(Topic ID: 104199)

Stern's marketing needs.......Well....they just need some!

By cooked71

7 years ago


Topic Heartbeat

Topic Stats

  • 116 posts
  • 54 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by northvibe
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

You

Linked Games

No games have been linked to this topic.

    Topic Gallery

    View topic image gallery

    french-sign.jpg

    There are 116 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 7 years ago

    So TWD has been announced....by accident through a mistimed TWD Blu Ray release and the advertising on the insert. Stern hurriedly updated their Facebook page and website to give the impression everything was under control. Behind the ball from the get go.

    Then a couple of Pre-Production prototypes end up in Belgium (?) and Australia. They are so preproduction the boxes have hand written labels on them.

    To this point no video has been seen at all. Everyone in the community is screaming to see how this thing plays. Nothing official from Stern.

    The first video to emerge is some really crap footage of Gary Stern himself playing TWD. And turns out he can't play pinball to save his life. Even if he was playing Medieval Madness in that video, it would have looked crap.

    Still nothing official from Stern.

    Next is some more crappy footage of a better player, but you can't hear any music or callouts. Gameplay looks bland.

    By this time everyone is beginning to feel underwhelmed by the game itself.

    But nothing official from Stern yet.

    Then another home-brew video, probably the best yet, but the code is SO undeveloped the game looks borderline pathetic.

    The community hits the panic button and many begin cancelling orders and others claim they won't be ordering.

    Still nothing from Stern.

    Really????? Are they serious. I know pinball hasn't moved as quickly as other consumer technology, (I personally think that is much of its appeal), but there is no reason why their marketing should also be stuck in the 90's.

    The pinball community is borderline fanatical and obsessive. Everyone is constantly hungry for information and new releases. This is a marketing dream if cultivated correctly.

    Or it could be a marketing disaster if not managed.

    I was seriously considering ordering this machine. I saw all the videos etc etc and the more I saw, the more I became disappointed. In the absence of any other information, I was about to opt out.

    Then I actually got to play it today. And its not as bad as it looks in the videos. The basics seem to be there for a good table.

    The code is almost non-existent. The callouts are pretty lame but not so bad. It is nowhere near a complete game at this point.

    So why release it???? Its simply not worth it.

    Firstly, finish the game to within 90% before you release it. Wait until Expo or just before.

    Then, BEFORE release of the actual game, make a professional video of gameplay. Have one of the really well known players (Eg Bowen Kerins, Keith Elwin) playing. Make the video look and sound like everyone expects it to. Release a few small clips every day in the lead up to actual release.

    Then release the LE first to blow everyone away!

    I think everyone is so nervous about preordering a game and waiting months for a complete product, with no guarantee it will actually get there. No one wants to risk being caught with a dud. The only way to stop this is make people feel confident in what they are buying.

    Just my 2 cents. Im still undecided. I think the LE will be SO much better than the pro, that they will be like 2 completely different games. But i don't know if I want to risk it.

    21
    #2 7 years ago

    Stern has marketing. Here's the thing, Jody isn't spending all day worrying about Pinside. He's working to get the pinball message out to the people who aren't spending all their time finding things out for themselves anyways. He's a smart guy, he knows the deal.

    This cycle happens on every game, we're passionate and we run hold or cold at the drop of a hat. Stern doesn't need to worry about us.

    I know it's hard to believe, but we're not the center of the universe here.

    #3 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    I know it's hard to believe, but we're not the center of the universe here.

    i think if we were Stern might buy pinside

    #4 7 years ago

    aurich, that is a safe reply. Could they of done a better job introducing TWD pin to the world? Yes or no and if yes how. It seems like your answer is no as Jody is a smart guy.

    #5 7 years ago

    I think a couple months later when the product is proven, it's not going to matter any more. Stern makes a good product. However I'm surprised at the marketing internet wise... it feels like a one man operation. Not expecting the level of Apple, but it's woefully deficient when I compare it to video games. At the very least, a couple days after the photo release there should be a video with some coverage of the game, gameplay and an interview with the designer. If it's going to cause some people to cancel their orders, it's an area of concern imho.

