(Topic ID: 92436)

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


By iceman44

5 years ago



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Topic index (key posts)

23 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #20523 Link to legal documents with allegations & responses Posted by DennisK (3 years ago)

Post #20526 Third amended complain document Posted by c508 (3 years ago)

Post #20532 Summary of complaints & responses in legal documents Posted by DennisK (3 years ago)

Post #20626 MG is now ready! Posted by TecumsehPlissken (2 years ago)

Post #20631 Scott Goldberg mail on MG completion Posted by TecumsehPlissken (2 years ago)

Post #21819 Information on webpage dedicated to Magic Girl Code Features. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #22024 moderation notice Posted by Xerico (2 years ago)

Post #22304 Photos of every page of the Magic Girl manual. Posted by vidgameseller (2 years ago)

Post #22584 Lion Saw feature information. Posted by applejuice (2 years ago)

Post #22710 Very detailed review from a game owner Posted by ShinyNick (2 years ago)

Post #22817 Details on the origin of the driver board Posted by Borygard (2 years ago)

Post #22957 Comparison photos between a MG 'prototype' and another shipped MG Posted by spfxted (2 years ago)

Post #23045 Pinball News first look review. Posted by Pinballs (2 years ago)

Post #23392 Ebay Auction for NIB Magic Girl #007 Posted by fattrain (2 years ago)

Post #23611 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by dgarrett (2 years ago)

Post #23615 Interview with Linda Deal (artist), speaking about CV and TOM Posted by toyotaboy (2 years ago)

Post #23754 The Deeproot link. Posted by pin2d (2 years ago)

Post #23946 Result of civil suit against JPOP Posted by rommy (1 year ago)


Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#2517 5 years ago
Quoted from pinstyle:

What I cluster f$&k this guys web sites are. There is like four maybe five or more pages that all go nowhere...or to pages that look similar but are not? I'd like to look around but I'm not sure that is possible? I dont think I can even properly explain how jacked up his sites are....

They look great, but the code is lacking.

1 week later
#2704 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

He's got too much baggage to work for either of them. Do u think he would go back to someone telling him hurry up, or stop changing things?

Frankly, I don't think JPop would last 3 months working for Gomez, much less for Guarnieri.

I can see Stern possibly buying the IP somewhere down the road in an asset sale and making the games themselves, but I cannot imagine a productive business collaboration between Stern and Zidware, no matter how tight the contract.

#2711 5 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

they already bought the KISS license a month after JPOP's reveal at MGC. However, Stern only makes licensed games, so unless they rethemed the layouts (which can happen since sometimes themes were picked after a layout was complete) I don't see that happening.

Stern is a manufacturing company. That's why they are building Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons. They want to utilize their equipment, keep they employees busy, and make a profit. Licensing is only a secondary consideration.

#2717 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

That's ridiculous, the primary business is acquiring licenses and making pinball machines for MORE profit than manufacturing somebody else's pin.

Lots of manufacturing companies build products with lower profit margins if those products fill production capacity, keep the employees busy, and help cover overhead costs. That's why they're building Whoa Nellie on a contract basis.

Have you ever heard Gary Stern start off a presentation by saying, "We are primarily a license-acquiring company that makes pinball machines"? No, and there's a reason for that.

#2737 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's not there "primary business", period. They are also building MMr and trying to get into gaming.
How many pins have they built for others in the last two decades?

"Manufacturing" IS Stern's primary business. Gary leads off every presentation he makes with that statement. Some people hate it, some people openly ridicule it (i.e., DP-PHIL), but it is ABSOLUTELY true.

Some of the advantages of being Stern Pinball is that they have a big manufacturing facility, multiple production lines, and a bunch of people on staff. Some of the disadvantages of being Stern Pinball is that they have a big manufacturing facility, multiple production lines, and a bunch of people on staff. The fixed costs for all of those "assets" consume a lot of cash each month, so there is an incredible financial incentive to amortize those costs over as many production units as possible, whether they be licensed/high-profit/internally-designed units or unlicensed/low-profit/externally-designed units. The same motivation leads many companies to produce "loss leader" products, not because those companies don't like making money, but because they would rather partially cover their overhead than not cover it at all when their plants are otherwise lightly utilized.

I guarantee you that Gary Stern cares a hell of a lot more about keeping those assets fully utilized than he does about ONLY making licensed products, because he has to cover those high overhead costs before he has any hope of generating a profit. Quite simply, he has to "feed the beast" (maximize the asset utilization) to make any money. And if Gary can pick up some attractive IP assets from Ziddware in an asset sale (e.g., Section 363 sale), he will be all over that opportunity in a heartbeat.

#2816 5 years ago

Iceman, I don't think anyone is arguing that Stern Pinball, Inc. is not a PINBALL manufacturer. (The PINBALL market segment is a given.) Nevertheless, they are not just a pinball manufacturer of LICENSED themes. They are a MANUFACTURER of both licensed and original themes, and the licensing is only a secondary consideration behind the primary objective of maximizing factory utilization and covering overhead costs. Both licensed and original themes meet that primary objective.

#2821 5 years ago

Iceman, judging by your last few posts, it looks like some of the things that I have said may be getting under your skin, which is unfortunate, because that was never my intent. I'm not trying to make you mad, but we seem to be talking past each other.

I keep talking about the present, and you keep referring to the past. Please re-read my posts in this thread, and you will see that everything I have said has been stated in the present tense (e.g., "They are", "Stern is", "they want"). I think that may be the root cause of the disconnect.

1 week later
#2956 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Hmmm, looks we have some "dumber than a bag of hammers" again.
If a company has 12 or more creditors, an involuntary bankruptcy petition requires (a) three or more creditors whose claims are not contingent as to liability or subject to a bona fide dispute as to either liability or amount to file the petition, and (b) those qualifying claims must total, in the aggregate, at least $14,425 if unsecured or $14,425 more than the value of any liens securing those claims if any are secured.
Get it right SAD SACK and thumb upper

What exactly are you disputing? Are you suggesting that SadSack's prerequisites are not specific enough, or are you suggesting that JPop is immune to an involuntary BK filing? I'm confused, and this is a sincere question.

#2966 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Please read the whole thread if you have 5 hours to waste Razor!
Yes Sad Sack is dumber than a bag of hammers at times, including this one.
Trust me, it won't be "involuntary bankruptcy", good lord, he has $$$ to pay creditors
The next step is coming.

I've read the entire thread. I've been following this saga for weeks.

The criteria for filing an involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition are easily satisfied in this case. If JPop disputes it and decides to fight in court, he can petition the bankruptcy judge to convert the case to Chapter 11 and will likely succeed, but the case will still remain in BK.

#2969 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Let's focus and not go off the rails here, he ISN"T BANKRUPT, nor can anybody satisfy that criteria to force it at the Chapter 7 level or any other level! Are you a lawyer, can't possibly be? Do you represent the creditors that can substantiate the bankruptcy issues? Please don't clog up this thread with garbage BS, there is enough of it already.

Just because you don't fully understand a subject doesn't make it BS.

John Popadiuk and Zidware, Inc. are separate entities. Regardless of whether John has money, Zidware can end up in bankruptcy either through a voluntary or involuntary petition. (GLModular is just one example of a qualifying unsecured creditor that could support an involuntary petition, and no doubt there are others.) Furthermore, if someone proceeds with litigation, Zidware could retreat into BK through a voluntary Chapter 11 petition, looking for time and breathing room to reorganize its corporate affairs.

Bankruptcy is a dangerous game to make assumptions about if you don't have experience in the field.

2 weeks later
#3740 4 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

I'm Squirreling away funds right now.

This is gonna Bug me all night. KT, bar the door!

#3742 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Yeesh, can't believe I'm the one trying to talk Jpop buyers off the ledge!

Are you feeling OK, Aurich? Maybe you should go lie down.

1 month later
#4294 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

I'm going to go out on a limb here, i can't prove who it is, but skulz is the only guy thumbs downing anytime some one says something bad about jpop...wonder if thats one of jpop accounts so he can see what people say?

LOL. Why on earth do you care?

#4298 4 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

lol like i said i have no proof...u could be jpop too....just saying I'm sure he has more then one account and reads these posts...

OK, you got me. Yes, I *AM* JPop. My cover is blown!

#4484 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

So what did the lawyer say?

That's only privy to the owners' group, which probably needs to operate behind closed doors during this "intervention" (i.e., out-of-court restructuring). If the situation becomes adversarial, I doubt the owners would want to be discussing strategy and tactics in an open forum frequently read by JPop himself. They may not want JPop's attorney participating either, given his inherent conflict of interest.

11
#4488 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballmike217:

Pinside is hardly a friendly place anymore.

Pinside is still a pretty friendly place outside of a few threads involving pre-orders.

#4563 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Is it StevenP?

Are you serious?

#4575 4 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

I'd really like to know how you know these details. Have you verified that he hasn't paid himself for several years?

Apparently he's John's IP attorney.

Quoted from StevenP:

Correct. I'm only representing John in IP matters...

#4607 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

The private owners group will remain. It has become a collective force for a lot of angry and worried people.

Almost like a creditors committee, except an attorney of the debtor is on the committee.

Seriously, though, I truly hope this effort produces real results and you all get your games. I'd love to see a happy ending here for all of the long-suffering supporters.

Rock on, everyone!

#4669 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

I was thinking of running through the blog and marking a development timeline with milestones, just out of curiosity. To me it seems like 90% of the work was done by the end of 2013, then he started navel-gazing on unimportant details. But it's hard to be sure without mapping it all out.

