(Topic ID: 29580)

Targeting European market?


By BeefStewert

7 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 27 posts
  • 17 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 years ago by Ika
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    #1 7 years ago

    In the Python Anghelo thread, Unigroove made this statement:
    "From a business point of view: isn't it odd Europe has always been a big market for pinball, but most games from the past decade (including WoZ) are aiming at the US market? And yet nobody at Stern is able to notice that?"

    I fail to see how major movie titles (Terminator3, Pirates of the Caribbean, Transformers, Indiana Jones, Avatar, SpiderMan, Iron Man, Batman, Lord of the Rings, Shrek, Tron), globally recognized performers (The Rollings Stones, AC/DC, Elvis), and successful comic/TV franchises (Simpsons, X-men) aren't close to global themes. Are these franchises not successful in Europe? Even NASCAR (which is an extremely American theme) has the Grand Prix twin exclusively for the European market.

    One can argue that games such as Monopoly, NBA, Big Buck Hunter, CSI, Family Guy, and 24 might be targeted soley to the US market. But these seem like a small subset of what Stern is putting out.

    I'm curious, what's an example of a licensed theme that would be targeted for the European market? Obviously a FIFA machine would have much more pull in Europe. But what other tastes are THAT different in Europe? Please don't ask for a David Hasselhoff machine.

    #2 7 years ago

    One difference is the comic books superheroes.
    Yes we know superman batman and hulk and thats about it.
    Xmen avengers silver surfer ironmen we know from recent movies but kids did not grew up here reading these comic books.
    Kids here do read comics but our own local books and not the american superhero style.

    #3 7 years ago
    Quoted from BeefStewert:

    One can argue that games such as Monopoly, NBA, Big Buck Hunter, CSI, Family Guy, and 24 might be targeted soley to the US market

    Those shows have all been on TV in Europe too (at least in the Netherlands) and I've played a lot of Monopoly as a kid. Only the city and street names were changed to Dutch ones over here.

    So no complaints from me that the titles are too American.

    #4 7 years ago
    Quoted from BeefStewert:

    Please don't ask for a David Hasselhoff machine.

    I think we've seen enough of him on Baywatch.

    #5 7 years ago

    Pinball games are toys for grown-up kids with high disposable income. There always will be themes like fantasy/SF, comics, car racing, pirates, action movies etc. and those are quite international.

    Of course there are differences between the US and the european market, but I don't consider them big enough to develop different games for both markets. Football vs. soccer or Nascar/Indy500 vs. formula one are similar enough to appeal to both markets.

    There may be a bigger difference in comic book styles. But comic book stores in Germany usually have a wide range in stock. You'll find franco-belgian (european) comics as well as superheroes (american) or manga (japanese). Don't know which style is the most popular, I'll ask the next time when I visit my local store.

    Anyway - those Spider-Bat-X-Avenger pins usually trail current blockbuster movies and they are as popular in Europe as in the US.

    Hmmm, I'd really like a "Gaston Lagaffe" pinball. try to avoid parking tickets, feed cat, seagull, mouse and goldfish, try to get a contract with Aimé de Mesmaeker, explore new sounds with the Gaffophone....

    #6 7 years ago

    Simpsons and Lotr don't appeal to the european/world market?

    Really?

    #7 7 years ago

    some of the machines you said are global themes, like simpsons or AC/DC...

    machines targeted to europe could be WCS94, since almost nobody likes soccer in the us lol.
    doctor who is also very european..

    new machines could be: formula 1, fifa (as you said), a rally theme like paris-dakar....

    #8 7 years ago
    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    Simpsons and Lotr don't appeal to the european/world market?

    I think the OP may have been trying to say they do have worldwide appeal. Tolkein was Brittish, so the books are more European than American. The movies had a world wide cast and crew, and were seen worldwide. The Simpsons is pretty widespread also.

    #9 7 years ago

    Thanks to the Europeans for their input. What I'm hearing here is that Stern has been doing a decent job of selecting themes for both the American and European market. I wonder what Unigroove's point was. His thoughts are usually thorough and well presented, so I'm sure there is something bigger that he sees absent from the market.

    Quoted from aeneas:

    Xmen avengers silver surfer ironmen we know from recent movies but kids did not grew up here reading these comic books.

    Not all American kids grew up reading these either. I had minimal familiarity with the X-men but otherwise, my knowledge of these is limited to the recent movies. I would even argue that MOST Americans didn't grow up reading these. It's just that the population that did overlaps well with the population that is currently playing pinball.

    Quoted from dsuperbee:

    Simpsons and Lotr don't appeal to the european/world market?

