(Topic ID: 231591)

Stern LOTR vault???

By srmonte

2 years ago

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  • 289 posts
  • 102 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by PinballManiac40
  • Topic is favorited by 15 Pinsiders


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#3 2 years ago
Quoted from srmonte:

Stern please vault LOTR. I would like to buy one.

After TRON, this makes the most sense. It's a matter of when, not if.

#5 2 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Anything is possible but when I toured Stern this year I asked about a remake on LOTR and they said the license has expired so its doubtful they would pay on it again after running that game 4-5 times already. Would be great though Especially if they had Frenchy redo the entire art package!

Stern will misdirect right up to the time they announce it. It's their way. AC/DC was never getting another run, even though it was already in process, etc. LotR was running on Spike hardware at one point when they were developing Spike, so I think that's a pretty clear indication that they were at least thinking about it. And given all three Hobbit movies flopping, I'm pretty sure they'll have no times re-activating the LotR license, if they haven't already.

#22 2 years ago
Quoted from Rondogg:

All 3 Hobbit movies are in the top 45 Grossing movies of all time.

No, they're not. You have to adjust the grosses for inflation so you're comparing apples to apples. Using that comparison, Hobbit isn't even close to LotR grosses, and flopped relative to the LotR trilogy. One Hobbit movie almost missed the top 300:

LotR movies All-Time adjusted gross dollars rank
58, 70, 87

Hobbit movies All-Time adjusted gross dollars rank
210, 292, 299


#25 2 years ago
Quoted from Sinestro:

Adjusted totals are a slippery slope....especially the further back you go.
40 years ago, people only had one way to consume movies; going to the theater.
It's been a gradual process of more and more ways to consume a movie; VCR, cable, DVD/Blu-Ray, internet sales, streaming, etc. People consume most movies any way other than going to a theater these days. Revenue is coming from a lot of sources, not just the Box Office gross.
Comparing the Hobbit trilogy to the Lord of the Rings trilogy and adjusting is mostly fair, as they are only about 10 years apart.
But adjusting Gone with the Wind with The Force Awakens is apples to [email protected] oranges.

Even on DVD/Streaming, LotR killed Hobbit. By any measure compared to LotR, Hobbit movies flopped.

#34 2 years ago
Quoted from Sinestro:

Re-read what I wrote. I wasn't debating that point.

I realize that. I was just pointing out that the Hobbit flopped across all formats compared to LotR in case your mention of streaming/DVD gave someone hope.

#35 2 years ago
Quoted from konghusker:

I'm a vault fan. If they actually make an effort to better the game via better art, better display, better sound, then I'm interested. Not to forget the fact of all new components and parts vs 15 year old electronics and plastics. I wouldn't be happy if I paid $5500-6500 for a nice old huo one, and later that year a new VE comes out for $6000-7000. Now that said, ve doesn't always equal better. Acdc in my opinion was better with the drummer, and original lower window. Just my opinion, plus the originals weren't really very old yet.
Like I said before, I'd love a lotr ve, but I'm more interested in new titles never before seen. VE games help bring ridiculous high priced huo games back down to earth too. Acdc was a prime example.

I'd be in just to have it on a platform where the flippers don't turn to mush 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to There and Back Again. Bigger color screen and higher res graphics would be a bonus. They'd sell a lot.

#39 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I don't see Stern re-running a Whitestar game or taking the time/money to convert it into a Spike modern game.

Your limited vision is the issue. LotR Spike Vault is a much more sure bet than Deadpool languishing in the channel. Plenty of pent-up demand for a version that fixes the Whitestar version issues.

#42 2 years ago
Quoted from TheFamilyArcade:

LOTR is the best game ever IMO. A vault could make it even better. Or not. It’s pretty damn perfect as is, but yes, better sound quality and art would be nice. I never hated the art as much as some. I actually never had a problem with it.
I’m 100% against a Spike reskin with an LCD. The dots on LOTR are epic.

They can upres the dots on Spike with not much compromise. I don't think anyone wants them changed, just improve the resolution and make them color while taking into account the aspect ratio change. See: CGC's very nice hi-res versions of AFM/MB. And having a color screen, no-hassle shaker motor, decent LED lighting (without the mandatory on Whitestar LED-OCD), and flippers that don't go soft on long games would be great, too.

Plus Gomez would have something recent to be proud of. He's had a long dry spell, and LotR is one of his least-clunky 21st century designs. Probably his ONLY 21st century one, actually.

#53 2 years ago
Quoted from underlord:

As a NIB LOTR LE previous owner a Vault edition has room to improve the pf and plastics over the originals. And maybe even get rid of the back glass ‘hair-dick ‘

Oh, right. I didn't even TOUCH on the fact that the cabinet, playfield, and plastic screening/resolution would be WAY better. They'll sell a ton of these.

#55 2 years ago
Quoted from Baiter:

That same manufacturer told me they would likely never re-run IM. We know how that turned out.

They lie/misdirect all the time. Anything you are told during a factory tour should be considered entertainment, nothing more.