    #6 7 years ago

    They do have marketing! They put the link to their TWD pin on the bluray box... link was dead for awhile though

    #7 7 years ago

    They don't need better marketing. People will preorder anyway. Sales will not decline because of this nor increase if they do a better job. If the games good, people buy, if not, they don't. Look at the threads for AC/DC, people were saying it was crap on here and Stern has sold a boatload. Pinsiders just like drama.

    12
    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from ZenTron:

    aurich, that is a safe reply. Could they of done a better job introducing TWD pin to the world? Yes or no and if yes how. It seems like your answer is no as Jody is a smart guy.

    I mean, I don't know the real story, maybe the Blu-Ray thing was a F-up. Maybe it was rushed out the door. Maybe the code needed a few more weeks for even "first release" and they're scrambling. I dunno.

    But that's not "marketing".

    I talked with Jody the other day, and I asked him about the video thing. They know the community is going to shoot video and share it, and they're 100% cool with that. Yes, it's not controlling all the messaging, but they're not worried about it.

    Here's the reality: these things are on the line before they're baked. That's just the nature of the business. I don't think delaying things for 8 months is an option. They need to keep the line running. So the model now is make the games, get them working, and then they get patched and updated over time to mature.

    If you buy early you're basically a beta tester.

    We're the hardest of the hardcore. We have short term memories apparently, but it's like this EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. With the games we love. AC/DC and Spider-Man and Metallica? Games people rave about? Same shit. See RGR's zombie thread about how boring AC/DC is from a couple years ago.

    Jody needs to be expanding the market. Getting press with other non-pin places. Talking to the virtual pinball people about games. And yes, pushing The Pin. Which we laugh at here, but it sells to a different audience, and they may "grow up" to be real pinball collectors.

    I'm sure they'll shoot an official video. Later, when the code is more mature and the initial frenzy has died down.

    In the meantime we're going to be all RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE no matter what. The game is gonna be awesome! Oh wow, it sucks! Oh wait, maybe it's okay. etc etc

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from bb2j3z:

    However I'm surprised at the marketing internet wise... it feels like a one man operation. Not expecting the level of Apple, but it's woefully deficient when I compare it to video games.

    Well, it is a one man operation, how big do you think Stern is?

    Video games? Really? Stern tries to sell a few thousand machines. Video game sales now are counted in the millions. You simply cannot compare them.

    Let me ask you all this: do any of you not know TWD is out?

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    Pinsiders just like drama.

    ^^^THIS.....X10...... ...............Joey

    #11 7 years ago

    We may not be the center of the universe but we are a very large group with disposable pinball cash.
    And anyone that is intersted in this pinball is going to find Pinside with their Google search.
    Some day Stern will wake up and smell the coffee.
    Not many businesses still operate like they do when it come to marketing.

    -1
    #12 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Let me ask you all this: do any of you not know TWD is out?

    Whats TWD?

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from Arcade:

    And anyone that is intersted in this pinball is going to find Pinside with their Google search.

    Anyone interested in this pinball is already someone who knows about it. They're not the people marketing needs to be reaching.

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    So TWD has been announced....by accident through a mistimed TWD Blu Ray release and the advertising on the insert.

    You sure it was an accident ?

    Whether it was or not, pinheads are hungry for knowledge. Tidbits and speculation abound. Then actual info pops up. And the ball is rolling.

    Seems they did a pretty good job on game, getting people interested, and selling it.

    LTG : )™

    #15 7 years ago

    Aurich I think I will disagree with you one most of your points. But mainly this one

    Quoted from Aurich:Getting press with other non-pin places.

    How do you achieve that when you have no video, no pictures, no advertising tactic in hand and ready to deploy?

    Stern as to face the fact that pinside contributes a large chunk of revenue for them. You just don't rely on people doing shit for you that's how people get taken over. Apple VS. Microsoft would be a good example. But I'm not taking about take over here because Stern is happy sitting on it's laurels because JJP and other small shops are nowhere near their manufacturing process. But that day will come....

