(Topic ID: 115360)

The Big Lebowski Preorder Club (Members Only)

By Nilroc

4 years ago

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Topic index (key posts)

26 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 20

Post #2465 Tips on removing the upper playfield Posted by sd_tom (2 years ago)

Post #2474 Photo of the updated divertor Posted by sd_tom (2 years ago)

Post #2477 Photos of new tilt graphics side art for TBL Posted by jGraffix (2 years ago)

Post #2506 Factory visit update! Posted by rubberducks (2 years ago)

Post #2926 DP's response to their issue with ARA and game manufacturing. Posted by JimB (2 years ago)

Post #2971 pinghetto contacts ARA for information regarding the delays Posted by pinghetto (2 years ago)

Post #2973 pinghetto information regarding contacting ARA Posted by pinghetto (2 years ago)

Post #3056 ARA's email response about DP's claims. Posted by CrazyLevi (2 years ago)

Post #3483 Jaap from Dutch Pinball counters the ARA story. Posted by Rarehero (2 years ago)

Post #3491 ARA counters the Jaap counter to ARA's previous communication! Posted by Rarehero (2 years ago)

Post #3650 Report from a dinner with Barry of Dutch Pinball. Posted by Rensh (2 years ago)

Post #3951 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by Rensh (2 years ago)

Post #4259 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by Rensh (2 years ago)

Post #5004 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by Nikonokin (2 years ago)

Post #5229 DP update about an alternative manufacturer Posted by Nikonokin (2 years ago)

Post #5461 Details on June 19th DP Livestream Posted by Nikonokin (2 years ago)

Post #6420 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by KoenHeltzel (1 year ago)

Post #6684 Key posted, but no summary given Posted by Concretehardt (1 year ago)

Topic indices are generated from key posts and maintained by Pinside Editors. For more information, or to become an editor yourself read this post!

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#731 3 years ago
Quoted from JimB:

Making a pinball machine is hard, any questions now?

That's what we mean between 'prototype' vs 'a product that can go through production'

Clearly parts of that were just 'make it work' and not intended as final product.. while other changes seem to be about manufacturing (large PCB vs many many light boards, etc). I think its great DP is showing these photos to qualify their statements and people can see how much engineering has been done and people can see just how far a pretty prototype may be from 'production ready'

6 months later
#1414 3 years ago
Quoted from ectobar:

I wasn't there but the Allentown thread makes it seem like it was down for a good portion of the show.

No, it was up for the vast majority of the show. It was taken offline for a sales opportunity and for I think one repair.. but I played it on and off all day Friday and Saturday.

The game code is functional, but very basic at this point. The game still has some ball trap issues (like behind the flipper on the mini PF), and some bugs.. but there is enough to play there right now. The character MB plays a lot like Multiball Madness on MM.. the lock multiball was just run of the mill.. and the rug modes I didn't get to experience much. Bowling was disabled on this game

The car on the mini playfield is neat.. but I got it stuck open by starting multiball while it was open I think.

I kind of got bored during my best game trying to figure out what else to do... the game isn't super compelling at this point, but that can clearly change as they finish the game.

2 weeks later
#1526 3 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Still after playing monkeys machine I do think there was no rhyme nor reason why or why not the rug moved even when hit hard sometimes it didn't. I assume there is times when it's not suppose to? Is there anything that qualifies it or I'm just a weak pansy with my shots?

I felt the same playing the game at Allentown.. but that game has been around the block a good bit... so it could just be mechanics on that game. I wouldn't really get much in terms of freebee hits..

I got 20+million playing on my 2nd game just trying to find things to do. Code was still pretty bland... but that can always be improved.

1 week later
#1619 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Ok, maybe I overstate the sound issue as "horrendous". I'm obviously not there playing like you and the guy that made the videos but its disappointing at least from the original song versions, not something I'd like to have to just "put up with". The music was a big part of it for me.
When I say "clunky", I think its evident from the videos, but that is probably true with a lot of pins when you miss shots, TWD is "clunky" that way. On top of it, the shot layout doesn't look great to me. The rug shot and bowling mech, and the upper play field is WPT not great.
I follow this pin because I was a "pre order" and still have an interest in it. Believe me, I've got empathy for people that have waited years for a pin to come, Woz got pages of hate then and still does, and of course waiting for a pin that never came.
Overly negative? Maybe, I'd love to play it now, but I realize its a perfect pin now that's above criticism in most of your eyes!
Come on Dudes, I'm wrong a lot, maybe wrong here, just some observations This is the "Dude club" thread so I'll refrain from negative discussion in the future here.

No fear is clunky
Sttng can be... Shadow can be

Tbl is not.

The biggest issue with the sound is I think it's kind of average now verse standing out.

The game feels like a 90s wms/bly in play and rules.

#1622 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

How so like 90's wms/bally in play and rules?

The kind of objectives and being mode based. Contrast this with something like TWD, MET, GOT, etc which are much more about creative stacking, multipliers, combos, etc.

TBL has the usual hit something to light lock, lock three balls.. multiball.
Hit the shot x times to qualify that shot, then hit the shot to start a multiball based on how many qualified (felt like MM's multiball you start from the saucer). (this is 'character multiball')
Hit the target to start a mode.. then hit some lit shots

The game is much more like a twilight zone or monster bash then it is a recent stern. Those games were more about getting the objective than about the crafty way you set things up.

The upper playfield is neat in that there are multiple shots.

I couldn't really figure out the display much in my playing... they use the lolipops to show actions over the main video but beyond points, I couldn't make out what it was really trying to tell me and why things were different colors.

The game's mass and build quality felt like a big ol wms superpin.. but the flippers weren't as responsive on the example I played. The ball moved well and shots felt rewarding.

#1638 3 years ago
Quoted from HENSBROOKER:

Well, it's quite easy... On the right side are all the hit shots displayed. When hitting several shots in a short period of time the equal amount of "lollipops" drop down in an animated way. Each score in the corresponding color (MAUDE:yellow, DONNY:blue, ball lock:green, nihilist target:orange and so on...). Think this is really nicely done.

Yesterday had to move the machine... That was the reminder how heavy the thing is. It's really a monster!
Also seen many comment on the flipper strength... In the current software standard strength settings are oke. You can adjust/increase the strength to such a level there is more than enough coiljuice flowing!
- Nothing to worry about, Dudes!

I didn't say strength... I said responsiveness. The ability to control the engagement, the tap, and how much control there was.

2 months later
#1951 3 years ago
Quoted from burningman:

F*ckin A!
Should be unboxing in about 2-3 hours....

Need a hand?? Your normal cohort is tied up with that other new package he got

3 months later
#2562 2 years ago

The new factory setup is wayyyy bigger than the first tour

1 month later
#2707 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Emailed Barry on 2nd Jan for an update.
No reply as yet.
Gotta say that all the problems the game is having is a little disheartening as the build quality was a big factor in people buying

The prototype that cointaker had was most of my basis before.. and that was pretty up and down. But this last week we got to play burningman 's game more with some new code on it. I found the game a lot more enjoyable than it was last summer. It also held up very well. It was even on a show floor where it probably got 300+ plays in under 24hrs and held up.

The game continues to feel like a tank

#2744 2 years ago
Quoted from kidchrisso:

Just wanted to share what I took a stab at over the weekend...

I like the ruby one

2 weeks later
#2887 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

No, I know...I got the vague response from Barry too. I want specifics. What exactly is the problem? Why is ARA taking so long? If the first 50 games didn't have this problem, then why, and why can't they make the boards like those 50?

Could be a component change due to availability...
Could simply be faulty supplier...

Many components have very long lead times (months even) or undergo their own lifecycle revisions. Hardware engineers have to manage these 'unavoidable' changes in supply chain all the time. But usually you try to vet these changes before you impact the production line.. but with so low volumes.. your lack of inventory hurts you in these situations.

#2893 2 years ago
Quoted from highdef:

Something is not adding up. It doesn't take months to print 250 new boards.

It very much 'can'. If you designed for a part that runs out and then needs large quantities to run or has long lead times... you get hit like that.

Is that happening here? I have no idea... just pointing out the realities that manufacturers deal with that the general public may not realize can happen. That's part of what you work on when you work with a manufacturer to take your concept or prototype to a design that is buildable. Supply chain is a big deal.

It could have been a bad build... and the parties may not be agreeing on things... or they could have hit another snag, etc

All I know is... i'm pretty sure both dp and ara want units shipping... so the fact they are not is probably due to something they are actually constrained by... not just being lazy or not caring

#2894 2 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Do you agree that if DP were to share the specific issue(s) they were having, we'd all know and there'd be no need to continue with pointless speculation? They'd likely feel better afterwards and should probably consider doing this sooner, rather than later. It always comes out anyways, in the end.

Yes and no... you don't want your customers feeling abandoned, but sometimes people can't handle the truth and it just blows things up.

I certainly agree they should be addressing the delay... but unless you are really in the constant update loop... its real easy for too much info to be a bad thing... because things change, estimates change, etc

But they certainly have an issue with getting games out the door and it should be addressed head on IMO

2 weeks later
#2944 2 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

PCBs and pick and place manufacturing files are absolutely transferable to other PCB manufacturers, so the thing is retooling costs but that's a single expense spread across the rest of the games (so, way less than the 1 k extra per game ARA wants). Assume for DP exploring leaving ARA it would have to make financial sense.
Def sucks beyond belief though.. man.. wtf is up with this week and wild pinball news :/

Its way more complicated when the two parties are not in agreement tho

- How much inventory is locked up at ARA?
- How much process inventory and assets are ARA created and going to be withheld claiming they are theirs?
- How much assembly jigs/tooling has been sourced and setup that ARA would withheld?
- How much of the engineering redesign will ARA claim they have ownership of and withhold from DP?

All of that would have to be sorted in court, and more than likely ARA is in the position to play hardball since they have probably have sole physical possession of most of everything. For things that might be done under contract (like designs), they could say they are withholding due to lack of payment... bogging the whole thing down until the courts sort it out.

The writing was on the wall when they were uncertain about builds beyond their initial contract block. It was clear from the first tour that ARA's ideas for production were woefully inadequate.. the first sign that their estimates would be of concern. Then they reworked their factory to take on much more space, etc so you know that would push up their costs. Then the uncertainty beyond the initial agreement all but confirmed that the initial deal wasn't to ARA's liking.. and now we have disagreements leading to a stand-off.

It's so sad to hear the disagreements ate all the way back into the current production run.. which would infer the gaps are pretty large. Impossible to say from the outside who is in the right... but these kinds of situations are usually pretty fatal to the partnership if they get to court. That means starting over with a new partner... and there are no garuntees that a new partner would be able to work at the old agreed price points either. Making it very expensive for DP to fight and even to 'win'

Hunker down.. if the ARA situation isn't resolved, its probably a long long road ahead.

#3095 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Just a shame that there appears to be some big problems, and a shame that radio silence was used as a tactic to manage it.

Well... if they are in a legal dispute between the two parties involved.. do you really think giving a play by play to the internet is the right course.. for either side?

DP should have been forthcoming when the problem stopped shipments, to say they are held up by disputes with the vendor... and give updates based on ETAs.. but we all know that would have gone poorly as well. Cover stories suck... but airing laundry to 3rd parties isn't any better.

#3099 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

For the production phase, I would imagine they pay on completion (shipping). Probably hence ARA, if reported correctly, feel they have room to negotiate a higher fee and the leverage to do so with a bunch of completed games.

I can't see how any formal, professional, dutch company thinks they could 'negotiate a higher fee' on items they already have a contract to deliver. The price was agreed to. I'd speculate it is more likely something like change orders, or other add-ons that ARA feels they are owed that DP doesn't. Imagine something like

ARA: To make this happen, we need to make these changes..
DP: Its your build, you do what you need to do to deliver on the project
ARA: Here is an invoice for the necessary things we did
DP: We aren't paying that.. you agreed to build the game for X, that cost is your responsibility...
ARA: These items were not part of the original deal.. you owe us for it, pay the invoice
DP: No (or probably just silence...)
ARA: Fine, you won't pay, we won't release the goods or other work until you do

And it goes from there. They could be disagreements over what should be billed items or not.. changes made.. what the original SoW and costs covered..

Lots of possibilities for disagreements on scope/inclusion without one side simply trying to blackmail the other because the games are ready.

Given the history in the past where Silence was DP's way of addressing things they didn't like.. I can see how things could escalate to this roadblock.

#3104 2 years ago
Quoted from jsa:

It's my understanding that ARA manufactures the custom electronics for the games, maybe just the main boards or some subset. DP subcontracts components to different (appropriate) contract manufacturers where they need to.
There is some kind of dispute, and it's ultimately led to a slipping in real-time while DP goes and finds another CM... which I should add is the only possible choice.

ARA is the manufacturing partner. They've done engineering for them, they worked with them to take the prototype to a production level game (and that probably includes much of the electronics and mechanical assembly/design). Parts for the game are obviously sourced from many places...(toys, playfields, hardware, etc) but ARA could have been handling logistics for the builds, ordering from suppliers, etc as well.

The challenge is really how much of their production-ready build is held up by ARA in the dispute. Contracts can all say DP owns all the designs done (and you would expect that), but ARA can also claim as the contractor they haven't been paid for the work and won't release it, etc.

When you are working with a partner like this to handle all the manufacturing angle.. its really a question of how much did they outsource to ARA and how much did they build into bomb-proofing their relationship.. like maintaining seperate copies of all designs, BOMs, supplier info, etc.

#3106 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

So from ARA's point of view, based on that email, this points to DP as simply not having sufficient funds to pay.

That's not what it says. What it says is DP hasn't paid what ARA thinks they should have paid.

