John, here is some tough love.
It's time to concede you are one of the great pinball designers, and one of the worst pinball businessmen.
You've taken people's money, and in exchange they have nothing, and lately not even a response from you.
You apparently love the shop visits and dazzling people with artwork, lights, toys and the fawning that comes with it. But can't even respond to the simplest of requests of "when will I get my game?"
You are on the hook for money. You have a moral responsibility to answer to the same people that entrusted you with their hard earned money if you can't deliver a game within the time table you established.
I get it, things haven't come together the way you wanted. But to just shut off from everyone is bush league behavior, certainly not deserving of you and the reputation you've built in the industry and you are threatening that very reputation you cherish.
There are people who have asked for refunds, because they have:
-no promise of a game to be delivered, which is already 1 year overdue.
They literally have nothing to show.
Do you understand the optics of this?
You were cut a lot of slack for a long time, based on your reputation in the industry. That slack basically ran out at expo with the "empty cabinets". You posted a heart felt email shortly after promising change. Well, here we are 3 months later and the only change is things have deteriorated further.
Someone might say in your defense you aren't making a Stern game and quality takes time. I would agree with that. But you've taken people's money, and given them no update on anything and the months pass one after the next.
This is not defensible behavior.
This has gone so far off the rails we're passed the point of (another) apology and some vague promises of hiring a project manager and some muscle. You're going to have to show what you've got and a concrete delivery schedule.
Without being more dramatic than I already am, you are standing on the precipice, and it's going to take a lot to demonstrate you can get yourself down safely.