(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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#2976 5 years ago

Could someone summarize what exactly has transpired in the last few months, or years even? --It's a little tough to piece together from the thread, and I've been tossing around the idea of getting a RAZA spot for a while now.

What is the current official planned release date? How many times has it been pushed back?

Is the project in dire straits?

When/what was the last actual statement that anyone heard from Popadiuk himself?

Is there any indication that JPop has functional code on any of his prototypes?

Care to explain the down-vote? I read the last 20 pages of this thread, and all I could tell was that people were upset and trying to get refunds. I ask for help/info and all you do is down-vote me. Geez.

1 week later
#3411 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

Just made up the numbers, worked backwards.
I am assuming he is not getting people to work for free or free rent, free utilities, free 3D printers etc..
I assumed John has collected ~$1,300,000 plus or minus. I figured he has to have spent less than $1.3M.
I figure he has to have some money lying around so I'm figuring he has ~$300k left over. He has money due when he starts to build which I am counting for BOM and assembly and holdback for warranty.
Here's what I figure he has collected ( plus or minus)
30 MG x $14000 ($420k)
124 RAZA x $6500 ($806k)
100 AIW x $2000 ($200k)u
Sum $1.42M
So I'm figuring he needs to have spent less than $1.42M
He has to pay for art, music, code, rent, utilities, patents, equipment such as computers, routers, 3D printers, materials and supplies, if he has any employees he may have to pay benifits as well as employee portions of SS and Medicare taxes.
John does seem like a very frugal guy and maybe running on a shoestring budget, but over 3-4 years he has to have spent down a lot of the $1.3M which is not really a lot of money if you think of the time factor as time = money.

Aren't most people only paid up like halfway? Depending, I bet the other half could easily cover production.

#3438 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The ACDC is a good example. Stern's development costs are the same for ACDC as they were for Mustang, around a million.
But they sold ~1000 Mustangs and ~6000 ACDCs... besides BOM, that is pure profit on 5000 machines.
THAT is a real business model. Not to mention the profit from ACDC carries them over the hump of titles like Mustang.

Would you prefer he opened up sales on the machines? Selling 50 or 100 MGs would certainly close any conceivable gap, plus more people would get to enjoy the game. Obviously, he would have to make sure the ones who preordered from the start get a good bit of extra bells and whistles on their machines, since they would then be a (little) bit less "exclusive"...

#3475 5 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

You are right on. I don't see how adding to the queue of games fixes any financial cash flow
I don't get the Ponzi scheme mentality that have been tossed around on several of the boutiques. The logic of "selling just 100 more preorders" would bridge any cash flow gap is amazing. The profit on these isn't as huge as you might think, and selling more product, that doesn't cover the fixed cost of the parts and shop/factory?, is producing a faster road to being broke.

If he has a good showing with a functional prototype at MGC, and if the game is as awesome as people who have visited his shop are reporting, I don't doubt that there would be interest in at least a few more slots. I think characterizing adding orders as being a "ponzi scheme" is just a bit dramatic. A BOM for a non-innovative old-school pin shouldn't exceed 4k, plus it sounds like Popadiuk has been modernizing the design, and might not need as much labor to build one.

#3478 5 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

For some $16k was reasonable for an exclusive 1-of-13 (or 16 or 25 or whatever) custom made-for-me-by-a-famed-designer at the top of the pinball bubble. At this point there is no reason to assume $16k is the right market price to sell 50-100, but selling many hundreds of them would result in manufacturing cost reductions, a price reduction, and better chance at actual profits for Jpop. It's probably why Jpop wants to jump to RAZA and AIW at this point, though it is still under the manufacturing efficiency threshold.

I think I read somewhere on the forum that he wants to keep Zombie Yeti doing art with him, and if the cabinet and pf art are done on MG and RAZA, it would make sense to get started on cabinet and pf art on AIW. Kind of a pipeline process, I suppose.

#3480 5 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

I'm only guessing but maybe he has the home use only phrase in the contract so he doesn't have to get UL approval and other approvals.

IANAL, but I doubt that the distinction makes much difference -- if a device injures someone you could still be sued no matter what.

More likely, the lawyer added that as a protection for the case when someone throws the pin to the wolves on route, and then expects a warranty fix for a beer spill on the machine, kicked in cabinet, etc.

#3482 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

One has to wonder why you need a contract to buy something anyways. I certainly never signed a contract limiting liability for my car, or any other purchase.

No, no, there is contractual (non-liability) language in the manual for all cars.

When you buy a new car you are basically agreeing to all the legal mumbo jumbo in the manual.

