Post constructive improvements opinions for Stern pinball..
This is a thread for providing advice to Stern. They’re in the business of selling pinball machines, not buying them, so I’m not sure your advice is applicable.
This thread is actually a good idea. I would change the title to "How can we help Stern improve going forward." There is nothing wrong with constructive criticism, as long as you are not just bashing trying to alleviate built up anger.
My suggestions are to start doing more beta testing before game launches. Enough with the secrecy and hush hush until game is released. 6 months prior to release give a selected few operators the opportunity to test in the field and make all of the corrections and improvements prior to shipping any machines to the public. This will not only improve Stern's reputation but it should help significantly reduce the cost of warranty repairs/replacements. Beta test with the pro's-not the average joe's.
Other suggestion is to start a operator direct program through Stern. Cut out the distributor and offer a set price to operators who put machines on location. An operator would need to have a license and documentation of placement for a particular location. We need more location pinball for the industry to survive and operators are struggling to survive with the cost of the new machines. They could create a contract that states that the operator must have the machines on location for 24 months before selling. Any operators caught in violation will have their Stern direct distributor rights revoked. Hook up the operators-they are the blood of this hobby.
Another suggestion is to have the current distributors step up their game. If you want to be a Stern distributor you have to perform x amount of promotional events per year. How about some local TV commercials showcasing new Stern machines and how they play. I am still shocked how many people do not know that modern pinball even exist. Pinball needs more advertising and I think distributors can do more to help.
Last is there needs to be a balance for Stern trying to maximize BOM on their line. Cutting out Shaker motors on LE models, or not offering a mirrored back-glass and offering up translights instead is a slap in the face. Knock it off Stern-your name is on this shit. Quality should be your priority over quantity, again balance.
Stop reading pinside (many Stern Bashers) and congratulate yourselves on keeping pinball alive since the 90's?
I'm not personally too upset about Armor-Gate, but if Stern wanted to make themselves look good and clear out stock, they would have put the leftover WWE armor on the premium and got a special armor for the LE
I think that Star Trek Premium and LE were the last and certainly the best true premium pins that they made. There are so many carefully designed ramps, toys, plastics etc. on these that they no longer seem to want to add to the high-end pins anymore. With all of the licensed pins coming out several times a year it seems to me that they are focusing on the operator market. These pins are made to attract quarters (dollars) and should do a great job of it out in the wild. If this is thier focus then they are doing an awesome job.
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