(Topic ID: 142223)

"Ode" to Stern... well I want it to be... Gary - READ THIS!


By daveispinball

3 years ago



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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by HOOKED
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    -17
    #1 3 years ago

    Think about all the Harvard Business Study cases about innovation and market leaders that miss the inflection point in the market. Some recover like New Coke v. Old Coke. Others have to sell every intangible asset they have just to surface from Bankruptcy (think Kodak and not going with the digital revolution even though they OWN THE PATENT). Stern is at that critical point where the market is demanding something and they have a big investment in a new production facility. JJP may be small now, but look at many of the posts in the last 12 months on pinside... if people act like me and decide a NIB won't be purchased on even their favorite, all books read, binge watching GoT fans, then it's $8,000 going somewhere else. Not deferred to a later innovated pin... but diverted forever to someone in the marketplace that does listen to consumer demand. These aren't low priced toys.

    Bring on Kodak.
    Bring on New Coke.
    Think you'll be buying books from Borders forever?
    Look at what Redbox (and online) did to Blockbuster.
    Remember Palm? Blackberry?

    JJP just got a 'major investment' by ThinkLab Ventures. We don't know the terms of course. Is it just term debt to tide them over? Convertible equity at very favorable terms? Preferred accumulating return stock? Combination. Who knows... but either they were underwater or investing. I would think investing. Stern better watch their back and hear the demands of the market. Only Stern knows their financial position and I would bet he has heard the ROAR... but the longer he takes to adapt to the changing market... the more risk he has to be the next Kodak, Borders, Blockbuster, Palm, Blackberry.... etc etc. The more pins that are made by 'small businesses' that then find backing to be big.

    Come on Stern. Give us a reason to cheer. We appreciate you keeping the market alive but don't let it pass you by.

    And Pinside community, you have the ability to speak with your wallets. Join me on the ride! GARY, WOULD LOVE FOR YOU TO TAKE THE DRIVERS SEAT!

    #2 3 years ago

    Some good points if you ask me. If you compare the stern games from today with the games from the mid 90's there has been some major innovation in terms of code and depth (for the most part), but to the lay-person not a whole lot has changed. Still the same dots, still the same ramps, flippers and flashing lights.

    14
    #3 3 years ago

    Cocaine is a helluva drug.

    #4 3 years ago

    Anytime someone has a personal message to people like this, or dare i say an "ode," it's creepy.

    #5 3 years ago

    <not an economist>While I understand what people are driving at in these types of discussions, I am not so sure we can apply general market strategies to such a small market. Comparing Coke/Borders to Stern is like comparing McDonalds to my local burger dive. Also, I thought startups like JJP only survived because of innovation, it's what allows them to stake out their share of the overall market.</not an economist>

    #6 3 years ago
    Quoted from pinballholder:

    <not an economist>While I understand what people are driving at in these types of discussions, I am not so sure we can apply general market strategies to such a small market. Comparing Coke/Borders to Stern is like comparing McDonalds to my local burger dive. Also, I thought startups like JJP only survived because of innovation, it's what allows them to stake out their share of the overall market.</not an economist>

    I work in he industry so I can quote a bunch of mom and pops that folded but you wouldn't recognize the names. same stories.

    #7 3 years ago

    Man - I hope stern doesn't fold. I love their games. Innovative or not, they're just plain fun. Also, I can't say I'm really partial to either company, but I do know that I see new Stern machines on location all over the place and know people that have them. I can't say the same for WOZ. Also I don't believe producing one title every 4 years is a viable economic model for production. How do you make up for the losers producing titles that slowly? Stern flopped big time on wrestlemania at least from a pinside prespective - who knows operators could've scooped them up and put them in places where wrestling is still popular. They just moved on to the next title and pulled out kiss which seems pretty cool and now Game of Thrones. It's just one title after another. Plus the prices keep going up, that's a sign of a healthy market if you ask me. I think the real winner in this game is going to be the company that comes up with a low priced entry level machine that still plays and feels like something you could put on location. If a company can do that and keep the machines priced around 3k I think they'd kill it in this market.