When I bought my car I had to sign probably a dozen things. That's just the world (the country anyway) we live in.

1 week later
#3839 4 years ago

I think the colors look amazing, truly stunning. I wouldn't change it at all, seriously.

#3955 4 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

Imagine if all the preorder money was in Twitter...

Imagine it was in Eastman Kodak...

#3991 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Hey retro_p, do you actually know something other people don't since you're downvoting anyone who says these are just pics of what we've already seen?

Just shocked by all the negativity... we've seen pictures of 3 full prototypes sitting in a row, tons of gorgeous art, and indications that he's been working on a production path. I think these are going to be amazing games. Sorry for playing negativity police, but it gets a little old.

2 weeks later
#4080 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

It's an interesting choice of words for sure. If he wants to woo investors for future machines, I would imagine they would want to see the current games successfully shipped before investing any money.
If he wants them to invest in the current projects, what is there to invest in? With no more machines to sell in the limited run, the possible returns would be well documented assuming the associated timeline is met. I wonder what his burn rate is?

My guess is that this is a production partnership of some sort. Perhaps Jpop is not equipped to produce the machines, but then someone else is, they join forces, and split ownership, and split profits. If this is the case, it would be a really positive thing I think, since Jpop is probably better at the design stuff, and the other company could be handling a lot of business-y things.

1 week later
#4683 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

If you go into a situation expecting to change someone like John or hope he changes, you are doomed. If you can approach it and someone like John knowing their strengths and setting up an arrangement that allows for success, you can achieve something great.
You can have a band with excellent musicians playing their parts perfect, and the music can be dull and lifeless. You need an x-factor to push it to be amazing. Challenging ideas and concepts that push talented people to do their best work is kind of environment I love work in.

How many pins have been finished, completed and shipped using the FAST controller? You certainly seem to speak with great authority on the matter, but I don't know of any publicly sold pins that have the FAST controller integrated in their system. Am I missing something?

#4687 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

As far as I know the only "alternative" controller system with shipping pins is Ben Heck's. Predator was going to be the first P-ROC complete commercial game I believe, but since that's in limbo ...

In that case I can't help but think what Aaron is saying is kind of patronizing; if you've got the track record to back it up, you can speak as an authority on "getting shit done", but if you haven't done anything... really?

#4726 4 years ago
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.
FAST Pinball

And how much are you charging for your hardware? Let's hear numbers. You certainly wouldn't be doing this out of the goodness of your heart, "challenge" or not -- this is to make a profit. Would John have to dumb down his designs to accommodate the added cost? Are you going to raise prices once MG ships, and leave the RAZA owners high and dry? You wield a shit-ton of power when you own the platform that others depend on. Unless you were licensing the actual board design, this sounds scary.

#4729 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

Man, you really dont like us do ya?
We have shared numbers on pinside before: https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/fast-pinball/page/2#post-2027270
For John, I would bid a volume price combining MG and RAZA, as MG numbers alone are too low to benefit from volume.
Have you ever run a business before? Why on earth would we make hardware and then come up with a horrible pricing scheme that screws customers? You are certainly painting a perverse picture of how you imagine we would attempt to abuse customers. What is your intention with your scare tactic comments? Trolling?
FAST Pinball

Don't take the questions personally. I've just seen every nasty business manuver in the book at one time or another, and these are just questions that should be asked.

In retrospect, the post might have been a little heavy-handed; DST is kicking my butt.

You're one of the good guys, Aaron. Not to worry.

1 week later
#5280 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

That "we will assemble it!" sounds like John Math...
2 round trip flights within US: $1000
Shipping machine: $325
2 nights hotel X 2 people: $400
Ben Heck 8 hours labor: $1000
Total: $2725 Net loss ($1725)
Math. The basic skill to have before starting a business.

This is probably old news (and ancient history), but I'm really curious what happened between you and John -- you two partnered on BHZA for a while, right?

#5600 4 years ago
Quoted from John_I:

I'm sure Chris ships $7000 worth of LEDs to every start-up and does not expect to be paid.

That's actually a very good point. What exactly was given to John with zero prepayment? Has Chris posted anything indicating what happened precisely? Of course, I'm not saying either side is right here, just that that is a damn good question.

#5602 4 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

I'm still in the process of sifting through information, so bear with me. From the looks of things, there is good evidence to support the concept that some of the projects that were assigned to GLM may have also been given to other parties to work on concurrently. That would definitely lend a lot of weight to my theory as to why some vendors (GLM included) weren't paid for their work.
I'm guessing that this is one of the many reasons why none of the Vendors were given access to the blogs.

