(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)

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#663 5 years ago

Those currently not in on a JPop game and do not have their money on the line right now:

Please do not fan the flames, take a victory lap for getting out previously, or generally troll this thread.

Obviously, there are issues going on with this matter, give it a couple days to see if JPop addresses the obvious criticism he is under from his existing customers. Perhaps he will smooth it out, perhaps he will not - regardless, no reason for those who do not have a vested interest to speculate for the next 48 or so hours.

I'm not saying not to post in this thread or restricting posting to only those with an interest, just post responsibly...

#678 5 years ago
Quoted from lllvjr:

this is the same treatment jjp, stern, dutch, vonnie, and every other maker gets on here... no one is violating his nda. well maybe the one guy posting a pf picture is lol....but its been a very smooth thread, no name calling. u kinds shocked me u posted that if i dont have my money still in i should step back and not talk about the games...i completely respect you tiger, dont take it as disrespect if i continue to put my 2 cents in this thread as i want to see him succeed but i can view how i see, know , and feel about things...

Understood. I'm not trying to protect JPop, just trying to stop people from making a bunch of "I told you so" posts to people when we are not certain exactly what is going on.

I'm just asking people to post respectfully and not flame any flames.

#761 5 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Super helpful thanks guys

Yea, it is challenging to avoid flame fanning. Everyone wants to comment and provide advice and say what they would do in y'all's situation, which is not really addressing the issue.

Obviously, those suggesting legal recourse of some kind may not have fully evaluated the likelihood that JPop enjoys limited liability through his entity he formed (at least I assume he formed an LLC if he took the time to have NDAs crafted). You guys are in a delicate spot, you want answers and to see progress but your concerned he may walk on the project if pressed on points. I get it and I hope JPop addresses the concerns for everyone and handles the questions in a professional manner.

#792 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

What does the above have to do with anything in terms of a lawsuit? Just because it's a LLC means what? The LLC (Zidware) would be liable. Not JPop personally. So?
What am I missing here?

Insolvency and collectibility. A judgment would only be as strong as the financial feasibility of the company. Not having JPop personally on the line means he could walk away easier.

I'm certainly not saying the above is applicable or giving anyone legal advice, just observing what the concerns of the interested people may be here.

#809 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Again, the fact that JPop has an LLC has nothing to do with whether or not a suit should be filed. Nothing.

It's the LLC that has the money that was put down. Not JPop himself.

I respectfully disagree. If the LLC has insolvency issues the juice may simply not be worth the squeeze - I guess this depends on whether a potential plaintiff can find someone willing to take the case on a contingent basis which in my view may be unlikely.

How much in salary do you think JPop has taken? Possibly a good amount over the three years (obviously I do not know this but it would lead one to assume that solvency may be an issue if it comes to litigation).

#811 5 years ago
Quoted from boo32:

When this all came to a head, he responded with an honest, public message explaining how things got to this point.

Lets all take a deep breath, give John a second to take in all that has happened and move forward with more communication on both sides.

I totally agree. My discussion with Rob above is just theoretical. Thanks.

#824 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I am confident that we are talking past each other.

Please understand my point, which is the fact that Zidware being LLC has zero to do with anyone considering a lawsuit to recover their deposit having second thoughts because of that fact.

Nobody is talking about insolvency! We are talking about a simple suit to get a deposit back. From the company it was paid to. That's Zidware, which is a LLC.

I agree. We are talking past each other. Also, I again stress this is purely theoretical. That said, i will flesh out my point a bit further as I do not believe either of us disagree with the other's position. I am making assumptions here and have not seen JPop documents regarding the deposit - I am not giving anyone legal advice.

My assumption is Zidware was not capitalized with much, if any, outside capital besides start up costs (incorporation fees, attorneys fees, cpa fees perhaps, a couple other minor matters). My assumption is the deposits were actual capital used in the development of the game (the word deposit can be misleading). My assumption is to the extent there was capital put into the company it was a type of debt that was collateralized with the assets. My assumption is employee fees over the past few years have consumed much of the capital. My assumption is outside fees (possibly attorneys protecting IP and what not) have consumed more capital.

All of the above in mind, I then move to the thought that it is pertinent that JPop is not personally on the hook. If JPop is not on the hook personally he may just walk away and not finish anything if he feels any heat or pressure or is just tired of dealing with things. There may be no meaningful assets to even make it worth obtaining a judgment or collecting a judgment. Also, the person who brings the action ends up carrying the water for others, something that is usually not appealing.

If (and that is a big if, I am expressly not saying there is any problem at all with JPop) there is a problem and deposits are not voluntarily refunded it may not be worth people hiring an attorney (even on a contingent basis, if they could find one willing to take the case) to recover whatever may be around (if anything).

Again, this is purely theoretical. I will bring future discussion on this subject only to PM.

1 month later
#1699 5 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

70% chance the *Rug* Reveal is just that... a reveal of something only tangentially related to the game itself like the empty cabinets at Expo. JPop appears to still be juggling 3 games at once as indicated with his latest AIW payment letter. I hope he comes through, but it's going to be a long haul for you guys either way.

He sent out a payment letter for AIW? I missed that... I thought there would be no payments on that one due till MG actually shipped? I don't remember where I heard that...

#1766 5 years ago
Quoted from Hwawonyu:

This thread makes me want to start using Acid. Pure insanity!

I just choked on my diet coke reading that and woke up my fiancé. Funny stuff.

#2126 5 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

Is there anyone out there that has gotten to the point they would rather him throw in the towel and refund whatever is left of money to everyone? Or is that too far? I.e., would rather let him proceed to conclusion, with the risks as they are?

Usually when deals like this with start ups don't pan out there is no money to get back at the end of the line...it has normally all been spent on salaries. Does anyone know what JPop pays himself out of Zidware? After four years that may have added up to a large figure...just in his salary.

#2181 5 years ago

All this talk of getting an updated timeline seems misplaced. He can just make up a new timeline, he's learned that missing self imposed deadlines are not that big of a deal...

What you guys really need is a full accounting, inventory and budget (the budget would be tied to some timeline. Here is what I would ask:

1) How much money has he taken in total from customers to date?
2) How much capital did he invest into the company from third parties or himself?
3) What is in the bank account as of today?
4) What is his cash burn rate monthly?
5) How much is his salary (broken down by each year of the project)?
6) What is the outstanding accounts payable not yet paid?
7) How much is left outstanding in pre-order money from people who have signed up (this is his only AR)?
8) Does he intend to contribute capital to the company moving forward and if so how much and when?
9) What are the assets of the company (mostly equipment I would presume)?
10) What is his inventory?
11) How much in parts does he need to build out MG in total? How about Raza?
12) What will the labor costs be?
13) Costs to pursue patents further and other weird intangible costs?

Once all this is answered you guys can decide the next step...and whether JPop is able to build the games even if he is inclined to do so.

#2198 5 years ago

Kaneda, stop pm'ing Aurich now please. Only warning. Thanks.

#2199 5 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

I'm not trying to be a jerk. Just asking...can you afford a MG?

It isn't your business if he can or cannot. Please disengage from Aurich at this time without further comment.

#2278 5 years ago
Quoted from kaneda:

OK OK OK...you guys win...I won't post in this thread for an ENTIRE WEEK! Got a bunch of work to do anyway. It's yours...Hope you get some info and for the buyers out there, I'm sure the playfield and plastic images will calm your fears a bit. It's going to blow everything away MG.

Your self imposed ban from this thread for one week is accepted. Please honor the self imposed ban.

Everyone else, please do not bait kaneda into responding further.

#2535 5 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

More art posted on the blog.... art with "gory" zombies.. hmmmm .. maybe Jpop is listening after all??

I think the one thing people don't want to see is more art posted. They want a timetable and project budget update for game number one.

#2575 5 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

People don't require a NDA when transparency is their goal. I know it's easy to say now, and it is, but that should have been a mild warning. John is a great designer and artist. But it's obvious he doesn't know a lot about manufacturing. IMO he seems to have a very hard time staying focused on one thing which doubles the risk on this. When he showed that KISS foam proto it lowered my guess on probability of the machines being made.