Quoted from rai:

He seems to have hit a wall in 2013 and has done a lot of backtracking and revising.

When did Ben leave the project?

1 week later
#5014 4 years ago

Just for you, Dave.

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#5017 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

we are gonna visit tomorrow afternoon

Good luck on your visit. If I were in town, I'd invite you to crash at my place, if you're staying overnight. At least the weather is a lot warmer than a couple of weeks ago, but not quite as warm as Boerne.

#5020 4 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

Oh damn!! You are my hero razorback!!

You're welcome!

#5021 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Not in town yet Razor, just another phone visit, gonna stay away until it warms up in Chicago! I appreciate the offer

It was in the 60s over the weekend, so all of the snow from the recent blizzard finally melted.

#5027 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Because I said I would tonight, I'm going to update what I know, nothing, couldn't reach John today, might have gotten to him too late, don't know. Phone call and text unanswered, hopefully that means he's busy cranking away.
Did talk to another vendor that hasn't been paid. So that's kind of frustrating and disappointing.

You're a good man, Ice. I don't care what Maverick says about you.

Seriously, though, kudos for the transparency and follow-through.

#5044 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Maybe not the most efficient and cheap way to do things, but it's not rocket science either.

Some would disagree!

Quoted from PPS:

Exactly ... very much like a launching a rocket ship, most of the production control has shifted to mission control Chicago (CGC/Stern) ...

#5134 4 years ago
Quoted from Monster_Bash:

Actually he's asking to get arrested on the spot. Especially for guys that sent checks through the mail.

That's a bit overly dramatic, don't you think?

#5172 4 years ago
#5177 4 years ago
#5192 4 years ago
Quoted from pinball_keefer:

And also, I'm still not sure exactly what that style IS. Have a good artist? Swoopy ramps? Use music from Mystere?

Software, obviously. Oh, wait!

Sorry, I must have been thinking about somebody else.

3 weeks later
#6515 4 years ago
Quoted from ZidwarePR:

All I can do is relay what I know.

This, too, shill pass.

#6539 4 years ago
Quoted from notaflyingtoy:

Also, as asshat-ish as this may sound, is it possible that Kaneda did do some type of work to get the Wired thing set-up?

I have no doubt that Kaneda has a connection or two at Wired.com. They wrote a cover story about him last year. It wasn't a very flattering portrayal, so Kaneda is probably hoping that someone else besides Emily Dreyfuss will write the JPop story.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pinsider-kaneda-featured-in-wired-cover-story

#6622 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

He should be, the previous thread eject was from totally unrelated posts. The problem with putting him on ignore is he creates so much collateral damage, all discussion on the thread is affected, regardless of whether you see his posts.

"Pigpen is a human soil bank who raises a cloud of dust on a perfectly clean street and passes out gum drops that are invariably black." -- Charles M. Schulz

http://peanuts.wikia.com/wiki/%22Pig-Pen%22

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#6631 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

He closed the thread and deleted his original post.

Called it! LOL

Quoted from Razorbak86:

This, too, shill pass.

And, no, that wasn't a typo.

#6647 4 years ago
Quoted from guyincognito:

How common is it to do "PR Work" for someone who doesn't pay you or rarely communicate with you?
I didn't know that unsolicited pro bono PR was such a thing?

Sometimes with pro bono work, you actually get what you pay for.

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#6852 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

I am a programmer in the community who would contribute maybe 5-10 hours per week if anyone wants to put jpop in touch with me. I know 20 languages and have sold two companies and just ipo'd a third a few weeks ago so my credentials should speak for themselves. The caveat being he would need to pitch his business to me and show me some numbers to get me on board and it sounds like jpop wouldn't be up for that...

Quoted from Warbleboopie:

I went ahead and emailed my resume, credentials, a nice one-page introduction and additional information to Jpop. I've heard what you all have to say, but I am the best programmer that I know.

Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Okay, I tried, you guys are on your own...
I am also a card player and can read people. The read is bad. The read is very bad.

Shocker!

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11
#6871 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I'm considering providing funding myself IF things can get set up properly

OK, now we KNOW you've been drinking!

11
#7057 4 years ago
Quoted from tracelifter:

or just take the loss

Heh heh, you don't know Rommy.

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#7360 4 years ago
Quoted from onelastflip:

Zombie Yeti's art is absolutely amazing. I wish he was doing the art for Alien. Aurich's AC/DC backglass is nice, but this guy is in another league.

Quoted from onelastflip:

By art direction, do you mean Fox will be giving Aurich images he has to use? And then he'll lay them out on the playfield, ala Stern? But if Fox allows the artist to draw the playfield out, i'd love to see what Zombie Yeti would do with Aliens. I did find it funny that Aurich was already relegating Zombie to do a Spooky game. No offense, but Zombie should be doing the hottest properties out there, and Aliens is one of them. This guys talent would sell pins by itself.

I like Zombie Yeti's art, too, just like a bunch of people here, but that's no reason to insult Aurich.

#7435 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

You're not too far from there? I can talk to the folks and see if i can get you to replace me - just call yourself yeti

Piece of cake. You guys look like twins.

#7491 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

He's already got a playable MG if he would put it all together and show it to anyone. The original game ran, had some stuff in it - but wasn't complete. It gets a little old continually throwing aside the nearly 2 years worth of effort that the original programmer/systems designer put in to get the game base framework & service mode running, develop his RGB insert lighting system, etc. The software wasn't done, sure, but he's had a rig running in attract mode with full feature lamps and whatnot for years now, and it would run a game if he'd build one.

Field of Dreams: "If you build it, they will come."

Popadiuk Corollary: "If you don't finish it, they'll start to leave, and if the gates are locked, they'll start to riot, and when they start to riot, it's Pinside's fault!"

#7495 4 years ago
Quoted from TaylorVA:

I thought people had reportedly played on flippable games. What happened to those games?

They took a little detour into Development Hell... where vendors want to be paid, employees don't work for free, and customers expect to receive their games.

#7543 4 years ago

He's not going to turn out the lights voluntarily.

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#7561 4 years ago
Quoted from Saveleaningtower:

Can someone sum up the 152 pages in a paragraph?

Don't pre-order pinball machines.

#7577 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Thanks for clarification I was quoting another post that posted Johns letter.
To remove my name from your post just edit the first quote part (I left out the 'e' at the end of quote but put the 'e' at the end. Just on the first quote tag.
<blockquot >

Too late. You're being sued already by John's imaginary attorney. Oh, wait. Scratch that. It looks like the imaginary attorney hasn't been paid.

#7588 4 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

I have hired a dozen lawyers over the years to help with simple matters. One thing I've noticed is that they expect to be paid for their services, usually with a good sized amount up front and they'll let you know when to deposit more as you proceed.

Yeah, funny how that works, isn't it?

#7625 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Okay, I tried, you guys are on your own.
1) John has already lied to me.
2) John does not know what an IPO means. I do not know how to umm...explain...how bad this is...
3) John knows so little that he asked for an art sample from me. I offered to run product development for him without taking a salary or even asking for compensation. And he asked me for an art sample.
MIT, bunch of degrees, multiple startup successes, bunch of languages, currently employed with a badass employer, sick Python skills. But I am also a card player and can read people. The read is bad. The read is very bad. You guys all need to get what you can from him in terms of materials and partially finished game with or without software and finish it yourself. He has boards and translates or backglasses whatever he made you need to just take the raw materials and take over the project. Don't worry about his patents, they look like they're trash. If you aren't willing to take over the project yourselves you won't get anything.

Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Congratulations, sign me up for one if it looks good.

#7663 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

I have to swing for the bleachers when dealing with Rob because he is a hell of a lot smarter than me (not joking) and he argues with people for a living.

He argues with people for sport, too!

#7721 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

It is exceedingly tough to sell a business based on IP alone.
No one wants to assign value to just artwork and patents unless there is revenue to back up the IP and show it has value and I don't think expended pre-order deposits would be considered actual revenue by anyone (I know none of my clients would categorize it as such, it would be categorized as a liability...).

I've done it before, but the transaction needs to be structured correctly to ensure that it cannot be unwound later. Clean title transfer is paramount in distressed asset sales due to the presence of contingent liabilities. No sophisticated buyer would purchase the intellectual property of Zidware, Inc., unless structured as an asset purchase agreement and sold free and clear of all liens and encumbrances.

#7789 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Exactly what I was going to say. One possible reason he is vice president, and not owner or president is so that he can draw a salary as an employee and have no personal liability from the company. His wife is arms lengthish, could say John was a poor manager and the business failed. If Zidware declares bankruptcy, wife could claim a business loss on her personal income tax, reducing the amount of tax she would have to pay for her other (presumably successful) business. It is also a possibility that Zidware might be "renting" the building and equipment from a holding company owned by a John, his wife, or a close relative. This way even if Zidware (a pinball manufacturing company) goes bankrupt, the holding company (a capital asset investment company) gets to keep the money from rent, and keep the shop and equipment.
This is only one possible scenario and I don't know anything about how John runs his operation. I am merely stating that if this were the current arrangement, one company could easily have transferred all of its assets into another arms length company which would make it very hard for someone to go after the assets via a lawsuit once bankruptcy is declared. There is a possibility that Zidware owns zero assets to liquidate aside from some pinball parts. There is no limit to what John may have been paying himself, someone would have to physically delve into the books and bank account to be sure.