Yikes, exactly what work did you do, and what were you owed?

#5618 4 years ago
Quoted from GLModular:

I was outlining the general process.
There are two invoices that were not paid by Zidware. Meaning GLM upheld it's part of the process (as outlined), but Zidware didn't complete the final part (paying the invoice).

How much does he owe you,


what were the services that you performed for which he owes money?

#5674 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

With no final boardset and no code this game is DOA.
FAST Pinball was going to help but John wouldn't even send them a MG PF.

It's been stated many times that John is using the QPC, and all of his prototypes are wired for it. First hand accounts have described prototypes as having /some/ working code. Changing boards sounds like a huge change for a project that is already overdue. And I'd be shocked if FAST would want to write software for a different boardset than their own.

#5676 4 years ago
Quoted from StevenP:

I get the uncertainty and frustration with lack of communication. I was relaying general comments made to me, speaking as an individual and not as his lawyer/representative in these topics, without having gone thru the books or anything like Ice is proposing to do. Figuring maybe some indirect info was better than none. So, if that level of info is doing more harm than good, message received. I'll stop posting in JPOP threads/topics, period. it already seems like the best course of action from my personal perspective.
I. Will. Stop. Now.

Steve, you single-handedly raise the signal-to-noise ratio of this thread threefold, your presence is appreciated.

#5885 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

Wait, so now the MG blog is open to the public again? I'm so confused.

The MG blog never stopped being public.

#5943 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Day one pinball. From idea to full blown company and 30 finished games in 6 months. Granted there are no flippers, it has professional artwork by John Yousi and 4-channel multiplex sound. Amazing what you can accomplish when you have a "team" that all work together, and you have a "project manager"

Yeah, but it has the aesthetic of a washing machine...

3 weeks later
#7620 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I was one of the first pre-orders, with $1k sent 6 months ago, and only the 50% was paid a few weeks back (AFTER he showed the factory and parts arriving). There are more delays with production, but in the grand scheme its a relatively small wait so no one is screaming bloody murder.

I hope you are right, and this isn't a failed boutique pre-order flavor of the week. Sounds exciting; when are you supposed to receive your machine?

#7624 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

There is one thing that separates business people from the rest of the world. They re-evaluate a situation whenever necessary.

I would hope it isn't just business people, we'd have a lot of problems if engineers didn't re-evaluate the situation every once in a while...

#7695 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

John's gambit was take pre-orders, make a bunch of pretty art and patents, and get bought out/hired before he actually had to produce anything.


Quoted from benheck:

I formed this opinion through observation and analysis.

I read this and stopped there.

You started out phrasing these suppositions as fact, making some pretty heavy assertions... but they are still grounded only in opinion.

Say what you will about John (I sure as hell am not defending him here), but let's keep the rabble rousing to a minimum -- there's already plenty of anger/uncertainty to go around.

To me at least, it looks a little self-serving when you are running a competing pinball company.


Edit (as I posted below):
Indeed, "competing" probably is a bad fit, but "has a vested interest in seeing Zidware crash and burn" seems a little wordy.

#7698 4 years ago

Ha, indeed, "competing" probably is a bad fit, but "has a vested interest in seeing Zidware crash and burn" seems a little wordy.

#7700 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I don't see how that's true. Frankly even if John's company was doing well he's honestly not competition for anyone else. People who are paying $10k-17k for highly limited games? Just not really affecting the market that much.

That's $17K that could have been spent on (several) Spooky or Heighway pins. It's not like that money is intractably glued together, and can't be split up : P

#7786 4 years ago

Very good post Rai!

I think one other possibility would be for John to re-engineer the games into something that could be made one at a time. Sacrifices would have to be made to quality, and basically nothing could be custom engineered, but at least he wouldn't need new money get started, since a lot of these custom parts have to be made in huge quantities to be cost effective. By building them one at a time, John could open up new orders (having shipped previous orders), and he could reach some sort of escape velocity from this death spiral.

That being said, I don't suspect John has the personality/fortitude to push forward with anything less than perfection, even if it means zero games being shipped.

3 weeks later
#9686 4 years ago
Quoted from slapshot:

Did you edit Jpop's letter for him?

He already said (a couple of times now, in the last, idk, 2-3 pages...) that he had nothing to do with this letter.

#9691 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

How late is The Hobbit again?

Jack at least has some business sense, and came into the business with the money and drive to make it (at least one amazing game) happen.

But this is all hypothetical anyway.

