(Topic ID: 98940)

PPS / MMR communication - it's NOT about the coin mechs (or is it?)

By jfh

5 years ago

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  • 700 posts
  • 130 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 5 years ago by TigerLaw
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders


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#7 5 years ago

I agree that the announcement and follow-up on the removal of the coin mechs was handled poorly (especially in light of how cheap a good fix for the problem would have been).

I don't agree that it's part of some larger pattern of PPS ignoring customer input. PPS's engagement in the trim color debates proved to my satisfaction that the company is capable of considering "constructive criticism or suggestions." Rick (whom I've never met and know only by reading his Pinside posts this past year) seems to have a big personality and enjoy sarcasm, which can cut both ways when he's acting as a PR rep for PPS. The safest route would be for PPS to do as Stern and JJP do and generally avoid posting on Pinside. Or for Rick to follow basic PR protocol and respond with a forced smile to all criticism, regardless of how silly it is. Probably good business but it would have made the wait for MMR a lot less interesting!

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

It's about how the issue of the mechs and how PPS handles communication on other issues that they see as inconvenient.

Are there other specific instances where you think Rick/PPS mishandled communication with his customers? Maybe some examples would make more clear why you view this as a trend.

#72 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

To answer your question directly - The other issue where I believe communication was mishandled (and really the only one that was a significant issue for me) was the warranty/ownership/transfer issue. That bothered me for a number of reasons, but mainly because Rick went out of his way to disparage me and others for commenting on the issue. I was in the third row at the Expo announcement session - I heard every word, every question and every answer. I even asked Rick point-blank follow up questions about the warranty until I was confident I understood the policy. Months later, the response was I must have misunderstood or heard something wrong. Rather than an honest acknowledgement of "hey - we thought it some more, changed the policy, here's why", I (and others) were simply dismissed as ignorant loons that didn't know what they were talking about.

Sorry, should have remembered, I think you and I had some back and forth about the warranty in another thread a few months back. I don't think I was convinced that PPS had actually changed its warranty policy, but do recall that you felt pretty pasionate about it. Again, it seems to me that the smart business move on PPS's end would be to stop posting on the boards at all and just focus on making games, but Rick's posts do give us all something to talk about.

#79 5 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

And what do you think would happen if he said "no, this is no good, it doesn't play enough like the original, I won't sign off on this"?

PPS would go back and fix it to meet his approval?

#255 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Absolutely. But it only cost a lil over half what the MMR costs, and actually includes coin mechs. IMVE is what we bought after we canceled our MMR.

I think the point is it's hard to complain about a remake sapping all the money for new, innovative games from the market when you take the cash you would have spent on one remake and spend it on ... another remake. Of course you saved $3k+ going with IMVE, but unless you spend that on another NIB, non-remake title (as opposed to beer and burgers as most of us probably would) you're not supporting the development of new title any more than the people buying MMR.

#527 5 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

So.... does it come with coin mechs or not?

It's not about the coin mechs.

#584 5 years ago
Quoted from indypinhead:

Let's just say I've heard some things from a reliable source, and have promised to keep it to myself.

Dude, this seems like a pretty big deal. First question, is your source teekee? If not, got any details on why you think the game will be shipping 6-9 months late?

[EDIT: Or are you just practicing the time-honored tradition of starting a horrible false rumor to spur PPS to make an official announcement about production delays?]

#591 5 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Kinda like how everyone kept baiting JJP? Hey, if it worked then....

Yep, I didn't mean to imply that the baseless rumor/announcement bait tactic is only being used against PPS, it's classic internet troll jujitsu!

#598 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

I still don't understand the CGC / PPS relationship. If the relationship is as Rick describes it (and we have no info to indicate otherwise), why is PPS the lead distributor and setting guidelines for the other distributors and not CGC?

Not sure I follow your thinking here. There's a fair amount of gray in the way Rick described the relationship with CGC (which from my perspective is fine, how often do companies publicize the specifics of their private contracts?). Here's Rick's comment about CGC, again:

Quoted from PPS:

CGC is the overall project 'owner' of the game - we are the licensee, and as such CGC has leeway to make decisions and we have a large degree of influence, there is nothing new to this. PPS is the 'face' for the pinball community because frankly while CGC is well known in gaming they are not 'in' the community and thus PPS (myself) provides the conduit for communication with the community. CGC is not a contractor, Stern in this case is a contractor (and important one). CGC is a partner and driving the bulk of the game development with our guidance.

PPS seems like at the least a very involved "licensor", or maybe even a "partner" depending on which part of Rick's statement you look at. If PPS wanted CGC to take lead on manufacturing but wanted to retain control over distribution, the contracts could easily be negotiated to allow for that.

#602 5 years ago
Quoted from Nilroc:

I was just thinking. Rick has had our deposits for 9 months approximately.
I'm sure that money was gaining some interest. Maybe Rick could apply that to some co$& mec@& for the machines.
Especially if there is a delay. Or a nice Goody Bag.

Well if PPS tossed the $1 million in deposits in a CD for a year at 1.25% (maybe you could get a better rate with a large deposit but CD interest rates are pretty rough these days), he'd have a cool $12,500 in interest, or $12.50 per buyer. Not sure how much good will that's going to generate ...

#608 5 years ago
Quoted from Pintucky:

THEN . . . days or a week or so later, I find out there there will be an unlimited supply of standard MM's to be made AFTER the initial release of the LE's. THAT busted my bubble REAL FAST! I would probably not have ordered an LE and waited until the Standards came out and put my own shaker motor on.
I don't want to participate in any pre-order thing AGAIN!!!!

No offense, but if that's the case why didn't you just cancel your order when the Standards were announced (about three days after the LE was announced, if I remember right) and get your money back? I was in with JJP day one, requested a refund in early December, and got it within a week. Super easy.

#613 5 years ago
Quoted from jfh:

OK, but as a very involved "licensor" or maybe even partner, I wouldn't expect PPS to give up control of what is spec'ed for the machine, which is what we are being told WRT the coin mechs.
I'm a little biased because whenever I think of CGC, I think of cabinets (good) and Pinball America (not so good).

I hear you. And frankly, I'd be surprised if the contracts give full and final control over specs to CGC -- in other words, if PPS really put its foot down on this it's hard to imagine the games wouldn't end up shipping with coin mechs, despite the added complexity (and/or delay if sourcing 1,000 coin mechs on short order is a problem as some have speculated). I took Rick's post to mean that they're business partners, so when CGC told PPS late in the game that they didn't want to install coin mechs, it wasn't a matter of PPS saying "just do it, damn it" and CGC saying "yes boss," and instead they collectively decided, based on CGC's expertise on the game production side, that it was best to move forward without the coin mechs. But this just gets back to the point that none of us know very much about the nature of the PPS/CGC contractual relationship (which again, at least to me, is not unusual) so it's all speculation.

#621 5 years ago
Quoted from hollywood:

Has anyone heard from Rick at all???

Did you call him?

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