It doesn't work like that in the United States.

Under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, the trustee has certain "avoidance powers" that allow him to reach back and undo certain transactions that took place prior to a bankruptcy filing. For example, the trustee has the power to avoid preferential transfers to insiders up to 12 months prior to the petition date [11 U.S.C. §547].

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap5-subchapIII-sec547.htm

The trustee also has the power to avoid fraudulent conveyances up to 2 years pre-petition under federal bankruptcy law [11 U.S.C. §548].

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap5-subchapIII-sec548.htm

The reach-back period for fraudulent conveyances is even longer under state law (e.g., up to 4 years in Illinois) [740 ILCS 160/10].

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2055&ChapterID=57

Per the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, a person automatically qualifies as an "insider" of a corporate debtor if that person is: (1) a director, (2) an officer, (3) a "person in control," (4) a general partner, (5) a relative of an insider, or (6) an affiliate of the debtor at the time of the transaction to be avoided [11 U.S.C. §101(31)(B), (E)].

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap1-sec101.htm

Transfers that can be avoided are very broad in nature, and might include cash, marketable securities, accounts receivable, inventory, machinery & equipment, real estate, intellectual property, and other intangibles.

Most importantly, avoidance powers allow the trustee to disgorge the assets and return them back to the estate, where they can be liquidated and distributed to creditors.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, so the above should not be construed as legal advice. I just deal with these issues regularly in my consulting practice. Always speak with a attorney for legal advice.

#7807 4 years ago

Iceman, if your visit is over the weekend, you are welcome to stay at my place. If it's during the week, I might be traveling.

#7813 4 years ago
Quoted from Linolium:

Frozen is mine. It is a 1-off I'm building for my daughter. I have no current intention of making it anything more then that for a variety of reasons.... and it flips and scores fine

Congratulations on your video. Nice design, and I'm sure your daughter loves it.

For some "inventors" in this hobby, posting videos showing flipping prototypes is hard!

#7816 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Frankly, I'm surprised that there are 157 pages for what Jpop said were just a couple dozen owners/pre-orders.

This thread alone has more than 3 times the number of posts than the 37 threads combined in the Spooky Pinball forum here on Pinside. Yet Zidware and Spooky Pinball are both "pinball manufacturers". Strange, right?!?

What could possibly be soooo different between the two?

#7981 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

We even offered to take care of his vacuum form ramp needs. Dammit. Why do I keep reading this thread? It's so frustrating to imagine how different this whole JPOP situation would be if he had sent us a playfield months ago. Sure, there would still be work to do but there would have been some significant progress on MG while he worked on RAZA.
Aaron
FAST Pinball

Aaron, were you planning to do all this work pro bono (i.e., for the "good of the pinball hobby"), or were you actually expecting to get paid? If the latter, what were your payment terms? Cash In Advance (CIA), Cash On Delivery (COD), Net 30, Net 60, Net 90, Net 120, Net 180, Net 360, Whenever-You-Get-Around-To-It (WYGATI)?

If you expected to get paid for work under an agreement, but Zidware was arguably insolvent, then Zidware likely would not have been able to perform under the terms of your proposed agreement.

I'm not excusing John's past business decisions. Unfortunately, many of his options in recent months have been severely limited by his apparent lack of funds, and your proposed agreement may have been one of them.

#7994 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

We felt that we could decent return on the time/effort it would take getting MG in order. Treat it as a way to show off the capabilities of the hardware. Donating our engineering time on MG. For hardware, I would have been willing to work a volume deal across all three titles over a period of time. At the low numbers of each game on their own, there wasn't room for a volume deal one title at a time.
For RAZA and AIW, John could hire us to do work needed or complete the projects internally building upon the work done with MG. Using the same hardware foundation title to title would have made that much more efficient. We could help with the unique toys/features per title, if needed.
So it was a bit of both. Some for the good of pinball, helping a great designer get games out. Some for the opportunity to get new hardware and a new software framework into some high profile titles.

OK, so you were expecting to get paid eventually.

Quoted from fastpinball:

But an important step. Remember too, this was proposed last fall when it was still "help a guy get his games to out the door" and not the "save the situation" state it is now.
It was assumed back then that the hold up was getting the game "finished." If the game was finished, then it could be produced. We never had any idea of the financial end of things until the news started coming out here.

I was referring to just a couple of months ago, when you were clamoring to get your hands on a playfield.

You made the following posts on or after March 9, 2015...

Quoted from fastpinball:

June is coming up quick. I am sure we could have significant amount of progress by then, if the playfield showed up soon. I threw out the June timeframe because it is when we have our NW Pinball Show and it would be fun to have a meet-up to show off the progress to owners who may be in town. Based on the state of the progress John could even offer a public preview. I think that would be a fantastic challenge!

Quoted from fastpinball:

It would be an awesome challenge. With John's permission we could live blog the progress or something. Have some fun with it. But we seriously do love a challenge. Plus John has done the hard part: designing the game. For us it would just be following through on bringing his vision to life.
But we will see what shapes up. If John goes a different direction then we will focus on another playfield to show off the hardware/software in action for June.

Quoted from fastpinball:

While you can program a game without a physical machine, configuring and optimizing all the hardware controlling it is best done with the game itself. We would do a full hardware workup, as well as dial-in any unfinished features before writing game code. Then we can be reasonably sure that those writing code can be setup for success. I don't know the exact state of the game and I would have to assume that if the hardware is not settled, then there is some work to be done to get it all ready to go.
The ideal situation would be to get a playfield to work on and get a good run down on the way it is intended to operate. This can be done with the playfield in our workshop and John on video chat. Then after a week or two, John comes out for a few days to see it up and running. In person we can focus on dialing in the hardware performance to his specifications (flipper strength, magnet timing, etc) and get into his head a bit. This will help us move quickly to programming the game while continuing to refine the game build.
I think this would be a great experience for John. In the couple weeks between sending MG out and coming out to work with us, he can focus on RAZA without anyone concerned about his lack of attention to MG.

Quoted from fastpinball:

I feel confident that if we are given the opportunity to work with a playfield, we can bring it to life.

So again, in light of your posts today, what were your proposed payment terms just a couple of months ago?

Surely a successful entrepreneur with decades of prior business experience doesn't simply commit to work under a verbal agreement. It is reasonable to assume that you had some type of simple written agreement drawn up, even if it was just standard paperwork similar to what you use with all of your other clients, and presumably that paperwork contained some general reference to commercial terms for payment?

Zidware, Inc. was arguably insolvent many months ago, and probably could not perform under the terms of your proposed agreement, so unless you were going to be paid Cash In Advance, there appears to be little benefit in postulating that if John had only sent you a playfield a few months ago, everything would somehow be magically different today. FAST Pinball would have simply joined the long line of unsecured creditors already owed money by Zidware.

#8025 4 years ago
Quoted from jazzmaster:

Looks like PDX was pretty quick to down vote your post. It would be nice for him to actually post something of substance and not just a quick post to say "I played MG yesterday". He does seem to be very close to JPOP. It would be nice to hear an in depth reason for still believing in these projects and what exactly JPOP plans to do going forward.

He was on the Skit-B thread yesterday telling people that he saw right through the Kulek family BS back at EXPO in 2013 and immediately afterwards requested a refund...

Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

I met the mom expo 2013, the one where Predator never turned on.
She told me they were going to start production the following week.
Also not to worry the only thing that they had spent any of money on was a new couch.
On Monday I emailed asking for a refund.

Surely you can understand that he's too busy to answer silly little follow-up questions about JPop's MG prototype.

#8049 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

The money from that sale, plus any other cash that could be wrung out of Zidware, would be split up by the court among everyone that Zidware owes money to, based on standard criteria that probably don't favor the current "owners" much (it's conceivable that unpaid programmers and artists that worked on the designs/art might have a priority claim on particular assets, but hard to imagine the pre-order folks would). And whoever bought the IP would be unlikely to owe anything to the current "owners." So a forced asset sale in bankruptcy might be the best chance of Magic Girl, etc. ever being made, but might not do much for those that sent money to JPop.

The priority ranking of claims in bankruptcy might surprise you.

Unless those unpaid programmers and artists can establish a secured claim (e.g., mechanics lien for labor and materials, or judgment lien following a successful lawsuit), or they can establish a priority unsecured claim as W-2 employees owed back wages & benefits, then their claims would likely be classified as general unsecured claims, along with the claims of other 3rd-party trade vendors.

Section 507(a)(7) of the Bankruptcy Code actually gives a 7th priority to "allowed unsecured claims of individuals, to the extent of $̶1̶,̶8̶0̶0̶ $2,775 for each such individual, arising from the deposit, before the commencement of the case, of money in connection with the purchase, lease, or rental of property, or the purchase of services, for the personal, family, or household use of such individuals, that were not delivered or provided." [11 U.S.C. §507(a)(7)]

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap5-subchapI-sec507.htm

The initial $1,800 dollar amount in the original Bankruptcy Code has been increased numerous times over the years to compensate for inflation, and it was subsequently increased to $2,775 in 2013.

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-21/html/2013-03998.htm

Pre-order customers who paid deposits would likely have their claims "bifurcated" (divided in two) into: (1) a priority unsecured claim of up to $2,775, and (2) a residual claim for the remainder, which would likely be classified as general unsecured. So the priority unsecured claim would likely be paid after all secured claims and some higher priority unsecured claims like administrative claims of lawyers/professionals in the case (Priority 2), and some wage & benefits claims of employees (Priorities 4 & 5), but before lower priority unsecured claims like taxes owed to governing bodies (Priority 8), and before general unsecured claims (e.g., trade vendors).