    #8 3 years ago

    Mixed feelings on this... Stern has made it through the lowest points in pinball history by playing the long game. There have been many fly-by-nights and a couple of solid companies that have emerged, but they've only been able to do it while the market is hot. They will fall and disappear just like the others did when things calm down in a couple years.

    Would I like to see some innovation? Sure. Are you completely underestimating Stern as a company? Absolutely.

    16
    #9 3 years ago

    Sorry Dave, but I completely disagree. You are way over thinking it when you compare Kodak to Stern.......Innovation, blah, blah.....You have spent too much time listening to the modern day corporate crap. Every business industry is different. Stern is in full control of the pinball market from both a production and product perspective. The demand for pinball continues to climb. We are in the 5th year of this comeback and I am amazed at the demand for games. The supply demand curve is in perfect check for continued growth. This tells me we are Not even at the midpoint stages of this pinball Bull market. For every new game created, there is 2 new hobbyists. The people on this forum continue to buy more games and increase the holding capacity in their homes. Location pinball is back, not as a revenue generator, but as a draw. Demand is what kills companies , either that or the commoditization of the products they sell. There is no lack of demand and given what JJP did to increase the opening price point into pinball, there is nothing to worry about. Finally, knowing how difficult it is to produce games, there will always be limited producers. Stern has their aces, but they are not playing them yet because they don't have to. That is what I call smart business.

    #10 3 years ago

    We all understand the risk of becoming obsolete. However, I don't know how much of the pinball hobby community is "traditional" versus "progressive".

    There seems to be a "traditional" base who wants pinball mostly for the sake of nostalgia. Witness the backlash from some corners of the community against MMr and Wizard of Oz. Yes, these people will eventually age out with, at best, a partial replacement of younger hobbyists. Much as Redbox is profiting from the scraps left behind by Blockbuster, there is no shame in serving a dwindling customer base. There is no shame in Stern staying in this space.

    The size and sustainability of the "progressive" base remains to be seen. Machines that break out of the mold of traditional pinball is still in the minority. If this grows, it's possibly a better chance at attracting young players. The opportunity and risk is big here and JJP is well positioned here with the technological building blocks.

    #11 3 years ago

    Innovation may not be worth the investment to Gary. Think about it. Stern does not really have any competitor. JJP and the rest cannot produce the quantity of machines and deliver 3-4 titles every year. Maybe all of the competitors can produce 10% of what Stern can crank out and have one title every 2-3 years. This is not real competition. Its not even close. Why would Gary make heavy investments in which may not bring more revenue? Stern is selling record number of machines. Gary is not thinking in 5 years from now. He is worried about next quarter revenue. Does stern even have a 5 year road map? Stern is the Henry Ford of Pinball in the 1930's today.

    #12 3 years ago

    Gary does not check Pinside.

    #13 3 years ago
    Quoted from daveispinball:

    Bring on Kodak.
    Bring on New Coke.
    Think you'll be buying books from Borders forever?
    Look at what Redbox (and online) did to Blockbuster.
    Remember Palm? Blackberry

    Kodak = $200 ? product with 100s of competitors
    Coke = $1 product with 1000s of competitors
    Books = $20-50 with 10,000s of competitors
    Movie rentals = $4 product with dozens of competitors
    PDA/Smartphone = $2-300 ? product with several competitors

    - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    Pinball machine = $4-8000 product with no "real" competition yet. You're not even in the same hemisphere...

    #14 3 years ago

    I agree with Op. Stern needs to offer more in there pins. I like their games, but with premiums over $10k now. There should be more standard features in game eg shaker, side art and interactive backlighting - not a single fluro tube!
    My next three NIB's are not Sterns, forth will probably not be a Stern unless they improve (spike is a start, but cost cutting was the driver). New manufacturers offer so much more for the same or lesser price.
    Stern must be concerned with all the new pins coming out, I don't feel the market is growing at the same rate so Sterns market share will slowly erode. I'm sure they will survive but will need to innovate to maintain sales.

