Quoted from Lermods:
You lose brand loyalty if you make products that don’t last. It is very short sighted not to do so thinking people will just buy your product again. I bought a Sony directv box about 20 years ago, it failed within a year and Sony would not replace it. I literally have not bought a Sony product since.
I think it used to matter more than it does today. I think as long as the prices are cheap (say like TV's unless you're a videophile) then people accept it...but then look at iPhones....that is something I can't believe is a thing, over and over every year.
Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:
The direct question of SPIKE was asked, and needed to be actively addressed, not continually hidden in the background. Six years is enough since the system open development and implementation.
Those that may disagree that the SPIKE has no shortfalls are certainly entitled to their opinions. I have offered over 40 posts on PinSide to try and encapsulate the sets of problems with this system. I cannot and will not cover everything again. These posts can be found by a keyword search in the forums.
I do hope that Stern steps forward soon and offers solutions for the future for the areas of schematics, parts/boards availability, training, diagnostics, and repair. I don't "hate" Stern, but I do dislike many of their changes of business practices particularly since 2009, which was the year that the investor council redirected the company. Remember George Gomez and Gary Stern don't control all decisions.
Right now, the situation remains unacceptable and RSD of modern Stern games should be very concerning to new owners. The one thing that is preventing a public outcry is the complement of good Stern customer service.
Ultimately, what they are probably doing is 1. making things as cheap as possible 2. simplifying the production process (which in turn also makes things cheaper). At the same time they are raising prices. Maximizing profits is the name of the game these days. This was really the point of my post. We can talk about how Stern is for keeping making games during the dark years, but in the end, they are about making money, however they have to. The problem is, people who are around for awhile can see when things take a change for the worse. It is only common sense that makes people pause and say - what needs to be done to overcome what we know the future holds?
Now...they very well could be doing #3 - repair parts. They've seen how much people are charging for small production runs of old parts/boards. They have the means to do it easier and cheaper. Why wouldn't they try to get into that as well? This leads to them protecting their designs and not releasing schematics which makes it more difficult for aftermarket parts.
These same ideas - and the fact I don't have the skill set or tools to build my own boards/parts - is why even though I want an Alien so badly, I can't bring myself to get one. Its life at this point is too dependent on a few others to keep it going.