For a pre-order customer, this might be better than expected under the circumstances, or for a trade vendor, it might be worse than expected.

Disclaimer: I am not an attorney. The above is just my personal opinion and should not be construed as legal advice. Always speak with an attorney for legal advice.

#8054 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

The real question is when did he stop paying himself? He had to know about 18 months ago he had no path to manufacturing and not enough money to outsource it to JJP or Stern to build.
I think Ben is correct in his view that JPop had been waiting for a buyout and/or job for a long time and that was the only way these games would be made.

Of this I have no doubt. John is now likely scared he will be sued and disgorged of some or all of the salary he paid himself. His personal path forward now will be to make like a turtle and hide out till the heat and anger cools down. His reputation is already shot, his advisors will likely tell him not to make any more statements and he will likely never announce the project is dead.

Unfortunately, there is a benefit to hunkering down and waiting. In a bankruptcy case, the reach-back period for avoidance actions against preference payments to insiders is 1 year prior to the petition date, so each day that goes by before a petition is filed, more and more potential preference payments fall outside of that one-year window.

#8149 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

pfft, don't you read the blog? It was very clear
production.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Where is the shipping dock?

/rhetorical

#8224 4 years ago
Quoted from epthegeek:

From FB: "John says time to replace these little ramp puppies with some serious plastic rampage.....on the way...!"

Can he really think that admitting he doesn't have ramps done for the game after all these years is worth broadcasting?

People were complaining about the ramps just 3 days ago...

Quoted from lllvjr:

He can't afford the tooling for ramps lol

Quoted from fastpinball:

We even offered to take care of his vacuum form ramp needs. Dammit. Why do I keep reading this thread?

He's obviously reading this thread.

#8268 4 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

You have zero hope of working with him. In between 20 posts insulting him you post one wanting to help? And you even insult him after saying that above. You do not have near the right temperament to solve anything with John. Let it go.

Iceman isn't the problem here. The only people that John apparently CAN work with regarding resolution of these issues are sycophants. Unfortunately, sycophants don't tell him what he actually NEEDS to hear, so he continues to spin his wheels, and his projects remain stuck in development hell.

#8345 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Why take the project with any existing guarantees? Wait until he fails and take it for free.

No one is going to "take it for free".

If the business fails, all of the assets of the business (e.g., shop equipment, tooling, jigs, office furniture, computer equipment, parts inventory, intellectual property, customer lists, computer files, CAD drawings, specifications, BOMs, prototypes) will likely be tied up in an insolvency proceeding, and creditors of the debtor's estate will have first claim on those assets.

Any transfer after the business fails would likely be conducted via an asset sale approved by a court order to ensure that title transfers cleanly to the purchaser (i.e., free and clear of all liens and encumbrances). This would typically be done via public auction following proper notice to creditors (e.g., 21 days). Auctions are conducted at arm's length to ensure that no friends or family get "sweetheart deals" to the detriment of other creditors, so interested bidders would likely have to pre-qualify in order to participate in the auction. The purpose of the competitive bidding process would be to ensure that all sale proceeds are maximized for the benefit of existing creditors.

#8409 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

These complaints sound logical, but at the end of the day - most people just have fun playing Tom/TOTAN/CV and these complaints don't enter their minds while playing. If the rules were truly obviously horrible, these games wouldn't hold their value or be desired. You're right - there is no reason to shoot the "SPIN" loop around the Ringmaster's head once you've collected it...but sometimes I do it by accident...bad aim to the Ringmaster's head results in a loop shot...and that loop shot still feels good and I like that it whips back at me for another shot. I've never thought of the rules being bad due to that shot having limited purpose.

Apples and oranges, I think. Metallik was talking about TOTAN, and you're talking about CV.

#8411 4 years ago

Understood. The loop comment was confusing, but I agree with your broader points.

#8478 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I might be crazy but it seems like there is a pattern developing here regarding how JPop deals with his suppliers.

And the correct answer is: A and B.

#8491 4 years ago

This post on The Magic Girl Pinball Blog is a little more descriptive...

https://magicgirldev.wordpress.com/2015/05/09/pinball-aluminum/

Pinball_Aluminum.jpg

#8564 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

No. You and Pinchili are missing the point. Nobody said it was wrong to just show up at his business. But he said go and just *take* your money or equivalent in parts...

Quoted from jayhawkai:

It would also fvck over everyone else.

Agreed. "Self-help" remedies taken by angry/desperate creditors outside of the ordinary course of business are called preferential transfers. They give one creditor preferential treatment at the expense of other creditors by satisfying one claim at 100% while other creditors get 0%. That's why trustees in US Bankruptcy Court are vested with the power to avoid such transfers, allowing them to be disgorged post-petition under the authority of a court order.

#8573 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I agree, but you just know if things go south those semi-completed prototypes are going to disappear first.

Then we'd get to see both civil AND criminal law in action.

#8598 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

If you have money in this and you think it can still be saved, more power to you, but I wouldn't personally be staying in on this.

That's easy to say from the sidelines, but Zidware is not issuing refunds. The company apparently has no money, so people are considering a bunch of other options, including the following:

1. "Optimism" - Wait and see, but hope for the best.

2. "Defeatism" - Give up and walk away.

3. "Cheerleading" - Continue enabling the company through comments and actions.

4. "Business as Usual" - Let The Pinball Inventor™ be.

5. "Bargaining" - Pray for a 'Hail Mary' rescue (Stage 3 of the Five Stages of Grief).

6. "Litigation" - File a lawsuit (civil court).

7. "Bankruptcy" - File an involuntary bankruptcy petition (bankruptcy court).

There are other options available, but those are the ones most frequently being discussed in this thread.

#8839 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

He does not want someone to manage the project or to manage him, he wants to do things his way and thus we will have a new term of art 'the jpop way', which will be a lesson for future pinball companies on what not to do.

Option 4 is obviously his preferred strategy...

Quoted from Razorbak86:

1. "Optimism" - Wait and see, but hope for the best.
2. "Defeatism" - Give up and walk away.
3. "Cheerleading" - Continue enabling the company through comments and actions.
4. "Business as Usual" - Let The Pinball Inventor™ be.
5. "Bargaining" - Pray for a 'Hail Mary' rescue (Stage 3 of the Five Stages of Grief).
6. "Litigation" - File a lawsuit (civil court).
7. "Bankruptcy" - File an involuntary bankruptcy petition (bankruptcy court).

#8882 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

Still, ramps aside, the rest of it seems to be there so... hope?

Nope... Code.

#8957 4 years ago

Those two Adobe videos were published about 5 months ago, and the link first appeared on this thread back in December 2014...

Quoted from Pinballfantexas:

Wanna see some MG and AIW head ove there and check it out.
http://inspire.adobe.com/2014/12/18/zombies_yetis_pinball.html

#9051 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

What is the basis for $30k in damages?

Greater harm.

#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.

#9958 4 years ago

Jeremy, I like your style.

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.

11
#10413 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

lol
There are no assets. Get it? Open up the bidding process, let's go, who's standing in line to take over this mess.

There ARE assets in Zidware, and because the company is insolvent, creditors (not shareholders) have first claim on those assets...

Quoted from Razorbak86:

If the business fails, all of the assets of the business (e.g., shop equipment, tooling, jigs, office furniture, computer equipment, parts inventory, intellectual property, customer lists, computer files, CAD drawings, specifications, BOMs, prototypes) will likely be tied up in an insolvency proceeding, and creditors of the debtor's estate will have first claim on those assets.

You may not think those assets are worth anything, but to say, "There are no assets," is simply wrong.

#10428 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

If Bill is asking people to prove up deposits you can bet John's accounting standards are not very high

That's pretty common, actually. Even with companies that have excellent books and records, creditors are usually required to file a proof of claim.

#10436 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Sorry Razor, this isn't common...

"Proof of Claim - A proof of claim is a form used by the creditor to indicate the amount of the debt owed by the debtor on the date of the bankruptcy filing. The creditor must file the form with the clerk of the same bankruptcy court in which the bankruptcy case was filed."

http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/bankruptcy-forms/proof-claim

13
#10506 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I meant the John situation
He doesn't know what everybody owes with respect to remaining balances based on my conversations with him and other owners
That has to be why Bill is asking. We aren't in court yet having to prove up anything

Out-of-court restructurings are VERY difficult to implement successfully. Why? Because you have to have almost complete participation from creditors in order to keep the company out of bankruptcy. Remember, all it takes is 3 unhappy creditors to file an involuntary petition and unwind the deal.

For that reason, successful out-of-court restructurings (e.g., Composition Agreements) often adopt similar rules and regulations to a Chapter 11 BK (e.g., full disclosure, ad hoc creditors committee, equitable treatment by class, pro rata distributions, and formal documentation).

Composition Agreements typically try to get the biggest creditors on board with the plan, and then pay off all of the smaller creditors owed < $X at full value (i.e., the "convenience class"). The vote threshold is typically higher than required in Chapter 11. Chapter 11 requires supportive votes from 51% of claim holders by number and 67% of claim holders by dollar value. Larger creditors owed more than the vote threshold are often more willing to go along because they have more to lose if the deal doesn't consummate. The convenience class of smaller creditors is typically large in number and vocally resistant to any deal that offers less than full recovery. In a Composition Agreement, it's not uncommon to see a vote threshold established at 90%+ of claims by dollar value to minimize the size of the convenience class and mitigate the possibility of an involuntary petition.