    My point was that I think these DO HAVE global appeal. Or at least equal appeal in Europe and the US. I think these were great franchises to pick for a pinball machine.

    Quoted from hassanchop:

    machines targeted to europe could be WCS94

    I think this was actually very much targeted to the US market. Remember, the US hosted that World Cup and there were A LOT of attempts at trying to generate interest in soccer at that time. A WC pin at that time would have made a lot of sense.

    Quoted from hassanchop:

    machines could be: formula 1, fifa (as you said), a rally theme like paris-dakar....

    I think any type of racing theme easily has global understanding - hence the change from Circe's Animal House to Full Throttle. A rally theme would be really cool - I could see it being very similar to WhiteWater.

    #10 7 years ago

    Any idea what percentage of Stern's business is export?

    #11 7 years ago

    American culture is exported world-wide. Hollywood doesn't make soccer movies either. So I don't think it's anything unusual to do.

    #12 7 years ago

    I thought I read here recently that Stern focuses on licenses as that is all that sells in Europe. What am I missing here?

    Quoted from BeefStewert:

    Please don't ask for a David Hasselhoff machine.

    Never awaken a sleeping Mudflaps! I can see him searching through his DH gifs even now. TAKE COVER!!!!!!

    Dan

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from Craig:

    Any idea what percentage of Stern's business is export?

    Not at all. The point of original thought was that if there were more European friendly themes (without neglecting the US market), there is a missed growth opportunity. I don't think anyone was implying that Stern should make a pin with no appeal in the US (David Hasselhoff).

    If you look at a game like AC/DC, I think that machine sold way better outside of the US than previous machines without eating into US sales at all. That's just my speculation though.

    #14 7 years ago

    I can speak for my neck of the woods. Speaking about franchises being popular, TV programming and such - general urban culture is not different at all from yours:

    Marvel comics have always been popular and reprinted in former Yugoslavia. Comic book community in Serbia is on first name basis with DC comic characters, Marvel characters and others.
    Probably every Hollywood movie from 80's, 90's and current find their way to our theaters. Most of population have seen all there is to be seen from major movie stars. As for TV shows - Simpsons and South Park are known by virtually every urban kid or young adult as they are running for years, as well as any major sitcom or or SCI-Fi or thriller or forensic show (24, all kinds of CSIs, Walking Dead,...) . For those not syndicated on TV, there is internet . We are regularly on tour map of great bands such as Metallica, AC/DC, Rolling Stones, Kiss, Iron Maiden, to name a few. Also, EVERYONE knows about David Hasselhoff, off course, we know him by his real name Mitch Buchannon LOTR and Hobbit has been printed in my native language since the 70s. We used to think of ourselves as the Land of Basketball and have our players in NBA. And we have all played Monopoly extensively in some point of our childhood.

    Pinball used to be very popular here. Until several years ago there was one in many bars and coffee shops. There is a fair twice a year in my town and since I was tall enough to see over the playfield in the beginning of mid 80s I spent hours and hours watching people play Centaurs, Electras, Vectors, Mata Haris, Panteras, Flash Gordons and such.
    With advent of game consoles and violent video gaming pinball is falling out of favor with new generations. They just don't get the lure of the silverball. Operators (I've talked with several) don't earn any money on them any more. Routed pinball machines that were dirt cheap three years ago are steadily increasing in price because people are exporting them to places like US where you folks pay ridiculous prices (for European standards, and specially for poor European cousin country standards) for them. You could find Indiana Jones for 450 Euro three years ago, for 850 Euro last year and now they are close to 1500 (all interned ads I've found since I got into this hobby). I see BSD in ads for around 600 Euro, TAF around 1000 Euro and Twilight Zone around 1600 Euro. It is too much for local people (average salary here is around 400 eur per month), they are shipped elsewhere and soon will all be gone.

    #15 7 years ago
    Quoted from Craig:

    Any idea what percentage of Stern's business is export?

    I thought Gary mentioned at EXPO 2011 that it was in the 30% range (that was export business so I guess Europe and Australia .. don't know if he included Canada in the export numbers) I believe but that was awhile ago and I'm not 100% sure I got the number right.

    #16 7 years ago
    Quoted from Craig:

    Any idea what percentage of Stern's business is export?

    60% of Stern pinball machines are exported (mostly italy, germany, and france)
    http://sternpinball.com/PR_phil_inquirer.shtml

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from BeefStewert:

    Unigroove made this statement:

    Well see there is the first problem....

    As Dan said. Stern does target universal markets. It has strongly dictated what we get.

    #18 7 years ago
    Quoted from BeefStewert:

    I wonder what Unigroove's point was. His thoughts are usually thorough and well presented, so I'm sure there is something bigger that he sees absent from the market.