The **REASON** DP hasn't paid is not covered there, so your leap to 'not having sufficient funds' is not supported at all by ARA's mail.

The reason DP hasn't paid isn't inferred or implied in that mail at all... it simply states a credit dispute.

#3109 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

So they lied about that but now we're supposed to believe that ARA is extorting them for a grand more per machine? Bullshit. For all we know, this $1,000 more is to "buy more time" to try and secure additional capital.

When has capital been an issue for DP in the past?

In fact, it's one of the more interesting angles of DP to me compared to other companies. They've spared no expense in promotion and full sourcing of gear LONG before taking any money. I've always wondered "Who is their daddy warbucks?" - because they didn't take pre-orders to fund the business... they were sourcing custom parts, playfields, licensing, and more all way beyond any pre-order money would have funded.

All the immediate flocking to claims of being UNABLE to pay seem way premature.

#3112 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Potentially quite plausible.
But ARA lied about production being halted in October.

I appreciate your piece of info there, its very relevant and helpful. I don't paint ARA a saint in this at all... we simply don't know. But these kinds of disagreements are not uncommon at all when it comes to scope and who pays for what. Even work stoppages over said disagreements. I was more responding to the idea that it was about 'changing the terms of the agreement' to get more money once they were in a position of power.

This sounds more like a dispute over monies owed. The real kicker would be what the negotiations have been, and if those are deadlocked. I doubt its about ability to pay... and is more about agreeing to pay.

#3116 2 years ago

1) You want to hinge such claims of insufficient funds on someone's broken second language?
2) You want to hinge such claims of insufficient funds on a vendor's view of a private company of which they have no insight into?
3) ... from a vendor that clearly is not on good standing on said private company?

Or in short... how would they know?

#3119 2 years ago
Quoted from RobT:

Now you are moving the goal posts.

No its not - you made a claim "this points to DP as simply not having sufficient funds to pay."

Which is a whole other ball of wax from simply being in a dispute with their contractor. A very BIG claim you are making based on an email from a party that would be in the know how exactly?

You really want to be standing proud against defamation claims on the broken english email of a contract partner? Statements that could easily be seen as causing a run on the company? Better you than me esquire.

#3148 2 years ago
Quoted from chadderack:

Delays from DP or hiding under the bed aren't going to make things better.

Well we saw how they handled Phil-gate... and now this for months... I don't see them changing their tune. Jumping out in front and grabbing by the horns.... not happening.

They knew what ara said and we still got vague....

#3154 2 years ago

If Dutch was cash strapped from October onward... why would they not be out raising cash by selling more games... or parts from their games... taking deposits... selling earlier slots... anything... anything to raise funds?

Instead they have been having distributors hold money instead of give it to dp... they turn people away trying to buy... they've been ramping cointaker up with BoP production.

It doesn't seem in tune with a company that needs cash for the last 3.5 months to avoid total shutdown.

Wonder how long it's going to be till we get the next juicy bit.

Stern may not be putting out hits... but man this company drama is a hobby in itself!

#3236 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

ARA owns the rights to the circuit boards used in TBL, so the new manufacturer will have to redesign the boards as well

That would be unusual - and highly stupid by DP. Remember, ARA was working FOR DP for engineering and manufacturing. They were contracted for the work - not making their own boardset and then selling to DP (I doubt ARA was looking to get into the PROC space )

ARA would have been selling their services to DP.. just like you'd hire a contractor to draw a logo for you. The terms of the contract would dictate that DP owns the output, the designs, etc as the work is being done to their spec and acceptance. It would not be unusual to negotiate some licensing arrangement or timed exclusivity terms if trading some liability for guaranteed business.

The standard is the buyer owns the design, but the contractor is usually going to work to ensure they don't do all the work then just get abandoned. Remember, the money paid (and margin) on assembly is not that much... the money is in the services.

Its entirely possible ARA bent DP over here and technically owns everything... but it would be the extreme 'DP was stupid' case.. and that's not been their M.O. Too bold.. Too optimistic... too quiet? Sure.. blatantly stupid? Nah..

Where it can get even more messy is even if DP has the rights to it, if they aren't in physical possession of everything, ARA could withhold it arguing non-payment or other stall tactics.

#3262 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

There isn't a board issue. ARA stated there wasn't and Dutch confirmed they made up and used the board issue as an excuse to buy time. Again, no board issue, Dutch lied that there was a board issue.

Nothing I said was predicated on a 'board issue', nor did I mention one. The truth of the matter is the TBL prototype was reworked to become a production ready game. Presumably that was done with ARA as the contracting partner to make the game buildable.. as that's what a contract manufacturer's engineering and supply chain people do as part of their services they sell to people needing shit built. TBL went through a huge delay as this was done and long after the relationship with ARA was made public.

The post was referring to the topic of taking the effort to another manufacturer and the prior post claiming ARA owns the designs so that would be problematic.

You don't contract someone to design something for you and then let them own the design.. they are your hired labor, not looking to turn the product over to them.

#3266 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Jaap told me himself that ARA own the rights to the boards this morning

I'd be hesitant about 'lost in translation' there vs a detailed response on what the claim actually is.. but if it boils down to they have no rights to the design... that is a colossal fuck up on DP's part and a complete blunder.

I still think DP coming out with their financial situation, both past and future, would help calm things if they were stable. Are they self-funding, investors, what is the basis of those funder's assets, etc.

Their problem (like last time) is the need to build confidence. Silence doesn't do that.

#3286 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

Well I had a response that disappeared. Not worth cutting, pasting and quoting again.
Synopsis: Flynn, suffice to say you're suddenly wacko in this thread

Why? Because I differentiate between what is KNOWN vs what is extrapolated or speculated on?
Because I work with the dutch and northern europeans.. and have for nearly 20 years and I know to be careful about language differences?
Because I've actually worked at, with, and know management in Contract Manufacturers so I am familiar with how things actually function in that industry?

Or is because I just won't see a crack and make the biggest leap I can like much of pinside?

There is a difference between being right because it can be substantiated.. and being right because your guess/extrapolation eventually overlaps with the outcome.

Given the past few years... DP seems to have money growing on trees... so without actual signs of strain.. I find it difficult to believe they are 'tits up' as some have claimed. Not agreeing to pay a vendor's bill does not mean the only possible truth is you are broke. It is one of multiple possibilities..

#3295 2 years ago
Quoted from cooked71:

I didn't know anyone read his posts. They take up about 5 screens on my iphone.

well you could argue that lack of specificity is 99% of the fuckup here for Dutch and what most people believe/or not is happening... so you reap what you sow I guess. You get one liners and no one really knows wtf is going on. But it fits fine on your phone I guess...

Users here don't like specifics because it goes counter to the 'fan the flames' attitude that drives more than half the flaming threads here.

#3296 2 years ago
Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

The additional possible translation/second language issues further confuse the question on what ARA truly means.

Don't let uncertainty get in front of the hype train... blood in the water? Obviously DP is dead...

#3299 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

My post that got deleted was the fact you tell me you weren't talking about boards but you quoted someone's statement about boards

No, the post I replied to was about board DESIGNS and ability to take those to another contractor not - not the 'board issues' lies from DP... hence my post about ownership/contracting/IP. The statement quoted was:

"ARA owns the rights to the circuit boards used in TBL, so the new manufacturer will have to redesign the boards as well"

Quoted from Skins:

It's funny you mention money. Apologist were screaming it wasn't about money; that it was bad boards yet here we are and yep, you guessed it. It is about money. Dutch fucked up. Period. They lied. Period. Everything else is semantics. The fact that this has festered for months while deceiving people is bad.

I don't think anyone disagrees that the 'cover story' was a bad idea and from what we can tell just a lie. But what people take from that is where things go all kinds of directions..

#3307 2 years ago
Quoted from Skins:

So it was a continuation or riff on the narrative that the boards are the hang up, gotcha. Like I said...


It was a discussion about the viability moving the entire game production to another contractor. The 'board issue' as stated by DP and slang in this thread was a claim of faulty boards... not an issue over not owning everything needed to migrate to another vendor. Which is why none of it is dependent on DP's lies around faulty boards.

Since then someone has added that Jaap says ARA 'owns the design' - which is.. mindboggling.

#3341 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

It's unfortunate that pre-orders and crowd funding are part of this equation. If customers' money wasn't at risk, this would be some corporate internal dealings, holding up product, let them work it out however they can.
But that is impossible since a lot of people have significant amounts of money on the line and what is happening.

Is it any different though? What if this were the 3rd batch of games and you all were just waiting for delivery for inventory of a product that had already been shipping?

The only real difference is buying from inventory on hand.. vs inventory on order.

This dispute really doesn't have much to do with crowd funding or startups.... except for maybe the idea of a new relationship between two businesses.

These kinds of disputes could come up at any time.

#3342 2 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

People are very forgiving! If DP just comes on here…comes clean, explains the situation and options, many would be ready to help.

They never did with phil-gate.. I don't expect them to here either Clarity on their position besides one or two liners would be great.. but it seems like lawyers and communications people are in short supply in the Netherlands or something

#3417 2 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

Stern doesn't produce boards right?

Not in house - but Stern designs electronics along with some manufacturing partner.

Producing and assembling PCB boards is a commodity task that is outsourced by virtually everyone because its not cost effective to do it yourself if component assembly is not one of your main focuses.

The engineering of the system is something you want to keep closer to the chest... build? Contract out without even blinking.

1 week later
#3501 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I got this email from Jaap this morning:
ARA is not telling the truth. They don’t charge us the agreed price.
In May 2015 we agreed price A. In June 2016 ARA wanted much more money per TBL: A plus €1.000+. DP agreed with this price but only under the condition that ARA would deliver 300 TBLs plus 50 units of our 2nd title before the 31st of December 2016. A few months later (October 2016) we found out that ARA didn’t order parts for the production of the 50 units of our 2nd title. We confronted ARA with this and told them the deal of June is of because they don’t deliver in accordance with the clear condition (the delivery of 300 TBLs plus 50 units of our 2nd title before the 31st of December 2016).
ARA insists on charging us A plus €1.000+. They didn’t produce a single unit of our 2nd title.
For us this is unacceptable as you probably will understand. The agreed price is price A and not A plus €1.000+.
Please feel free to share this with the pinball community.
So, they're sticking to their "ARA blew it" story. I just hope they had this conditional contract in writing.If we are to believe this...I think an interesting tidbit is the mention of the 2nd title. If they indeed finished designing a 2nd title and wanted it built by Dec. 2016, that means DP wasn't planning on being one-and-done, and that maybe gives me a bit more confidence that they'll work this all out...as they've got another game in the can that should have been ready to go.

I don't buy their story verbatim..

1) A common sense contract would have resolutions written in for non-performance / aka missing a deadline... not "you failed, price increase off the table" and the deadlock they are in now. No way ARA would agree to a contract that simply says "perform, or you get zero". A new agreement would replace the prior agreement, not some 'fallback'.
2) This would have meant ARA agreeing to a production of 350 games in 6 months.. or > 13 games a week. They've never been anywhere near that speed.. and that's been obvious since day 1.. not some discovery about no parts for game 2 three months later

Again the truth is probably somewhere in the middle... the terms on what the two parties can change things on... and what deal is in effect when those terms are disputed. And then DP withholding payment as a bargaining chip...

1 week later
#3613 2 years ago
Quoted from genex:

Also there's an issue some times when a ball comes firing back hard at an engaged flipper the ball will knock down the flipper (though I've had this happen to me recently on GoT as well so maybe that's a normal-ish thing?)

Not uncommon.. but for different reasons. GoT has a EOS switch that tells the game to cycle the coil for hold power.. TBL is doing it with software logic.. and I found the issue more frequent on TBL

#3621 2 years ago
Quoted from rosh:

Pretty sure they are doing a short power pulse to the main coil and then energizing the hold coil to keep the flipper up. They could potentially increases the "power" going to the hold coil to see if that can keep it from getting knocked down. If there is no EOS, then they have no way of knowing the flipper was knocked back down in order to re-pulse the main to coil to put it back up. adding EOS and code to handle it, is easier said than done.

If memory serves they are using a single wound coil and no EOS. All software driven for hold power detection and then modulation for the reduced power.

#3622 2 years ago
Quoted from nwpinball:

There are rumors to the contrary and Cointaker made the third round of Bride 2.0 kits didn't they? It seems since many more of the buyers are in the US, they could cut down on shipping costs manufacturing it here.

Cointaker has been building the BoP kits and ramping up to do so. They handle all the bundling, shipping, logistics, etc. They aren't building boards/etc.. but rather being the assembly/logistics.

#3657 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

whether they have any case for it or not, I have no clue.

Yeah, this is the tough part that having dinner with Barry won't really give you a clear picture on. I'm sure they thought they were in the clear with all the licensing too.. even arguing as much when Philgate happened.. and it wasn't until Sharpe got involved that all was ultimately settled, and changes did have to be made. So no matter if they thought they were right.. they weren't.

Rensh's post makes me wonder if they will instead try to sell game 2 before resolving TBL. Get the cashflow going with game 2, work on TBL's legal wranglings, and then come back to TBL backlog when either ARA is resolved.. or with your new CM after new contractor is proven and you have some fresh cash from game2 sales.

#3688 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

What would be nicer is if TPF (and other shows) finally started recording all the seminars and posting them to YouTube immediately .. it's so easy technically and logistically to do these days, and ideally live stream them.

.. and then less reason to goto said show.. and now you know why they are hesitant to do so.

#3689 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

It's like saying no one would go to an Apple product launch because it's online for free and no effort.

Apple Launches are media events - not self-sustaining commercial ventures whose survival relies upon getting people there for revenue and to entice vendors and other sponsors.