    Shooting a video, taking professional pictures and making web advertisement can all be done with a few weeks. If you are gonna get non-pinball folks interested might want to try the big bang approach...instead of the piecemeal approach.

    What's good for pinsiders should be good for everyone else.

    With that said. Jody... I don't know you.....but wake the hell up.....

    #16 7 years ago

    Jody is laughing at this thread.

    If he Even knows it exists.

    14
    #17 7 years ago

    TWD:

    Great theme? Check.

    Great designer? Borg has been on fire lately. So....Check.

    Great software guy? Lyman...enough said there. Check.

    Dots? Look great so far...even at this super early stage. Check.

    Art package? Very nice. Not a bunch of photoshopped actor faces, and not sparse (like Star Trek PF): Check.

    I don't care about unfinished code at this point.

    Getting bent out of shape this early seems insane. Things will work out.

    I've got faith that Borg and Lyman will put together a fun pin....AND it has a theme I like.

    Pete

    #18 7 years ago
    Quoted from pmWolf:

    I've got faith that Borg and Lyman will put together a fun pin....AND it has a theme I like.

    Pete

    I have the same faith.
    However we can't discuss what is not there. This is what Stern has given us so far so that is what gets talked about.

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    Aurich I think I will disagree with you one most of your points. But mainly this one

    How do you achieve that when you have no video, no pictures, no advertising tactic in hand and ready to deploy?

    Remember how I shared high rez pics here when I put this story up?

    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/got-bit-fever-hit-the-walking-dead-pinball-shambles-into-game-rooms/

    Where exactly do you think I got those nice high rez photos from?

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    How do you achieve that when you have no video, no pictures, no advertising tactic in hand and ready to deploy?

    YET.

    We're all pin maniacs so we know what's going on. What we're seeing right now is essentially a "slow roll out" ...early overseas games, trade show games. They just barely finished it, and it's popping up in a few venues.

    We need to cut it out with this "instant gratification" entitlement drama whining. If there isn't a slick promotion video RIGHT NOW - it's a failure. If the LE's don't sell out INSTANTLY - it's a failure. These are products meant to sell over a span of 3 years...more marketing will come. Just because you don't like what has happened up to this point, doesn't mean it's a failure.

    #21 7 years ago
    Quoted from pmWolf:

    TWD:
    Great theme? Check.
    Great designer? Borg has been on fire lately. So....Check.
    Great software guy? Lyman...enough said there. Check.
    Dots? Look great so far...even at this super early stage. Check.
    Art package? Very nice. Not a bunch of photoshopped actor faces, and not sparse (like Star Trek PF): Check.
    I don't care about unfinished code at this point.
    Getting bent out of shape this early seems insane. Things will work out.
    I've got faith that Borg and Lyman will put together a fun pin....AND it has a theme I like.
    Pete

    You and Aurich are definitely the voice of reason here and voice my sentiments exactly. How soon the Pinside community forgets the debacle that was the initial release of ST. It went into the same cycle as is TWD - "Worse game ever, bad code, ugly playfield, meh, I'm out, refund please, pass, etc. etc." to "Hey - this game is great, best Stern release since XX, sign me up!"

    Pinside is hardcore, rabid hobbyists and I get that - but, holy shit people, calm down and wait until you actually play the damn thing in person before giving your expert opinion.

    As for me - give me a shipping date GEX.....

    #22 7 years ago

    Transformers had a great marketing campaign. Need I say more?

    #23 7 years ago

    Would you really like for them to hire a huge marketing team? I think their efforts are spent better elsewhere. They seem to be selling machines just fine.

    #24 7 years ago
    Quoted from practicalsteve:

    Would you really like for them to hire a huge marketing team? I think their efforts are spent better elsewhere. They seem to be selling machines just fine.

    That's very practical, Steve.

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from stangbat:

    Transformers had a great marketing campaign. Need I say more?

    No they didn't they showed stuff that didn't make it in the game and created false hopes. I'm not taking about a teaser video with a animated robot in it.