I always viewed the NDA as more of a marketing gimmic, maybe not...did it have a forum selection clause in it just out of curiosity?

#2603 5 years ago
Quoted from TigerLaw:

All this talk of getting an updated timeline seems misplaced. He can just make up a new timeline, he's learned that missing self imposed deadlines are not that big of a deal...
What you guys really need is a full accounting, inventory and budget (the budget would be tied to some timeline. Here is what I would ask:
1) How much money has he taken in total from customers to date?
2) How much capital did he invest into the company from third parties or himself?
3) What is in the bank account as of today?
4) What is his cash burn rate monthly?
5) How much is his salary (broken down by each year of the project)?
6) What is the outstanding accounts payable not yet paid?
7) How much is left outstanding in pre-order money from people who have signed up (this is his only AR)?
Does he intend to contribute capital to the company moving forward and if so how much and when?
9) What are the assets of the company (mostly equipment I would presume)?
10) What is his inventory?
11) How much in parts does he need to build out MG in total? How about Raza?
12) What will the labor costs be?
13) Costs to pursue patents further and other weird intangible costs?
Once all this is answered you guys can decide the next step...and whether JPop is able to build the games even if he is inclined to do so.

I'm quoting my own post. It seems like the adobe release calmed the seas for a few days, but an accounting and budget is still needed.

Id be very curious how much money JPop has paid himself in salary from the deposits; surely it is a lot more than was originally budgeted for due to the extra time the project has take.

#2607 5 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

He probably draws some sort of salary, but works out to slave wages I'm sure. Him drawing money is not the reason for running out of money, it is the monthly cash burn on everything else that he can't get his arms around.
These games are unique in that they have are fixed revenue. Only a certain number of games produced, most of that money has already been taken in. There is NO upside to spending years longer on them, there is no further money to make, and in fact he is damaging his reputation and business. Alice should be an easy sell out to his existing customers but obviously that isn't the case.

We all have to make money and live. If his salary is $50,000 per year then after four years he's extracted $200,000...that is a meaningful percentage of the pre-order money.

The fact that nobody knows what his salary is should be a point of discussion give he has gone outside the original time parameters.

2 weeks later
#2998 5 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

I'm feeling quite breached.... With every passing day that requests for information are ignored.
It's amazing how clueless some people can be that providing a little information, even negative information, is better than providing no information.

I don't think he has anything to update anyone with (good or bad) other than artwork changes. People say he works full time on this...perhaps he does...

#3215 5 years ago
Quoted from tamoore:

John made great games when he had a support staff around him to do the mechanical work, and a management team above him making sure the project moved forward. It's clear to me he is over his head, and really has no idea what it takes to make a pinball machine - and his pride won't let him bring someone in who could save his ass.
I don't figure he'll ever actually finish a game, unless someone else does it for him. Good luck to you guys who have given him money. I think you'll need it.

It my view it isn't pride but lack of money at this point that is bringing him down. My guess is he paid himself a salary large enough to eat through most of the deposits over the last four years. A demand to see what his money has been spent on to date and what's left is important...

#3217 5 years ago
Quoted from PinsideTroll:

would love to see a real timeline on it getting done. end of story. problem is that we arent being given a timeline now. the timeline isnt linear answer is getting old....

The timeline is totally meaningless. I could make up a timeline of building the next space shuttle. Doesn't mean I have the know how or funding to do it.

I do not believe JPop has the know how or money (left) to build what he has committed to at this time.

#3219 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm now locked out of John's blog so hopefully that means I'm getting a refund.
I will miss his dog.

I'd be stunned if it meant you are getting a refund. Where would the money come from to refund you?

JPop capitalized his company through the "deposits". The capital from deposits looks to be wearing thin. If he put in any of his own money it likely was negligible. He is not likely going to reach into his personal bank account to refund anyone.

Iceman's approach is the only viable option right now that I see. Waiting for Iceman to do his thing seems to be the best approach.

#3247 5 years ago
Quoted from Kneissl:

almost half a day an' no new jpoop to gripe about?

I think everything that can be said has been said. Doug is on the matter and organizing who he can. Unless JPop does some sort of surprise reveal or opens his books or something else unforeseen I think there will be little say for awhile.

#3392 5 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

It's all he has to do. And be honest about it and he doesn't strike me as a scamming liar, far from it.
Hopefully he can undo a lot of the damage he has done to himself.

Are you still going to go meet with him Ice?

#3403 5 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I know he's not got the overhead of Stern or JJP with dozens of employees and whatnot that cost lots of money.
But lest say if the costs to develop an entire platform, hardware, software interface and develop two games just thinking of MG and RAZA at the moment let's say a total of 175 games.
50+125 = 175 games.
If it takes him 4-5 years and whateve salaries and equipment, CAD computers and 3D printers, vendors etc..
Let's say $800k R&D and equipment, vendors etc.. plus overhead (for 4 years let's call that $400k-$500k) $1.2M-1.3M
That's $7K per pin with and average selling price per pin of $12K
So he should have excess money to pay for the actual parts and assembly of the pins let's say $4K with leftover $1k profit per machine or money held back to deal with warranty and code fixes or cost run overs.
So it looks fine if my numbers are correct, but if the R&D and overhead are more than that, the remainder to build the pins get smaller.

My guess is he pays himself around 100k-125k per year in his personal salary...that is a half million over 4-5 years in and of itself. Of course, perhaps he is paying himself less...we don't know.

But if less, how much less? He needs to live...he has to be paying himself something and he is in charge of his own salary setting presumably.

#3406 5 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

Guessing and Theorizing and $1.5 buys you a coca cola...

No doubt. The underlying issue is no one knows, absent information speculation will continue to run rampant. Ice will solve the information gaps, I am confident.

#3440 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

This is nonsense, people all through time work to build a buisness and don't take money as pay, they sometimes put in their own money to start a company.
One example is when Bill Gates and Paul Allen were starting Microsoft, they worked on the code for BASIC to run on Altair computer, they didn't pay themselves to work on that, in fact they didn't even have a contract, they sold the finished product, if they had not sold the product they would have worked for free, but that's not a charity. Look up what a charity is if you're unclear. john is not running a charity.

I don't think it is reasonable for people to expect on the one hand JPop is working 60 hour weeks just on this project for the past 4-5 years but hasn't been taking money out of it to live in. We all have to live...maybe JPop is independently wealthy and doesn't need any money to live on...

#3560 4 years ago

I think the artwork looks amazing.

#3641 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

This whole taking pre-order money at game embryo stage has to be on life support at this point, with all companies.

I think it is totally dead. No start up company will ever be able to generate sizable paid up deposits for any title again (at least over the next few years). JJP may be able to mine those individuals who completed two pre orders for WOZ and Hobbit in the past but even that number likely falls with each release and each delay.

#3655 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Reminded me, that there are pieces like this that we've seen, a ton of time and effort put into them, and then sent to the dust bin. I just can't see how a profitable biz can operate this way.

332263.jpg 58 KB

Man, that artwork looks awesome! What a cool theme that was.

#3690 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Artwork update posted to the RAZA blog.

No one questions the artwork. That is the fun part of all of this and JPop's vision in that department is phenomenal.

#3701 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I wonder how he's going to have the playfields printed? Are these going to be screened with spot colors or process? I would hope spot color if they're going to use that neon, but every color you add ups the cost and complexity since they'll each need their own screen.

That's probably the reason for the narrow color pallet. Good question though.

#3803 4 years ago

I think being unlicense is the main thing that held back AMH. I worry about JJP's game from Pat. People say it will sell as an unlicensed theme fine...I just don't think it will but we will find out.

1 month later
#4460 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

Plus Ice is down 24 beers that he had to give me in an ill-advised bet. The whole thing is a huge downer.

What was the bet?