#3850 2 years ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

This position requires DP to have their customers confidence.
If they didn't need funds to finish Big Lebowski they would have paid the $1000 euros per game and gotten them out the door. The idea they are sitting on a pile of cash and letting ARA hold games hostage because of the 'principle of the thing' is crazy. They are losing customers every minute they don't ship games. lots of people on this board have already cancelled downpayments at cointaker.
There is no way they made so much margin on game #1 that they have a pile of cash to buy parts and everything for game #2. they can't even afford or build a prototype to show for crying out loud.

A whole lot of leaps in this post...

You also forget they funded TBL's development and BoP and more without up front money. They've got deep pockets it would seem.

#3869 2 years ago
Quoted from PismoArcade:

FWIW, somehow Dutch has my email too. I've never contacted the company. The only time I even mention them is occasionally on this thread.
Which speaks to Taylor's concern....How did Dutch get the email addresses? I'm more curious than concerned.

The last time this 'how did this happen...' subject came up it was IFPA. IFPA "sells" (aka make available to...) their email list. Your distributors may have associations with DP as well.

#4157 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

It's still not clear at all who owns parts at ARA. If it were, DP could bring in the cops and take possession. I bet it's illegal for ARA to keep something they have no claim on. ARA has all the aces and DP keeps bluffing.

It's standard process for the the CM to own sourcing of parts and funding it... to be paid (with markup) on complete sale to the customer (DP). It's no suprise at all to hear of inventory held up at the manufacturer. Logistics is part of what the CM offers the customer.

#4480 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I did exactly that, and you're still claiming a ludicrous opinion as fact. I didn't change the argument at all.
Hadn't bothered to check the thread for a few days, but what a massive (non)surprise that things are nowhere near as black and white as either you or many others seem to think, either with regard to the below or anything else.
My post specifically related to why, if individuals at ARA had fucked up, they would circle the wagons and act in an aggressive manner towards DP, to try to save their own skins.
It now appears that this may be exactly what happened.
To those jumping the gun re: the firing of the MD at ARA, I'm told that the DP situation played a large part or was instrumental in his dismissal ..... but even if that's entirely true, the whole situation still resides in a hole - how quickly or even if the two parties can mutually dig themselves out and move forwards together still remains to be seen.
If talks are constructive and there's a rapprochement with ARA, I guess we'll hear from DP sooner rather than later.

I have to imagine responding to random people over the internet about customer financials in a way that could even been seen as defamatory... probably was a big flag for someone never mind the whole saga that has probably cost ara big money with little payout so far. No one wants to see a setup expense.... but no actual production volume to recover that investment.

1 month later
#4807 2 years ago

Con: DP is no longer DP

Think about it... the reason you all bought into these games is the direction and 'difference' these guys picked for their games and themes. When they are no longer in control, who is to say the new boss aligns with their risk tolerance or creative choices??

This is a sad turning point if true

This is why people start up sub companies to run projects... so if things go south, they contain the damage.

#4816 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

If they can't manufacture or ship games, none is that matters. What they started and who they were in 2013 is irrelevant. It's 2017, the train is off the tracks. Egos and pride have to be cast aside here. Stern did it, they live. JJP did it, they live. You know who stuck to their pride and ego? John Popadiuk. Kevin Kulek.

It does matter - to think it doesn't would mean saying "any business leader is the same as any other" which is clearly false.

You are only looking at those 40 games or these existing orders... that's just cleaning up the past. What good is a company that has no future? What good is a DP whose leadership doesn't understand the business or customers and decides the next project on their ideas and it's garbage. That's a ruined DP - maybe they shipped TBL and some or all of them.. but DP would still be done. So yes... there is a Con to the path... the Con being you have new leadership that is not the same as the old... if you valued the old.

The 'there is no con' argument is one that is only concerned with breaking up the TBL log-jam.. and it's a overly optimistic conclusion that assumes the new-DP would stick to their original deals. There is no guarantee of that. Let's not forget the new DP could just go through some legal hoops and shutdown the old company and reform in another shape (people seem to forget the Australian WOZ disaster it seems)

If people think it's just money holding up the deal... which people keep postulating it is... Money can come from other places besides ARA.

The idea ARA wants to own a pinball company partnership doesn't make sense to me. Want a bigger piece of the pie? Sure... own and direct? Doesn't add up...

#4836 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

DP aren't business leaders. They're guys who made a cool game, had someone else build it...and now are at the mercy of those building it.

And what makes ARA any better of a leader of a pinball design company? That's my point... there are negatives to letting just anyone become your new majority owner.

Quoted from Rarehero:

Wrong. In this theoretical deal, ARA is going to build the rest of the Lebowski orders ...and if they can right this ship and make all pre-orderers whole, that gives new buyers confidence - they can sell MORE Lebowskis after that (given they want to renew the license) - also, BOP 3.0...they have the Proto, if this deal goes through, they'll be building those. And again, once this ship gets righted and DP/ARA have customer confidence - there CAN be a future. The entire future of DP hangs on this deal. ,

One pinball title does not make a pinball company with a future. ARA can build TBLs.. and then what? You still need the rest of the company to be a success... and leadership to get SUCCESSFUL designs to market. That is not a given. While DP have not proven themselves business managers - they have proven themselves good game designers/directors. Bad management can ruin that.

Quoted from Rarehero:

DP is done NOW. They can't ship shit, they can't sell future shit. No factory. No customer confidence. This deal gets them back on track. It's the only way.

This is yet another leap based on little. DP needs ARA because of how far in they are with them on this project... not because ARA is the only possible way to have a business.

Quoted from Rarehero:

We like DP's designs. We like their creative ideas. Do we like their leadership? F*CK NO! They NEEEED leadership. Then Barry & Jaap can do what they do best - design games.

Remember why Jack and other split from Stern?? Because they didn't like what management was forcing the games to be. There is no automatic save that says ARA equals DP building their dreams.

Quoted from Rarehero:

Where? There are no pinball angel investors willing to dip into this muck. Made sense with Stern - they had a factory, employees and a history. Made sense with JJP, they had a factory, employees and a history...just needed some oversight and a new gameplan (and money). DP is 2 dudes. That's it. At this point, partnering with ARA is the only option that gives them a shot at being a legit pinball company and not a massive failure.

Your logic fails in that it doesn't even explain how ARA would get involved with DP to start with... or any other backer in a business. Factories in startups are generally liabilities... not much in the terms of assets because they are usually built on borrowed money. The idea of contract manufacturing is not a 'bad word' - and lacking a factory is not a problem when it's something you can hire on the open market.

Quoted from Rarehero:

They're looking at Stern - making millions, doing it right. They see the situation they're in, and they see the possibility of where it can go if done right. Barry & Jaap have the creative talent. ARA has the manufacturing infrastructure. Clearly shit didn't work when they were each in their own bubbles. They need to join forces to function!

I think you have some seriously tinted glasses. The Stern making millions gave me a good chuckle.

#4837 2 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

The simpler math is that DP is currently broke, but its value is in the right to produce 200 more TBLs, and that's why ARA wants equity.

Except why would they want to assume that liabiilty, for such little return? The margin on pins is small... it's better to be the contractor who demands payment up front, and has the assets as collateral... than the guy trying to front the money and sell the goods to make it up.

It only makes sense if ARA is trying to do an equity swap in exchange for monies owed and they see a future in pinball production. But that alone doesn't add up for me... There is far better business for ARA to chase without leaving their core competency.

#4842 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

I think you have some seriously math adverse glasses. Let's do a little conservative math. I'm even gonna round down the numbers to take into account distrib margins, and I'm prob rounding down too much...but, just to prove a point:
One game, lets say Ghostbusters.
500 LE x $7000 = $3,500,000
1000 Prem x $6000 = $6,000,000
1000 Pro x $4500 = $4,500,000
Total $14,000,000
OK, lets assume they mark up the games 50%...that's $7,000,000 in the door
Stern says it costs $1,000,000 to develop a game...$6,000,000
...and I'm sure they've sold more Ghostbusters than in my example. PLUS, all the other titles they sell. Take out money for salaries.....Stern's still making millions.

I'm sure every business looks like easy money to you when you
- ignore all overhead of facilities, logistics, utilities, etc
- ignore all labor costs
- ignore all inventory costs
- ignore all taxes, insurances, royalties, etc
- ignore all debts/carry-forwards

... and generally just focus on Gross Margin and think that is even comparable to actual net profit. That was pretty cute.

#4843 2 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

A pinball design company is useless without a factory. Period. DP ceases to exist, and we're all fucked without ARA.

Yet you all ordered TBL without DP having a factory...

Quoted from Rarehero:

DP has already ruined themselves with bad management. ARA is the last hope

You didn't even know who ARA was, or what they could do before DP introduced them... nor could you name any of their peers. So I'd caution against the 'ara is the only way this works'. ARA wants money, not games. Money can come from alot of places.

Quoted from Rarehero:

Without Lebowski being finished, DP has nothing. Period. The games and parts will not be freed. They'll have zero customer confidence in their efforts to make a 2nd game before the first is resolved.

If they had games ready to buy.. and people wanted them.. they'd buy them. The pinball community has no real 'black list' and no matter how hard these buyers get fisted... if the next game is ready and is what they want, they'll buy.

Quoted from Rarehero:

The story of the market in 2010 is irrelevant to the story of DP in 2017. Who gives a fuck about DP "building their dreams"...we're no longer in dreamland, we're in realityland. Reality = 300 customers want their fucking games. Reality = DP doesn't have a factory. ARA does.

DP came to them and said "Build this for $$$". ARA said yes.

Yes... which is why your theory of who will get involved or not is bunkus. ARA didn't care DP didn't have a factory, or didn't have a history.. They looked at the business, not pinside history.

You need to look more than 6" ahead. ARA has the hostages... ARA is not the only manufacturer. ARA is not the only one who has money. TBL is intrinsically tied to ARA... but that doesn't mean DP's future needs to be ARA nor that the *only* option is to give DP to ARA.

Hell you didn't even think of that option until DP shared it... now you have the insight to know that's the ONLY path available? Step back and listen to yourself.

#4848 2 years ago

The lesson learned is the only thing that matters in Rarehero's world is the last 24hrs... No wonder you flip out when a week or so goes by and not to your liking.

#4859 2 years ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

Then the question is, what brings ARA in a position to make this offer? On what grounds do they think they can hold those machines hostage? They must have a legal base for that, one of which can be that payments are long overdue and money is gone. Why else would DP even consider this takeover?

Not paying a bill doesn't automatically mean you CAN'T pay it. If a vendor just sent you a bill for an amount you don't agree with, are you just going to pay it because they sent it? You can't assume non-payment means insolvent. Non-payment can be a choice.

The grounds to hold hostage and demand money can be any number of contractual issues from any number of the steps along the way. We really have little to go on except that there is a disagreement on the monies owed.

#4876 2 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

I have an email saying they can't afford to pay back the requests for refund.....does this count?

Accurate email or not.. that doesn't negate my point. Refusing to pay doesn't mean the ONLY outcome is you have no money.

Plus, If I tell you I can't afford to give you 10k, does that mean I don't have 10k? Or simply I can't afford that money to go back to you because it's already committed or I don't have 10k EXTRA to give up? Or that I can't afford to start a run on the bank??

It's amazing how confident you guys get over a few written words, find a single track and ignore every other possibility because you've already leapt to your own conclusions and extrapolations.

Besides.. why would DP willingly give anyone a refund at this point? To do so would only cause nearly everyone to request one because of the uncertainties. Refunds are only gonna come from legal initiated actions.

#4880 2 years ago
Quoted from jayhawkai:

I've never seen someone enjoy being wrong so much and so often.

Glad you have all the inside juice on DP, ARA and everything else!

I'm glad people are so happy to leap so far ahead based on shit that can mean 10 different things... but hey, let's just ignore that and pick your favorite and bash anyone who doesn't pile on with you.

I personally have no doubt that the TBL project is constrained cash wise... but that is based on speculation, not cites. Pardon me for taking the conservative view of 'what you know' instead of 'what could be'.

I can't see them having the whole thing go up in smoke over 40k euros and a higher cost per game going forward. These are personal finance types of numbers, not millions. There has to be much bigger issues at hand than a singular boost in charges on the games built. (as we have already gone through)

But if the group-think wants to pat themselves on the back about how the ONLY solution they've heard.. is bar none, the zero con, best solution out there. Go for it.

#4915 2 years ago

Anyone know if Sunshine Laundromat's game is down permanently? I recall something about early issues.. wondering if it's a victim of no parts support?

Cool location... but all the 'must play' games were down

2 weeks later
#5234 2 years ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

so what the hell happens with the completed games packed in boxes at ARA? What happens to all the parts sitting at ARA? All those go to the landfill? This new vendor starts from scratch and has to tool up for every unique part? Reproduction for all parts has to start over at zero? Given the circumstances, it seems impossible that ARA will turn over the large inventory of parts on hand much less the games in box...
so 4 weeks for the new guy to work up his quote, another 4 weeks of negotiation - assuming that goes well, then what...8 months plus for ramping up, procuring off-the-shelf parts, tooling up to fabricate custom parts, then another several months of production to actually build games, test games, etc? Best case scenario its another 18 months before a game ships...and that's assuming there is money somewhere to actually make any of this happen.

ARA is a electronics assembly contractor. Outside PCB production, most other things would be bought from outside vendors... vendors who are already tooled to make those TBL parts. The new contractor would be going out to those vendors and be quoting their costs, etc. Yes there'd be startup time as parts are procured and unlike before, there would not have been a schedule to ensure on time delivery to an ongoing game built schedule.. so there will be lag at the front. But they don't have to tool, fab, etc. The hangup is what must be recreated if DP doesn't have design/possession of it... and of course the learning curve for effective pinball assembly and testing. That would be the big time sink.