    #15 3 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Freak:

    (spike is a start, but cost cutting was the driver

    How about, "whenever an electronic engineer opened up a modern pinball machine they laughed themselves silly because of how arcane the technology was" was the driver.

    #16 3 years ago

    Innovation worked so well for the future of Williams pinball. If need be, with Spike I would think that Stern could add an LCD display if the market went that way.

    -1
    #17 3 years ago

    Point is Stern is at an inflection point. They are absolutely concerned about 1-2 years and more from now because game development takes that long (and more JJP). A good entrepreneur has to and arguably... Gary Stern is one. His banks are concerned as well. Surely he's carrying debt. 5 years ago there wasn't "10% of the market going to others." Imagine what another 5 years will bring from risk taking JJP's that want to see more in their machines. Saying $1 cokes and $4 movie rentals is not like a $8k machine is also missing the point guys. Conceptually it's very relevant. Learn from the past. True in corporate America. True in military strategy. True in dealing with your wife... I'm sure everyone can relate to... at least one of those...

    Imagine if the market turned all the sudden. We have had basically 5 years of decreasing unemployment, low interest rates, rising economic indicators, rising stock market, etc etc. One big event and that 1-2 year planning on machines becomes really important. Gary's investment/development/sales cycle is much longer than everyone's ability to adjust their buying habits. Think of the risk Spooky and JJP take... Spooky isn't calling for money until delivery. I think they're safe with 300... but that's the life of an entrepreneur... think ahead, adjust to whims of the market, and don't think you're smarter than the fickle consumer. Discretionary spending is always the first to go.

    I love my Tron and AC/DC... and I want Stern to succeed... but I certainly think they need to adjust to the consumer demand. Will they ever fold from not listening; no? Will they continue to lose market share as others find more investors; yes. Do I care who leads the market; no. Do I like competition; yes.

    Do I want Stern to innovate? YES

    #18 3 years ago

    I'd like to chime in on the fascination with mid-90's Williams machines and all the innovation that went on back then. Yeah, I get it, they were/are awesome. But at what cost? Its well documented that the complex rule sets of TZ turned a lot of casual players off and lets not even mention all the extra moving parts and maintenance issues of those pins on location. STTNG cannons anyone? I spent last weekend rebuilding mine along with the driver board.

    I'm a collector/operator and I was in my main arcade location earlier this week chatting with another collector/operator from a nearby city and we have both seen good/better earnings from simpler games that are easy to get into. He has a No Fear that is kicking the crap out of a Fish Tales on earnings and I have a Metallica that in hanging in there with my MMR LE and a Kiss Pro that is beating MMR LE every week. TWD is doing well too. People can have their opinions, but that's actual data from a location without a lot of pinheads supporting it, just the general public.

    I had a wonderful and highly innovative WOZ on location and the sparkle factor worked well for earnings for a few months but eventually the complex rules turned players off and I even had a large format rules map on the wall next to the machine to help them. When I look at my SM, T3, or POTC my first thought is "damn, Sterm used to put a lot more stuff in their machines". But I think that simpler games with popular themes help get more players into the hobby, at least on location.

    So in summary, the world of pinball is complex and diverse and I think there's a real place for simpler games with popular themes with fewer parts. I want them in my locations. Stern will continue to sell a ton of them and good for them.

    #19 3 years ago

    1) "X is the future, Stern should do X."

    The problem with this argument is that it has absolutely nothing to do with what creates profit for a firm, which is a sustainable competitive advantage. The point of the HBS Kodak case is not that Kodak should have gotten moving with digital sooner---it is that their film business was an outrageously profitable line that was destined to eventually disappear. Rather than destroying billions of shareholder value trying to compete in the intensely rivalrous digital market (where they had no obvious competitive advantage) they likely should have exited when the film line became uneconomic.

    2) "Stern's competitors are doing X and people just love it. Stern should do X."