Quoted from boo32:

I would like to know the terms of the license agreement.

Quoted from iceman44:

I think we all need to see the License Agreement and the financial accounting of where our money went.
We can stipulate to that, what else?

Quoted from iceman44:

As for John, the transparency of what has happened is mandatory in my mind as well. Whether Bill is able to provide it or not, somebody better.
Let's see where OUR money went. I want to see tax returns and financials. Period.

Quoted from iceman44:

Nobody is signing anything until ALL the facts are out and everybody has had a chance to examine everything... nobody is being asked to sign anything until ALL the facts are out there... Those facts include seeing the License agreement and John's financials and where our money went.

The importance of this cannot be overstated. Full disclosure and transparency are key elements to be considered here, just like they are in a formal bankruptcy case. Creditors expect full disclosure of all aspects of the business in exchange for their consent to any agreement.

#11723 4 years ago
Quoted from applejuice:

Here are a few more files i have found from the development archive.

MG definitely has a Popadiuk vibe. Do you know who did the music for the game?

#12200 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Who exactly is this Zane D. Smith, and how did he get involved? Is he a friend of someone with money at stake? Do we even know if he is a competent attorney?

Zane Smith is a well-known litigation attorney in the Chicago area. He has been practicing law since 1983 (32 years), and he ran for U.S. Congress as a Democrat back in 2006. He is the founding partner of Zane D. Smith & Associates Ltd., a small firm located just north of the Loop in Chicago. The firm specializes in medical malpractice and personal injury, but is involved in a broad array of general litigation matters, including contract litigation like the complaint recently filed against Zidware Inc and the Popadiuk officers.

https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/FindDock.asp?NCase=&SearchType=2&Database=1&case_no=&Year=&div=&caseno=&PLtype=2&sname=popadiuk&CDate=

--------
"Zane D. Smith & Associates Ltd.

Since the firm was founded 25 years ago, its goal has always been to maintain quality representation through personal attention to its clients’ diverse needs.

The firm’s practice focuses on complex litigation plus a broad range of commercial and real estate transaction services. Litigation personal injury, professional negligence, includes civil rights, employment, intellectual property, construction, labor, ERISA, class actions, franchise law, contract and tort liability. Judgments have been in excess of $20 million.

The transactional practice includes the purchase and sales of business, negotiating financial terms of major commercial, industrial and residential real estate transactions."

http://www.zanesmith.com/
--------
"Zane D. Smith

Mr. Smith has been practicing law in Illinois since 1983. He was admitted to the State of Illinois, Federal Bar and Federal Trial Lawyers Bar. He is the past chairman of the Chicago Bar Association Tort Litigation Committee and is an active member of the Illinois and American Trial Lawyers Associations. As the managing partner of the firm, Mr. Smith concentrates his practice on complex litigation and catastrophic personal injury cases. He has obtained millions in verdicts for clients as well as protected the rights and interests of corporations. Mr. Smith has extensive jury trial experience at both the state and federal level. He was the Vice Chair of the Winnetka Park board and a past candidate for the US Congress."

http://www.zanesmith.com/zane-smith
--------

Regarding running for elective office, Zane wrote the following article on the Chicago Bar Association's "Tort Reporter" several years ago...

http://www.chicagobar.org/AM/CommitteePages/tortreporter/06_electedoffice.asp

11
#12263 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Seriously. Let it be known forever on the internet - John Popadiuk - alleged pinball designer - is a THEIF & A COWARD!!!!
Scrubbing his website & both Facebook pages....you can run, Jplop, but you can't...er...wait, yes, you can hide, too - beyotch.

He can't hide for long. He has to file an appearance in court on or before June 4th, the day before the start of the 2015 Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show...

https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/FindDock.asp?NCase=&SearchType=2&Database=1&case_no=&Year=&div=&caseno=&PLtype=2&sname=popadiuk&CDate=

Cook County Clerk Of The Circuit Court
--------------------------------------------
Case Information Summary for Case Number: 2015-M1-110181
Filing Date: 5/7/2015
Case Type: CONTRACT
Division: Municipal Division
District: First Municipal
Ad Damnum: $30,000.00

Activity Date: 5/7/2015
Participant: POPADIUK JOHN A

IF SERVED, FILE AN APPEARANCE IN ROOM 602 ON OR BEFORE ======>
Date: 6/4/2015

#12284 4 years ago
Quoted from zombieyeti:

I'm just a geeky guy who's lucky...

Dude, you just described 90% of the people on Pinside. No wonder you fit in here!

#12647 4 years ago
Quoted from Cheeks:

I'm in the same boat, overall soured on the hobby right now. Between this shitshow and Jack acting like a secretive d-bag about the delays on Hobbit (another pre-order I have) I'm just fed up. I don't even want to look at the ToTAN or CV that I own. I have half a mind to burn them in the Zidware parking lot to show John what I really think of him. I'm closer to liquidating my collection and getting out of the hobby than I have ever been. Just has not been fun for a while now. Sad!

Quoted from Shrub_Light:

I'm feeling the same way, except I have no Jpop pins to burn. I'm really trying to be patient thinking if I sell all of my pins I might regret it down the road. I can't even enjoy playing them anymore without thinking of the butt load of cash I literally threw away. It's sickening really.

Quoted from pinballrockstar:

I am just so sick of this,this guy was legend to me guys..
I am just in pieces,how am i supposed to look at early mg wall art??
My hero took 6 grand off me?
Wait ... I feel a hurl coming.

Quoted from pinballrockstar:

ALREADY SOLD 5 OF MY 13 PINS IN 3 DAYS! SICK OF THIS HOBBY! THANKS JOHN!
ALSO TOOK YOUR ZIDWARE WALL ART OF THE WALL,IT MAKES ME HURL !

FWIW, the above quotes are very natural human reactions from people suffering a loss. Some people deal with losses better than others, but most people go through the same Five Stages of Grief [1]...

The Five Stages of Grief:

1. Denial
2. Anger
3. Bargaining
4. Depression <---
5. Acceptance

-- Swiss Psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, 1969

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C3%BCbler-Ross_model

Quoted from Roostking:

Sensitive much?? Step back and enjoy your pins, John is just a minor blip on the overall pinball radar.

In light of the above, maybe you should cut him a little slack?

Just my two cents.

#13055 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I think this Hitler video will be seen by more people than the other pinball Hitler videos simply because it was posted by Ben. Lots of subscribers to his YouTube channel!

Yeah, Ben has a sizable YouTube audience (check the number of views in the red oval below), so this latest Hitler video will definitely get some attention.

771546.jpg

14
#13562 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Jpop's part of the license turnover to Pintasia, is he can't say or show anything, that's all Pintasia now - don't expect a word, pic or appearance by Jpop re: any of the 3 titles. MG and protos of AIW and RAZA cabinets, playfields, parts, boards and mechs are owned by Zidware, and MG is on loan for the NW show. Pintasia bought rights to the art and theme, but not parts, machines, tools or other assets nor assumed vendor or customer liabilities.

<snip>

Yes Pintasia is working with suppliers. Zidware paid many past invoices. John said to me Monday that some open invoices are in dispute b/c of John giving them new product designs in exchange for a small run of parts. Then being billed for design time and parts, that were agreed to be an even exchange. There are two sides to some of the vendor stories. Why would John or Bill have to explain all those details to you, personally. Let the guessing begin...

Any last-minute deal cut with an insolvent company is going to be scrutinized, and the art and theme are intellectual property assets of an insolvent company, regardless of how Pintasia Designs Inc has characterized its recent agreement with Zidware Inc. There are laws in place in the United States regarding insolvency and fraudulent conveyances that govern this. They can easily be navigated through by simply following certain procedures: e.g., full disclosure, public notice, competitive bidding, and valuable consideration. Unfortunately, it appears that none of those procedures have been followed.

That's why John Popadiuk and Bill Brandes should have to explain those details, not to anyone personally, but to the creditors of the insolvent company, because those creditors actually have first claim on the assets. There should be no guessing here. The creditors deserve full disclosure, and the law requires it.

Quoted from dgarrett:

customer deposits are unsecured creditors, unpaid taxes of fed, state or property take senior priority.

That's not true. The priority for customer deposit claims [Priority 7] is actually senior to tax claims [Priority 8].

Quoted from Razorbak86:

Section 507(a)(7) of the Bankruptcy Code actually gives a 7th priority to "allowed unsecured claims of individuals, to the extent of $̶1̶,̶8̶0̶0̶ $2,775 for each such individual, arising from the deposit, before the commencement of the case, of money in connection with the purchase, lease, or rental of property, or the purchase of services, for the personal, family, or household use of such individuals, that were not delivered or provided." [11 U.S.C. §507(a)(7)]
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title11/html/USCODE-2011-title11-chap5-subchapI-sec507.htm
The initial $1,800 dollar amount in the original Bankruptcy Code has been increased numerous times over the years to compensate for inflation, and it was subsequently increased to $2,775 in 2013.
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-02-21/html/2013-03998.htm
Pre-order customers who paid deposits would likely have their claims "bifurcated" (divided in two) into: (1) a priority unsecured claim of up to $2,775, and (2) a residual claim for the remainder, which would likely be classified as general unsecured. So the priority unsecured claim would likely be paid after all secured claims and some higher priority unsecured claims like administrative claims of lawyers/professionals in the case (Priority 2), and some wage & benefits claims of employees (Priorities 4 & 5), but before lower priority unsecured claims like taxes owed to governing bodies (Priority 8), and before general unsecured claims (e.g., trade vendors).