I'd wager if they didn't have to redesign the electronics from scratch, they'd probably target something like 4-5 months out after having a deal to start test builds. If they will need something like 3 months for the long lead time parts... that same 3 months would be used to work on the engineering, QA designs, and process/task documentation. Figure another 1-2m of early parts staging, build out, and process shakedown.

Remember, the contractor is not a single task startup... they can't just set stuff up and sit idle waiting on a single customer. They have warehouse space, the factory floor space, etc that is lost opportunity if its not working towards billable product ships. They will move fast to setup their assembly and test and start building once the parts and process procurement is ready. And while sourcing parts will have lead times, that time is not locked to just 'waiting'.

The real wildcard is how much does DP have in terms of engineering and the logistics side of their game design vs what must be recreated

#5247 2 years ago
Quoted from highdef:

Thanks for the input Perry Mason, but I never stated I would use the FTC to sue DP.
It was directed towards those who stated DP's "no refund" policy has legal merit.

If the policy is sound or not... if they are outside the reach of our laws, then citing US civil remedies really has no merit. You are paying to have a game imported from overseas... there is no US entity really involved here of value. Unless you are one of the unlucky cointaker customers. Beyond that, its down to any protection systems built into your payment vehicle. Most of which, people have long surpassed.

You'd have much better luck squeezing them from their side of the pond.. where generally consumer protection laws are actually much stronger. The EU consumer protection directive says you have the right to withdrawal at least 14 days after RECEIVING the goods - http://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:32011L0083&rid=1 But they've also established limits of 12months on this (presuming that there is usual communication between the buyer and seller). The consumer protection group for Netherlands is probably a contact some might be interested in pursuing ... https://www.eccnederland.nl/en

#5352 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

My question is less about the value of the euro and dollar at the time and more about who paid VAT - DP or the customer? If "DP", then non-VAT customers were perhaps subsidizing the VAT differential. If everyone paid the same, but for VAT customers, VAT was netted out of the 8500 USD, then that might be a problem.
That leads to a whole different line of questioning. If DP nets out VAT, did they pay it right away? Or did they plan on paying as the machines were delivered? A great question for the QA period. Hopefully it is a non-issue.

VAT is paid by those who have it domestically. US buyers typically would not be charged VAT on goods exported to the US. Countries with the import duties or domestic tax would pay it.

#5365 2 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

By the way, it's gonna be a twitch session apparently. Looking forward to it.

wow.. get ready for a shit show. I wish they used a real platform made for moderated events. Heck, you can make registration required, use moderators, record, making legit Q&A in the chat, etc. Some of us work for the biggest conferencing companies in the world..

#5369 2 years ago

Chance of answering questions presented in chat - 0%
Ability to take questions live over audio - 0%
Likelihood of shitstiring by trolls in the chat - 100%
Likelihood of impersonators in the chat - 100%
Likelihood of poor A/V - 50%
Likelihood of negative impressions from the event - 100%

Please please please step up and use a real webinar platform that allows for registration, moderation, Q&A system, conference operator and audio dial-ins for handling Q&A.

or cheaper alternatives

I mean when you are trying to ready the ship... pend a tiny bit of money and time to make it run SMOOTHLY and allow yourself to actually deliver on the intent... having a platform to get your message out and properly engage with your customers.

An open twitch stream (or any un-moderated experience) will end up being a trainwreck.

#5370 2 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

And now you guys are starting to complain on the platform they are using ??

No, it's called EXPERIENCE and professionalism. Knowing how to actually get something done SUCCESSFULLY... or.. we can sit back and keep playing like kids in the basement and the pros will sit back and watch the fireworks.

#5375 2 years ago
Quoted from mavantix:

knockerlover flynnibus burningman watching party on the big screen here?! I'll make popcorn. Too bad it's Monday at noon EST.

"off site meeting"

#5399 2 years ago
Quoted from burningman:

Love you too bro, but they can't use the "I didn't know" card when all the had to do was open the book


Quoted from burningman:

As others have said, sticking your head in the sand is not a solution.


They don't have to agree with people.. but they shouldn't make up their own realities.

Some simple questions they should address to clarify things

1) have you started legal action against ARA?
2) What is ARA's specfic position/justification for increasing the price as you have claimed? (You won't get people buying into your team if they don't understand the dispute)
3) What is your business model, including financing, to take the project to another CM if that is your choice?
4) If the new ARA price is unsustainable, why not simply pay the ransom to release the games that are previously built and ready and then move on? (maybe they won't unless all the non-shipping parts are covered too...)
5) Is DP in possession of all the schematics, engineering assets, and BOMs necessary to build TBL? If not, what is the business plan to replace the necessary assets?
6) Does ARA claim to have any exclusivity claims on assets needed to source, build, or operate TBL?
7) What plan and assets does DP currently have to continue to function until the point in time where new cash flows will be generated?
8) If the NV group has proposed an equity swap, what was their stated ambition for ownership of a pinball design entity?
9) Does DP have financial backers or assets outside of the two principles of Jaap and Barry?

The crux of the matter is... people don't believe
1) DP has the financial assets to see this to the end
2) DP has the assets needed to 'start over' with another CM in a reasonable timeframe

That is what they need to either face, or build confidence in their plan to address.

#5409 2 years ago
Quoted from foxtj24:

A good question might be How much money have you paid to ARA already (if any) and how much is still owed? We are all assuming ARA are the bad guys here. The other side of the story is DP never paid their bills, that is why productions stopped.

Well that's the crux of the problem... dispute over what the bill IS.

Requiring a portion of the payment to help fund the supply chain needs.. or requiring payment upon completion or any range inbetween are possible. Even disclosing what the payment schedule was to be would help people get a footing for what is going on. That would be a legit question that would help people understand when DP's big money outlies were... even if they won't disclose what their assets or ability to fund are.

But to your theoretical of 'they just didn't pay' do you really think DP would still be prolonging this if the answer was just 'we don't have any money' to pay what was originally owed for the next 10-20 games? Then there would really be nothing to move forward with.. and they'd just declare bankruptcy and fold. The theory of just running out of money period doesn't gel with everything that has happened since the dispute started.

It would only make sense if DP thought they could get ARA to keep cranking on credit until they got to the next round of buyers who had to send in money.. and that credit would have had to be for a significant portion of the run. That seems... hard to believe.

#5433 2 years ago
Quoted from knockerlover:

Having some fun with her as well today at burningmans. It really is one of the best games ever made. Let's get her done DP!!

"day job"

#5450 2 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

why can't DP arrange for the names of the people who have bought machines (and paid up to DP fully) to be given to ARA and then let ARA deal with the buyers directly so that if you want to pay the extra to get your machine directly to ARA you can? Also allow ARA to sell parts to the many machines that are broken right now.
how long has this farce being going on for?! Since before April!!

Because there is more at stake for both sides than balance due on a few pieces.

#5460 2 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

Has anyone contacted ARA thats a buyer? Can we get them on a webcast? If I knew I could pay them the extra $1000 and know I'd get my machine after shelling out $5K+++ then I'd do it. If ARA haven't been paid then I feel really bad for you all; It will be just a matter of time before DP go bust, then ARA can do what they like.

From a principals point of view I agree, but from a "I want my machine" - is there really? Surely its about getting hold of the machine that you paid for; DP are the "dunsel" of pinball right now

This ignores everything that has been brought up ad nausea in this thread.

- The licensing
- The ongoing dispute between the parties
- The reality that DP may owe far more than just the additional 1k per unit price price increase asked for
- The reality that DP may owe for far more expenses than just the individual machines.. so the machines are leverage in that dispute

I know you'd like to say 'well can't I just pay the difference and get what I am owed?' - it's a simple idea but not reality at all.

You are not ARA's customer. ARA has no relationship with you at all - the very fact ARA people talked to people outside DP was a serious breach of professional conduct (let alone any possible legalities) and probably a critical piece to the other manager being fired.

#5472 2 years ago
Quoted from mgpasman:

If they sue ARA, they might not win, as ARA might file for bankruptcy (as I understand, Nivoge wanted to use DP to inject money in ARA, they might also just let it blow)...

well if they went bankrupt... then at least the parts and games would be up for liquidation

#5477 2 years ago

Well... it sounds like the plan is

- please wait till we flush out the next contractor manufacturer...
- we need to arrange financing for the next build...
- we have no plan to recover the ARA mess except to hold legal action as a future card to play...
- we can't refund everyone as we want to use that nest egg to keep the bigger project going
- they claim to have all they need to build TBL with someone else

So pretty much it boils down to... can people wait another 4-6months to see if this next attempt gets funded and works.. or will people storm the gates and demand their money back through legal means.

It's a game of 'wait... with all risk' or blow it up now and spend money to get some money.

#5480 2 years ago

What they didn't address is..
Holding current funds to float their business shouldn't be needed to get the financing to build TBL if they are going for financing anyways. If the bankers are going to buy into the company and project... they shouldn't need the nest egg of preorder money to convince them of the viability of the project. I think that part is a bit seedy.

Don't hold your customers hostage to cover for your mistakes with your suppliers/contractors. Their mistakes should be covered by them - not holding customers hostage. They legally owe people refunds if requested. That could be the downfall of this whole thing.

#5502 2 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

Were we on the same stream?? They are going forward with a new CM to deliver TBL's.

That is their INTENT - but nothing is done. They don't even have a proposal yet - so you don't even know if its viable yet.. nor if this CM will be the one.. just like the last ones visited didn't pan out. The takeaway from that portion is they are trying to move on from ARA (but as RTR mentions.. that doesn't mean ARA is moving on from them...). If you are ARA and just fronted 1.5+million dollar build... you are just going to let the buyer walk out scott free? I would imagine their position has to be FAR FAR worse than even DP is portraying to just walk away from that.

Quoted from EternalLife:

DP has all documentation and plans for building TBL which we own, not ARA as Barry and Jaap wrote all the assembly instructions.

This was a slice of good news, but it could also be a bit of smoke and mirrors. The instructions for assembly, QA, etc are very valuable.. especially if they are vetted as that will save time and improve initial quality. But that alone doesn't mean they have EVERYTHING needed. Considering the game was largely redesigned to make it manufacturable, plus new electronics... I'm more skeptical of those comments to suggest they have everything needed completely free of ARA. I hope they do, but their statements alone in the video do not confirm that.

#5552 2 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

Not speculation. Rarehero never had for sale wanted refund like everyone else that's asked

What was this?

Quoted from Rarehero:

Anyone interested in buying my spot for #56, which has been sitting at ARA since September '16, it's for sale. I just want the $8500 I paid for it. If I actually take delivery, I'll be selling it for $10k+
Have patience or a gambling spirit and wanna take it off my...well, not my hands...take it off my conscience? Hit me up.

Quoted from wcbrandes:

Barry sent Wire for full refund

This claim is based on... ?

#5576 2 years ago

Facts learned from?
the Source?
second hand?
Stupid podcasts?

#5651 2 years ago

Let's be real...

Today they have a design..
.. but they also have a huge liability and contract dispute that surely stands in the 6 figure range at least
.. they have a huge liability of pre-paid product that is north of 500k
.. it will take them at least 4+months to get production ready
.. they have a product backlog that will easily take them 2+months to build their way out of

What bank is going to lend that group a million or so in money? They have 6+ months at the minimum before they can ship. They have no immediate plans for new cash flow.. and they have a huge litigation liability hanging over their heads.

Getting new cash in is going to be mandatory... The bank isn't going to lend you money based on having a piggy bank of pre-order funds. They have to look at selling new production slots before shipping EA games... how can they not? They have to show revenue to secure any financing unless they are doing equity swaps.. and the liability cloud really hurts that avenue.

#5656 2 years ago
Quoted from Jvspin:

I think he did mention something about the possibility of angel investors on the video.

To be more accurate.. what he talked about what there are lots of ways to get money... but did not mention any specific investor in the wings or even on standby. Basically saying "we aren't going to talk about WHERE we will get the money until we know how much we need - there are lots of places we can get money". But didn't have anything credible to say on actually SECURING that line of credit or any specific parties ready to invest.

Until they get ARA cleaned up - they will have a dark dark cloud hanging over them when trying to attract anyone.

Why would you want to buy into a company with say... 500k to fund manufacturing to start... to see the very next day a huge lawsuit filed against the company you just bought into for lack of payment?

DP can't just walk from ARA... the idea of keeping the dispute open I don't understand at all.

#5689 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

They need to try to get a fresh start with another party, which appears to be what they're doing.

That's the whole point - you can't just get a 'fresh start' when you owe another company big big bucks. You have to resolve that dispute otherwise it's a liability that will run off any other potential partners.

Quoted from rubberducks:

They're more likely to have some kind of settlement with ARA if they find a new CM anyway. A deal with a new CM will reduce ARA's leverage and increase DP's. If ARA think DP can move forwards without them, then it's in their interests to come to an agreement about selling them or the new CM the parts and completed games. They can't sell any of them, or Universal will be breathing down their necks.

Or... ARA goes "Hey, nice to see you got those fat new pockets... Now that you have some equity worth going after.. here's the lawsuit to force payment for monies past due'

DP's only leverage with a new CM is about ARA thinking they are the only avenue to build.. it really isn't a factor in the "monies owed" debate.

#5690 2 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

He judge, we violated the contract and other agreements and now DP has turned away from us because of our bad work. Pls convict them and give them a big fine !!

Failing to delivery on time does not mean "we owe you nothing!!". ARA fronted the build... That is money they would look to collect on, even if the final amount is settled to something less than they are charging DP for.