    Differentiation is how firms can sell goods at a price above marginal cost in a competitive market.

    #20 3 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Gary does not check Pinside.

    I bet he's a closet reader... like grabbing a bag of chips at 2am while watching infomercials. This is pinballs 'tabloids.' Haha!

    #21 3 years ago
    Quoted from TimeBandit:

    How about, "whenever an electronic engineer opened up a modern pinball machine they laughed themselves silly because of how arcane the technology was" was the driver.

    Stating the obvious! Lol. Yep I might even be able to fix problems now!

    #22 3 years ago
    Quoted from anthony691:

    1) "X is the future, Stern should do X."
    The problem with this argument is that it has absolutely nothing to do with what creates profit for a firm, which is a sustainable competitive advantage. The point of the HBS Kodak case is not that Kodak should have gotten moving with digital sooner---it is that their film business was an outrageously profitable line that was destined to eventually disappear. Rather than destroying billions of shareholder value trying to compete in the intensely rivalrous digital market (where they had no obvious competitive advantage) they likely should have exited when the film line became uneconomic.
    2) "Stern's competitors are doing X and people just love it. Stern should do X."
    Differentiation is how firms can sell goods at a price above marginal cost in a competitive market.

    Kodak had the edge. They missed it. They had to sell their digital patents in 2012 for over $500 million to stay afloat. Every time someone put a camera in their devise they were paying Kodak. Kodak misjudged the market. They thought long... but thought wrong. I'm sure they didn't want 1,000's of employees to lose their jobs in little ole Rochester NY. They had already seen what happened to Bausch and Lomb there.

    Not saying Stern needs to do X, Y, and Z specifically. I gave no specifics... and frankly... maybe they make one 'special' pin a year instead of 4 normal with 3x levels (pro, premium, and LE).

    #23 3 years ago

    Stern will do things how ever they want to. In the end it doesn't matter to me. If they make a great game like AC/DC or Met I will likely buy one at some point. The LE rush is long since over for me though. If it's a great game there will be a premium. The premiums will be available for 18+ months. I'll buy one of them new when the code is done or buy a HUO. If for some reason I love the LE and really want one people are always selling them. There's zero reason to rush into purchasing a NIB from stern.

    Simple fact is I do not have to have more pinball machines. It's up to any of these companies to design games that make me want to buy them. I do not need to buy every game that comes out or every popular theme that is made. Having a theme I like is nice, but gameplay overrules everything and I won't get sucked into a bunch of hype.

    #24 3 years ago

    How many games does stern do a year? 4?

    I'd rather have 1 awesome JJP every year (or two), or 2 really great sterns. It seems like they know from the beginning which titles will be a A or B title.

    #25 3 years ago

    there are new pinball machines being made?

    #26 3 years ago
    Quoted from sandersj:

    I'd like to chime in on the fascination with mid-90's Williams machines and all the innovation that went on back then. Yeah, I get it, they were/are awesome. But at what cost? Its well documented that the complex rule sets of TZ turned a lot of casual players off and lets not even mention all the extra moving parts and maintenance issues of those pins on location. STTNG cannons anyone? I spent last weekend rebuilding mine along with the driver board.
    I'm a collector/operator and I was in my main arcade location earlier this week chatting with another collector/operator from a nearby city and we have both seen good/better earnings from simpler games that are easy to get into. He has a No Fear that is kicking the crap out of a Fish Tales on earnings and I have a Metallica that in hanging in there with my MMR LE and a Kiss Pro that is beating MMR LE every week. TWD is doing well too. People can have their opinions, but that's actual data from a location without a lot of pinheads supporting it, just the general public.
    I had a wonderful and highly innovative WOZ on location and the sparkle factor worked well for earnings for a few months but eventually the complex rules turned players off and I even had a large format rules map on the wall next to the machine to help them. When I look at my SM, T3, or POTC my first thought is "damn, Sterm used to put a lot more stuff in their machines". But I think that simpler games with popular themes help get more players into the hobby, at least on location.
    So in summary, the world of pinball is complex and diverse and I think there's a real place for simpler games with popular themes with fewer parts. I want them in my locations. Stern will continue to sell a ton of them and good for them.