Ice and StephenP seem to both feel that the money already sent in is not gone and that the remaining payments due will be enough to finish the games. Ice has high levels of financial sophistication and says he will verify this point soon...good enough for me.

#4530 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Well...just for clarification....I'm a lawyer too.

I knew there was a reason I didn't trust you.

#4740 4 years ago

I love seeing the positive energy and good vibes that are back in this project. Would be great for the community to come together and get MG and RAZA out the door.

#4767 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

In what way? More pre-orders? Free labor or intellectual property donation? Or just more feel good posts to lessen the pain of those who have thousands of dollars committed to this project for years, with still no clear end in sight? Is this the light at the end of the tunnel, or a train coming your way?
I would be demanding my money back at this point, sternly written letters are getting these guys nowhere.

I don't think they are writing any letters, they are trying to come together as a group and get the project completed. Is it what they had in mind on the onset? Nope, but it sure is better than hiring lawyers to solve their problems (and get no game and maybe no money).

Also, now many will really ha e the chance to participate in the process of making these games.

1 week later
#5199 4 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

Ice seems to be trying but IMO he's overconfident in his ability to impact John's situation and that was clearly evidenced by Ice attacking him again when he went a few days without getting a call. Again, kudos to him for trying but I don't believe he'll have any material impact on the situation without starting a lawsuit which again I think would mean game over.

Ice has a good amount of financial sophistication and transactional experience. If JPop lets him Ice can help...of this I have no doubt. Will JPop let Ice help him? Who knows but of course Ice is going to be optimistic about it.

Optimism is the only way to approach situations like these with struggling projects if you want them to see the light.

#5200 4 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Hey just noticed approaching 2 million points ........I talk or write too much And yes this is a shot at all those approaching 15 million plus!

LMAO, what a horrible moment for me to post in here...right after that post. Ha!

2 weeks later
#6162 4 years ago
Quoted from Gorf:

Time to start preparing to go to court and sue this guy for fraud.
Embezzlement is a kind of property theft. It occurs when a defendant, who was entrusted to manage or monitor someone else’s money or property, steals all or part of that money or property for the defendant’s personal gain. The key is that the defendant had legal access to another’s money or property, but not legal ownership of it. Taking the money or property for the defendant’s own gain is stealing; when combined with the fact that this stealing was also a violation of a special position of trust, you have the unique crime of embezzlement. Nuff Said.

Just my personal opinion based on some educated guesses, not a legal opinion on which anyone can rely:

You won't find embezzlement when you do a tracing of his accounts. You'll find he paid himself a salary (my guess is around 100k per year plus expenses). His legal defense basically be he was incompetent to do the task but not in bad faith. He will say he had no contract limiting his salary and based on his crazy hours and experience his salary was reasonable.

I don't see anyone getting criminal charges to stick on JPop, he has too many defenses (the incompetency defense is a good one against a bad faith argument). Just my personal opinion.

#6194 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

As always, I never mind being proven wrong and I love to learn. So please feel free to dispute my findings. - Any CPA’s have a clue here?

I'm curious about this as well. I wonder if you had a machine on rout already and were planning on putting this one on rout if that would change the status . . . (clearly it would be pretty wild to put a 17k machine on rout . . . but who knows, Kingpin is on rout right now and it is a 40k machine).

#6196 4 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

Where? That one's rare enough that finding it on route would be a trip.

Vegas. PHOF.

#6199 4 years ago
Quoted from desertT1:

How have I missed this? I was just there for the PAC12 tournament, but wasn't able to make it to PHOF this time. Guess I have to find another reason to go to Vegas. Oh darn. :rolleyes:

Might not have been on the floor?

#6202 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Would a failure to deliver the product that you paid for (RAZA/MG) be classified as a debt that has become uncollectible, which you can write off?

You could probably reasonably report it as a theft loss of personal property...but as I recall anyone who makes more than $170,000 would get zero deduction of the 17k game if reported that way. I would recommend each person check with their cpa.

Someone who is a rout operator would seem to be in the best position to deduct the loss here.

#6275 4 years ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

Skit-B and Zidware are not the same things...

I think he meant tied in that they are equally depressing.

I disagree with him, Predator is a full fledged disaster (and Kevin at least appears to be a total thief right now), but JPop (previously one of the most beloved people in the hobby) is the bigger disappointment. The fact that he apparently doesn't know how to build a pin given his past accomplishments is truly shocking.

#6340 4 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

That's not the point. Iceman just threw a match on a volatile situation.

I edited it out. Ice is just frustrated like so many others. He put some time into trying and salvage the project and Ice's time is a valuable commodity that JPop disregarded.

#6381 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

I will drive this to completion I guarantee it.

We all wish you luck. I think the hope is gone that anyone can do this, this is not a question of your ability rather a question of the targets receptiveness.

#6394 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Sexual favors are more likely.

But would actually be worth even less!!!

#6487 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

It could have been so great. Even after all the ups and downs, if a playfield showed up at our space, we would see it through to completion, if only for the engineering exercise.
FAST Pinball

That would be amazing. I look forward to seeing yalls stuff in a pin one day.

#6489 4 years ago
Quoted from fastpinball:

Thanks. We got a full batch of hardware back from manufacturing last week. Getting the team together this week for testing and code refinement in preparation for a full launch. So stoked!
FAST Pinball

That is the best news in this thread!

#6496 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

Oh man, I really hope Wired isn't eating up his lines whole. Tempted to shoot an email over there to find out who's doing the story.

Or the answer is "nobody" and he just didn't want to show up at the show.

#6512 4 years ago
Quoted from ZidwarePR:

No need to be hostile. I set up the Wired.com story with their games editor. They plan on sending a reporter out to Zidware to play the pin. Play, not look at. That's the key.

ZidwarePR, I'm going to send you a PM in a couple minutes. You are new to this site and claim to be associated with a controversial project. I think it would be best for all of us in this thread if I or another Moderator somehow validate you before you post further...should not take long.

#6523 4 years ago

This account is Kaneda - ZidwarePR. Duplicate account. Not a rep of Zidware. Ignore him. Ban will be issued on both this and his other account when I get to my cpu.

#6532 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?

To be fair to Kaneda who I've instructed not to post further tonight, he says this is true and has some evidence to support it. He also says via pm he has permission direct from Robin to have this second account I have frozen.

I find this hard to believe but if it is true I will certainly apologize to him tomorrow.

Robin is asleep. No need to speculate further on the matter till he wakes up...

#6580 4 years ago

I am in between real life meetings right now so this post will be brief.

It appears kaneda actually was doing some PR work for Zidware and he has submitted evidence of such activities. Also, he and John were granted this zidwarePR handle by Robin to use for limited purposes. It was not intended to become an account that was posting in threads in the manner it was being used last night.

Anyway, I will unfreeze zidwarePR and allow kaneda to make one post in this thread to explain his relationship with JPop, Zidware, and whatever else he reasobaly wants to say. After that one post is done, since kaneda was already banned in this thread once under his personal account, he will be banned again under his zidwarePR account - so if you have questions for him pm him. As others have stated, kaneda was banned so we will not let him back in through this other account.

Finally, I said last night if I was wrong I would come on here, apologize to kaneda and eat crow. I'm exceedingly surprised about this entire situation but I do do owe kaneda an apology. Kaneda, you can make one post with zidwarePR in this thread, then do not post in here again. Thank you.

#6636 4 years ago
Quoted from Strange:

Kaneda is good peoples. He's just a bit of a troll. Nobody's perfect. I definitely consider him one of the most passionate gamers on Pinside. And he has far more style and originality than most people on here being able to turn a bedroom in a nice area of Manhattan into a very nice looking small arcade. He's absolutely of the mantra of "Quality over Quantity" which is why you can see his attraction to Zidware.

I checked this Strange guy's IP address and can surprisingly confirm he is not kaneda.

I make this post in jest of course with no offense meant to either Strange or kaneda.

