Quoted from Hitch9:
An expert would need to determine what the assets/ip were worth, but anyone buying it would probably stop there. A normal investor wouldn't reimburse vendors or refund customers. They would jump to - build it and sell it. A normal investor would leave JPOP to take care of the liabilities.
I guess the question I have is, (an unlikely to be answered), is what is the license fee JPOP is getting from the new producers, for each pin made.
If the new producers get enough traction (here is hoping) to make this, in bulk, at a decent price, will the license fees be enough to reimburse those that sue John, to get a decent return?
Time will tell. Good luck to those looking for restitution from John, and to Bill and his team.
These are some of the reasons that these types of things are usually handled in bankruptcy and why bankruptcy courts have claw back power to undo agreements that were not in the best interests of the creditors. As it stands now, Bill is not going to get the 100% agreement of the RAZA buyers (it sounds like he has 100% agreement of the MG buyers many of whom are also MG buyers). With Bill continuing on the project, it appears that he is no longer insisting on 100% percent participation in order for this to move forward.
John's decision to license the only valuable Zidware asset to Bill has given Pintasia a headstart on figuring out whether or not this is a viable project via a joint venture with a manufacturer. This gives Pintasia an advantage at any potential bankruptcy sale. At the time of a bankruptcy sale, Pintasia will have had control of the IP and prototypes and had inside knowledge of the actual state of the machines and how a proposed joint venture could work due to having had the Zidware info and having been able to negotiate a jv before the bankruptcy filing. This pre-bankruptcy access will allow Pintasia to set the market on a bankruptcy purchase because they have information that is not available to any other potential buyer. Pintasia can do all of this without any worry about Zidware's liabilities because they have only agreed to purchase the license.
Why does any of this matter? Because a bankruptcy trustee would review Pintasia's purchase of the IP of Zidware with an eye toward protecting the remaining creditors, of which Bill is one, but Pintasia is not. Given that the license of the IP is the only valuable asset of Zidware, the Trustee would set the terms of the license with an eye toward repaying all of the Zidware's creditors and not just getting machines made.
I applaud Bill for what he is doing. I blindly handed my money to John like an idiot because I thought RAZA looked cool (retro 60's Zombies) and because I thought Ben would actually get things done. As angry as I am at John and as much as I don't want to give him the opportunity to brag about his new machine, I still want new and exciting pinball machines to be made.
My big hang-up is that John sent me a letter saying he was excited about the new investor and I don't know the terms of the license between Zidware and Pintasia. Some would say, shut the hell up it is none of your business just be happy that something good is coming from this debacle. I see that side of it and I am really excited, even though it makes me feel like I have Stockholm syndrome, for the reveal of a flipping MG in public to be reviewed and scrutinized by pinheads at an upcoming show. I also think Zombieyeti is the coolest thing to happen to pinball art since Dirty Donny was given room to get crazy on Metallica.
All that being said, Pintasia should not be allowed to profit from John's deception and terrible business practices without taking responsibility for the negative impact of John's actions. Until we know the deal between Zidware and Pintasia, it will appear that John has raided the only valuable asset of Zidware and sold it under unknown terms that may allow him to profit in the future without facing any consequences other than protecting himself from litigation.
Clear up the mystery by releasing the terms of the licensing agreement and all this speculation will immediately be put to rest. Until that is done, I will be left to assume that something in the agreement would lead to a negative reaction which is why it remains confidential. I know not all business has to be done with 100% percent transparency, but when you are dealing with a pre-order situation with a pattern of deceit, transparency as to the licensing agreement is needed.