    I like facts... very interesting. So revenue wise on location now it's
    Kiss
    MET
    MMR
    No Fear
    Fish Tales
    TWD
    WoZ

    I don't think I translated that perfect... but very curious what in circulation is performing.

    #27 3 years ago

    8k. I still struggle to see that as a sustainable market point for games. I'm sure that a lot of people who are smarter than me have analyzed it and said that the profit levels are better with less sales at a higher price. And while that may be true, can it be sustained? I don't see it. Even if the profit is the same, I'd rather move more volume. That way if demand decreases a bit, you have more cushion.

    #28 3 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Gary does not check Pinside.

    And I wonder how much he has to say in the company that holds his name..

    #29 3 years ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    8k. I still struggle to see that as a sustainable market point for games. I'm sure that a lot of people who are smarter than me have analyzed it and said that the profit levels are better with less sales at a higher price. And while that may be true, can it be sustained? I don't see it. Even if the profit is the same, I'd rather move more volume. That way if demand decreases a bit, you have more cushion.

    Its definitely not a market point that works when people say pinball has to go for the youth market to stay relevant... I didn't even have a car that cost 8 grand until I was in my mid 20's.

    #30 3 years ago

    Stern is probably building huge cash reserves right now to make it through the next downturn and hopes to emerge as "The only pinball manufukuturer in the world" again....

    or if someone else starts to gain market share on them, those cash reserves could be deployed to blow the industry away with dream pins!!

    or maybe he's just old, doesn't give a shit, and wants to run Stern pinball into the ground simply for the fun of kicking back, legs crossed on desk, in his highback leather bound exec. chair with a stiff drink laughing at all of us crying about it on pinside every night...

    #31 3 years ago
    Quoted from TOK:

    Its definitely not a market point that works when people say pinball has to go for the youth market to stay relevant... I didn't even have a car that cost 8 grand until I was in my mid 20's.

    This is the core issue for me.. I love pinball and Stern puts out some great games, but..... are the games truly worth $5-8K? Am I getting $5-8k worth of entertainment out of this single pinball machine? Yes I could technically afford it, but is it worth it? The answer is often NO for me. Though I go back and forth on this all the time

    I'd like to play on location, but I have to travel hundreds of miles to find/play them.

    #32 3 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Stern flopped big time on wrestlemania at least from a pinside prespective

    Stern has always had flops CSI,BBH,RS they just put out a new game in 4 to 6 months they don't put off shipping for over a year.

    #33 3 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Anytime someone has a personal message to people like this, or dare i say an "ode," it's creepy.

    ode.jpg

    #34 3 years ago
    Quoted from nosro:

    We all understand the risk of becoming obsolete. However, I don't know how much of the pinball hobby community is "traditional" versus "progressive".
    There seems to be a "traditional" base who wants pinball mostly for the sake of nostalgia. Witness the backlash from some corners of the community against MMr and Wizard of Oz. Yes, these people will eventually age out with, at best, a partial replacement of younger hobbyists. Much as Redbox is profiting from the scraps left behind by Blockbuster, there is no shame in serving a dwindling customer base. There is no shame in Stern staying in this space.
    The size and sustainability of the "progressive" base remains to be seen. Machines that break out of the mold of traditional pinball is still in the minority. If this grows, it's possibly a better chance at attracting young players. The opportunity and risk is big here and JJP is well positioned here with the technological building blocks.

    Stern needs to worry about Heighway more then JJP

    #35 3 years ago

    Stern has only put out like 8 games since JJP announced The Hobbit in 2012 and only a handful of modern classics like Metallica and STLE . It's a shame to see the biggest pinball manufacturer floundering so badly, I hope they recover soon.

    #36 3 years ago
    Quoted from daveispinball:

    JJP may be small now, but look at many of the posts in the last 12 months on pinside... if people act like me

    Yep, JJP who rates a POOR in every segment of their D&B report, and who has delivered exactly ONE pinball title ever in their 5 years of making pins, is certainly going to put STERN out of business!