#58 2 years ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

But if you hear it in a forum or on the internet it Must be fact! lol

I wouldn't go that far, but I would give it more weight than anything Gomez says these days. He's a serial prevaricator.

#66 2 years ago
Quoted from jints56:

Would they reuse the Whitestar system if a vault was made? Would it be difficult to port to SAM or spike?

They already had it running on Spike, at least partially, when Spike was being developed. I think at this point a Whitestar release is completely out of the question for practical reasons due to the age of Whitestar and the issues bringing those parts back from the dead to run this. It will be Spike. As a result you get major benefits like:

> Higher-res cabinet screening
> Higher res playfield and plastics
> No-hassle shaker motor
> Color screen with higher res color graphics
> LED lighting that doesn't require an LED-OCD board to work right
> Consistent flippers throughout long games
> Reduction of stupid level of off-the-shelf toy figurines in the original release

Those benefits would make a Spike Vault LotR release a huge seller with worldwide appeal. The owners of the original and SE naysaying wouldn't be able to get theirs up for sale fast enough.

#91 2 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

If Stern improved the art - even the same art at a higher res, improved the sound to modern game standards, upgraded the dots like CGC has with AFMr and MBr, I could live without some figures, but I can’t see why Stern couldn’t produce a bunch like they did for IMVE.

I think WAY less figurines than the comicon-dumpster original is a huge improvement. I'll be okay with just a couple.

Quoted from ahdelarge:

If Stern go to the trouble of re-making Lord of the Rings, they're not going to sell it for Pro pricing. It will be Premium pricing. They will include something in the package (however small) to justify the price hike.

Yeah, it will be in the $7,500 range, but you know, I'm totally fine with that. In this one case, take my money, Stern. No complaints here about pricing on this significant upgrade to one of the best games you've ever released (That's a rare, and totally sincere, compliment to you, too, Gomez!).

#92 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The comparison to CGC remaking games from the 90s isn't really quite the same. It's difficult for a new buyer today to get a 'NIB like' level example of MB/AFM/MM etc. Not really the same for games like TRON, LOTR, etc. So it really takes the right combination of market factors to justify the costs... especially when you start talking about doing things like all new media packages, new licensing, etc.

But, almost NO ONE (actually no one?) WANTS a "NIB-like" LotR. They want the complete Spike2 update with all the great improvements that allows that I bullet pointed earlier (and great stereo sound, too, which I forgot to mention!). People will PAY for that, almost no-questions-asked, and there'll be a flood of original machines littering the secondary market when it's announced, and prices on them will fall hard.

#93 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

That was TWD which was SAM.
But as your lists highlights... its no longer just software. You'd be redoing all the game's electrical design if you did Spike.. on top of all the multimedia and UX design. It would making a new game from a concept that had an existing PF drawing and rules outline.

But a sure thing is a sure thing, and in pinball, that's a rarity. Spike2 LotR is as sure a thing as you can get. Gomez needs a little love, and Spike2 (Spike3?) LotR will deliver in spades. It's not as big a deal as you're making out. The mechanical questions are all answered, and the code template is done. It will sell more than most pins Stern makes. Feel free to remind me of that claim once it's released.

#95 2 years ago
Quoted from pickleric:

A buddy just got a really nice huo lotr so we debate the possibilities of this happening often lately. The argument is that the BOM, licensing, redoing the art, everything will cost too much and how many will they really sell? Sure, pinheads want this to happen...but how many bars are clamouring for a LotR VE @ $7k+ when they can buy a sw, gotg, or dp pro @ $5.6k that doesn’t have 40 minute ball times and rakes in more coin drop? How many of these hypothetical lotr vaults you realistically think Stern would sell?
Don’t misunderstand me, I’d really this to see this happen and I’d consider buying one if the whole improved package was there as you described, I’m just not convinced we’ll see it instead of a TWD VE or TRON VE that’d be so much less expensive to make!
Fingers crossed you’re right though!

Tron VE is a natural, so LotR is not replacing that. TWD? Not so sure about that being a VE. LotR Spike2 would sell a ton more at Premium pricing, and bars would be happy to have it because of the much better LED lighting and full color screen and improved graphics that the original doesn't have.

#120 2 years ago
Quoted from PtownPin:

Yep this game screams for a colorDMD and shaker....

The LE is also screaming for a condom.

#124 2 years ago

Remember, you asked. Now you shall bear the curse as well.

lotr_beard_dick (resized).jpg

#129 2 years ago
Quoted from HighVoltage:

If Stern does do a LOTRv, it will almost certainly be the same platform as the LE: Whitestar CPU/SAM driver. People saying Whitestar is a problem haven't been paying attention: Stern ran a bunch for replacements less than a year ago. I'm guessing it was a large quantity as it filled pent up demand and more are still available today.
I also believe they learned their lesson on SMv: there's not much point to investing in redevelopment / enhancement. Maybe something simpler like just coloring existing graphics.
People talking about using contemporary boardset and new graphics and sound, are talking about a new game: that wouldn't be a vault. I'd be really surprised if they did that and called it a vault.