You can be sure ARA didn't write their part of the contract to mean the entire thing is thrown out due to failure to comply with just one part of it.

Until DP can prove they have no liability from the ARA engagement... they have a killer monkey on their back.

#5692 2 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

DP contract bought finished games from ARA. If ARA has only 10 games (as they claim) the current DP bill can't be that high? All the liability seems to be on ARA for breach of contract.

(for ARA) The reach of the liability depends on the contract. We don't know what DP has paid or not. Your post assumes they paid all their past debts and paid for all games that ARA released prior. We don't know either way really...

Do we think both parties would have gone this long and this far in dispute if the amount in question is only the price delta in 10 or even 40 games worth?? I doubt it.

More than likely DP hasn't paid for invoices from the first batch of games or work charged previously.

For all the money and 'passion' involved... if the problem was really just the extra 1k per piece. Both sides would have been far better off to settle on that long long ago.

There has to be more at stake for DP to look to eat all these costs.. and for ARA to sit on all that inventory and lost capital... than just a 1k per unit disagreement.

#5697 2 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

Flynn, DP laid out everything in writing and then on live-stream if it's false info ARA can use it all in court, so it's probably true

Laid what out? They've never said what they have paid to ARA or what ARA claims they owe. They've said ARA wanted ~1k more per unit. That is incomplete information. It can be truthful yet not still tell the entire picture. AFAIK, they've not disclosed additional information except that ARA financed the build (so pay in arrears instead of fund the build-up in advance). Please point me to something if there is more information out there that I am missing. I did miss the first few minutes of the stream.

Quoted from EternalLife:

. This isn't about DP not paying, that doesn't add up. ARA made BOP LE proto - why do that if DP wasn't paying bills?

It's all about timing... remember ARA also hosted a freakin party for DP just weeks before this all supposedly went in the toliet. Standard NET30, heck, how long does a bill go outstanding before things go from tense to blowup? This isn't about days... it's weeks to months.

Quoted from EternalLife:

ARA didn't produce 300 TBL, they either couldn't or didn't want to.
One interesting thing on livestream, the DP contract was for the assembly of 300 TBL's plus warranty from ARA. Maybe ARA had seconds thoughts and wanted out?

Maybe.. Warranty isn't abnormal. The CMs generally do the rework of product returned because they have the skills, tools, and you want the knowledge to feed back into your processes. That's all pretty standard fare.

Quoted from EternalLife:

ARA appeared to be doing everything wrong to get DP to break the contract. Late delivery, huge price increases, broken promises on game 2, speaking to DP customers, as of today still have not made 300 TBL.. How do you go to court with that?
DP did everything over and above to help the project and make concessions, even offered more money to ARA. I don't think ARA wanted more money, I think they wanted out. I can't see any upside for ARA in court against DP.

I think this is where you start reaching and leaning into the emotional pitch vs the factual.

Just because you don't end up at the agreed upon end point.. that doesn't mean you forfeit all monies owed. This all boils down to what they agreed to which none of us are privy too.. but we do know one side is a established commercial entity that such deals are their REGULAR JOB and the other side is anything but that. That very much stacks the deck AGAINST DP when we look at what assumptions are reasonable starting points.

I know people want to say 'ARA didn't deliver... so that's that!' - but it's not that simple and what is owed is not just a binary thing.

#5708 2 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

Flynn, A CM creates the quote not the customer. If they want 1K more, the original contract would have them at 10K per game, that would be 10% so we know that's a ridiculous number from ARA.

Again you are only taking into consideration one side of the story and we don't know all the moving pieces. What was that 1k to cover? What was the justification for it? We don't know - hence we can't really judge its validity.

Changes and or misses are not always so one sided in their cause.

Quoted from EternalLife:

A court would determine how well you delivered to the contract - I can't see anything for ARA in court except loss.

I think such a statement is extremely premature given we know virtually nothing about the agreement and the interactions prior to the breakdown. One or two cites does not cover what was a nearly two year relationship.

And I see you didn't add any information beyond what I outlined in terms of the money?

1 week later
#5771 2 years ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

If this is legit, the $16k TBL just lost some value. I feel real bad for the sucker who supposedly paid 25k - assuming this is going to come to fruition. Too early to tell but at this point buying or selling one is a pretty big gamble...

Paying that much for any type of game is speculation period.

#5791 2 years ago

I guess people have already forgotten they need to fund this thing. Their statement says they have a quote and agreement... not yet that they can execute on it.

To me it sounds like they are taking another small business for a ride. 100 employees? That's pretty small for a CM business.

#5816 2 years ago
Quoted from foxtj24:

The license is for only 300. A machine was destroyed in transit and they have to fix it instead of replace it, because replacing it would mean 301. Unless the get a new license 300 is the most we will ever see.

Not how it works usually. Usually there are contingencies for spares, replacements, terms for parts sales, etc. A replacement component usually doesn't constitute towards a production limit, or can be counted as a secondary category. Limits like those are usually producer 'limits', or they simply don't have the components to provide full replacements (because they didn't run enough overage, or have spares, etc).

People seem to forget... License holders do not want to see their property associated with failures or bad customer experiences - they don't set out to screw or lock people out. They simply want to protect their interests and ensure they get paid.

#5824 2 years ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

When I read this it was my understanding that DP has already said they consider the code near finished in their latest communications. Yet, now we have hearsay of the opposite. Am I wrong or did I miss something? If not, DP already spoke to this literally and recently and I wouldn't expect anything different unless DP literally says it themselves. Why make the picture muddy? It isn't helping anyone.

Complete enough to be fun and enjoyable. They don't see needing to complete new major bits of code as a requirement to moving forward... so don't fret over the programmer not being with DP right now. That's what they were saying. They can bring him or some else back when necessary. They know there are things left to be done.. but not things that would hold them back.

#5834 2 years ago
Quoted from Rensh:

Wow, must be the smallest response ever on a NSN
DP took the license hurdle, this is a small step for DP, big step for us achievers

Meh.. they still haven't addressed the elephant in the room.. THE MONEY.

DP accepting the vendor - that's cool from a 'next step' progress report. Good to hear regular updates.
Uni approving the vendor.. that's cool but pretty insignificant in the scheme (if they wouldn't.. don't you think that would have reflected bad on DP's selection?)
Uni extending the license.. this bridge had previously been crossed. There wasn't big concern here.
DP sharing a timeline? Well, again, nice to get updates. It sounds right inline with what I outlined last month in terms of a likely scenario

Quoted from flynnibus:

I'd wager if they didn't have to redesign the electronics from scratch, they'd probably target something like 4-5 months out after having a deal to start test builds

But to temper expectations... remember these are TEST builds. Which likely means sample parts runs.. not necessarily the production volume runs. Which means full parts orders and then subsequent assembly production will happen after the validation that happens with the test runs. So don't expect november to mean 'full production' is immediately pending the test builds (tho depending on the size of their sample runs they might be able to run a small volume..).

Production likely would be after the new year.. given the info shared so far. Something is better than nothing... but until they share a credible story on how they will secure financing that works all the way through customer shipment... people are going to be skeptical, since they haven't cleared that air.

#5838 2 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

And they don't have to. At the end of the day your just some unknown person on a pinball board giving your opinion whereas these guys are actually trying to run a business.

The topic was pinside reaction/response - so I think a person on a pinball board is very much an authority on the subject in question. Amazing what happens when you actually follow the context of a post instead of project your own fabrications!

1 week later
#5870 2 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Why does everything need to be reengineered?

You'd still do sample games even if the parts don't change because it's a new company sourcing and building them. New vendors, new runs, new processes. But you are also likely to have some part changes due to new pcb supplier.

#5879 2 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Bruce Nightingale, one of the hosts of the Slam Tilt pinball podcast, stated on their latest episode that DP cannot legally reproduce any parts that ARA has designed

Totally dependent on their contract agreement - not something you could say unilaterally. Complicating the factor is the unsettled state of accounts between the parties. It would be dependent on the ownership of the designs and terms of the work.

Unless DP has all the design files... the new partner would have to layout all the boards again anyways.. and they would likely have their own engineering preferences, etc as well.

People don't like being held accountable for other people's designs in general anyways...

1 month later
#5978 2 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

ARA is suing DP? If true, the suit should not end in ARA's favor. Contract with DP was to deliver 300 TBLs in 2015 for a set price - as we all know that did not occur. Difficult case to win to allege you were not paid for your work if you didn't perform the work you were to be paid for.

Dreaming simplification

1 month later
#6212 1 year ago
Quoted from spfxted:

I don't understand the worry here. If they do nothing, your money is gone and they go under. They are trying something...and if it works, you get your machine. Nothing to do but wait....

But someone will have to be convinced to put out more money... and potentially lots of someones will pass you by while you have no say in 'when do they have enough' to start shipping EA games.

It's like being paralyzed and watching someone pillage through your stuff right in front of you.

Uncertainty causes more drama than straight up failure.

#6222 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

That would be pretty nice deal indeed. Maybe they can also get all specialty equipment ARA may have purchased i.e. all assets thrown in for free. I would bet JAAP has the funds to cover this settlement and then have zero bank balance. This is only my guess, a wild hunch based on some things I've heard him mention in various interviews. If this proceeded, DP could procure and take over assembly of EA's TBL's right away. Two parties walk away whole. Suddenly it's ...
!! Full-steam O_head with DP_China>

There is a reason DP didn't just pay ARA already... losing a lawsuit doesn't make that outcome cheaper or better for DP.

Where in this fantasy are you getting the idea DP comes out ahead in a lawsuit with more funds than going in?

#6225 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Nobody but JAAP and his god know for certain, but I believe he has $200k . So yeah I think this would be feasible. But could it be too difficult?

Just ask yourself... why didn't he do it already? If it really was an outcome where he comes out with more hardware and free cash - he would have done it before.

Best case they get to pay ARA off for some agreed amount for monies owed... plus expenses. That would be to settle things... then on top of that, they'd have to agree on an amount to buy the stuff ARA has. But this avenue has already been explored and went no where.

Reality is, ARA's claims wouldn't stop at just back money owed, it would be for the contracted amount of games and the money they have lost by not building those games. A loss for DP could mean damages and other monies owed to ARA.

There is virtually no lawsuit outcome where DP gets things at a discount and comes out ahead with more money than they had before.

The best possible outcome they could hope for is ARA looking to recover some loss and selling some goods back. But that's doubtful given the toxic situation. They'd probably just treat it as a loss/delinuient account and write it down.

#6230 1 year ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

24 - Please listen to Jaaps livestream from June, he laid it all out on what ARA did and why ARA never put themselves in a position to be paid. Short story, ARA didn't provide a correct bill for the first 50 games - ARA wanted more than the original contract price. DP did agree to cost increases, but only if all the games were completed and delivered by certain deadlines. The deadlines were not met, but ARA still wanted the extra money. I can't fault DP, or anyone for not paying a bill that is over the true amount owed. Hard to win in court with "my wrong bill was not paid" and "I didn't deliver 300 games, but I was going to"

and that's what we call 'one side of the story...' - and frankly wasn't very convincing because they wouldn't answer all the questions.

#6252 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

As DP has a plan to fund the previous orders with the new ones, I wonder why DP wouldn’t pay ARA for all the production currently done with the new orders and that is ready to ship? In that way, DP can end the story properly with ARA.

The issue isn't just games already built... there are parts, and future revenue too. And of course a running bill of past activities. ARA made a big commitment- beyond just the inventory they have now.

Iamagine I entered a contract for you to build me 300 of something... you set your price based on knowing the whole run... what it will cost you, what margin you need, you ramp yourself up to build those pieces, etc. now after 50, I say... no, can I just pay for that 50 at the previous price and say we are done?.. would you take that deal?

#6325 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

Has DP talked about the code? Who is going to finish it?
I think The question need to be answered if DP wants to fill the new preorders list.

They addressed this in the video awhile back. The programmer moved on to have a regular job.. that doesn't mean he wasn't available for work if/when needed.

The code is pretty good ATM anyway...

#6338 1 year ago
Quoted from dzoomer:

I trust the programmers more . All the parts may be programmed to work, but in the eyes of the original programmer the software and game play is a long ways from complete. I wouldn't buy any pin until at least version 1.0 coding; especially considering the history around such examples.

You put way too much credit into that... versioning is whatever the programmer cares to make it. For those of us who have been playing TBL for more than a year... you really are off by hanging your conclusion on something so irrelevant.

1 month later
#6570 1 year ago
Quoted from Dr_Spaceman:

What is missing to give delivery estimates?

Vendor execution for one thing. Actually getting delivery, inventorying... and then the early stages start. I take the comment as just them taking caution because they pretty much know they don't have the leverage to force dates on others. They'll probably take the cheapest route for parts in terms of time vs cost etc.

lesd time on parts can be brutal. This looks like maybe q2 next year...

4 months later
#7187 1 year ago
Quoted from highdef:

They've supposedly already responded with a counterclaim, which proves that DP was holding out on communicating all of this to us.

Seems that way

The pattern of behavior continues....

#7190 1 year ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

If they are paid up front or paid reasonably close to as they produce

And now you found the magic phrase... IF THEY ARE PAID. DP had no way to fund the full build. One has to assume the new partnership is again one where the manufacturer is taking something in lieu of outright payment. If the ability to sell said product is in limbo, anyone in an arrangement where that is important.. is going to pause and reconsider how far they want to get in.

#7198 1 year ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

I agree with you 100% but this lawsuit doesn’t make them any more or less able to pay (unless it was an injunction on production). If it was just a suit for damages demanding payment for past items built it shouldn’t stop them from going forward... at least it wouldn’t stop them in America. To stress I’d love to see what the “subpoena” DP references actually is.
Again to be clear - this lawsuit doesn’t put DP in a worse position to pay for games up front. They were already in that position before the lawsuit. This is why I have a suspicion they are using the lawsuit as a final excuse to tell everyone what they were going to tell them all along...