    Gary, close the new facility down - RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    427316.jpg

    -4
    #37 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Yep, JJP who rates a POOR in every segment of their D&B report, and who has delivered exactly ONE pinball title ever in their 5 years of making pins, is certainly going to put STERN out of business!
    Gary, close the new facility down - RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111
    427316.jpg

    ThinkLab put in money in August 2015. D&B is dated 6/9. No doubt they are hurting. Slow delivery of product with up front expenses is not a sustainable model.

    I find it funny that so many people hate my original post. I note a change in the market, a plea for Stern to change and be the driver, and note examples of 'to big to fail' titans in their own industries that failed to follow market demand. Yeah it's great to pump out 4x/machines a year but it helps when the Dow and business activity is doing so well. Change doesn't happen overnight... but Stern better get cracking.

    #38 3 years ago
    Quoted from daveispinball:

    ThinkLab put in money in August 2015. No doubt they are hurting.

    Other investors have sunk their money into JJP in past years, also with the same big fanfare and almost the exact same "press release".

    Quoted from daveispinball:

    I find it funny that so many people hate my original post.

    I liked it.

    Quoted from daveispinball:

    I note a change in the market

    I do also.

    Stern setting up more production lines, hiring more people, and building games for other companies.

    All signs of a stronger, growing market.

    Quoted from daveispinball:

    a plea for Stern to change and be the driver

    Stern has indeed been changing.

    Hiring more talent, building a larger production facility, hiring more workers.

    Stern is not only driving the market, but it solely kept it on life support through the economic disaster of the Bush years; where the entire global economy almost imploded.

    Not bad for the last man standing in an industry many decades past it's prime.

    #39 3 years ago

    I don't think you can apply disruption theory to this market. Competing products from the new entrants are merely 'improvements' on the existing product. They don't capture value in different ways and they don't employ different business models. Stern has enough clout, momentum and experience that they could probably match the offerings from new entrants within just a few years.

    My prediction: Stern will see sales declining from the early adopters as they opt for superior offerings from new entrants. Stern will react in kind, creating either a new line of product or overhauling their entire line, to match the offerings from new entrants. The market grows, the games get better and deliver better value for money, Stern survives just fine, some smaller new entrants drop off and the strongest survive.

    #40 3 years ago
    Quoted from daveispinball:

    ThinkLab put in money in August 2015. D&B is dated 6/9. No doubt they are hurting. Slow delivery of product with up front expenses is not a sustainable model.
    I find it funny that so many people hate my original post. I note a change in the market, a plea for Stern to change and be the driver, and note examples of 'to big to fail' titans in their own industries that failed to follow market demand. Yeah it's great to pump out 4x/machines a year but it helps when the Dow and business activity is doing so well. Change doesn't happen overnight... but Stern better get cracking.

    Your original post is a joke.If what happened to Blockbuster and Kodak happens to pinball JJP will fold as well.Pinball will go the way of p3 pinball for the change you are talking about to happen.As for Red box no one uses them it is streaming that killed video store

    #41 3 years ago
    Quoted from daveispinball:

    I note a change in the market, a plea for Stern to change and be the driver, and note examples of 'to big to fail' titans in their own industries that failed to follow market demand.

    But to use your own analogy, Coke came out with NewCoke as a result of 'trying to keep up with the market'. Pepsi was gaining on them (remember the Pepsi challenge?), so they figured if they just make Coke sweeter, like Pepsi, they'd be good. They failed. In that case, Coke should have stuck to what's been shown to work for them. Similar to Stern. I suspect over time Stern will adapt and roll out new tech (video), but I think they are smart not to dump what is working for them, and adapt slowly and surely.