The game IP is the asset, not the platform it runs on. As long as it has the same playfield and playfield features, it's still a vault. To most players in the wild, it's the same game, just with color graphics and higher res cabinet and playfield graphics. They don't know/care about what's under the hood.

2 weeks later
#136 2 years ago

When discussing games Stern has done in the past...

"At any given point in time, if there's demand from the marketplace, we will produce it." - G. Gomez 2015

"A game is only ever over if the customer base doesn't want it." - G. Gomez 2015

Spike 2 LotR is going to be Stern's most successful vault ever - by a mile. Current owners will want it for the upgrade to color and newer Stern niceties, and customers new to the hobby will be all over it.

2 months later
#171 2 years ago
Quoted from Jason_Jehosaphat:

Is this speculation gaining any serious traction today? I'm hearing things. Like, 2019-release things.

Doesn't need any traction. It's already on track. Gomez needs some love, and this will do the trick in spades. Will likely be Stern's best-selling vault.

Plus, with upcoming Amazon's LotR offshoot series, there will be tons of promotion/interest in the property.

#173 2 years ago
Quoted from ejg10532626:

I just do not see how Stern could do this due to the Whitestar hardware LOTR was built with.
One would think they used up the last of their parts on the 2007 LOTR run, but who knows.
Tron is equally in demand as a vault, and would be far easier for Stern to produce.
Hobbit is dreadful and a complete joke compared to LOTR.

Will not be Whitestar. Spike2 hardware. It's been discussed extensively a while back, and is the reason they'll sell to people that have the original - color screen, shaker motor, non-fade coils, etc, etc, etc.

#176 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

It's definitely been "discussed extensively" but with nothing at all from Stern we're all just speculating. I still think an LOTR Vault would be good business for Stern and I hope they make one, but none of us know if, when, or how it might happen.

None of us? I can confidently say there are people here who know those answers. The sooner, the better, since they're going to sell a ton of them. Only cutting features can dull that sales potential, and I don't think they'd do that.

#179 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

I’ll bite - who?

I'll demur. They know who they are. It'll all come out in time, and I'll be first in line as long as they don't cost-reduce away assemblies.

1 week later
#181 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

This isn’t vault related, but it was cool playing LOTR right next to John Rhys-Davies (at his signature table) this weekend at TPF. I’m sure he got sick of hearing his voice doing the call outs, but it was fun for me!

He's a fantastic thespian. Love the way he talks. His appearance on the TWIPIES was a nice surprise.

1 year later
#197 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I bought one for $500 once

#218 1 year ago
Quoted from pin2d:

Before/After for comparison[quoted image]

I like the coloring and general composition of yours better (I never realized how GREEN the playfield art was through the whole thing), but the party montage is just wrong. Frodo is the central character in the quest to destroy the ring, not Gandalf (much as I like Gandalf). I also don't like characters that are now missing in that montage.

#244 1 year ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

They’re not all that green. Some playfields look like they ran out of red ink. Here’s what mine looks like:[quoted image]

Yours looks more like the one I bought NIB. I didn't remember it looking so green, but it'd been a LONG time since I had it.

2 months later
#263 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

On my last Stern tour they mentioned that license expired long ago.

AC/DC expired. Didn't stop them from re-licensing and vaulting a Luci.

Stern are masters of misdirection, they were literally denying the AC/DC re-license and Luci vault I kept hearing about up to a few days before it was announced. Them stating the obvious that LotR would have to be re-licensed doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things.

A Spike 2 update to a proven table like LotR with a bunch of new LotR broadcast content coming starting next year means it would print money. Gary Stern, and especially Gomez, have to know this. Gomez has ALWAYS said if the market is demanding a pin, Stern will find a way to do it. This is even better since all the design work and real-world playfield testing and adjusting is already done.

10 months later
#283 5 months ago
Quoted from Kkoss24:

I’m 100% with you on this .But I really feel when they vault they should change things up a bit with shots and code .Why make a replica ? What do you think ?

Depends on if they're emulating or porting the code as to what kind of flexibility they have. A "LotR Continued" would be a cool option, but I'll be fine with a LotR Spike.

#285 5 months ago
Quoted from GTO:

I don't see how Stern can vault LOTR at pro-prices. It would probably be at least $7-8k, since the game is so jam packed.
Actually, maybe they could do a pro version with a static Baradur tower (the shaking is cool, but doesn't really serve that much of a purpose) and no Balrog (could code around it, maybe LOTR multiball alternates between ring shot and ramp shots)? You could even remove the magnet from the ring shot and just have the ball go to the sword lock and stay there for a few moments while the mode animation plays. Just saying. I hate all those ideas, but probably some ways Stern could save money and release at a pro-level price. Then move on to a premium/LE pricing for the full featured game as we know it today.

Do they do levels on old vaults that predated the Pro/Prem/LE fork? The only examples we have are:

Iron Man Vault (Premium equivalent)
Spiderman Vault (Premium equivalent)

Which leads me to believe Spike LotR would just be one version at the Premium level.

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