#6724 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

this thread is only 600 posts shy of the skit-b thread, that says something

I expect this one to pass it in a less than a month frankly. The Skit-b thread is going to slow down while Kevin K basically hides under his bed not refunding people and the heat dies on him.

#6812 4 years ago
Quoted from Warbleboopie:

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.

I'm beginning to wonder if perhaps JPop is on some type of medication having a negative impact on his cognitive abilities . . .

#6905 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

If John doesn't see a problem, what's makes anyone think he will turn this over to them, even investors. He would stilI want to lead regardless. Its just as scary to think he doesn't even really have much art done if he asked both Ice and the dude that can read people to submit art samples, when they never even offered to help with the art.

I think the request for art samples is more indicative of some kind of obsession disorder.

If the project was totally turned over (100%) to competent people I think more buyers could be attracted to both projects (and AIW). JPop needs to be fully out though.

#7012 4 years ago
Quoted from turbo20lbs:

Can anyone confirm this is him? I'd guess yes. Looks like property taxes are behind...

jp.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

Normally I'd redact that...but it is so pertinent I'm going to let it stay. Another mod may not agree as it does have personal identification info...however im exceedingly curious as this may blow up one major myth...that JPop's spouse is loaded and he does not need to draw a salary...

#7078 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

I am still fiddling around. Pinside has spoiled my master plan. I am really broke. I have an attorney. No, I am not kidding; I really need some money. If you know someone with money, bring them to me. Yes, I am serious, I have an attorney. Thanks for the money so far.

That's about how I read it as well sadly.

One would expect he would answer the primary questions everyone has:

1) How much money is left?
2) How much money has been spent and on what exactly has it been spent ((ie. how much have you paid yourself in salary and/or consulting fees JPop)?
3) How much money is needed to build out your first game (ie. do you have to steal from Peter [Raza, AIW] to pay Paul [MG])?
4) Can you generate a real timeline set with actual goals along the way? Something other than, "games will start being produced in two months". A real path to manufacturing needs to be laid out.

#7598 4 years ago
Quoted from PinChili:

Easy tiger, I didn't mean to insult you. I was only pointing out that John trying to show progress is just more delaying of the inevitable. Folks are no closer to getting their games. He needs a solid plan right now. What he's showing now should have been shown a year ago.

Pinchili, you do not always need the last word. That was a real update that we were glad to receive.

Everyone knows John needs a solid plan, but people seeing he has a playable game (if he does) is the first bright point in awhile and would open up a couple options...as it would mean he was at least a bit further along than he hitherto appeared to be.

The inevitable of which you speak likely is that John will not be manufacturing these games. That does not mean that the games can't be manufactured at all and the further along he is with everything the more likely it can be finished off by others if JPop will play ball (big if based on history but it could happen).

#7639 4 years ago

I do not believe any of us really thought he would start providing two updates per week.

I did fall for Pinsider's playing MG and video will be coming soon thing though...

#7644 4 years ago
Quoted from Pdxmonkey:

I played MG the last two days.
That wasn't a lie.

That is really great news!

#7668 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

someone is wrong internet.png

OMG! That's hysterical. I need that on a shirt.

#7679 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.

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...).

If that was indeed JPop's plan, it was the single worst idea I have heard during the month of April this year (and I hear bad ideas all the time).

#7764 4 years ago
Quoted from BackFlipper:

I think John has already been paid his profit in this endeavor. I think he is the only one who has profited. Just my opinion.

If he has spent over $1,000,000 . . . my personal guess is about $600,000 was salary paid to himself over the years; about $150,000 a year sounds about right looking at things now. Could be higher if he wasn't paying vendors and what not.

If so, yes he has received his share of the money.

#7776 4 years ago

The word is he stopped drawing a salary three months ago . . . who did he tell that to again? Maybe Ice?

#7832 4 years ago

Godzilla with four arms and a horn isn't so bad. Obviously heavily "inspired" by Godzilla but I'm not sure if it is close enough to warrant litigation. The bones (or whatever they are) coming off his back are also very different than how Godzilla has always been portrayed.

#7963 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

I'm almost thinking John is way farther along than anyone guesses and he's keeping his cards close to the vest

Whoever comes in to finish the board set and code will want to start over. Those guys don't like "finishing" someone else's work, they will start from scratch most likely. I wonder if the original guy, whoever that was, could be re-hired?

#8051 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

The money problems were probably clear to John more than a year ago when he stopped paying his programmer, and other vendors like GLM were getting stiffed. So he kept up the facade that everything was great, he was going to do his "reveals", we were a bunch of whiny customers who don't appreciate that art takes time, meanwhile he was living a lie.

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.

Quoted from YKpinballer:

John knows it is over. He's not talking like Kevin wasn't talking once predator blew up. There's nothing left to say, just time to GTFO of dodge. The only people who don't know it's over is a couple extreme optimists in this thread.

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.

Expect JPop in two or three years to still be saying he plans to "make these games one day soon"...does that sound familiar to any of you old timers (we all had an Austrialian friend who once pulled this with MM...).

#8057 4 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

There was never enough money for him to draw a salary, and it could very well be the case he never did.

He's stated more than once he was drawing a salary...just never said how much.

$150,000 per year is my guess, the delays helped him to make more money salary wise (as the years turned by) than he ever would have made in profits had he actually made the machines as manufacturing would have ate up the cash he was able to otherwise push to himself in the form of salary.

#8059 4 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Anyone want to estimate how much customer money John spent on patents these past 4 years?

I don't know if this is true but I believe his IP attorney was not working at market level rates (he posts in this thread by the way, perhaps he would care to share). I don't think JPop will be able to say "the lawyers made all the money"...as his IP guy was working for free or at reduced rates...

#8083 4 years ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

Is there a cliff notes version for someone that doesn't want to read 162 pages? I'm assuming it's another "I'm an asshole and stole peoples' money" story? I was just curious if this had gotten further with litigation / criminal proceedings than some of the other scams around here?

This has not reached the level of criminal charges being brought by anyone (at least not that we know of yet). Apparently there have been legal letters sent to JPop that have thus far been ignored.

#8087 4 years ago
Quoted from rai:

IMO, it's not a criminal case. It's more a civil case. john is in breach of contract, he needs to refund money or deliver games or go bankrupt. Not sure what his fall back position is, but that seems to be his options imo.

I agree. It would be hard to make criminal charges on JPop stick.

He will basically rely on the good faith but incompetent defense: "I meant to do what I said I would do, it just turned out I didn't know how to do it after all and by the time I realized it I used up all the money on salary and what not."

Some type of disgorgement action may work but unlike Kevin and Predator my guess is JPop will qualify to get a bankruptcy discharge.

#8090 4 years ago
Quoted from tracelifter:

Mods please retire my account.

Tried...wouldn't let me do it for some reason. Robin will retire it.

#8136 4 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I think we've been F'd for at least a year now.
Out of curiousity, what in the world was so positive about your phone call with John that you were hopeful again just 2 weeks ago?

John must emit some type of LSD or other mind altering substance to those he enters communications with, it appears to be possible to transmit it even through phone lines.


#8151 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

With John, when the thought comes up, I feel like I'm walking around with my hands permanently attached to my ankles
I've got a surprise or two waiting for you John, keep it up, the jar of Vaseline makes it at least tolerable

PavBall and I were like....


#8168 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Any accountants, tax lawyers ect want to take one more look to see if it would be possible for us "owners" to write any of the losses off on taxes next year (long shot I know)

I pulled the below off the net in just a few seconds (note I actually don't fully agree with it, for you to deduct money take from a fraud, most likely what this is, the fraud had to be illegal under state law and I'm not sure if that is the case):

A personal casualty loss (including a theft) is deductible if you itemize deductions. The measure of a casualty loss is the fair market value before the casualty, less the fair market value after, less any insurance proceeds. The decrease in market value can be estimated by repair costs that restore the property to it's prior condition.

