Quoted from simon:
haha, yes, for me that will be a 'no'
I dont think it really matters what i say now anyway, so I will tell you that from early on there were sensible offers to do most the production elsewhere, which would of meant more or less just a small design and sales team etc running out of a small unit somewhere with minimum overheads.
Other than the obvious options of doing a load of it in China, the best bet might of been something similar to what i believe (?) one of your US pinball companies has done fairly recently and 'farmed' it out to another manufacturer that was already geared up for production - I cant remember who / what it was exactly as im not very current but did it maybe involve JJP or Stern's lines being used? Please correct me if im wrong as its a bit of a vague recollection!
But anyway, I can guarantee you there was a serious offer by a large UK coin-op manufacturer (Non pinball of course, but probably one of our biggest) fairly early in proceedings to produce these for HP. But the conversation never went anywhere as the powers that be wanted it ALL in house. Was literally just dismissed out of hand.
This involved a successful company who had everything in place to do it, and was put forward by someone else involved in UK pinball, who knows the top man at said manufacturer and who is actually himself involved in producing certain pinball parts and has designed and produced / sold WORKING pinball PCB's etc .
VERY VERY bad decision that, compounded by lots of other very bad decisions Im afraid.
The problem is that not only was Andrew incredibly narcissistic & appeared prepared to lie about anything to anyone, with little evidence of a conscience & delusions of grandeur, he wanted the WHOLE PIE. Whilst he was in complete control of the company, sensible stuff which might have produced a viable concern was never, ever going to happen. There was never a board, never any other directors, it was his way or the highway (sorry).
For a normal, well run company, sure, funding was enough for far more to be done, and for suppliers & staff to be paid and customers not to lose money. Maybe even a real success.
For Andrew and the dominion of his self appointed fiefdom, there would never be enough. As resources were frittered away & evaporated, so the pyramid grew. Instead of the company either being put into administration or restructured as ought to have happened, it just got worse as he used more and more underhanded tactics and deception to 'juggle' and 'survive', and this lasted years. His control freakery likely worsened as his self dug pit deepened, as he had so much to hide. Buying machinery and doing stuff in house also probably seemed impressive to many, so it was part of keeping up appearances. Relinquishing control in those circumstances is impossible.
TLDR, any normal management or funding requirements were anathema to who he was and what he was doing. I suppose the most incredible thing is that this happened despite managing to get so much 'free' labour.