Wow, allot of things are being said here: great game, sue them, and everything in between. Im relatively new to owning pins, just been 2 years for me, I have a couple and room for 2 or 3 more...
As a consumer of an item like this, it's pretty unbelievable that a product is delivered to the marketplace unfinished (i know, high tech does it all the time now), and then have to wait more than a year for it to be finished, but such is the case with ST.
There seems to be a consensus that private collectors are now Sterns most important customer base and have been for at least 5 years. Here are my polls to get this impression:
Its safe to assume that operators are ok with unfinished code if the pin is making money. Pinball manufacturers may have gotten used to delivering unfinished products to operators and it seems to me that they expect collectors to wait just like operators do. Well, it is up to us to effectively communicate to the manufactures and the most effective way is not to buy until you have played the game to determine if you like the code.
I bought STLE NIB and I like the game it's good, not great. Ive bought SM and LOTR LE and these are great games, both older, both finished code. Im just not going to buy another unfinished pin, until we see Stern and all the rest change their mode of operandi. ...and with all due respect, after the XMEN code debacle, whoever pre-orders a future pin is just stupid.
The point is, as long as they have our money before they finish their product, they have no reason to change, unless we make them change.
Now were not talking about cars, or tv's or any other mass consumed product, we are talking pinball machines, how big can out consumer base be?? 10,000? If we all hold off on pre-purchased and tell the distributors why we are holding off, well that will be level of pressure that no company can ignore.
So the next time you (or a friend) is getting all excited about the next new title, just don't buy. And if you hear anymore whining after a new pin release about an incomplete code, just call 'em stupid, because Im sure thats what Gary Stern is thinking about all of us tonight...