If deductible, the loss must first be reduced by $100 (in 2009 - $500), and any remainder is deductible to the extent it exceeds 10% of your adjusted gross income. As an example, if your AGI is $50,000 and the personal portion of the loss is $12,000, then the deductible portion in 2010 is $ 6,900 ( $12,000 - $100 - $5,000).

#8226 4 years ago

Having real vacuumed formed ramps would be good news. It would show something is actually progressing. Enough to sooth everyone? No, not in and of itself but at least it some progress where there was none.

#8271 4 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

He's not the problem but he's also not the solution.

I respectfully disagree. Ice has some great ideas and is the type of person that gets things done. He is also somewhat of a bull in a china shop, what needs to happen is someone like Ice needs to work with one of the people in John's inner inner circle but not with John directly.

Heck, it wasn't that long ago Ice was even suggesting maybe he would finance the build out of the prototypes...how many people would even consider that?

#8273 4 years ago
Quoted from PanzerFreak:

I'm just confused with how the $15k-$17k price tag is being justified? I already see what you get with a new JJP Ruby Red WOZ for $9k, a Stern LE at nearly $8k, and a MMR LE at $8k. Where in Magic Girl and RAZA is the other $5k-$8K in parts and features?

Originally it was exclusivity...even more exclusivity than BBB.

#8281 4 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

On a side note, a week ago, this thread was 600+ posts behind the Predator update thread. Now? Less than 100...

It will pass Predator soon. Monday or Tuesday at the latest.

#8377 4 years ago

Could he (or whoever takes over the project, if anyone) do wire form ramps? I know those are usually more expensive but in small batches perhaps they would be cheaper...totally doesn't go with the art package though so perhaps it is a no starter.

#8421 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

"The really good news is that I have created a super nice ramp system to work with our games. I am also able to fit in some new lighting for the playfield. I have been resisting just dropping in 2 plastic ramps as other folks do. That was good 15 years ago, time for innovation. We will try to get the patent app on this submitted in the next few months. Back to work! Jpop "
-January 22, 2013
That's why we don't have ramps. He's waiting on a patent?

The more I read things like this the more it is sounding to me that criminal charges might have a chance to stick after all. Clearly, that statement above was a straight lie.

#8779 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

In my experience tempered glass can be obtained with about 1 day turnaround. But expect to pay twice as much for glass that's just a few inches longer.
It's shocking John didn't pot more forethought into spacing. He's really good at Solid works I'd assume he has an assembly of at least how the cabinet goes together. Wood, minus divet, plus ball / 2 that's where shooter rod tip goes.
Anyone attempting to save this project needs these things at minimum:
1) Project manager who kicks asses instead of kissing them
2) BOM and supplier chain
3) A full time programmer for one year
4) Audio video company for animations working with programmer
5) Someone to manufacture the games (add 1k on BOM for this)

And apparently: 6) a pinball designer who understands the engineering of spacing issues.

I'm concerned the "measure three times, cut once" ramps will have issues. I don't think JPop has these games nearly as far along as some seem to feel. Best I can tell, he (at least the last couple of years) did not intend to actually manufacture anything himself (he's been sitting back waiting for a buyout it seems) so he figured the engineering issues would be other people's problems.

Ben, if JPop would just turn these over to Spooky (without charging a royalty...JPop has paid himself MORE than enough for his lackluster efforts) what do you think the total cost would be at this time to actually get these games finished and manufacture them? I'm asking for an educated "best guess" based on what we are actually seeing right now.

My uninformed opinion is about 700k if everyone was switched to Magic Girl.

#8784 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

All "best possible scenario" guesses here:
8k to get a game built (7k BOM + 1k labor) * 150 games owed (possibly more AIW is ???) = $1.2 million
Backend payments on RAZA 4k * 125 = ($500,000)
So your 700k is a good starting point. But then you have to add a PM, programmer, audio/video development, plus overhead. Probably more like 1 million investment + 1 year to start shipping MG.
The real problem is going to be return on investment. (unless it's just a tax write off) Margins are going to be SLIM even on a 10k game with all the custom crap, so 2k profit per game you'd need to sell 500 more (at 10k???) just to recoup what you spent originally.

Thanks for the honest assessment Ben.

From a pure numbers perspective, with the initial "capitalization" (I guess we can call it that) seemingly exhausted by John's personal salary and/or other self dealing actions I just don't see this as salvageable any longer.

At this moment John looks like a straight bozo/buffoon. Nobody with any level of competency or sophistication is going to take him seriously in the investment world, regardless of their affection towards pinball. Just my opinion of course.

I'm going to retire myself from this thread for a few days gang.

1 week later
#9838 4 years ago
Quoted from rotordave:

All ready for a bombshell ...?
A good friend of mine emailed JPOOP 2 weeks ago asking if he could still buy a AIW.
(The times show an hour but he sent it from eastern time zone ... Reply was 9 minutes)
JPOOP would have known that he was "in the cart" In NZ, that's called "trading while insolvent" and that's a criminal offense. You can't take people's money when there is no chance of delivering. That's fraud.
Here is the email. Names removed to protect the innocent ...
On 5/5/15 1:01 PM, ******** wrote:
Is alice in wonderland still being made?
How does one order one?
On Tuesday, May 5, 2015 2:10 PM, John Popadiuk <jpop@zidware.com> wrote:
Yes absolutely. main reveal is here for now. Almost sold out. Currently building the whitewood from this design. To order you would send a Paypal deposit of $4750 (info@zidware.com). A beautiful piece of illustration and pinball it will be.

I gave myself a week break from this thread, as I just couldn't take it anymore...but the above. Oh my god...someone put JPop in jail please. "Almost sold out"...better hurry and let me steal your money should have been what he said.

#9885 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

What are we gonna call the next flop? The Big Le BLOW ski
After all of the evidence as to how "hard" pinball is I don't know why you would have so much confidence in TBL. I hope it works out for you guys because I'd like one too. Afterwards.
Yeah, all this BS has me one foot out the door. My Woz is going up for sale first

Your owned in the past list is kind of funny Ice.

Quoted from iceman44:

Getting scammed this big by your hobby can sour it!

This is totally right. Nothing can sour you to a subject like a scam. I expect several people are out of the hobby due to this, their spouses if nothing else will make them leave it.

#9936 4 years ago
Quoted from shakethatmachine:

You're right, it is not. I wish it was. If the new license owner (who is in no way assuming any Zidware liabilies) was fully vested then he would also be refunding anyone who wanted out. The new license owner does not want to send YOU any money, he wants you to send HIM money. Let's stay very clear here one what the *new deal* really is.

True, they are not signing up to send anyone any money. John basically straight stole everyone's money and no one would sign up to send the prepayers any money...there is no reason for them to do that. Zidware has failed, John is a failure, lier and a thief to boot.

What they are doing is signing up to get the games built though. Do they need more money to do this? Yep, there is no flipping prototype and no money available to build one or build any games for anyone. They need more money.

Will they get more money? Remains to be seen. RAZA and AIW owners are rightfully unhappy with the situation more than MG owners (though there is a lot of overlap) as MG owners at least get a dollar for dollar conversion.

#11241 4 years ago
Quoted from CNKay:

That is kind of funny. Coin taker comes up as selling RAZA like it is in the box ready to ship.
10500 just one click and add to basket. What a deal. You may need to modify your site.

Yea, I feel bad for the cointaker gang. Anyone know if they remitted all the money they took in for RAZA to JPop?

#11242 4 years ago
Quoted from homebrood:

Well they are named Coin Taker!!!
Order now people and relax!

My gosh, it let me add the game to my basket still . . . yea, they need to remove that from their website.

#11271 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Not necessarily. If The Hobbit hasn't shipped by the time that case wraps up in many months (or more likely years) from now, that can't be blamed on the law suit.

Might cause a run on the bank, so to speak. That could cause a delay or future interruption in the Hobbit manufacturing plans.

#11284 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

The lawsuit is old news already, I doubt that's going to happen.

Maybe, but we are a lot more sensitive as a community to things than we were just a few months ago. While Philgate was bad late last fall, we are in full scale melt down mode right now with Predator and Jpop where people actually have lost a lot of money.