You are correct on a point in isolation... but wrong in the grand scheme. Yes, this doesn't directly make them less able to pay, because it doesn't take cash away now, or prevent their ongoing business. BUT, you ignore DP doesn't have the resources to fund production outright.. nor do they likely have the bottomless resources to fight such a case AND not have an impact.

DP's main asset is the game... and the potential sales of that. With that, they can lure in partners to potential future profits. But now, that game has just been put in legal limbo... effectively hamstringing any ability DP had to leverage it for future returns. No one is going to accept future TBL gains, or future DP profits in leiu of actual payments when those assets are tied up in a legal fight that may bankrupt DP or keep TBL locked up for years.

#7200 1 year ago
Quoted from highdef:

Xytech is immune from the DP/ARA conflict. I'd like to believe Xytech got paid for the prototypes, but I definitely don't think they've been paid for parts & labor for future production

Xytech itself... sure. Not sure anyone suggested otherwise. But Xytech production of TBL still relies on DP and getting paid in some way. Getting paid is either from a new large source of capital, or some arrangement to limit the capital needed up front... usually an exchange of value today, for future potential gains.

Quoted from highdef:

I don't know of any CMs who would front DP a significant amount of money, if any money at all. The ROI and solid track record of performance and sell-through aren't there.

Yet, that is exactly what ARA did

Quoted from highdef:

A CM like ARA wouldn't build 40 units and then stop the assembly line because of a sudden misunderstanding. DP knew the drill before production began. They signed a legally-binding contract that spelled out the terms. Those terms could've set a price increase at certain quantity levels. We don't know, but ARA has more to lose by not shipping this product. Some CMs will charge you additional fees if they can't ship your product (I know this firsthand). No CM wants 40 boxed pins taking up space in their warehouse, especially when they haven't been paid for.
DP says ARA was being "unfair," but by the looks of it, they defaulted on the rightful payment owed to ARA. Perhaps the contract has some loopholes that DP is trying to use as a defense, but those machines were built with the intention of being paid for them.

And now we are back to the same 'only ARA and DP really know...' point we've been at for a year plus

Point being, brainmegaphone suggests the lawsuit shouldn't stop Xytech production. But that assumes Xytech production is either funded, or an agreement is in place to Xytech's satisfaction. And given DP's past, who really thinks Xytech would proceed with a heavy new capital intensive project without stronger garuntees given DP's situation?

What bargaining chips does DP have to convince Xytech short of 'paid in full'... which we all assume DP doesn't have the funds for.

TL: DR - Xytech may still be able to build today.. but they aren't until they get paid or have a means to see gains from doing so.

#7278 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

I personally still don't buy the relationship and company folded because ARA wanted another 1K per machine. Even IF that was the case I will Bet there isn't a Single EA buyer or New buyer for that matter that wouldn't pay that bump or at the very least split that fee to Get A Game! 1K is allot of money but if at Any time DP presented this oversight or communication to its buyers I Bet if it was True few would say no thanks I would rather have nothing.... That whole Story just smells worse than DP's business plan and ethics.

I'm sure the truth is somewhere buried in that muddy picture.

The 1k comment seems like a no brainer for someone who has a game sitting in a box stranded.. but if you are DP and facing that new cost not just on the 40games, but all games going forward.. you can understand their position where the game just doesn't become viable for the project. You have to understand DP was facing not just shipping 40 games, but the full run, and a decision there could have sank the future, even if those 40 games were released. So from a customer view, it's 'duh!', but from someone looking beyond those 40games, the view could be different.

The amount in dispute seemed like it was the new cost per game PLUS other things that DP felt they weren't responsible for. So the amount due isn't just 40k, but other amounts too (my interpretation). So, it's likely the full amount in dispute would have to be addressed, not just a new price on 40 games.

It seemed all along that there was disagreement on what was billable, who was responsible for what work, and what prices were set or not. While DP had a dream on the line... ARA seems to have had lots of real money on the line. I still struggle to believe they went full Gangster on DP and were just trying to squeeze them. Doesn't seem in character for a standing business who has much more work to do outside of pinball.

#7286 1 year ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

I agree with your comments however understand I wasn't simply talking about making whole the few EA units sitting on the floor. My point was IF this was the truth and as Claimed Barry and Jepp only want whats right for everyone they would eat some crow and simply say we will pay (clients agreed) that added cost we combined overlooked in the production cycle. With new sales being 10k or even 11k this so called raise in price would go away quickly

Yup, which is why my second point is there... there has to be more to the story than just ARA demanding a new price/unit. My crystal ball and prediction says it went something like
stage 1 - initial costs - paid
stage 2 - first batch + overruns due - Maybe DP pays some, or at least starts the dispute over the overruns.. but ARA releases first batch and continues in good faith
stage 3 - The mythical 'arrangement' about next game, plus some agreement about overruns happens - probably where paths really diverge. DP thinks they owe nothing, ARA thinks otherwise.
stage 4 - The music stops at ARA with the good faith, they scale back, finish the second batch and put their foot down on the balance due from step 2. ARA uses the stoppage and games hostage as leverage to force DP to the table... as ARA is in too deep now to continue.

DP thinks ARA was in breach for not continuing as agreed upon at stage 3.. but I believe that is some 'rose colored glasses' and ignoring other cost obligations/disputes that proceeded that moment.. and really ARA's actions 'failing to execute' were in response to prior disputes.

This is just my interpretation of the half-stories we've gotten from both sides, and my experience working with contractors and vendors. But I think it can support both side's version of the story when you assume bias in their version of the tale.

Quoted from Yelobird:

Plus, why would ARA prefer to go to court just to get nothing from these guys as they have Clearly lost every dollar investors sent

I believe that's why you see ARA taking action now verse prior. If DP was on skid row prior.. court action would have resulted in expense with limited return. But if you wait till DP has something in the coffers, or something in the oven worth recovering from... now the same action could have bigger returns.

Quoted from Yelobird:

With the plate of crow ARA is whole, EA clients are whole, and new buyers can flood the bank with new funds. All for a simple we screwed up heres your money

That's if the 'pay your balance' is even within reach. What if the amount ARA really was demanding was more than DP would ever get out of the project and didn't have the ability to pay? Neither side would continue with the project if it didn't make them whole. That's why I don't think the dispute was resolved prior and just 'settle' as you highlight. DP couldn't just pay and move on at the terms ARA required. And ARA's charity fund was at it's limit. Doing a lot of work to just recover losses isn't in ARA's favor... they'd be better off to just write it down and continue building stuff that WOULD make them money. So they are better to have the deal sink, rather than proceed with unfavorable terms.

ARA had all the leverage... and DP couldn't just concede.. the money wasn't there then, nor would the project been sustainable for the future. Paying ARA off would have likely put them in a situation where going to another vendor would be even that much harder. So DP thought they could just walk away, lick their wounds, and try again elsewhere before the hole collapsed in on them.

If it were simply "we have to raise the price $1200 per game, we are sorry, but there is no other way..." and all 300 games would have been built, and ARA and DP could move forward... I think they would have tried. But I think the disagreement went way further than that. Else, taking a hit and just pushing through to the finish would have been the lesser of evils.

My .02c

#7316 1 year ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Even with a court ruling it would be problematic for ARA to sell those games due to the licensing agreement. Dutch Pinball owns that agreement and I highly doubt it would be transferable. Worth noting the license is likely expired or soon to be.
I'm not sure what ARA's end game is here but taking ownership of those machines will not come without consequences.

I think liquidating them would be like a private seller/second hand sale. The game is already licensed and can be resold by anyone. The point being it’s being resold... not marketed/distributed/etc.

The catch would be is if it’s considered ‘work in progress’ or incomplete by some terms in the contract (imagine if it never passed ‘final inspection’ or something) and there are terms that say such incomplete items can only be destroyed. In that case the items could be taken off the table and not up for liquidation.

#7328 1 year ago
Quoted from Rensh:

Which enforces my idea is that ÄRA is starting this to get DP bankrupt and buy the IP for little money from the trustee. Sue them and drag the court case till they are broke policy.

What ip? Some board sets designed by Arja in the first place?

The license isn’t some fixed asset to auction off.

#7336 1 year ago
Quoted from Rensh:

IP on the software developed by DP. TBL hardware is useless without the software ....

TBL software is useless without the legal right to produce and sell the game.

TBL software can be recreated at will by competent people... but the ability to actually sell the game goes through universal... not Bankrupt DP.

#7349 1 year ago
Quoted from MPRAMONE:

If it ends up with ARA continuing this production ( if their right is proven to do so ) I doubt they care about software/code (in their mind it's $ all the way I guess) and won't get Koen to do it I think (Would Koen work for the company who got his DP team in this situation?? ) and it's a DP asset/creation all the way, nevermind Universal problems on top of that...
Production of more games by ARA on its own won't get done IMO ( Parts in ARA's building is/was not much so 10 games or so I would say, that's what was to be seen a year and a half ago when some of us visited the ARA site , so 40 ish boxed games and 6/8 games on the line plus parts here and there but nothing substantial and I doubt there were some other parts elsewhere in the building as the ARA site is a well organised one and for different companies , no way they have parts for the 200 games remaining to make ).
They can't order parts from vendors , PFs from Mirco and so on , no way they could do this , all they can do if they win the case is sell TBLs for 15K or more to try to make a fast earning (not really at that price IMO ) and get EAs upset and angry too for an extra mess on top of things..
Some would probably lawyer up against them , so ARA is still in a big mess whatever this TBL scenario gets to be..
If DP is all the way right as the info from a year ago is true , ARA had to swallow the extra 1000 $ not DP , but as this thread put up so much possible shit to light we still have to wait for the actual truth to be known.
Jaap and Barry (and DP team) are not dumb and dumber or else , they invented/designed and achived a great pinball machine of the best quality and of Bally/Williams level of play, a unique game of its kind, a real good game, something not to forget.
They need to get proved right and get their act together and I hope it gets better in the next months even if it looks blurry right now.
Hope ARA's lawyers will fruck this up so the Xytech games can continue their life after this and the EAs get their ARA warehouse hostage games for the price they already spent out there.
"What day is this ?"

I think you are high if you think ara wants to be in the pinball business as themselves

#7363 1 year ago
Quoted from Ballypinball:

They did want 51% share in DP , so wouldn't that indicate they wanted to be in the pinball business

Big difference between taking over an entity to see a 'in progress' project through to completion to get to your initial goals... vs restarting a several years dead project with no future beyond one release... to get into an industry known for it's high costs and poor margins.

ARA was in in deep.. the take-over pitch is a way to ensure their cut of the money and get them out of the hole. To suggest ARA have ambitions to take over DP assets and continue on as their own pinball company is fan-fiction IMO.

Contract Manufacturers do not exist because they couldn't come up with their own products... they exist because they know it's better to make the money on building other's people's ideas.

#7364 1 year ago
Quoted from brainmegaphone:

My guess is that it was all about ARA getting paid and nothing more but just a guess.

It's the one outcome that makes sense as a business. GET PAID

DP knew it would be the death of DP and why they didn't do it.

#7370 1 year ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

HD - This is for you. Everyone else, please get ready to down vote I hope I get at least 16 this time.
The 20 or 40 games at ARA wouldn't count as they were never "delivered" but lets work the numbers and see how ARA comes out.
30% delivery on a contract that was over due by over seven months leaves -70% due on the contract . Terrible numbers, one could say "failing" numbers or another legal term is "fundamental breach".
The amount owed was always the question. DP wanted the original price and ARA wanted the new price even though they did not meet the contract terms or
the second agreed terms. I don't blame DP, I wouldn't pay extra for services not received. If someone ever gives you bill for services you did not receive it's in your right not to pay it until they provide you a correct bill.

The problem is.. your entire line of thinking assumes ARA is in the wrong with their amount they say DP owed. That in itself is in dispute. DP could just be WRONG in what they assume they are responsible for.

The delays you like to keep pointing to may have been necessary to account for the redesign of the game.. not simply ARA failing to execute. This again, is another area DP likes to gloss over.. and may be part of the dispute in terms of who is responsible for those costs.

It's real easy to just say "we agreed to a price.. that's all we will pay" - but that may not be reality for the agreement they entered. And the complete lack of detail from DP doesn't even build the confidence they know the difference either way.

There is a reason DP didn't push to get those games released... they knew they were in the weaker spot.

#7379 1 year ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

It was more about delivery (or lack of) than money. DP offered more $ if the second schedule was met, and ARA couldn't do it.

This is again relying 100% on dp’s Version of the story. A story that is highly suspect. You are just using circular logic to support yourself. Try justifying how Ara would have done NONE of what they promised with the next game etc if They actually were in good standing with DP. This is what they do... build stuff...and they did nothing?? How do you explain that?

Quoted from EternalLife:

DP delivered 2 working models to ARA. That's huge, having an engineering model in front of them an accurate quote and timeline should have been easy. Most people go to CM's with ideas or drawings not working models.

Unless that model is impractical or unsuitable for production. Which is what happened here. They had to reengineer the thing because the prototypes weren’t built with manufacturing expertise and design required.

Quoted from EternalLife:

Numbers don't lie. If ARA was a competent CM the project would have wrapped up all 300 games in 7 months on budget and we wouldn't be here typing. To drag it out 14 months and only have 50 games delivered says a lot about who they are.

Do you know what dictates how much you scale your production rate? How much you spend. You fault ara for the speed, but you have no idea what dp had actually paid for in the program. Again you are taking one version of the story on blind faith and refuse to even litmus test what they said.