    I thought he was way off base. It's never been a secret that a lot of their sales go overseas. The article linked above saying 60% of their sales went overseas is 10 years old. 2002. Here's one from 2005 saying 35%:

    http://www.businessweek.com/stories/2005-03-30/portrait-of-a-pinball-wizard

    Gary Stern talks about the European market all the time. Pick an interview on youtube. Seems like every year he goes over there to debut a new game. They get it before we do! Many games are built and shipped to Europe first. The international distributor page on their website lists dozens of countries. For him to suggest that Stern is ignoring the European market is ridiculous.

    #19 7 years ago

    Forgot to mention, AC/DC is blowing away sales records in Australia. Just killing it.

    Not Euro, but still across the pond.

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from toyotaboy:

    60% of Stern pinball machines are exported (mostly italy, germany, and france)

    In Portugal, there is only one Tron..... and it's mine!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    #21 7 years ago

    Please Stern, make a Top Gear machine for the UK.

    #22 7 years ago
    Quoted from hassanchop:

    In Portugal, there is only one Tron..... and it's mine!!! MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Hey, got a good Paella recipe?

    Quoted from Ika:

    I can speak for my neck of the woods. Speaking about franchises being popular, TV programming and such - general urban culture is not different at all from yours:
    Marvel comics have always been popular and reprinted in former Yugoslavia. Comic book community in Serbia is on first name basis with DC comic characters, Marvel characters and others.
    Probably every Hollywood movie from 80's, 90's and current find their way to our theaters. Most of population have seen all there is to be seen from major movie stars. As for TV shows - Simpsons and South Park are known by virtually every urban kid or young adult as they are running for years, as well as any major sitcom or or SCI-Fi or thriller or forensic show (24, all kinds of CSIs, Walking Dead,...) . For those not syndicated on TV, there is internet . We are regularly on tour map of great bands such as Metallica, AC/DC, Rolling Stones, Kiss, Iron Maiden, to name a few. Also, EVERYONE knows about David Hasselhoff, off course, we know him by his real name Mitch Buchannon LOTR and Hobbit has been printed in my native language since the 70s. We used to think of ourselves as the Land of Basketball and have our players in NBA. And we have all played Monopoly extensively in some point of our childhood.
    Pinball used to be very popular here. Until several years ago there was one in many bars and coffee shops. There is a fair twice a year in my town and since I was tall enough to see over the playfield in the beginning of mid 80s I spent hours and hours watching people play Centaurs, Electras, Vectors, Mata Haris, Panteras, Flash Gordons and such.
    With advent of game consoles and violent video gaming pinball is falling out of favor with new generations. They just don't get the lure of the silverball. Operators (I've talked with several) don't earn any money on them any more. Routed pinball machines that were dirt cheap three years ago are steadily increasing in price because people are exporting them to places like US where you folks pay ridiculous prices (for European standards, and specially for poor European cousin country standards) for them. You could find Indiana Jones for 450 Euro three years ago, for 850 Euro last year and now they are close to 1500 (all interned ads I've found since I got into this hobby). I see BSD in ads for around 600 Euro, TAF around 1000 Euro and Twilight Zone around 1600 Euro. It is too much for local people (average salary here is around 400 eur per month), they are shipped elsewhere and soon will all be gone.

    Zdravo, Ika! Kako ste vi?

    Dan

    #23 7 years ago
    Quoted from MrWizzo:

    Hey, got a good Paella recipe?

    Paella is Spanish!
    I got Portuguese Sardines! Camon over!

    #24 7 years ago

    Sausage and clams!

    #25 7 years ago

    Not really certain that Stern's theme don't appeal to a European market. Most of the big block busters will play across Europe. Would love to see an Asterix themed machine though.... ..

    I think that any marketing idea for "Europe" would be doomed to failure as the European countries are very different in culture. Eg Greece has little in common with Ireland in terms of popular culture which wouldn't also be covered by US culture.

    I suspect the $7000 price tag in the UK to buy a new AC/DC basic model has more to do with people not buying them. If we could get them at the same price as the US then I know I'd be far more into the idea of buying a NIB.

    #26 7 years ago
    Quoted from hassanchop:

    Paella is Spanish!
    I got Portuguese Sardines! Camon over!

    Oops, sorry. Anthony Bourdain did a very interesting episode on the the cuisine in the Azores.
    It's lunchtime here EST and this is making me hungry.

    Dan

    "These pretzels are making me thirsty!" Who said this?

    #27 7 years ago
    Quoted from MrWizzo:

    Hey, got a good Paella recipe?

    Zdravo, Ika! Kako ste vi?
    Dan

    Dobro, hvala! A vi?

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