Something that did not overly alarm people four or five months ago is going to have a major impact now...even though it is technically old news we are looking at afresh.

#11285 4 years ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

It's really sad to think that if JPop had put in the effort, he might have been successful, but he spent so much time doing the 10% over and over again for different games he never did any of the 90%.

That boiled down to core competency, which he lacks (no reason to pull punches at this stage). He did not have the mechanical aptitude to actually build the machine (*I won't even address the issue of the absence of his path to manufacturing*). Skit-B actually had more mechanical and electrical aptitude than JPop.

I guess we have learned that just because you once worked at NASA it doesn't mean you actually can build a space shuttle. JPop worked on the art because it was easy, he avoided the rest because it was hard.

#11351 4 years ago
Quoted from deeproot:

There have been numerous posts in this thread regarding deeproot®, its business model, operations, funding (or supposed lack thereof), and/or financials. None of these posts are correct. None of the posters have any connection with deeproot®, any knowledge thereof, and are making assertions that are defamatory and false. deeproot® and deeproot® alone has the ability and sole legal right to make assertions of fact on its behalf. Other than the posts made herein by this account (deeproot), we do not choose to do so at this time. Regards,

You'll get some sneers and kickback for that post, but I think it was perfectly reasonable for you to make given the situation.

Search engines will be drawing your business name up out of this thread in the future when you are doing other projects, no reason at all for the negativity here (that really has nothing to do with you best I can tell) to have an effect on your future projects.

#11382 4 years ago
Quoted from TimeBandit:

Fark it's hard to keep up with this thread..


I, literally, had to recently take about five days off this thread for my own sanity . . . and it is actually my job to read it . . . this thread sometimes makes me feel like I just ate some bad mushrooms.

Some of us moderators are going to need counseling services before this is all said and done it seems.

#11423 4 years ago

If it is JPop scrubbing off the data what he is doing may be considered spoilation of evidence.

He's clearly on notice he has litigation on the way, he has publicly commented on it and received multiple demands. Different states have different laws on intentionally spoilating evidence to hide it from litigation, check out the laws in his state and your home state on this issue...

#12412 4 years ago
Quoted from txstargazer3:

Jack's pin #3 will also be an unlicensed theme by Pat Lawlor.

Im not sure if it is a good idea to keep it unthemed. JJP may last minute license it and I hope so. JJP needs big selling games.

#12742 4 years ago

So, generally the mod team does not approve of posting PMs.

That said, it is a soft rule and people should have no expectation to privacy in their PMs. If you threaten someone or Choggard someone don't be surprised to see your PM again.

Try to treat all people with respect both in your posts and your PMs.

#12878 4 years ago
Quoted from marlboroman:

He should have warned the pinball community at that point...it might have saved some people of few bucks.

That would have been impossible for him to do. Everyone was a big time JPop defender. They would have said it was just sour grapes. It would have hurt Ben's new company as people would have thought he was a kid slinger. Also JPop was always "lawyeredup" and threatening people. Why would Ben risk getting sued by JPop for defamation (as true as Ben's words would have been).

#12940 4 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Whysnow, your heart is in the right place and you're very passionate about pinball, but I'd encourage you to abandon your internet law practice.

Yea, the problem is many internet lawyers speak with such conviction (they speak in absolutes where most things in law generally and basically all things in litigation specifically are rather grey).

I've been quiet regarding my opinion of the prospects of piercing the veil of Zidware, but some people have inferred it will be easy and all you need is the right lawyer. In my experience, peircing the veil of an entity is exceedingly challenging. I would never say there is a slam dunk fact pattern to pierce the veil of an entity.

Furthermore, piercing the veil of an entity is often a question of fact (not law) meanings the burden on appeal (if you don't like what the fact finder found) is usually higher so if you get a raw deal at the trial court level (which happens often, there are some awful trial court judges running around) your recourse on appeal is small.

I'm no litigator, I have managed a reasonable amount of litigation. In my practice I have seen people allege that a veil should be pierced many times (more than I can count). I've never seen a ruling in the cases where I've been involved where the veil was successfully pierced. Many of the cases settled, so the issue never came to question.

I have - once - seen a corporation ruled as being the alter ego of the sole shareholder and the sole shareholder was found liable. That is similar to piercing the veil (being found to be the alter ego) but I'm not sure what states where the alter ego doctrine is applicable.

In any event, complex multi party litigation is exceedingly uncertain. It has a lot of moving parts and rarely is there a silver bullet that expedites the process. I guess what I am saying is: batten down the hatches litigants, it may be a long journey that will at times be frustrating. Good luck to you all, I hope you guys who were defrauded from what I see get made whole in some way.

#13071 4 years ago
Quoted from LyonsRonnie1:

Is anybody else's "new posts" button not working right since we rolled up over 13k? I think we broke it!!!!

Yep, mine stopped working yesterday. Robin is looking at the bug.

#13118 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

Why not start a ZombieYeti thread? I think he deserves more exposure v. buried in this 13k+ thread of marathon postings.

I totally agree. ZY, start a thread for your artwork in the Off Topic zone. Link it to this thread. Your work is awesome, lets see it get its own thread and get you out of this negativity associated with this thread.

#13124 4 years ago
Quoted from chessiv:

A failed business is a lot different than someone who is a intentional thief.

Not when the owner of said failed business sucked out most of the money to pay himself and his wife salary while he lied to people to get more deposit money.

Heck, just six weeks ago JPop apparently was trying to sell AIW slots. Even if he is as incompetent and many say, by six weeks ago he knew he wasn't making AIW.

#13159 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

latest info is that Kevin (and his Lawyer) were NOT behind these refunds.

The fact that there even was money to refund at all (regardless of who is issuing the refunds) puts Kevin vastly ahead of JPop in the competency and integrity department.

I can't believe I said the above, but it is true...

#13160 4 years ago
Quoted from pinstor12:

Is today the day John has to answer the Smith lawsuit? If so, anybody hear anything?

He probably got an extension with which to answer (assuming JPop has an attorney helping him still).

#14032 4 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Time to close this thread? Yes or no?
Up vote is a yes

I'm catching up on the thread, it moves fast.

To be clear to everyone, this thread will not be closed any time soon. The mod team made this decision jointly.

We want to contain the discussion here to the greatest extent possible and not have it spread to other threads. Please be nice to each other. Please remember you do not need to restate the same opinion over and over again.

#14123 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

If you profit 1k per game then you need to sell 1000 games at 10k to "pay back / make whole" the original buyers.

Not to mention whatever debts are owed to existing vendors that would need to be caught up (I'm guessing) if they are going to pick up from where they left off.

#14128 4 years ago
Quoted from cranie:

Anyone taking odds on how long before that 1 prototype "disappears"?

With this much scrutiny and existing litigation someone would have to be crazy to lose the prototype (or have it stolen or destroyed while in their care). I just don't see any of the volunteers working on the project doing such a thing.

Whew, there is some negativity and suspicion here with this project. I get it...but wow.

#14193 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Wow....I REALLY don't like that the OP can't close down a Thread when asked. I thought that was the rule.

Quoted from spfxted:

But I thought that was the OP choice. (that's what was told to me)

This was absolutely never a rule. Closing a thread is 100% discretionary. I do not doubt that you may have heard differently (not all mods are 100% up on the rules, I know I still get things wrong from time to time).

Generally, we honor the request of an OP in a for sale thread to close down the discussion. We also frequently close down threads that are in some case specific way personal in nature to the OP if requested.

This thread will not be closed at this time regardless of the request of OP. Closing this thread would just cause spill over. The thread has been "on fire" for weeks, the discussion is not over.

#14194 4 years ago

By the way:

To those who feel a need (for whatever reason) to announce they are leaving/draining the thread, please try and restrain yourself from the public disclosure.

This thread is long enough. We honestly don't need posts from people announcing they are draining the thread. Just drain the thread and move on.

Thank you.

