crawling back to me now!! mwoehahaha!!

#10186 4 years ago

This letter is certainly well formed and has no trace of Jpop stink on it. That's encouraging.

We are not asking for money now, and we hope to delay additional payments until production is confirmed. This will largely depend on the manufacturing agreement we enter into. We will release the information upon successful execution.

This is also encouraging no money up front.

The Collector's Edition was set at 199, not to encourage an upsell but to allow the opportunity for all Zidware customers to get in on the limited run which will feature special elements. We stress, it is not necessary to have 199 MG-Collector’s Edition ordered to commence production, nor are we forcing anyone to convert from their current title.
The reason we created the Magic Girl Classic is to get possible new sales quicker on a machine that is nearly complete, these potential profits in turn will allow us now to confirm 1 credit for RAZA and AIW purchasers.

I was thinking more about this. "Collectors Edition" and the $16,000 price tag, while the classic edition will be far cheaper.

As far as I can tell, the only reason $16K was ever brought up by John and why anyone signed up for it, was not because it was such a great design, it was because it was double super limited. 13 pins, would surely cost more to build (per pin) than 199 pins or 199 plus unlimited classic pins. Duh. So people paid extra to be one of 13 (not one of 199+).

So the classics will be cheaper obviously. This reflects the fact that the pin does not cost $16K to make. $16K was a number for a run of 16 pins. The reason they're charging extra (I suspect) is so they can absorb the 'discount' to the people that got ripped off by John. In other words, lets say the rest of the money owed on average is like $7500. They may just break even on the first 199 or even lose money if it really costs like $9K per pin to build. If the classic editions sell for $12K, they can realize a small profit on those.

#10187 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I'm still waiting for my Full Throttle, and generally Heighway is considered a "pinside darling", just like Spooky. Not slagging, just stating the reality here.
It's foolish to look at all these companies, the difficulties they have getting machines out, and think "THIS TIME it will be different" with this whole new company and a project that has been in development hell up to this point.
I think really in this case "money talks". So Bill, be prepared to cut some big checks, and not ask for a dime more till machines are shipping. If that can't be accomplished, then you are asking too much of the community.

Did you talk to Heighway? End of June. They had some quality issues with Vendors and are now making the rails in house. I'm curious if Andrew is a SPC type of guy looking to establish a quality product. I got an email from Andrew and believe I'll have my game by end of June or July at the latest

11
#10188 4 years ago

This is one big mess. I applaud Bill for trying to get the train back on the tracks. Unfortunately, putting a big locomotive back on the track requires some big cranes, and know-how. So far, people haven't seen the crane, and don't believe Bill has the know-how. All they see is the mess, and the locomotive on its side beside the tracks. They also see the train engineer who made this mess and injured the passengers that were on board, and see the Engineer trying to get away without any recourse.

Maybe people need to see the crane (JJP or Stern) and ensure that people who are injured get bandaged up. Now, the Engineer, that's a tough one. People aren't going to want to see him walk into the sunset, without a scratch, without some accountability.

I hope something gets worked out for all on board.

#10189 4 years ago

I can't see how John can escape bankruptcy, unless as I suspect he has money left over but not enough to pay everyone.

Clearly he has spent *some* money and he owes vendors. So clearly he can't refund everyone. But I suspect he has money to pay a subset of the owners, especially if it's AIW owners who only paid $2000 so far, and probably RAZA owners.

I can't see how people would not sue John for breach unless it was proven that he was broke and that he can prove he did not steal money from the company to make it broke (fraud).

It blows my mind, to think that John has a stash of money left over or paid himself a handsome salary for all these years and this takeover can let him walk without going bankrupt and if his company wasn't protected his personal assets could be fair game.

#10190 4 years ago

Better idea (for buyers at least):

-An LE for the current 16 or so MG buyers and only them
-199 $12k premiums offered first for raza/aiw owners, then the remaining to the public
-Unlimited standard MGs at $9k

As others said, not knowing the BOM makes these numbers pie in the sky, but imo these numbers and buy in ideas may be more palettable to current owners and future buyers.

There's that old concept of $10 to sell 1 book or $5 sell 3 books.

#10191 4 years ago
Quoted from labnip:

Jpop does not need contractual protection to eliminate his legal obligations, risks & responsibilities with all paying customers... so that a new business entity & team may proceed.
Those are 2 completely separate relationships and obligations.
Insist that the arrangement between Jpop and a new business entity/team be completely independent from ANYTHING related to CUSTOMERS.
Then a 3rd contractual & financial arrangement needs to be made between Jpop, the new business entity/team & VENDORS.
Jpop (in the past, currently, and going forward) is to maintain ALL LEGAL & FINANCIAL risk/burden for the success or failure of each of these products even if a new business entity/team is added into the mix to assist in his business. The new business entity/team can choose to accept contractual/legal & financial risk by working with Jpop, or not.
NO NEW CONTRACTS should be required for CUSTOMERS. NONE !

I agree. I suppose the justification is the transfer and the 1 conversion somehow makes the buyers whole. Meaning they didn't lose any money. This assumes that the price of the new MG is the same (I see no mention of what the price of the MG will be or what the price of the classic MG will be). It's almost a blank space. Buy this pin and we'll tell you how much it costs when you have to finish paying for it.