#13687 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Shameless plug here guys, but somewhat on topic. I know there's a lot of interest in what's happening at the NW show this year. I am broadcasting all of our seminars live on Twitch.TV. I can't say for sure when, or if, the game will be unveiled publicly but here's the stream link. I'm trying to make something happen. Bill, if you read this can you stop by the seminar room and chat.
http://www.twitch.tv/nwpinballarcadeshow

Quoted from ChrisVW:

Well it's looking like that's not going to happen after all. The game is being worked on upstairs. It's available for viewing by everyone on the show floor though. I can take some video and post it but it'll just be crappy cell phone video

Chris, you're doing a great job streaming the seminars from the NW show. I'm really enjoying the different segments. Looking forward to The Hobbit seminar tonight, too.

It's a shame that you won't be able to stream Magic Girl. I think everyone understands that's not within your direct control, but at least you tried to make it happen.

#13782 4 years ago
Quoted from Bowman9:

I don't have a horse in this race TL;DNR, but could someone recap this post?

Re-cap is still the same.

Quoted from Razorbak86:

Don't pre-order pinball machines.

#13890 4 years ago

I'm a little confused about the playfield cover, from the HD videos that I saw, so hopefully someone that saw the pin can answer a few questions.

The playfield cover appeared to negatively impact ball movement -- made it appear more floaty and visibly changed the ball direction a few times -- so I am curious as to why Popadiuk or the show prep team decided to use it?

Is the playfield cover just clear poly, simply to protect ZombieYeti's artwork, or does it contain the artwork itself?

#13894 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

The playfield cover contained the artwork.

Ah, that's makes sense. Thank you. Probably didn't have enough time/money to get the plywood itself printed.

#13899 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm dubious on all the 'claimed' money spent. How has $100K been spent on this pin in the past 30 days?

I suspect the $100,000 figure is actually a contractual limit on Pintasia Design's financial commitment in the so-called "license agreement" (e.g., "In exchange for __________, Pintasia Designs commits to spending up to $100,000 to _________").

#13927 4 years ago

ZombieYeti, "Illegitimi non carborundum."

Quick question for you: Was the "lexan style [playfield] protector with artwork" (see markmon's reference below) Popadiuk's long-term plan for Magic Girl, or was it simply a stop-gap measure to get the prototype with the most current playfield artwork to the show as quickly as possible? Did Popadiuk ultimately intend to have the artwork printed on the plywood playfield and then clear-coated?

Quoted from markmon:

The overlay is not Mylar. It's a lexan style protector with artwork. It's pretty neat. The thing looks like a smooth clear coat but can be easily replaced if any damage were to occur (we'll sort of easy maybe 2 hours of tear down). Unfortunately on this prototype it's loose so getting in the way with some of the shot power.

#13939 4 years ago
Quoted from PEN:

If there were glass on the game, they would be spending the whole day taking it on and off. Everyone is aware of that right?

Yep. In fact, you can hear Bill say that at the 1:08 time stamp in the video below...

#14215 4 years ago
Quoted from deeproot:

This was our informal plan, that's not under any NDA. John was to turnover MG and RAZA by July in whatever condition they were in at that time. Then John would 'disappear' for 2 years working on AIW. With RAZA for a release at 692 units by October 2016. MG at 1130 units in 2017. And AIW at 2k units in early 2018. All vendors paid by June 2015. All presales refunded by Feb 2016 for those that chose to not accept delivery (with refunds in part or credits for MSRP less than the amounts John arbitrarily chose at time of machine delivery). Penalty for refund would have been loss of certain 'privileges' (which will remain undisclosed as it is now moot). No real point to worry about any of that now. I wish these new investors the best. They are going to need it.
Lastly, we understand that by disclosing this information, we will open up ample opportunities for many to bash or criticize. No one else (including the few manufacturers today) came up with a solution to completely resolve the JPop dilemma. But at the end of the day not only was this plan realistic, it would have made everyone whole and released three amazing designs into a deserving community proving unlicensed themes can still match or exceed licensed ones. Bash away
RJM dT/dP

I don't know if deeproot is still actively following this monster thread, so I'll address the following question to others here...

What was it about the deeproot proposal that people didn't like?

a) All vendors paid by June 2015.
b) All presales refunded by Feb 2016 for those that chose to not accept delivery.

Was it simply a question of viability? People just didn't believe it would happen? Or did Popadiuk or someone else torpedo the deeproot deal?

Perhaps if there was some real price competition between the interested "licensees" or "buyers", then all of the creditors would have benefited?

#14221 4 years ago
Quoted from Manic:

Not a personal attack at all. In fact I didn't want to embarrass you any further about your behavior in the Pred thread so I kept it simple but accurate. Shouting people down, repeatedly LOUDLY stating "the license is a done deal people! what's your problem?"... etc... even when they were questioning the web wipe - this stuff might JUST affect your credibility.
So to see you now over here ranting yet again just rubs me the wrong way.

It's not really fair to compare WhySnow 1.0 (early Skit-B thread) to WhySnow 2.0 (current Popadiuk thread). This is the updated model.

#14715 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Just thinking out loud here. Is it even remotely possible that John would consider filing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition to buy more time?
I'm no bankruptcy lawyer but I think he'd get 180 days to put a reorganization plan together versus 15 days in a Chapter 7.
I don't pretend to understand the mind of Jpop but is it possible that he feels emboldened now by Bill and crew actually getting a pin to a show? Is it beyond the realm of possibility that he might think he can still cobble something together with another group now?
Or will he just throw in the towel and go Chapter 7? Will John really do that? Chapter 11 costs big bucks to navigate and usually gets converted into a 7.

I doubt that Popadiuk would file Chapter 11, unless he had DIP financing lined up, because the case would be administratively insolvent right out of the gate. Popadiuk's letter on May 22nd effectively provided the basis, almost word for word, for a good faith ruling in favor of qualified petitioning creditors in an involuntary Chapter 7 proceeding...

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 he has effectively provided evidence of administrative insolvency pre-petition, which is typically the gating issue prompting conversion to Chapter 7.

12
#14840 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

if I buy an IP from a company, I own that IP. Whether that company was heathy or about to go into bankruptcy is not relevant at that point. When I go to Walmart to buy something I don't investigate whether or not the company that supplied the inventory was paid. I simply buy what they have. A company that is in trouble can sell assets to pay its debts. Me buying that IP gives some cash for that company to pay its debts. Whether it did this with the money or continued to mismanage that money and pissed it away is also not relevant (to me as a buyer of the IP). But once I own the IP, I own it. I don't need to pay anyone that was hired by the party that sold it to me anything.

Quoted from markmon:

And for anyone that thinks they have part ownership in the game because they paid for *a* game I can only say that you don't. You didn't buy stock in Jpop's company and assets. You bought a promise of making and shipping you a completed game. That gives you no rights to the rest of the company assets.

Quoted from dgarrett:

Its Zidware's asset Ice - John P, like it or not, is 100% owner of Zidware and therefore 100% of that machine- what is the question?

Once a company enters the "zone of insolvency", the owners, directors, and managers of the company owe a fiduciary duty to the creditor body as a whole, and they have a fiduciary duty to marshal the company's assets for later distribution to creditors on a pro-rata basis in accordance with applicable laws.

#15072 4 years ago
Quoted from Jazman:

He calls his company Zidware Inc but I see there is already an unrelated Zidware Inc in IL. So, did he REALLY incorporate? If so, where? I couldn't find any reference.

Yes, Zidware, Inc. is incorporated in the State of Illinois (File No.: 66577511).

Use the following link, and search for Corporate > Key Word > Zidware.

http://www.ilsos.gov/corporatellc/

ZidwareInc.jpg

#15400 4 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

As we have indicated before, John owes back taxes...

Public records show that the past-due real estate taxes on the Popadiuk's house have been paid.

Meanwhile, the motion to strike in the Zamost case was approved.

11
#15692 4 years ago

Q: What's the quickest way to become a millionaire?

A: Start with an 8-figure net worth, and invest in a pinball company.

#15840 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

You and a handful of others don't like that your repeated attempts to come up with something, are mostly just hail marys that won't hold up.

Tread carefully there, Bucko. The Hail Mary™ is officially governed by the "license agreement".

#15960 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

What you are able to keep in a bankruptcy is a matter of state law and most states allow you to keep a homestead property if it doesn't hold too much value (in Louisiana it used to be around 80k of equity in a house, not sure what it is today off hand, in Florida there used to be no limit on value, not sure today).

The Illinois homestead exemption is limited to $15,000 for an individual, and $30,000 for a married couple.

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.

#15961 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Taxes don't discharge in a bankruptcy and paying owed taxes to the government is not a preferential payment.

Quoted from TigerLaw:

I do want to make one more comment:
though the above is generally correct, there are not a lot of absolutes in the law and a bankruptcy judge is an exceedingly powerful person. If inclined, a bankruptcy judge does have the power to hurl a lightening bolt through the IRS or state level taxing authority. It does not happen frequently but is theoretically possible.

Yes, federal bankruptcy law often trumps state law.

In fact, some tax claims can be fully discharged in bankruptcy (e.g., income tax debts at least 3 years old, subject to qualifying criteria), and a bankruptcy trustee can avoid and recover some preferential payments to taxing authorities (e.g., if the payment was for an antecedent debt).