    #26 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    No they didn't they showed stuff that didn't make it in the game and created false hopes. I'm not taking about a teaser video with a animated robot in it.

    I guess we need to start using that new emoticon:

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Where exactly do you think I got those nice high rez photos from?

    I get it. All I am saying to Stern needs to get their ducks aligned instead of giving the impression that Stern is a chicken with it's head cut off.

    Get a plan, plan in advance, get the roll out smooth and steady! The've had months to plan this you would think that they would be better prepared.

    #28 7 years ago

    @rarehero

    french-sign.jpg

    Sometimes I don't catch sarcasm or english jokes....

    #29 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    I get it. All I am saying to Stern needs to get their ducks aligned instead of giving the impression that Stern is a chicken with it's head cut off.
    Get a plan, plan in advance, get the roll out smooth and steady! The've had months to plan this you would think that they would be better prepared.

    Again - who has this impression? Pinball maniacs, maybe? Because we follow every little shred of everything that's going on?

    Here's what normal people have seen. Every pop culture & gaming website reporting about "The Walking Dead Pinball" coming soon.

    More to come. Enough with the "if it doesn't happen RIGHT NOW, ALL AT ONCE, THE WAY I WANT IT...Stern blows!"

    #30 7 years ago

    Well I know I am only one sale here, but they lost me. I was on the fence between TWD and WOZ. I decided to go with WOZ because I have played it and like it. If I had a decent video to go by, and it looked good, I think I might have gone TWD. I think many people are just too scared to buy something that expensive with so little to go on. Now the problem is that if we wait to play it or see better videos, we miss out on the LE. That would be the only current model I would be interested in. Anyway, just my 2 cents

    #31 7 years ago

    The Stern "official" videos usually come a couple of months later after the software has had a chance to mature a bit.

    I expected nothing different this time.

    -1
    #32 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Again - who has this impression? Pinball maniacs, maybe? Because we follow every little shred of everything that's going on?

    Or maybe it's because I work for an advertising agency....and Stern's advertising model is complete suicide! *or* death by 1000 cuts.

    When every sale counts....you make sure people buy your product...or in the case of two posts above this one...they go and buy a woz instead.

    #33 7 years ago
    Quoted from loppydog:

    I think many people are just too scared to buy something that expensive with so little to go on.

    Where & whom? Certain(t)ly not round these parts

    #34 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    Or maybe it's because I work for an advertising agency....and Stern's advertising model is complete suicide!
    When every sale counts....you make sure people buy your product...or in the case of two posts above this one...they go and buy a woz instead.

    First of all, Stern's doing better than they ever have...so, their marketing efforts have worked.

    Second - comparing it to WOZ? Really? WOZ has been out for a few years now...TWD hasn't even shipped to North America. It's not as though JJP has a massive marketing machine. Correct me if I'm wrong, but are there professionally made advertising videos for WOZ? I've seen a few of Jack talking about the game and stuff like that....but anything comparable to the Media House spots for Stern games? ...which, by the way, will come for TWD - just because some Pro units have shipped doesn't mean anything. Advertising can and will still come. Remember...the game's license usually runs 3 years. To get all insane about things before the game has really even officially been launched is just typical of an entitled hobby community message board...it's absolutely irrelevant.

    #35 7 years ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Where & whom? Certain(t)ly not round these parts

    Well, I know of one. lol

    #36 7 years ago
    Quoted from flashinstinct:

    Or maybe it's because I work for an advertising agency....and Stern's advertising model is complete suicide! *or* death by 1000 cuts.
    When every sale counts....you make sure people buy your product...or in the case of two posts above this one...they go and buy a woz instead.

    Stern's business is growing without changing their marketing strategies, so not sure how you can say it is complete suicide. Stern doesn't need to sell every single possible machine of one title that they can. They always have the next machine in the wings.

    My guess is Stern knows way more about their business and what they need or do not need to do than most people posting on Pinside.

    -1
    #37 7 years ago

    I was not necessarily comparing to WOZ. You could insert any game there. It just happened to be the one I went with. The point was they may have had one more sale if they had a nice video that got me more excited, that is all.