#14219 4 years ago

Manic and Whysnow, take it to PM please or better yet, both drop it.

For what it is worth I believe Rotordave's email. It looked like JPop's weirdo writing style. Not sure that matters at this point.

#14225 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

How about just giving this guy the needed time out for his personal attacks?
Then we can get back to discussing how it appears Jpop has very recently still been soliciting money from people, even after he was in negotiations to sell the IP.

You've reported what you view as a personal attack. It is under advisement and we will see what another mod says.

An action either will be taken or will not be taken. Manic certainly does not to appear to be in any meltdown at the moment so if he follows instructions and drops the discussion point I see no need to boot him at this moment, pending a second mod looking at the back and forth.

I agree, you've apologized repeatedly for Predator and there is no need to keep hammering you on it. That said, some people are going to feel awkward with you taking strong positions on highly heated matters such as this for a little while. I think you should expect it for a little while.

Anyway, the last thing this thread needs is more drama. So please take it to pm or just drop it.

#14503 4 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Just look at the P-roc booth at expo the last two years, Wooly, Deadpin, the Kuglers were all built for a few thousand dollars, nights and weekends, and in a year or so. Buffy and Matrix, while re-themes, were totally new rule sets, art, etc. and also done in a relatively shot period of time. These games all have nice shots, flow and rule sets. I'm not saying they were all 100% complete, but far more complete then what we have seen from Jpop, including what was just seen.
TBL went from announcement to a flipping prototype (albeit with only 2% of the rules), in well under year. Only one guy at DP even knew they were going to do it, when it was announced at expo 2013, and there it was at expo 2014 flippable (oh, but the air vents were not painted -- so we need to hold that against them).
None of these folks had any experience in making pinball machines.

Yea, but all of those people were competent. JPop is clearly incompetent. JPop pretty clearly has some sort of personality disorder that is pretty serious. Not sure if he could even get and hold a job at Wal Mart.

#14597 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

I'm not giving legal advice here, but I really don't think you want to keep that proto in your possession, especially considering that Zidware didn't float the bill for STI to get it to you.

That may not be you giving legal advice, but that is some of the best legal advice I've seen in this entire thread...

#14927 4 years ago
Quoted from swampfire:

The OCD side of me wants this thread to end at post #15,000.

This thread will hit 20k posts before it is said and done. Just wait for the petition and pleadings in the lawsuit to be discussed...

#14966 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Im not interested in a lawsuit as I feel all the money is gone, but there are rumblings of criminal charges brewing. JPOP may be losing more than Zidware here, he could find himself in prison depending on what gets unearthed in this investigation.

Let's hope he goes to jail. He certainly should in my opinion.

#15006 4 years ago
Quoted from NYP:

If john needs more money for Zidware and is so confident, why not take a second mortgage on his house and use his personal assets? I can answer that, because he thinks of all the people who sent him money as suckers and not people and that he is entitled to the money because he is a creative genius pinball inventor. He thinks the money was a contribution or a gift, not an agreement to purchase something. I just want to stay healthy enough to outlive him so I can piss on his grave.

Totally right look at his old posts...he called the customers "fans". He feels the fans were supporting his vision, basically patrons. What a weirdo view.

#15021 4 years ago
Quoted from rommy:

I mean how do you send out that email and then turn around and say Zidware is going to continue? Nothing to see here I will figure something out?
I predict he won't even hire a lawyer.

I think a lawyer has to,d him to say it. Look at Kevin: "no one has lost money, the project is continuing". So long as there is not an admission of collapse he may be able to con law enforcement.

By the way, we live an era of prosecutorial discretion. If a prosecutor is interested in pursuing something, there are plenty of laws on the books JPop broke. It is getting the interest that is tough.

#15094 4 years ago
Quoted from jwilson:

Hey Aurich, call your buddy at WIRED and have him do a Rise and Fall piece on this. They love stories like that.

Something has to has risen. We now all know JPop was just a phony and dependent on the competent people at Bally/Williams in the 90's for his perceived success.

#15099 4 years ago
Quoted from ShaunoftheDead:

Maybe John will join the class action on zidware and put his claims in for all the extra work he put in and didn't get paid for......you guys do realize he's a victim as well......

Ive seen similar things happen...

#15205 4 years ago

Perhaps he means "in some shape or form" to be Zizzle style; though truthfully I find it hard to believe JPop could even build out a Zizzle style game...he certainly couldn't manufacture anything that sophisticated.

#15261 4 years ago

I think we should start a pool on what John's salary was he paid himself. We will find out in discovery for sure now.

My guess is $125,000 annualized plus health insurance for he and his entire family. He also likely ran a ton of reimbursements through the company (my guess is lots and lots and lots of food and electronics).

#15373 4 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

Don't know when, but John has deleted his facebook accounts (john popadiuk, pinball inventor, and zidware)

He did the scrubbing after the initial deal with Bill was announced per my memory.

#15382 4 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

In one post you talk about how he has zero money and not enough assets to result in anybody getting a cent out of him.
Then in your next post you start talking about how he "can still come out of this and move forward".

I think markmon was trying to convey that JPop was saying he still thought he would make the machines one day - just wacky BS from JPop (who surely knows his rep is mud now) but markmon feels that is enough to show JPop lacked intent to defraud for whatever that is worth at this stage.

Quoted from woodworker:

wcbrandes said:
Jpop is a kept man, lets not worry too much about the finances, he"s doing what he loves and i'm pretty sure the MG's will eventually be made

Yea, i never bought into the theory that JPop's wife was loaded and underwriting anything. There were many who said that but no evidence of it ever existed.

Rarehero had a good post up above I can't find now. Something to the effect of JPop saying he couldnt believe how much money he was making in pinball when the deposits started rolling in. This shows the real delta between the people saying he's in good faith vs those saying he's not in good faith - he just simply always felt the money was his from the moment he got ahold of it. He didn't think he was stealing it, in his mind it was his and he was going to pay himself and his wife whatever he wanted...the customers were mere patrons (they weren't investors or customers...just patrons).

#15459 4 years ago
Quoted from ZenTron:

JPOP can switch fields easily, he just needs to learn how to juggle and make balloon animals.

Based on what we've seen I don't think he has the mechanical aptitude to make balloon animals. Those mechanisms are far to complex for someone as inept and clueless as JPop appears to be.

#15465 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Ok, so again... Larry De Mar comment. Try hiring the head of a coin-op game production company for 60k to do that same job. Stern wasn't hiring people to do your company's line of work.. so again your comments about what you pay your 50 employees has absolutely nothing to do with any of this. Yes, people live in Chicago on less than 60k a year... and what does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

Alright, let me try and tackle this point so we can move on:

You and BackFlipper are not saying things entirely differently, you just think you are. Basically, you are saying JPop paid himself like anyone in a similar position (running a coin-op production company) would have paid himself. You note his salary had no impact on the game being made, only how fast (or slow) the collapse occurred.

BackFlipper is saying JPop overpaid himself, took the profits out of the front end, and should not have been paid like he was.

You both make good points, this is what I see: JPop over paid himself as someone running a coin-up production company that had no product and no investors (pre-orders are not investors...though they were treated even worse than an investor would have been since they had no corporate management or voting rights).

JPop paid himself as if he had capital to do so, he had no capital . . . that money was not his. It was not investment. It was payment for a product that he had no ability to manufacture and he knew it before he stopped paying himself (there is no way it just suddenly hit him at Expo last year that was out of money and had no hope to build the games).

Now, JPop is just sitting back and waiting for yet another Patron (not a customer or investor - he doesn't know what those are) to come give him more money to keep up his arts and crafts show. The man should go to jail for what he has done...his only defense against his fraud is literally the "incompetent imbecile defense".

#15512 4 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

Ugh. What a fucking asshole.
(I'll probably get thread ejected...but I think it's absolutely appropriate in this case.)

Thread eject? Not from me...I agree with you. Thumbs up.

I keep going back to he just everyone as a patron, not a customer or investor . . . just patrons and all the money in his eyes was his the moment he got it.