#10517 4 years ago


#11276 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

With Skit-B and JPop/Zidware going down in flames so close together, the last thing this hobby needs is for JJP to be next.
Damn this hobby has more drama than any I've been involved in!

Yikes. Seriously, what is it with this hobby?

#11619 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

No, we just want you to answer some basic questions, like:
What's the licensing agreement?
Why are you formatting this project in a very convoluted and questionably-legally way?
Why do you keep avoiding the answers to these questions?

It's been two friggin' days! And Bill has been working (and spending a lot) to get a prototype at NW.

The third degree from people with zero skin in the game is getting a little old at this point.

#11623 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Anyone who cares about pinball has skin in the game. Too many bad things happening to the hobby lately.

I'm sorry, but the stakes are $16,000 higher for buyers than it is for you. Simple as that.

#11626 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Actually, Popaduik's terrible email went out last week. He's had plenty of time to answer questions, and has posted in this thread a number of times.


34 posts in the last two days isn't enough for you?

#11631 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Not when he's not answering the questions people are asking, and is just spinning his story.

Again, two days! I'm just not feelin' the spin.

#11645 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Yes, a "few days" will make a world of difference. I suggest you keep your money invested and if you haven't actually paid in full then please do so now. John could probably use some extra spending cash. You clearly have no need being here as you do not want want to hear about any of the concerns and clearly no answers are coming from Pintasia. So what are you expecting to read here? Hopefully the folks with an IQ above 100 who do have money invested are smart enough to seek legal help now and don't continue to drink the Kool Aid of the next pinball startup who can't answer ANY of the hard questions.

So what I got from this was:
1. You have no skin in the game.
2. You called people who do have $16,000 spent, who don't agree with you, stupid?

Edit: It's ALWAYS good to recommend legal counsel, but this post is just nasty.

#11653 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Then you must be one of the few with an IQ below 100 if that's what you got out of it.
Stop your whining and quit complaining about the people pointing out the obvious concerns that should be discussed now. If you don't care, fine, but you don't represent all pre-order folks (nor do I) and since someone else started this discussion I guess there are some that DO care.

And since I disagree with you I'm stupid too. Glad we got that straight.

My point is that you've gone way past concern and discussion right into assertion and prognosticating, and yep, calling people stupid.

#12543 4 years ago
Quoted from PinballHelp:

Sorry Bill, I know this is probably the best deal for YOU. It doesn't sound though, like it's the best deal for everybody else.

Uh, what? This isn't even close to the best possible deal for Bill. Best deal would be to wait for a Zidware bankruptcy auction, and pick up the pieces for pennies on the dollar. Bill doesn't HAVE to accept any of the Zidware liabilities, IANAL, but my impression is that a judge would accept just about any opportunity for funds to go to the creditors. Accepting any of Zidware's obligations makes very little business sense, but Bill is looking at it anyway.

#12559 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Bill doesn't have a legal responsibility to give the creditors one penny, so a Judge wouldn't accept that "opportunity".

Not quite what I meant -- I meant that a judge (and again IANAL) would likely accept a considerably lesser deal than what Bill is (potentially) offering. I don't exactly see a lot of parties clamoring to take on any of this mess.

But like Doug said, lots of variables up in the air, and things should be clearer soon.

1 week later
#14035 4 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

Please remember you do not need to restate the same opinion over and over again.

Here, here!

#14037 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

Here's a list of the feature set I saw Magic Girl have:
1) Hit the ramp mode! Try to hit a ramp, and if you do hit the weird one and your ball doesn't bounce out, pat yourself on the back about it.

And every TBL I've seen at shows has been turned completely off because it broke in the first ten minutes; what's your point?

#14279 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

It's like once the proto made it to the show-radio silence was implemented.

There is really only two things we can do at this point:
1. Wait for more news.
2. Argue, ad nauseum, with the "Piss in your Cheerios" types.

I've chosen 1, like many people.

#14293 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Welcome to the internet, hope your first day is going well.

Case in point

#14830 4 years ago

"For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these: 'It might have been.'"

John Whittier

1 year later
#23494 2 years ago
Quoted from KerryImming:

P3/Multimorphic was demonstrating this technology well before any Zidware patent was filed. I suppose technically the P3 playfield isn't "proximal" since it literally IS the playfield.

Quoted from DCFAN:

JPop's filing date was Dec. 2011 so March 2012 is not likely good enough.

Capcom's Flipper Football did it in October 1996, a full year before CV was released. It has a row of targets below the rear-playfield display. You aim the ball under the display to dodge the goalie.


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