I'm amazed that Stern can keep digging themselves further into a deep hole. This market is theirs to lose. A company which employs that much expertise, experience and talent should completely close out the competition. It's not hard for them. Stern knows what's required.
Yet they keep kicking home goals, and leaving the door wide open. To the point many of their loyal customers are desperately looking for alternatives. They really don't want to buy from Stern.
Case in point: Dialed In and Total Annihilation. Don't get me wrong, both are fantastic games, and I have/will order both. But those games should be dead on arrival up against Star Wars.
But with Star Wars, Stern has taken the greatest theme of all time, stripped it back so much that it no longer represents its own theme, then introduces some bullshit legal caveats on the FRONT PAGE of the Star Wars manual, that are the equivalent of saying "we don't give a f*ck about pinball or our customers". On the FRONT PAGE of the biggest license Stern has had in the last decade - or ever.
So now, I cancel my Star Wars LE order, and can't wait to receive my DI and TNA. Two games whose themes I could care less about. One a simple layout about nuclear reactors (!) with no ramps, by a designer I'd never heard of until a few months ago, and the other a game about freakin' cell phones that takes selfies of me when I'm playing (!). These games should not stand a chance against Stern and Star Wars. Yet I can't wait!!
The game is Sterns to lose and they have left the door so wide open it's debatable whether they can close it again. Or more likely they couldn't be bothered closing it.