A mod suggested that a new thread be created to discuss "the MMR coin mech issue", rather than having the discussion continue in the main MMR thread. I wasn't going to do that, but was encouraged to do so after some private discussions.
In thinking about it, I realized that some missed the point that the larger issue isn't about whether or not coin mechs ship with MMR, but rather how PPS handled the issue.
In case anyone doesn't know, here are the facts:
- Shortly after deposits on MMR became non-refundable, Rick announced that MMR would ship without coin mechs.
- This was the first indication that the remake would not ship equipped for a primary function of a commercial pinball machine and one that was obviously present in the original.
- Rick stated the reason for this omission was a logistics issue due to non-domestic orders and implied that it would be difficult for Stern to handle getting the right type of mechs with the right game on the assembly line.
There was a lot of discussion about the missing mechs. Rick stated that that PPS believed that only a small percentage of MMR buyers would be impacted by this decision, since the significant portion of the games produced were going into homes of private collectors who, for the most part, don't use/need coin mechs. I happen to agree with this point, and I know many others do, but using that as a rationalization/justification for not including mechs.
Any good project manager would conclude the same thing I did - that either this was a cost cutting move or the issue of needing different types of mechs by country wasn't appropriately planned for. I think it is the latter, as it doesn't make sense as a cost-cutting move for a number of reasons.
Instead of something like:
"Hey guys, we underestimated what was required to efficiently install the proper coin mechs during the production of MMR, so we believe it's best for the project that machines ship without them. PPS will send a set of coin mechs at no charge to the registered owner of a machine if they would like them. In addition, we would like to offer [something/discount coupon/whatever] to all owners as our thanks for your understanding on what we hope is a minor inconvenience."
What did we get?
- you guys don't understand how hard this is to do
- what's the big deal? Nobody uses mechs anyway
- if you want them, we'll sell them to you cheap (totally ignoring those folks would essentially pay for them twice)
- It wasn't our decision not to include the mechs, it was our contractor's fault.
- feigned ignorance over "missing parts"
- total ignorance of the real issue.
I don't think this is acceptable. I believe, as I know many do, that Rick has done (and plans to do) much for the pinball community and I am quite grateful for his efforts. I was one of the first to place an order for MMR, despite the fact I own a pristine original, as I wanted to show support for MMR and the concept of reproducing classic WMS titles. I want a new AFM, CC, BBB and maybe some others.
There seems to be a disturbing habit when someone questions a PPS decision/move. Many of the replies we get don't acknowledge the issue, but
- repeat the original answer, as if we didn't read or understand it the first time.
- tell us we wouldn't understand the issues involved
- slyly disparage the person asking the question
- totally ignore any constructive criticism or suggestions
- fail to attribute any responsibility to Rick and/or PPS. Everything is someone else's fault.
Let me be perfectly clear - the issue that mechs aren't shipping with the game don't bother me anywhere near the perception I have that Rick is tone deaf to the concerns that have been expressed in the MMR thread (mechs is the latest, but certainly not the first). Yes, I can afford mechs if I want them, but that's not the point - I shouldn't even have to think about having to do so.
Yes, nobody cancelled their order over missing coin mechs (which would have cost them $1k). Would anyone have cancelled before the deposit deadline? I suspect not, but no one had the opportunity.
Most don't care about the missing coin mechs. Fine. What if the game were to ship without legs? Most of us have a spare set or two - no big deal, right? What if it was "too hard" to figure out what power supply needed to be installed in the game?
Doesn't matter - it's not a parts issue. It's a communication and trust issue. I don't want snarky answers from someone who doesn't think I'm intelligent enough to handle the truth. If I mess up, I take responsibility for it. I expect others (including Rick) to do the same.
I say it's not about the mechs - what do you think?