    #38 7 years ago
    Quoted from loppydog:

    I was not necessarily comparing to WOZ. You could insert any game there. It just happened to be the one I went with. The point was they may have had one more sale if they had a nice video that got me more excited, that is all.

    They will. The fact that it's not on YOUR time schedule is your problem, not theirs.

    #39 7 years ago
    Quoted from loppydog:

    I think many people are just too scared to buy something that expensive with so little to go on.

    Wow. You just said this in the same paragraph that you praised WOZ.

    #40 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    They will. The fact that it's not on YOUR time schedule is your problem, not theirs.

    That's fine, but by then LE's will be sold out i would imagine. Either way, I still want to play the game

    #41 7 years ago

    Wow, like a bunch of spoiled children, not happy with their Christmas presents!
    "I'm buying WOZ, cause I can't wait to see a good video!"
    I look forward to PLAYING Stern's latest release, and SEEING it with my own Hi-Def eyes, at EXPO!
    Then I can make comparisons, and judge the games fun factor for myself.
    At least there are some voices of reason here, otherwise, this thread is just another good example of why Stern will never communicate directly with Pinside.
    I for one do NOT feel like paying for Sterns new "marketing team"

    #42 7 years ago
    Quoted from RCA1:

    Wow. You just said this in the same paragraph that you praised WOZ.

    I have already played it, and I like it. I probably would not have bought it before playing it.

    #43 7 years ago
    Quoted from loppydog:

    That's fine, but by then LE's will be sold out i would imagine. Either way, I still want to play the game

    If the LE's are sold out before there's a video, I suppose that means their marketing IS working! SNAP!

    #44 7 years ago

    good point! lol

    #45 7 years ago
    Quoted from loppydog:

    I have already played it, and I like it. I probably would not have bought it before playing it.

    Mind blown

    #46 7 years ago
    Quoted from Arcade:

    And anyone that is intersted in this pinball is going to find Pinside with their Google search.

    I know a lot of people with money and a lot of people with MANY machines. When I directed them here, they looked it over and told me they would NEVER come back as it's just a bunch of shit talk. Most had never been on a "pinball forum" before.

    #47 7 years ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    I know a lot of people with money and a lot of people with MANY machines. When I directed them here, they looked it over and told me they would NEVER come back as it's just a bunch of shit talk. Most had never been on a "pinball forum" before.

    Of course and that is to be expected. This is a FORUM, not a web page.
    And Pinside is so much more then just the forum section. What a wealth of info to just pass up because a few people are negative in the forum part.

    #48 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    If the LE's are sold out before there's a video, I suppose that means their marketing IS working! SNAP!

    They sell out to distributors not buyers....so your point means nothing. Some distributors might be stuck with them for a while like TF LEs...who knows.

    Quoted from paul_8788:

    Stern's business is growing without changing their marketing strategies, so not sure how you can say it is complete suicide.

    Calling a few magazines so they can write a story about the new machine is part of a good strategy yes. Going to shows and promote, yes! But it can't be your only strategy. Specially when it comes to new releases.

    For crying out loud folks I'm not saying Stern doesn't make good machines.....I'm saying they suck at advertising them to the real buyers.

    Your point is good for now....but believe me when other companies like dutch pinball (TBL looks like its going to be awesome), JJP with 2 more games coming out and the new guys at silver castle pinball release time shock...... it's gonna take more than just 5 pictures and rely on the pinmaniacs to deliver the message for you.

    #49 7 years ago

    Isn't it great that Stern not releasing awesome video on day 1 of a pinball release are the kinds of problems we have?

    #50 7 years ago
    Quoted from frolic:

    Isn't it great that Stern not releasing awesome video on day 1 of a pinball release are the kinds of problems we have?

    Very much so.
    Life is good.

    There are 116 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.

    Hey there! Got a moment?

    Great to see you're enjoying Pinside! Did you know Pinside is able to run thanks to donations from our visitors? Please donate to Pinside, support the site and get anext to your username to show for it! Donate to Pinside