BLUF: Time will not be kind to those that are not carefully reviewing present circumstances.
The survival of HP is to be based on volume sales of this title (something that is overlooked if a market wants to expand in growth, not shrink to tiny qualities at high prices), of which the manufacturing line in this case does not even exist yet, and never did.
The company needs to build at least several thousand just to return a marginal level of profit for investors as they have to absorb the initial existing losses.
If it does not happen, the game is over before it starts, and there is no "hot design" on the heels of this languishing project.
FT was a commercial failure and a rerun of that game would not save the company a third time either.
There is a difference between cynicism and realism.
I use colourful analogies to make a point that may actually protect individuals from making historical repeated mistakes.
I do not need to speculate anything based on personal experience in manufacturing, industry, and corporate bureaucracy.
Pinball manufacturer discussions were quite diverse and open minded in the early 90s until starting closure of companies in 1994.
Not that there was not a lot of "backstabbing" of sorts to maintain market shares.
Closures were not all out of financial distress or pure profitability.
I had similar discussions with others as early as 2003 regarding IPB (before the formal announcement of BBB at Expo 2004), which other than a couple of other historical examples in the 1970s and 80s was the first "boutique" machine of sorts.
2010-2011 was a fairly pivotal moment in this industry with Stern regaining ground after potential closure, the market revival, and birth of new manufacturers, all of which were modestly unprepared for the challenges.
The history, reasoning, and justification of the birth of boutique manufacturers is actually quite interesting and insightful.
I may decide to write another professional article about the sequencing.
People did not want to listen from the past either.
Owners that feel secure that Full Throttle was made (thereby "proving" HP can make machines) are believing false security of a mindset of ignorance.
That game construction build average was less than 5.5% of a single machine a day over the course of nearly 5 years.
This is not a good number.
If enthusiasts feel that I am overtly negative, I do not have a problem with that, but recognize some of the most successful pinball former manufacturer personnel in the world recognized the danger signs and even offered advice long before the "Era of Boutique Manufacturers, 2011-2017" and applied crowd funding mindset to pre orders of titles. I use the ending year of 2017 for a specific reason.
Let distributors, wholesalers, brokers, and deals do their job and take the necessary risks regarding capital for acquisition of new titles.
Let manufacturers pave their own way to being successful by their own money for design, material sourcing, and construction.
That is of course, unless enthusiasts want to invest their their own income into operational control of ownership of a business.
Potential consumer end users can only lose, every time they try to "shortcut the line".