The idea that someone on AIW who might be $2K in would want to spend another $14K is ludicrous. First thing we need to see is Johns books, how much he has left over, how much he paid himself, and if his personal assets are fair game.

I believe, some cases you can recoup your legal fees along with the refund. (but I'm not a lawyer so don't sue me if I'm wrong about that).

#10192 4 years ago

JPop would be an absolute idiot not to agree to this agreement. The customers would be idiots to sign it.

I think that's all you need to know about this proposed arrangement.

#10193 4 years ago

Beyond anything else, the main issue with buying into any LE/Premium/Standard model, regardless of the terms, is we don't know the differences. I think everyone can agree that without the exclusivity factor, MG is NOT a $16k machine. Frankly from my perspective it isn't a $12k machine either. Regardless, what is going to be different to create the $4-6k difference between models? The game is already so cluttered, how can there be room to add anything worthwhile. If you're not adding more for the LE, then you're removing for the lower model, which already isn't worth the price even without being neutered.

Beyond all that, while we complain about Stern removing features in their Pro models, at least the inclusion/exclusion of features was part of the original conception. Both models still work. To add or remove stuff here is at best an after-thought and seems to be to the detriment of the design either way.

I just don't see how this makes any sense in reality.

12
#10194 4 years ago

When I think about it the balls on jpoop. He needs to be sued to teach him a lesson in ethics.
Maybe the classic version doesn't have painted vents....

#10195 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

MG is NOT a $16k machine. Frankly from my perspective it isn't a $12k machine either.

Seems to me to be around JJP level.... $8500 for a machine with no real exclusivity.

Now John through his incompetence may have priced these machines at a $15000 BOM. Those cabinets he liked to show off weren't going to be cheap. "spared no expense" indeed. Created an impossible product to produce.

-2
#10196 4 years ago

The LE can be exclusive just by changing, say, the playfields background color from purple to yellow or something simple like that. Premiums vs standards could be something like removing a magnet or those spinning outline things. It doesn't need to be much of a change at all for the game to be different and thus more rare. It's all in the eye of the beholder... Look at stern's LEs vs Prems, really just some art change, no?

#10197 4 years ago

I still fail to see the prototype, people said there is one. Who the hell knows if this game is any good??

John could not even build a prototype (as far as I can tell), so what makes anyone think he can build a good pin anymore? If the prototype was so great why wasn't John showing it off?

Has the new guys yet to say how much the pin is going to cost?

As far as not suing John, I still can't get past that, the fact that he still can (likely does have assets) maybe he is transferring money to the new company to sweeten the pill. But no one is saying that. Maybe that's why the new company is taking on this task out of the goodness of their hearts.

I am not trying to be super negative. I'm being realistic, and the fact that the new company and John are getting along as thick as thieves is troubling.

This whole mess and Predator both happened because some people had blinders on, they didn't want to hear any negative spin. They didn't want anyone asking John or Kevin hard questions. Now this new entity is here and some person doesn't want me asking hard question or pointing out some things that may be true like John still has money (just says he doesn't) and that John might keep the money or transfer it to the new entity (gee maybe they are not doing it only for the love of pinball).

And that this scheme is a good way for John to avoid getting sued by his buyers. I still think the vendors need to get paid BTW. Has anyone found a solution to keep them from suing John? Maybe with his left over money he can make them partially whole.

#10198 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I'm curious why Popaduik even needs to be involved at this point.

Because the fact remains, none of the games are complete. People invested their money in John as a designer, not as a business man. To yank him out of the design process and put a no-name in his place is a bad idea. A very bad idea.

John should've built a proof-of-concept and shown it to investors / venture capitalists from the very beginning. He did it with KISS (only a little too late unfortunately). He's a brilliant pinball designer but it's obvious he has problems focusing on the goal (as do many artists -- ADD perhaps?). He needs a BUSINESSMAN to reign him in.

Enter Pintasia.

At least we know who the investor is and can put some faith behind him. Bill is a pin-nut like the rest of us, and it's clear that he's stepped up to the plate to see this thing through to the end bexause he loves pinball (because let's be honest, he's not doing this for the ROI)

This is what Bill does. It's unfair to attack him without giving him a chance. We've waited this long, so what's another few months? Put down the pitch forks and let's see what Bill can do while the ball is in his court. I'd much rather try this than lose ALL my money when Zidware goes bankrupt and John goes into hiding.

One thing is for sure, we won't be seeing John at any shows any time soon..

18
#10199 4 years ago

Didn't all the people who knew who the anonymous licensee was say we'd all feel so much better after they revealed themselves? That it was someone well-known in the community?

I don't know about you guys but I've never heard of any of the people on that list. And none of them have any manufacturing experience.

And what's the crap about "Programmer: TBD"? Why don't you *pay* the existing programmer what he's owed and let him finish?

This update offers zero relief for anyone, and it seriously makes me question the reputation of guys like Iceman or ChrisVW if they really believed the "reveal" would solve anything.

This still looks like a shit sandwich of a deal to me. I think the deal is structured to give both Pintasia and Popaduik the sweetest deal possible. He gets off scott-free after blowing millions of other people's money, never has to say he's sorry, and gets to continue playing in his fantasy world for a few more years.

The injustice of it makes me angry.

#10200 4 years ago
Quoted from Avatar:

I have been told that he was still trying to take in AiW pre-orders (money) just 14 days ago.

John is a Jerk

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