#16033 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

Everyone knows about the lawsuit. 11 chose to make claims. I think that's it.

Actually, 12 chose to litigate, but the initial plaintiff (Bruce Zamost, aka "ZNET") dropped out. I suspect he either got a refund or settled out of court, but I don't know that for certain.

#16067 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

This assumes Popaduik even has a lawyer...

According to the updated court docket, the Popadiuks hired Venis & Copp LLP as legal counsel for all 3 defendants.

https://w3.courtlink.lexisnexis.com/cookcounty/FindDock.asp?NCase=&SearchType=2&Database=1&case_no=&Year=&div=&caseno=&PLtype=2&sname=Popadiuk&CDate=

They filed an appearance and paid their court fees on June 24th.

Venis & Copp is a small, general practice law firm in Chicago with both litigation and bankruptcy experience.

http://www.venislaw.com/

2 weeks later
#16498 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

What else is there to do? There aren't going to be any games coming out. Every month that passes is more money burned, less to recover in the inevitable bankruptcy.
I'll personally be OK with not getting a dime back but knowing this shit show is officially over.

There are only two paths to US bankruptcy court. Either the debtor files a voluntary petition, or creditors file an involuntary petition, but both paths require someone to file a petition.

1 week later
#16912 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Anyone doing a Google search for John Popaduke will not see anything bad on the first page, they will see an article comparing him to Steve Jobs however.
Page 2 and 3 will mention the failed bailout attempt.
If you type in John Popaduke thief or John Popaduke jerk you will get better results but still mostly positive, a few about the bankrupsy.
Even typing in Magic Girl pinball will only yield positive results on the first page.

His name is John A. Popadiuk, Jr.

Maybe if you spelled it correctly, your online research might be more successful?

2 months later
#17593 4 years ago

Popadiuk is not going to do an interview with ANYONE while the ongoing litigation is still active.

1 week later
#17897 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Is it just me or is everyone else reading every post like it's supposed to be a Haiku?
rd

Whatchu talkin 'bout, Dave?
S'posed to be fallin' on his sword.
I don't believe it.

#17984 4 years ago
Quoted from Ballypin:

I will repeat my guess that he will show up next week until the SHAME chants start.

"SHAME chants?"

Is that where the sycophants circle around him and ask for his autograph? And other people ALMOST go over and talk to him and then post stalker photos on Pinside and complain about the outrage?

#18114 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Always happy to pay for your drinks RD! One of my dumbest bets was with you. What can i say

I can certainly understand someone getting sucked into JPop's reality distortion field, but betting drinks with a Kiwi? Now that's just fucking stupid!

2 months later
#18420 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

I wonder who Bruce Zamost is? Could he be part of the main lawsuit brought by Zane (maybe he was the first to sue)
image.png

Bruce Zamost was the original plaintiff for Zane Smith's lawsuit. He goes by the UserID "ZNET" on Pinside.

https://pinside.com/pinball/community/pinsiders/znet

7 months later
10
#19014 3 years ago
Quoted from Ripley:

4 years and when they finally brought the pin to a show, it shot like shit, nothing worked, and the ramp was blocked and impossible to hit. John never had a single white wood done. In 4 years. Unreal.

You have a lot of gall posting that, Kaneda. You created the "ZidwarePR" userID and openly pitched a marketing plan, pro bono, that would have actually perpetuated this fraud.

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jpop-update-thread……………mg-raza-and-aiw…?tq&tu=ZidwarePR

WTF, dude?!?

1 month later
#19406 3 years ago

Q: Do you know what the biggest difference is between Kevin Kulek and John Popadiuk?

A: One is a debtor in a federal bankruptcy case, and the other is not.

Shenanigans like this American Pinball affiliation, Houdini press release, and rumored EXPO reveal don't typically occur under the bright, sobering sunlight of a bankruptcy court proceeding.

#19578 3 years ago
Quoted from goatdan:

For as nutty as John was with stuff, he loved his patents. I believe he had something like four or five patents for his design work already. If he had designed mechs that worked around the existing rights for other machines, you could pretty easily justify a huge startup cost gone and find the value of your $1M - $2M right there. In that case, the actual design work of John might not even be what you are interested in at all, but instead just the other stuff.

JPop's patents were never really financially viable. There's been a lot of discussion about that issue on this thread. Here's a brief synopsis (Pinside Google-fu is your friend)...

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/jpop-update-thread……………mg-raza-and-aiw…?tq=Patent&tu

#19644 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I'm just trying to wrap my legal and accounting brain around this and figure out what the angle is

Ice, don't drive yourself crazy trying to find a logical, legally sound, and financially viable explanation for any business venture in which Zidware, Inc. or its owner is involved. Zidware, Inc. is insolvent, and John Popadiuk is desperate. Desperate people tend to do desperate things, and their actions are often not logical, legally sound, or financially viable.

#19736 3 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

One possibility is that he's the only (classic big name) designer they could get. Everyone else has been snapped up by the big companies.

... or has decided not to return to the pinball industry.

Now if you can convince THIS guy to join you, that would be a real coup!

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Creator/BrianEddy
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Eddy

image.jpeg

#19801 3 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

This can only end in tears.
If you can't see the pig in the poke you deserve to eat cats.

Quoted from j_m_:

is this some secret code you're speaking in?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pig_in_a_poke

"The idioms pig in a poke and sell a pup (or buy a pup) refer to a confidence trick originating in the Late Middle Ages, when meat was scarce, but cats and dogs were not.

A poke is a sack or bag. It has a French origin as "poque" and, like several other French words, its diminutive is formed by adding "ette" or "et"—hence "pocket" began life with the meaning "small bag". Poke is still in use in several English-speaking places, including Scotland and some regions of the USA. For example among English hop growers, a poke is a large sack into which hops are poured to be taken from the picking machine to the oast for drying.

The scheme entailed the sale of a suckling pig in a poke. The bag, sold unopened, would actually contain a cat or dog, which was substantially less valuable as a source of meat. The French idiom acheter (un) chat en poche (to buy a cat in a bag) refers to an actual sale of this nature, as do many European equivalents, while the English expression refers to the appearance of the trick."

#19948 3 years ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

Initial start up costs are minimized by taking over what Jpop has/had, plus the speed to market with having a machine already developed/designed. I am telling you all, Houdini didn't just happen. Jpop has been quietly developing this one for some time, this was going to be another Zidware machine. Evidence of this is his looking for the rights to Houdini name years ago.
A.P. not having to throw a dime at JPop for these expenses make it plausible for the other 3 games to be manufactured on "JPop's behalf".
It's risky as all hell, but it makes sense on the business end for AP if the assets were cheap enough. Zidware was dissolved earlier this year anyway. I firmly believe that JPop believes this is his out to his whole fiasco. Zidware gone, failed company. Games delivered, collected monies handled. Who says after JPops games are delivered(if ever), he isn't on the outside looking in? It's possible? If A.P. can pull this off, they are the big winner here.
Then I digress and have to realize this is still somehow all related to JPop. Nothing is a given until machines are delivered.
Working relationship, with 100% A.P. ownership.

Zidware, Inc is still subject to federal and state insolvency laws. Zidware's creditors still have first claim on Zidware's assets, and what you are describing could be construed as a fraudulent conveyance in federal or state court.

#20012 3 years ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

I thought it was your booze limit you hit. LoL.

Those shot multipliers are currently uncapped.

#wheresthecode

2 weeks later
#20186 3 years ago

That's just a patent application.

Quoted from CactusJack:

the part I don't get is how Jpop could patent what was already patented by WMS:
https://www.google.com/patents/US6000697

Popadiuk was one of the two Inventors. Williams was the Original Assignee.

#20239 3 years ago
Quoted from dotEXE:

Because then other people can't have it? ... What's hard to get about that?

And just who do YOU think I am? I seriously look forward to the third time this week somebody has guessed I'm somebody specific. So far I've been Jack Guarnieri, and some other Jack who runs a podcast. Who am I today? I'm eager to hear.

Do you sleep under Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sheets?

#20273 3 years ago
Quoted from Cornelius:

I tried to give the people a scoop, and I think I did.

Quoted from Cornelius:

I guess it's because JPOP makes great games is that people lose their minds. And what I saw in Vegas sure looked purty. I drank the Kool-aid too, right? But at least I got off my ass and did something.

Quoted from Cornelius:

And so maybe this is where I got the cards-close-to-the-vest treatment versus what you got.

As they say in poker, "If you’ve been in the game 30 minutes, and you don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy." -- Warren Buffett.

#20296 3 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I firmly believe "the thing that happened" was they learned how bad the Zidware situation really was. Houdini provoked a reaction from the internet, and every move since has been about distancing themselves from Zidware.

Did you see the cabinet drawings at Expo? They're changing all the art, putting the LCD in the backglass, changing the cabs. They're not using Zidware driver boards either - that's a pretty serious red flag.

Sounds like what a party would do after receiving a C&D letter. Or maybe they just decided to back slowly away from the Zidware "tar baby"?

2 weeks later
#20360 3 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

John was 50% inspiration, 25% printing banners and 25% coffee breaks.

Come on, now. That's not totally fair. He dedicated a little time to deception, too.

1 month later
#20514 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Unlike the Predator debacle, John would have a legitimate claim to bankruptcy. The money was spent and there is no more.