Even dp’s own estimates were incredibly low in terms of throughput- and that’s reflective of how much they were Spending on the program. Remember that initial tour where they showed the four!! stations were games were to be built?? That was pathetic.

Don’t use estimates like cgc or stern in production when they aren’t investing the same amount into that production capacity. It’s not some fixed value because ara is “this big”. It’s based on how much you are investing to the production needs. Inventory, space, labor.

#7397 1 year ago
Quoted from Rensh:

You all forgot who negotiated the license? Roger sharpe it is and he has been their liaison towards US all the time.
You think he is unaware of this and is prepared to set his reputation with US on the line for DP? I bet he is fully informed by DP and has informed US also. There was a license and there is a license.

No, he was brought in AFTER the fact to clean things up. And when have you last heard from Roger on the subject of his contract work with DP? Pretty sure it was all before the ARA blowup.. and nothing since. Please correct me if you've seen or had any correspondence with Sharpe on the DP game since the xytech plan came to light.

Sharpe doesn't have any reputation on the line... he did contract work and moved on.

#7400 1 year ago
Quoted from jpk1972:

flynnibus if i am not mistaken Roger Sharpe was at the Expo last October when DP introduced XYTECH for the first time. So what is the consensus for all of us EA's sit and hope for a miracle? Take some kind of action? I think what is going on here is a lot of back and forth conjecture, but nothing of real substance that is going to get us anywhere.

Thx for that.. I see he was off camera and acknowledged. Good to know he showed face at that stage.

It seems like your only action is to either
a) try to force some consumer protection action in the netherlands
b) wait out this next round of back and forth

I mean.. you've waited this long. I don't think #1 is going to be anything but a moral victory.. Collecting (let alone seeing an action through to completion) is likely far more frustration than its worth. Unless somehow people organize enough for representation with the local dutch.. then you get judgements against a broke company maybe?

Until someone knows how the xytech operation was to be funded.. it seems very dark that there might be any DP/ARA resolution that results in production from ARA

There are a lot of 'customer first' hopes out there.. but reality is they are usually the last I guess some people will just hope for liquidation of the ~40 sitting games.

#7406 1 year ago
Quoted from vdojaq:

No, it is 100% not odd to take ZERO salary the 1st couple of years for a new business.

You are also trying to use labor logic from the USA - things are different in europe with labor and compensation.

#7434 1 year ago
Quoted from Rensh:

So It was not that DP brought them a proto which they had to duplicate. They knew what they were supposed to built. Apparently they used a broken calculator

So the redesign of the boards and that huge stall before production was what exactly?

#7438 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

They may or may not have fucked up with the latter, but not the same, no. Total change of suppliers for pretty much all major parts except pf and P3ROC.

I'm talking about at the very start when they went in with ARA - the main boards were redesigned from the prototype game that DP revealed at Expo. The claim by the other poster was ARA was handed a 'ready to go' design so why did it take so long? When my memory says... they announced the ARA partnership, but they went back and redesigned the electronics and that was a large part of the delay between partnering with ARA and when production supposedly started. DP even said why they partnered with ARA was their R&D, not just their assembly abilities. And ARA even talked about their mechanical and engineering design work in the first factory tour -

DP announced their partnership with ARA in March of 2014. It wasn't until Feb 2016 that DP invited EAs to ARA where we saw production staging happening with the new game design.

And this photo from Oct 2014 - looks nothing like the final design they ended up with

pf (resized).jpg

#7457 1 year ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

agree but they did provide a reason at the time, lame or not, was that they didn't want to delay production by spending $$ and energy doing lawsuit vs walking away and finding another manufacturer.
all very undude like.

It didn't pass the sniff test then... it doesn't pass the sniff test now.

Didn't want to delay production? Like finding and spinning up a new CM for pinball would have been faster? We all know the answer to that, and history has proven it.

Didn't want to waste the money? Like starting over would be somehow be cheap?

And we all knew they couldn't just walk away from ARA and have nothing happen... yet somehow they really believed that? And now it's time to pay the piper...

#7464 1 year ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

Did you ever hire someone to remodel your kitchen? Half way through they stop showing up and go work on another contract. Do you spend your remaining money going after them to no avail, and your kitchen remains a disaster. Or do you spend your money on a new contractor, get your house back in order, then go after them later. Priorities I would say drove the decision, nothing more.

Hiring a remodeling company is still a two way obligation... not something you just free to walk away from. Same situation here.

Missing from the 'contractor failed us...' story being pushed is
- how does it take so long to figure out the work isn't being done? - doesn't pass the sniff test
- how come it takes so long for these disagreements in costs to be brought into view? doesn't pass the sniff test
- why make up a cover story to cover ARA's 'issues'? - again, doesn't pass the sniff test
- ARA completely fails to execute, yet their solution is to offer a buyout of DP?? - again, this doesn't make any sense
- ARA replaces management, and if execution was their fault, they don't simply complete what they were supposed to do? - again, doesn't make any sense

If the problem really was the ARA management, when the parent comes in to cleanup, if they really thought they were on the hook, why wouldn't they work to clean up their obligation?

All these data points point to not ARA failing to execute, but DP failing to know what they got into with ARA... and when the gratuity time expired.. they had no way to settle up with ARA.

Maybe ARA did fail to execute... but sounds like DP wasn't in the position to do anything but go along. And why ARA's parent didn't just fix their 'mistakes'. Contract wise, it sounds like DP was in the weaker spot.

#7507 1 year ago
Quoted from Brijam:

Using a 'sniff test' isn't a good idea in contract law or in trying to figure out how people or businesses work.

I think you missed the context of the post. The context is "someone taking Dutch Pinball's version of the story verbatium on what happened..."

Someone who is taking DP's tale of the tape as gospel of what happened. And my post was about scrutinizing that version of the story based on information available OUTSIDE of DP's direct telling of the story.

Hence the 'sniff test' - when someone tells you a tale, how well does it hold up to what you know from other sources, your experience, and what you know about the processes involved.

Quoted from Brijam:

Covering for your CM's mistakes I'd see as a natural response

Except they don't claim it was ARA's mistake - it was already the point where ARA had locked them down. Instead, DP creates some cover story.. which erodes the credibility of their story. The only reason their story got exposed was when people stopped taking it as gospel and went around DP and found the truth.

Quoted from Brijam:

Did they completely fail to execute? It seems to me that they executed but demanded more money /or else/.

If you listen to DP's version of the story - Yes, execution was the fault. (and in this case.. a poster who follows DP's story blindly) Remember also this poster was calling out why ARA couldn't get the games built on some schedule he keeps referencing... and claims ARA was handed a complete ready to go prototype. The entire premise of his claim is ARA are idiots and couldn't get the job done, so DP was right to not to pay. . And that's exactly what I'm calling to the mat.

#7525 1 year ago
Quoted from SergioJ:

Long time lurker in this thread with no skin in the game here other than friends who are stuck, but this seems to be a key point to me. It sounds as though the first group of already delivered games was never entirely paid for? Is that correct?

No one knows with authority one way or the other. The assumption is games were paid for, but there may have been other monies due... plus ara looking for new pricing.

It’s a he said, she said... for what the additional costs were for and when they started.

#7625 1 year ago

All I get from that exchange is... that in June of 2016 (remember.. first units were leaving the factory in APRIL 2016) they were still debating prices of units 1-100. Of which, some had already left the factory.

The rest about what the negotiating of new pricing is... still too vague to know who is agreeing to what really. It doesn't add any clarity at all to what DP had actually paid ARA or not... and what balances ARA was really looking for.

#7636 1 year ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

#17 a arrived at my door August 16. i don't think games were shipping in april ? at any rate the usa container hadnt gone out yet by june.


Either way... we're talking about monies still up in the air about product that was long since built.

#7658 1 year ago
Quoted from Rensh:

These emails clearly shows ARA did raise the pricing, did commit to DP to raise production capacity, did commit to order parts and all these they did (again) not do. The end of the line was met for DP.

What do you guys want to know more in order to unite and help DP ?

Timing and sequence of everything matters.... not cites pulled and viewed in isolation where convenient. You can't look at one decision in isolation without understanding what lead up to it, and what expectations were prior to it.

You keep pointing to 'not done' - yet not exploring the most important part of 'not done' - WHY
Is it a choice? Is it a reaction to something else? Is it a failure?

There are a lot of miles prior to that point that are NOT clear - that influence the point in time for that email. That's why people aren't just falling in behind you.

1 month later
#7869 1 year ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Also wondering how people can get DP to refund their full payment

if I had to guess... it's by working through the consumer protections in the netherlands directly. Instead of trying to lob threats over a vast ocean far away...

1 week later
#8160 1 year ago

If you think removing transparency makes things better... oh boy are you guys digging deeper.

#8189 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

The other news, regarding a potential out of court settlement. You could be optimistic and say that they have a good case - better than ARA prepared for - and that their lawyer did a good job of presenting both the defence and their counter suit. Perhaps they thought they'd be immediately pushed to bankruptcy, wouldn't be able to pay the lawyer, and made a miscalculation.

That's a lot of reading into the idea of having a meeting..

Every monetary dispute goes through such things - the idea of 'lets talk' doesn't mean a settlement is on the cusp.. or that ARA is reeling.

Just let it play out. There is almost no hope of details from such negotiations except "we are working together" vs "we are not talking"... and neither really locks in an outcome.

#8228 1 year ago
Quoted from BradKreisler:

So were the holidays that DP took in years past, paid holidays?

Most of Europe operates on these models... where there is a lull period in the summer where nearly everyone takes their vacation time. It's culture that is both practical, and historical. For instance, in Norway the daycare centers close... so the parents have to watch their kids... so they take off work during that time too. When everyone is doing it.. everyone has the expectation that work slows or goes to 'essential' only, etc.

Some countries the period is usually July, others it can be later like August. The shutdown period is paid vacation... because they get a lot of vacation time period. For instance, in the netherlands, the minimum vacation is 4x the # of days worked per week. So a full time 5 day a week person is guaranteed at least 20 vacation days, plus holidays.

If you are an employee of a company on salary... these kinds of things are the norm. Just because we don't operate the same in the US, don't expect everywhere else to operate the same.

2 months later
#8387 1 year ago
Quoted from colonel_caverne:

You mean ARA has not received a single euro/dollar from DP?
What/who is IP?

He’s saying that while Ara built the games... the software is still the intellectual property of dp.

But what would a bankrupt company do to fight it ? And I think there is something about them being finished goods being taken in ownership that would allow them to liquidate them.

3 months later
#8572 8 months ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

Totally understand that but lets be honest here - DP has broke the law. They have taken your money and many others and squandered it and not delivered the product you are contractually owed. There is no "grey area" here. Its pretty friggin clear. They have committed fraud. Period

No - it's not that black and white.

And the rest of your post suggests you really need to go and get caught up on where things are... vs throw around absolutes as the noob to the situation.

#8576 8 months ago
Quoted from Dkjimbo:

Ok so enlighten us

I'm not wasting my time repeating stuff that you could simply go back and learn for yourself.

They didn't take money fraudulently
They failed to deliver... and that alone does not make it fraud
You'd have go through all the actions - which again - are not black and white.

If you want a slam dunk on paper.. look at Skit-B... that should be a slam dunk, yet that is domestic (vs international) and even that didn't get anyone off the pot to file fraud charges.

1 month later
#8676 7 months ago

what if it's a 'half truth'?

What if ARA is selling the hostage games... while the lawsuit between ARA & Dutch is not resolved? Both sides could be right there.. and the news could also be coming from different directions.

#8681 7 months ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Any compromise has to be court approved long before any action can take place. Those machines are frozen assets until the courts say otherwise.

Having not read the court papers.. nor being involved... I can't say definitively one way or the other. But that sounds suspiciously like assumptions..

ARA sued DP - not the other way around. Why would ARA's own assets be frozen when a resolution could simply be "you owe us contractually obligated money" or money for other services?

#8688 7 months ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Congratulations, Flynn, you've just characterize the basis of the lawsuit.

Point being.. the item in contention is a monetary thing... not necessarily unique items. If ARA were compelled to owe delivery of a TBL game.. it doesn't
necessarily have to be one that was built back in 2017. It's an obligation they could fulfill many different ways. It could also simply be resolved with $$.

Obviously handing over a previously built example is easier if it were on hand - but that is not basis for freezing an asset. There are important distinctions between items ARA did for themselves, or things they did on behalf of someone else. If I sell you a promise of building you a house... and we go into a dispute.. you don't freeze the toilet I bought and still have sitting on my warehouse shelves. I just owe you a toilet or some agreed upon equivalent if I lost.

There might have been basis to freeze the disputed assets if DP sued earlier on for non-execution or breech of contract... but again, DP didn't sue.

#8696 6 months ago
Quoted from Mr68:

A toilet analogy instead of a cargument? - Good luck with your typical razzle dazzle response. I had a lapse and forgot how you are.

Next time I'll use unicorns and daydreams... that seems to be the level of credible you like to deal in.

#8697 6 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Unless Universal also granted ARA the right to sell Lebowski branded pinball games, this toilet analogy is a turd.

Ability to sell the game is a different angle entirely... but not really relevant to the point contested (that the assets are locked up in the court case). ARA sued DP for monies owed and probably breach of contract terms. Things that not contingent on what assets ARA has or not. ARA's benches, tools, and everything else used to make the games aren't going to be frozen over a dispute to get paid for their work. For the assets to be locked up, DP would have had to make some claims that they're rightfully theirs. Which we know they just tried to walk away from...

#8701 6 months ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Where the hell did I ever say that!