    #42 3 years ago

    From Stern FB

    10329217_10153670317914244_670889591972202184_n.jpg

    #43 3 years ago
    Quoted from daveispinball:

    I like facts... very interesting. So revenue wise on location now it's
    Kiss
    MET
    MMR
    No Fear
    Fish Tales
    TWD
    WoZ
    I don't think I translated that perfect... but very curious what in circulation is performing.

    At my main location (6 machines) Kiss has been the consistent high earner since its been there with no let down yet for honeymoon effect.

    TWD is a strong #2 even though its been there much longer, ST, MET, POTC, and MMRLE all run about the same numbers with MMR in a slight lead after an amazing first few months. All machines combined make about $1200/month which pays for 2-3 new machines a year. Needless to say "I have a well paying day job" and can subsidize the arcade but its nice to have a hobby that sort of pays for itself. Its a HELLUVA lot more cost effective than buying a bass boat and going fishing. Those are some damn expensive fish.

    #44 3 years ago
    Quoted from accidental:

    My prediction: Stern will see sales declining from the early adopters as they opt for superior offerings from new entrants.

    My Predictions (write this down for reference):

    1. Stern continues for a few more years like a freight train, then sales stagnate and finally decline as the wealthier collectors hit the limits of floor space.

    2. JJP finally folds after 3 games and is dissolved by it's creditors.

    3. A few other boutique pin manufacturers each put out a few games and then pack it up. It's fun to do a few games for the love of pinball, but if you aren't making a million dollars, investing years of your life into each one becomes fatiguing.

    4. All of the major "grail pins" are reproduced by PPS, effectively killing the speculative pin market.

    5. Stern puts out a "classic line" of lower priced reproductions from the 70-80s with moderate success.

    6. The "re-printing" of playfields becomes common and even obscure titles are reprinted on demand.

    7. New CPU and Sound boards become common allowing new rules and audio for all the classic pins.

    ======================================================

    I'm not saying I want any of the above to happen, I'm just stating my predictions.

    #45 3 years ago
    Quoted from lordloss:

    How many games does stern do a year? 4?
    I'd rather have 1 awesome JJP every year (or two), or 2 really great sterns. It seems like they know from the beginning which titles will be a A or B title.

    How about one awesome JJP...ever, waiting.

    #46 3 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    My Predictions (write this down for reference):

    Vids ultimate guide to looking into a crystal ball.

    #47 3 years ago

    Honestly Vid's predictions are not that far out. Stern is producing 2 or 3 games a year so they don't lose market share from these smaller companies. This saturates the market. Stern doesn't innovate because it's costly and risky and they need to produce a bunch of games. In order for another company to make it financially they have to cut into Stern's market share. These companies innovate but they are unable to create 2 or 3 games a year, so they will fold. Right now everyone's pinball greed is really high(thus the high prices of every game, project and in-between) but what happens when it's not? Boom.

    #48 3 years ago
    Quoted from Tomahawkjim:

    These companies innovate but they are unable to create 2 or 3 games a year, so they will fold.

    This is important because the quantity of games Stern releases dramatically lowers the risk of one game being a flop. A dud represents a fraction of their lineup whereas for one of the new entrants a dud represents a huge chunk (if not all) of their lineup. Particularly dangerous as they're ramping up.

    But thanks to Stern it doesn't take much effort to produce an exciting game when compared to their regular lukewarm releases. So these new entrants all seem to be doing well so far so long as they can get their operations to a point where they can actually ship games and raise their credibility in the market. Momentum will shift quickly their way, IMO.

    Stern would have done well to increase the risk factor for these new entrants, starting a few years back, by doubling down and making some killer games and matching some of their innovations. But they haven't, leaving the door wide open.

    #49 3 years ago

    DP wont be a problem for Stern. JJP not, all other boutiques not. Even highway wont be a problem.

    But...

    DP + JJP + Highway + boutiques all combined will be serious competition.

    #50 3 years ago

    Stern has the best designers in the industry producing games at 10x the rate as anyone else. That, if nothing else, is a near lock for continued success over the rest of the field, combined. Maybe Lawlor's game works out for JJP, but the issue there remains manufacturing speed.

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