The money may have been spent, but the creditor claims still remain. The question is, would the debts get discharged in BK, giving Zidware, Inc. (and the Popadiuks) a "fresh start"? That outcome is by no means certain, given Zidware's business practices to date, and some of the money may still be recoverable through classic avoidance actions pursued by a Trustee (e.g., preferential transfers, fraudulent conveyances).

2 weeks later
#20575 2 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

So are you guys are saying it's not too late to get in on this project? Or is there still only a limited number of spots.

Plenty of spots available for RAZA and AIW.

Meanwhile...

[JPop to MG creditors in his best Oprah voice]: "YOU get a preference payment, and YOU get a preference payment, and YOU get a preference payment!"

#20587 2 years ago
Quoted from c508:

Finally got Defendant JPOP's interrogatories for the Plaintiffs (started on this last week but the Cook County clerks took a while to process the request). Was hoping for a more specific line of questioning from JPOP (especially when a bunch of what he is requesting was already attached to the Plaintiffs' complaints).
Not sure if this is him gearing up to fight, or just delaying things while he "assembles" MGs and "delivers" them to customers?
Anyway, here's the filing.

Those scheduled depositions may provide just enough motivation to finally tip this case and push Zidware into bankruptcy. All it takes is 3 unsecured creditors collectively owed a little over $14,000 to file an involuntary Chapter 7 petition.

2 weeks later
#21061 2 years ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

I am not happy to see this game. Does it look good? Sure. It might even play awesome. But you know how you build 19 kickass machines? You con and rip off dozens of vendors and hundreds of collectors trying to get a different game. Nothing has been made right here. This is literally the first round of ponzi investors getting out early. In a bankruptcy these would be clawed back as preferential distributions. I hate that 19 people who are already rich enough to shell out 16k are gonna get a highly collectible game while the developer is getting stiffed on 11k plus a game. I'm a developer and I've been stiffed on contracts. It sucks and it costs > $11k to even retain a quality attorney for a long court case.

Quoted from cppinball:

Yes lets blame and HATE the RICH PEOPLE who could afford the game. Is this FACEBOOK?

Quoted from cppinball:

I have waited 6 years for this game, thought my money was gone. My game will be on LOCATION at CP Pinball. If its good it will stay, if it sucks it will be gone.

Richthofen's not blaming or hating the rich people who can afford the game. He's making an argument based on FAIRNESS.

He's complaining that a small subset of the Zidware Inc creditor pool (~19 "lucky" people) are about to receive "preferential transfers" of Magic Girl pinball machines (i.e., providing 100% recovery on their outstanding claims), when the REST of the Zidware creditor pool (e.g., artists, software coders, parts vendors, RAZA/AIW customers) are getting stiffed (i.e., 0% recovery on their claims).

Richthofen views that as UNFAIR treatment, and other Pinsiders on this thread probably agree.

For what it's worth, the U.S. Congress believes it's unfair, too. That's why they wrote provisions into the U.S. Bankruptcy Code to allow a bankruptcy trustee to recover preferential transfers for the benefit of the debtor's estate, auction off the assets to the highest bidders, and then distribute the net proceeds to ALL creditors based on the priority and amount of their claims.

What might such a scenario look like? For the sake of simplicity, let's assume that all creditors are classed as general unsecured creditors (non-priority claims). If the net proceeds generated from the bankruptcy process end up being less than the total amount of claims outstanding, then the net proceeds would be distributed on a pro-rata basis (i.e., based on an equal percentage of each outstanding claim). Under that scenario, you and the other Magic Girl customers would receive the same percentage recovery as zombieyeti (the unpaid artist), applejuice (the unpaid software coder), GLModular (the unpaid board designer), other unpaid parts vendors, and the RAZA/AIW customers who also paid money to Zidware for pinball machines. The highest bidders at the auction, likely collectors willing to pay up for collectible games, would take home the Magic Girl machines. Creditors receiving pro-rata distributions may choose to bid in the auction, or they may choose to simply end their involvement with Zidware altogether.

11
#21064 2 years ago
Quoted from Jazman:

Since Jpop is not currently in bankruptcy (at least I missed it if that happened), I don't believe the preferential transfer clause comes into play. Even if that happens in the future after games are delivered, I don't think it comes into play. He's delivering product to paying customers. This is very different than what happened in the Kulek/Predator fiasco. So I don't think there would be any recourse for other creditors unless bankruptcy is forced before those get shipped...

You are partially correct. Preferential transfers are only recoverable in bankruptcy, so either Zidware Inc would have to file a voluntary petition to put the company into bankruptcy, or at least 3 unsecured creditors would have to file an involuntary petition to force the company into bankruptcy.

However, preferential transfers are recoverable after the fact, if the transfers are made within 90 days of a petition filing. So even if the machines are delivered to paying customers, if a bankruptcy petition is subsequently filed within 90 days, and the trustee deems the transfers to be preferential (i.e., unfairly benefiting some creditors to the detriment of other creditors), the trustee could still file an avoidance action to recover the assets for the benefit of the creditors of the estate.

#21073 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

All predicated on zidware being insolvant tho.. not just in debt. I'm wondering where the resources to fund AP's contracting of MG mysteriously came from after so long?

Reference Paragraph 11, Allegations, on the following form...

http://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/form_b205_0.pdf

Is the debtor generally not paying its debts as they become due, unless they are the subject of a bona fide dispute as to liability or amount?

Think about the following creditors when answering that question:

- zombieyeti
- applejuice
- GLModular
- Other unpaid parts vendors
- RAZA/AIW customers

#21075 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Oh I know.. and we've been in that 'potential' for what.. a year plus? Including businesses, not just individuals.. its an option that hasn't changed. I would suspect the potential for failing to have the bankruptcy declared and the liability that generates is why the lawsuit angle is the only one anyone has taken?
And when does the lookback period start? From when creditors file their complaint, or when the court decides to put them in bankruptcy?
I wonder even if in the Kevin case, how many people actually have filed a proof of claim?? (I would imagine that be part of the public record too.. but I don't recall seeing a list of hundreds of predator buyers.. only a short list)

It's very easy to get into bankruptcy, but a lot more difficult to get out. The solvency test for the involuntary petition filing (referenced previously) is pretty easy to satisfy, and the logistical hurdle to file the petition is fairly low (i.e., at least 3 unsecured creditors collectively owed $15,775 or more + 1 lawyer + $335 filing fee).

The clock for the reach-back period starts when the petition is filed. Bankruptcy events are typically referred to as either pre-petition or post-petition.

In Kevin Kulek's Chapter 7 case, the claims bar date was pushed back by court order due to the lack of debtor cooperation in providing key financial information.

1 week later
#22165 2 years ago
Quoted from spinal:

New to this JPOP Magic Girl release so watching vids and trying to read this thread but there are too many posts to get a bird's eye view. So little makes sense to me that I can't follow. Seems like some love MG and then others are saying not only code is missing but hardware missing?
Can someone provide a JPOP summary so I can follow the conversation? (Thanks)

Someone developed an online summary, away from the Pinside website, which contains information that might fill in the gaps for you.

www.johnpopadiuk.com

#22703 2 years ago
Quoted from Manimal:

... could be the catalyst to push some judge to do something out of the ordinary.

That probably makes sense, from a layman's perspective, but it's not out of the ordinary in bankruptcy court. It's actually common practice.

For example, simply refer to the following quote. [1]

--------

"The 'avoiding powers' of a bankruptcy trustee are among the most commonly used and frequently analyzed provisions of the Bankruptcy Code. These powers are designed to achieve a variety of policy goals. Providing perhaps the most significant of these powers is that which allows the trustee to set aside preferential transfers. The preference provision is, by far, the most litigated area of bankruptcy law."

--------

[1] Deborah L. Thorne, Carrie Foster, and David Wheeler. Foreword. Preference Defence Handbook: The Circuits Compared. 1st ed. Alexandria: American Bankruptcy Institute, 2006.

Bonus points if you can figure out Ms. Thorne's current occupation.

1 week later
#23121 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

This argument about RAZA and AIW buyers "funding" MG is ridiculous. MG buyers paid first and paid more. They were first in line, so they were always going to get their pins first.
It makes zero sense to me to have RAZA/AIW buyers act like MG buyers are the evil ones because they actually got their games, and, God forbid, sell them for a nice profit.

The "first in line, first in right" rule only applies if a creditor is secured (i.e., the creditor has a lien on specific assets). Most of the creditors here are unsecured.

If the company was insolvent (i.e., Balance Sheet Test: Liabilities > Assets; Cash Flow Test: The company cannot pay its obligations when they become due) AND IN BANKRUPTCY, then all unsecured creditors, without a lien on specific assets, would fall into the same creditor class, and all the creditors within the class would be treated equally, regardless of the specific times the claims were established.

If the company did not have enough cash (or product) to satisfy all claims within a creditor class, then the claims would be addressed on a 'pro rata' basis. For example, if the creditor class had a total of $1,000,000 of claims, and the company only had $200,000 of cash (or product) to distribute, then all creditors within the class would receive 20% of the value of their claim (i.e., $0.20 per dollar owed).

2 months later
#23524 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Maybe it's beyond time to drop this civil case and just do what should be done - forced bankruptcy.

The reach-back period in bankruptcy for preferential transfers to non-insiders is 90 days.

I doubt three unsecured creditors will be able to collaborate and file an involuntary bankruptcy petition in the next 5 calendar days. Doesn't look like it's gonna happen.

Preferential Transfers (resized).jpg

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