You even quoted yourself saying it... in that same post.
"Those machines are frozen assets until the courts say otherwise." - https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-big-lebowski-preorder-club/page/174#post-4892140

Quoted from Mr68:

You know, the pinball machines that you believe for some ridiculous reasons are ARA assets that they could just simply sell

They are ARA property. Incomplete work done by ARA for a customer. That the customer has not paid for.

If ARA runs a bunch of PCBs for a customer order and that customer bails - The customer doesn't own the PCBs. They are inventory that the manufacturer built. This project has the extra complexities of who owns the IP, and the fact there is licensed material involved complicating the transactions... but doesn't change how simple law works. Having the IP doesn't make the goods yours.

What are you gonna say now? No more MaufacturingARGUMENTS because they don't line up with your passion ones?

Let's be truthful Kim - Do you know the terms that the manufacturing done by ARA was done under? No
Do you know who really owns the intellectual property of all the parts of this project? No
Do we know ARA was in the position of authority to hold all the parts and works in progress? YES
And why would that be? Because ARA likely structured it all so THEY own all the work they did.. especially since they were fronting it.

Do you have any citable source that says there is a court order that these assets are to be frozen until ARA's own lawsuit is resolved? I'll wait.

#8704 6 months ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

Plain and simple, IF DP could sell the hostage games they would. If ARA could sell the hostage games, they would.

Not if your ambitions are bigger than the games themselves. Remember, ARA went into this with the idea of making many many many more units... and a ton of R&D and investment. This isn't just about 40ish pieces of finished goods. Keeping the goods is part of the leverage against DP and in future court issues... that's probably more why the goods have stayed in place. Plus there is the problem around the multiple IP holders... but remember DP doesn't own the TBL IP... so they aren't the only avenue to address the licensing challenges. We don't know what kind of agreements DP entered with ARA to secure the original deal.

Point being... there can be many reasons why the games have stayed - don't assume one answer is the only possible answer.

#8706 6 months ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

Dude, you are wrong. Those games are frozen by the courts.

Got a cite for that from the court proceedings or filings?

Don't forget... The courts only got involved when ARA brought them in... way later.

#8708 6 months ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

The court rulings are somewhere here in pinside (I read them at some point), but I don't care enough to search for them because it's stupid.

So the answer is no...

And we're back to my original point. It's an assumption not a known.

#8720 6 months ago
Quoted from dannylite:

ARA "couldn't" care less if they (never) made another TBL.

Yup Captain Hindsight - that doesn't mean they don't want to recover $$ for their efforts.

Customers only think in terms of the games built... the business knows there is more than that at stake.

#8721 6 months ago
Quoted from Beechwood:

The court rulings are somewhere here in pinside (I read them at some point), but I don't care enough to search for them because it's stupid.

It's because they aren't here...

No one has posted or even relayed the actual details of the ARA lawsuit against DP (if someone has, please share and prove me wrong... I want to know). What their claims are or what even what their desired resolutions are. If you have something, please share.

#8722 6 months ago
Quoted from Mr68:

I forgot to mention how Flynnibus always has to have the last word.

says the guy who quotes himself to add a new post in to just add a jab in... you're hysterical.

2 months later
#8865 4 months ago
Quoted from zaphX:

So, let me make sure I am understanding this properly...
- Original purchaser paid full price, got nothing
- You're offering original purchaser $1000 for his/her slot
- If the games ever DO materialize, you get a $1000 Big Lebowski
- OP gets $1000 and cuts his losses
If that is what is going down, I might be persuaded to buy a slot myself. I am curious to know the details on how the slot changes hands though. What happens if the games ship and the OP decides to keep the slot after all, for example?

Many people just had a deposit of 1k with cointaker

#8873 4 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Aren’t those $1k cointaker deposits fully refundable to this day? Why sell a spot at face value when you could just refund it for the same amount with less hassle? Only way the transaction makes sense is if people are selling fully paid (and nonrefundable due to insolvency) EA spots at a deep discount.

they are refundable.. but this would be a way to get inline... for a line that is no longer open. Hence why it's kinda low risk... as it's just cointaker

1 month later
#8939 3 months ago
Quoted from highdef:

How is that 49% ownership looking right about now?

From two years ago (May 2017):

"In this week’s update of Dutch Pinball and the production of The Big Lebowski™ Pinball we want to share a condition from NiVoGe. When they invest in this project and let ARA start up the production process they demand 51% of the shares of Dutch Pinball. We are discussing what are the pro’s and con’s with our consultant and as soon as we know if this is acceptable or not, we will let you know.
We will send out another update next week.
Kind regards,
Barry & Jaap"

That assumes 'getting the EA games built' was their top priority.. which clearly it was not.

#8941 3 months ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Along with my accountants I am working on a prognosis/forecast how long it will take to do this and our first calculations are very positive. At this point I can't give the exact planning yet, but as soon as I do, I will communicate this

So... it's all hinging on DP funding everything up front. We've heard this song before...

#8942 3 months ago

Thx for sharing Kim

#8954 3 months ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

Add to this mess the lawsuit by secret group. Once some real assets are collected by DP by selling hostage games ... Will DP pay off ARA debt in full? Will DP pay lawsuit folks off and only part of what they owe ARA? Jackie Treehorn says DP also owes money to suppliers and vendors all over town. Won't they be entitled to a slice of this income?

Why would DP be allowed to sell games before paying off ARA? That's the rub... ARA needs to be paid. Why would ARA settle for anything less up front? They already have the judgement, they already have the goods. A settlement from DP just is a quicker path to get real money instead of having to deal with further bankruptcy and liquidation problems. So incentive to give up some $ to get it done and over. Not incentive to fund an underwater operation.

ARA is just one of the creditors against DP. Barry wants to paint it as 'light at the end of the tunnel' - but fails to address the #1 problem. WHERES THE MONEY LEWBOWSKI?

Sure selling the 40 games to new money is an asset he would have to lure in an investor... but they need the money up front. Nothing has really changed here... except the potential to get the ARA monkey off their back. With that main creditor off their back... maybe someone is crazy enough to lend them money.. and fund a new batch of games via the china builder. But again.. all that takes money.

Before: DP needed money to pay off ARA to free up the games and reach a settlement to move onto the future
Now: DP needed money to pay off ARA to free up the games and reach a settlement to move onto the future

#8965 3 months ago
Quoted from Yelobird:

Depending on what Paying off ARA means the only painful (to EA buyers) is to tell ARA we have 40 12k deposit buyers with funds in an escrow account through Coin Taker for 480K. Use that to hopefully pay the dept and Pray there is enough to continue this whimsical adventure of how Not to do business.

You can be sure paying off ARA is more than just the 40 completed games. There are parts, unpaid work, and probably contingencies around lost future work, etc. But what the number ARA would settle for... well, that is between the parties.

The scenario where a bunch of buyers all get together, and are willing to pay DP, so they can pay ARA, and then get all the stuff down the system.. is a tough road. Don't think for a minute DP hasn't taken notice of the avg selling price of these games or other 'high end titles'. They would want big big money for these games. Then they would use that money to pay off who ever fronted the ARA 'loan' and hope to fund new production.

More than likely is rather someone to bankroll the ARA payoff, for the position to sell the games at a profit over some monies returned to DP.

Imagine someone like a ballypinball or some of the other money people behind HWP swooping in, fronting money, just to sell the pins.

But it all hinges on how much the ARA payoff really would be.

#8967 3 months ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

The funding plan will never get off the ground, nor will any future manufacturing. But as for selling off the assets ... ARA will be listed on the receiving account. Uncertain whether as a single business or a joint signatory, but no money will leave that account without ARA's approval. Do you think ARA will be sympathetic to other Vendors or EA's owed money? No, therefore 100% of money collected selling hostage games/parts will go directly to ARA.
Once ARA has been paid in full, they will instruct their lawyers to send a letter to the courts requesting the original judgement be voided and a package to DP's lawyers. Inside the box will be a severed middle finger with dark green polish and a letter pinned to the knuckle warning DP not to contact them again. That's aboot as subtle as waking up to a severed horse head in bed. You want a severed horse head? I'll get you one today by 5pm
When asked about the future of TBL pinball and what the settlement means to Early Achievers, Willy Wonka said it best
[quoted image]

You are rediculously hard to follow... you switch back and forth between scenarios mid thought.

"funding won't get off the ground" -- then follow up with "once ARA has been paid in full". These are not sequential thoughts!

You're suggesting ARA will let the assets go, so they can be sold, before ARA actually gets paid. Why would they do that? They already have a judgement against DP - DP has almost no assets themselves and are underwater. Anything leaving ARA without being paid up front is basically asking to go further in the hole to DP. Your whole 'joint account' theory still hinges on the idea DP is stable enough to not just take more liability and fold up.

Pretty sure by now ARA knows exactly what they can and can't do with the assets... with DP alive or liquidated. You and I do not.

#8984 3 months ago

EAs who want a game should just one of these at the new price. Then you have a game.... and can deal with your "owed" game as a separate transaction and owed later. Then sell that... or just accept that loss at a later time.

#8990 3 months ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Who would go for this? Nobody should buy the 40 games unless they are the 40 individuals that purchased the game originally

Sorry, but thinking the whole world is gonna hold fast on that white knight stuff is fantasy. People who want the game will pay.

Here there are real games ready... and some unknown future of games will ever be made again. You are given the option to buy one... the only thing that will hold people back is ensuring their funds won't disappear.

If cointaker is willin to act as that escrow... these games will be sold by the weekend.

#9024 3 months ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

That is so wrong. We are not talking conceptually, it's literally like buying stolen goods. I am sure DP won't tell the prospective buyers "Oh by the way, this game was already sold but we are reselling it to pay off our debt, and eventually we'll get back to the first owner, thanks very much..."

It’s not. DP has commitments... they have failed to deliver no doubt. But the same thing could have happened before (and has with other companies too).

It sucks for EAs... but it’s the reality of buying into a company making a bunch of promises instead of goods on hand. You are at their mercy... and there is little room for moral high ground in these sink or swim kind of situations.

Dp showed years ago that making EAs whole was not priority one. This is not a shock anymore...

#9055 3 months ago
Quoted from seenev:

So people put in a deposit at a lower price point and are now being told to pay more or they don't get a game?

It’s not hard dude. 40 games are being sold for 12.5k. Get in if you want to get in.

Presumably this 40 number is more than the number of pre orders cointaker had... so if you were a pre order customer they have games to offer to their buyers and they have their original deposit money still.

This is not “delivering your preorder” - these are games for sale at this price point.

#9059 3 months ago
Quoted from CoinTaker:

You can think shame on CoinTaker, but it was we bring the games to the US and offer to people who want them or they go overseas.
We are not making a huge profit on this in anyway shape or form. We are simply trying to offer customers who want this title the option to purchase
and are hoping that Barry can find an investor and get this back up and running...By the way, I am one of the EA holders as well and have even purchased
some of the EA's place in line and I am not keeping any of these games for myself. I am out the funds as well if this never takes off for several spots.

Any news on parts as part of the deal? Since the company can’t support the games at this point... what’s the backup plan for the inevitable DoA games you’ll have to face?

#9078 3 months ago
Quoted from RobF:

There are two paths;
1) Boycott these 40 and no one gets the games. They go in the garbage. DP goes bankrupt. 0% chance EAs will get what they paid for.
2) Sell these 40 at the inflated price, settle with ARA and there is something greater than zero chance EA games are built before the end of time.
That doesn't mean you are wrong in your prediction, but really it is the only possibility left for pre-paid folks.

You are missing the dubious middle path...

1.5 - the games get sold, ARA closes its settlement with DP... thus releasing Barry from their largest, native claim against them. Now Barry can fade into the shadows and retain his IP to sell or license to someone else as a revenue stream to recoup past losses.

I do think this “wash his hands...” approach by selling the existing games is the path that rights Barry the most. If he further pursues the future? That seems like the longer bet

#9102 3 months ago
Quoted from Aurich:

The difference between Alien and TBL is there are some 100-200 Aliens out in the wild, as opposed to the handful of TBLs, so there's simply more scale to the resources.

It's not about scale - it's about the individuals involved or motivated. None of the research or sourcing of new bits was done on the premise of break-even number of units or sales to justify the work. In fact, very few of the post-HWP projects done to make Alien more viable were even sold period.

Obviously scale helps - but motivated individuals is the mandatory step 1.

#9116 3 months ago
Quoted from JodyG:

The x-factor here is how many parts are available at ARA to possibly assemble more machines from stock on hand? American Pinball could possibly contract assemble some of these with somewhat minimal cash outlay from DP.

The ARA setup was small scale... It's not like they would have had full parts for hundreds of machines on hand.

And who wants to spin up production (except in a boutique/homebrew setup) for just a few dozen pins? Such an investment of time and resources needs scale to work. Someone would have to tool up the parts and supply chain to fill the BOM for a lot of games.

Unless you go the Gene C plan of 'just build as many games as you can from this pile of parts'.. and we saw how long that took too.

#9117 3 months ago
Quoted from seenev:

How much will they be worth when they don't work and no replacement parts are available?

Ask the alien owners.

The game is built on technology that is common place - not stuff from mars. If there is a will - there will be a way. Especially if Barry wants his legacy to succeed.

#9132 3 months ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

So unless Cointaker is supplying games to Nitro, this makes it sound like there are more than 40 sitting in that warehouse. Assuming that DP is being straight with their distributors, of course.

shipping from Europe was through CT in the original scheme... see https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/the-big-lebowski-preorder-club/page/52#post-3460909

Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

Tommy with Nitro has said that all the TBLs come to North America via Coin Taker's location so it's not a problem for US buyers to purchase one from him and get it shipped from Coin Taker.

My wager is the 40 games are being shipped via container to CT... some are allocated to Nitro, the rest to CT.