#15513 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

People may not like the facts - but they are still the facts. Best to face them and learn to adapt then to sit around in a big circle jerk and flame away at how we THINK the world should be.

I think your point has been made as clearly as it is possible to make it. People will either agree or disagree, but it would probably be good to sit back for a day or so and come back tomorrow on this thread.

A lot of people got burned, they aren't happy, they won't thank you for what you have to say whether you are right or you are wrong.

#15645 4 years ago

Hey gang, we've said it before several times:

If this thread bothers or causes you anxiety in some way, just drain the thread (many people already have done so, follow their example). We will not close this thread, as several new ones will just pop up in its place and the discussion will spill over.

The dumpster fire that is this thread will remain open for the time being. Use the drain thread feature, thank you.

#15649 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

PS: Pinball is hard, but not "4 years and a million bucks hard"

The fact that Kevin Kulek can engineer, program and design circles around JPop (granted with no license) is an indication of lack of core baseline competency for JPop. JPop is a dribbling buffoon who should never attend a pinball event the rest of his life. The man needs to be shunned and chased out of the hobby for what he has done. The fact that he is not embarrassed and still views himself as a victim is a pathetic joke.

Note the above opinion is my own and may not reflect the viewpoints of Pinside or the other moderators.

#15684 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

And, to be blunt, let's not forget that he 'married up'. That is, his wife might be rich, and is fully implicated in this case.

This idea (a wealthy spouse) has been proffered many times before, including years ago when people were assuring everyone JPop didn't need the deposit money to live on.

I think it has been fairly well determined that the wealthy wife idea was just a myth supported by no evidence of any kind. Best I can tell from what we've seen she's no better than JPop.

#15687 4 years ago
Quoted from Whysnow:

well of course I would expect he would be looking for and deserving a cut, but I think he is possibly one of the worst people to get into bed with at this stage.
This Jpop deal was aweful from the start, he has people on the Pintasia team with serious potentially criminal background from their recent past, and I think he is now caustic espesially given all the continueed secrecy when he was trying to get MG proto alive. Best case scenaio is a completely silent investor. If he wants to reach out and try to put together a deal then great for him, but best case is to keep it completed behind the scenes as it wont do any good to have the PIntasia name on any future project IMO.

Honestly, Bill doesn't deserve statements like the above directed at him, Pintasia or any of his work.

He did not owe anyone anything. He took a stab at saving the project, he's not going to advertise all the details of what he was doing while he was in the evaluation stage (that continued until he dropped the project).

Bill exposed the 95% lie of JPop and spent a lot of money to get a prototype out to the public for all to see. I think Bill did a great job, I don't know what he spent evaluating the project but what he did was worthwhile. I never felt he was obligated to reveal any private data.

So what if one of his staff members had some sort of legal issue (honestly, none of us are privy to the details of what was going on), I see no reason to drag that lady through the mud on allegations and I don't believe Bill should be found guilty by a combination of association and speculation. I have a staff member who had a DUI years ago working for me: does that mean I have a problem with alcohol?

I for one would have no problem with Bill if he ever is associated with a pinball startup. Heck, that would lend a ton of credibility in my eyes to the project to have him associated.

Getting that crap prototype (or whatever you want to call it) together was a miracle. Good work on that Bill. Thank you.

#15710 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

Actually, some of us took the 20 minutes out of our day it took to become privy to all the details of exactly what type of legal issues his staff member was/is involved in. If you choose to remain ignorant of the facts, you can't claim that everybody else is ignorant too simply because you didn't take the time to verify.

How did you verify it? Read something on the Internet?

I don't disagree with what some people say about this person but I don't convict people in the court of popular opinion either. Media is often flawed and self serving. We also live in an era of prosecutorial discretion where legal results are not always dispositive of the truth either.

Anyway, it is good you took the time to do what you viewed as satisfactory due diligence to formulate an opinion. In my view (just my personal opinion) 20 minutes of online research is not enough to base an opinion on someone by and there are always two sides to a story. Also, Bill stated this person would have had a limited role to play in the project so I'm not sure why her association would cloud Bill's good name and reputation in a future project.

Obviously I don't disagree that the original deal offered by Bill was not very good (in fact, it was terrible), but neither was the situation and it was all exploratory anyway...JPop lied to everyone (Bill included) and the entire thing was a total non-starter other than all of us got to see what a buffoon JPop really was and the myth of 95% completion was blasted to smithereens.

#15713 4 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

You can't say, "Here's my all star team who are gonna fix this mess. Go Voltron force!" and then turn around and say, "Well, you know, she didn't have much to do with it and wouldn't have affected the outcome anyway..." She's the finance person. She handles the money. Look how Kevin and Jpop screwed the pooch on that. I would say her role would have been important.
Yes, there are two sides to every story. And when one party goes quiet when it's their turn at story time, they just told you their side.

That's actually a very fair thing to say. Good point. Thumbs up.

#15891 4 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

If I win tomorrow's Powerball ($80 million) then I will give $3.2 million to finish this.
So don't give up hope just yet. If you don't hear from me by Monday then assume I did not win.

I doubt JPop could finish the project even with $3.2 million. He'd just sit around and play arts and crafts while he drew down all the money in salary for himself and his wife, then when he ran out of money he'd blame you for not being a good patron to his vision...you would be another bad "fan" as he liked to call everyone.

Note the above opinion is my own and may not reflect the opinion of Pinside or the other moderators.

#15896 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

The difference is... Those paintings are finished.
The only thing John can finish... Is his career!

"Can finish"...I would say it "is finished". He needs to never attend another pinball show or even an event (unless he plans to pay everyone back), ever.

#15899 4 years ago
Quoted from dgarrett:

key difference the million $ painting exists.

And were created by someone who didn't apparently effectively abscond with nearly $1,000,000 in deposits to create said painting.

#15908 4 years ago
Quoted from YKpinballer:

The difference being you accept it as a "screw up." I consider it catching somebody in the middle of a robbery.

If that is your viewpoint (and I understand how someone could reasonably come to that conclusion, though I disagree with it) you will not be dissuaded by anything you read here.

I get irritated when people "attempt" to con me, it happens. I don't think Bill was, in any way, attempting to con anyone - it seems to me he was trying to help. I do, however, respect your perspective on the matter - we can agree to disagree.

#15953 4 years ago
Quoted from Pinballs:

Just a thought, but if someone was planning to go bankrupt, why pay their taxes?

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

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).

#15956 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.

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.

1 week later
#16095 4 years ago
Quoted from ChrisVW:

Everyone that played the game at the NW show should review it as I have. 14 more reviews submitted and it'll appear on the Pinside Top X list.

Heck yes, I support this idea. If you played Magic Girl give it an honest rating...let's see where it ends up (ain't gonna be pretty).

#16097 4 years ago
Quoted from vex:

he needed to burn that cash on rent to show he truly planned on delivering the machines. the cost of scamming i guess?

That makes the most sense to me.

I once saw a scam artist put up billboards advertising a small casino he (best I could tell) never planned to actually open...the billboards were lined up from the airport to his supposed location. He spent some cash advertising...he raised some serious money too (but not from my clients).

#16141 4 years ago
Quoted from Concretehardt:

Anyone remember this little guy? Maybe someone could rework it to say something like "Hey John don't STEAL my stuff...!! MAKE some freaking games man!"

To think he has the audacity to infer that John Borg would steal his ideas is the most insane thing I've read this week.

Borg (heck even crooked lying Kevin Kulek) can design circles around JPop. JPop isn't fit to feed John Borg's cat.

#16151 4 years ago
Quoted from PinPatch:

"The new custom topglass fits perfectly" seriously big F#@&ing deal.
Real hard to measure height and width...pop out the champagne (he probably did too!)

Not even some of the most pathetic Facebook users I know would bother to make a big deal out of glass fitting in a window for their home...you design the window you want and order glass and it comes.

Jeez, talk about JPop victory lapping silly stuff.