(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)

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#4206 2 years ago
Quoted from Rockytop:

I was at the talk at TPF and I'm in on TBL (1,000 with Nitro that I'm asking for a refund for) What I think I heard is the same as a previous poster.
- Jaap said he talked to a lawyer and the lawyer advised him that the only ones who win in situations like these are the lawyers and he advised them to wait it out. So I think Dutch is waiting it out to see if ARA softens their position.
- Jaap said the new company wants to see how they do with a small batch run of BOP and then they will work together to produce more games...more BOP and TBLs.
I'm guessing the BOP price is what it is because Dutch wants to me able to use that to offset the cost of getting the TBLs out and not ask for any more money from people that are paid in full. I hope it works out and they sell enough BOP 3.0s to make it all happen. I think it's a long shot.

Think about that statement.....has anyone ever known a lawyer to advise against litigating and telling someone to wait? Sounds more like a stall tactic. I am betting if you dig into this really deep, you will find DP is not the victim they play.

#4208 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

You've obviously never met a Danish lawyer.

OK, you have me there....but I did have a Danish with a lawyer once....he made me buy......does that count? lol

#4294 2 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

For those of you saying the profits from BOP 3.0 aren't enough to get the rest of the TBL made, what makes you think so? 25 BOP, $12,500 per machine = $312,500.
250 remaining TBL with $1,000 increase = $250,000. The cost of each BOP to make is probably $2.5K so that's your remaining $62,500. Totally feasible.

And if the amount needed to get this moving again were just 1K per machine, the buyers would have already been hit up for the cash...especially for those already completed. The 1K figure is what DP originally said, but they have also shown they can't be trusted. There is a lot more to this story, and my guess is there is a lot more owed. ARA probably delivered a lot of machines on faith and a promise of money that never came.

#4298 2 years ago
Quoted from eggbert52:

That is 100% pure speculation on your part and you know it.

Sure it is....I will willingly admit that with no argument. Pretty much this whole thread is speculation. But stand back and look at this from a distance and it makes perfect sense. 1K will not bail these machines out or either ARA or DP would have already went down that road. There is a lot more to this story and you are only hearing one side of this from folks that have already been caught lying to you. How can you trust anything they say?

#4343 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I wish everyone would stop pretending that money is the only issue here.
ARA stood beside DP a year ago and laid out a production schedule that they immediately fell behind on, and got progressively more behind with ... seemingly whilst asking for more money.
Assuming the ARA representative who spoke was not an imposter, there is clearly more at play than you or others are willing to acknowledge.

I think you are mis-reading what I said. I am agreeing with you....as I said multiple times, there is a lot more to this story than any of us know at this point.

#4379 2 years ago
Quoted from Pinbally_1968:

once more...and goodnight..
forget about lawsuits, ARA, businessmodels, contracts beteen CM and DP, you will never know.Its none of your business. You all are in the same boat. Wait and see and maybe you get your machine. Dudes like us who are on the boat, it may sink or not. Dudes like me and you will not make a difference, it is and was our own risk.
Standing by DP is all whats left, so try to be possitive and keep supporting them is all you can do.
BTW I do have a TBL at home.

And maybe you are speculating it will increase in value if the rest of the dudes don't get theirs? lol In cases like this, one should never just shut up and wait things out.....that is a good way to be at the end of the line when/if there is anything to recover. Buyers should be doing everything they can to protect their interests at this point. If DP could be trusted, it might be different, but the only known facts are really who has money in this game, and the fact they were lied to by their supplier.

#4454 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Wow. A little good news and all of the opinion experts with no skin in the game suddenly go quiet. Go figure.

First off, I don't know what you expect from an open forum. People are going to comment, and if the requirement for each thread were actually having "skin in the game", then this would be an awfully empty place. I am sure you have commented on a thread you had no physical connection to somewhere along the line.

Other than a couple of folks being stupid, I don't think there was a lot of shaming going on. Some were offering valid suggestions. I think the lack of posts are people waiting to see what happens. This is a bad situation for everyone involved, and also for the industry as a whole. I can't think of anyone that does not want to see you all get your completed pins, and the latest bit of news is a good sign that maybe something will move off of center in the coming days. As I said, there are always going to be people with stupid and insensitive comments, but those were far into the minority of what was posted. I have no way to quantify this, but consider that maybe, just maybe, all of the posts and industry support contributed to the changes that took place. A few disgruntled customers discussing something are nowhere near as powerful as a large chunk of the industry voicing their opinion. And if you think DP and ARA don't pay attention to the forums, I would bet you are wrong.

I am sure I will get blasted for this because I have no TBL on order....but my interest is seeing you all get what you paid for, and another company making it in this industry. We need the variety and competition.

#4521 2 years ago

It will never happen, but viewing the new contract would probably explain a lot of the recent events and statements, and might even put some of the rumor and suspicion to rest.

4 weeks later
#4689 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

They could be acting entirely in their own interests. But has it occurred to either you or Mr. Brandes, that with the current state of things, if talks with ARA fail, the whole thing could have to be shuttered?
They may or may not have enough money to pay for the mandated number of TBLs to be finished, but if the company is shut down, they almost certainly won't have enough cash to refund everyone in full.
If that is so, granting anyone a refund now is COMPLETELY against the interests of the vast majority of their customers with skin in this, because that would then mean that the majority of people would get less money back. It would be less fair and less equitable.
Can't blame Bill for wanting to protect his own interests, but those interests aren't necessarily conversant with everyone else's, as above.
Again, I'm not claiming this is what's happening, but some of you would do well to realise that this is potentially more complicated than you seem to think.

There is also one possibility that folks need to consider as well, and I will admit it is a fiction born of my years as a detective, but the possibility does exist no matter how small.

ARA supposedly has several machines built, but they cannot sell them themselves due to the licensing. Now mind you, this is pure and absolute speculation, and if this were to happen, then DP would be a pile of crap......but what is to stop them from agreeing in the negotiations to have DP sell the completed machines to completely new buyers, therefore raising new capital to pay ARA what they are owed plus a few extra bucks for DP, and then the two walk away leaving all pre-paid investors holding the bag? ARA doesn't want machines in their warehouse they cant do anything with, and DP supposedly doesn't have money to get them out of hock. Barring any influx of outside cash, someone has to generate money somewhere, and the only thing that no one wants to keep are the games themselves. Even if they were to get the 50 completed games to the pre-paid customers, I don't think they would satisfy all of the debt, so whether you default on 1 or 50 is still a default. I am not trying to stir anything here, but there is always that possibility these guys are going to take the money and run....it has happened before.

I have no idea of international law, but if this were happening in the US, I would strongly advise those involved to seek a court order that bars the parties from disposing of any property until the whole matter is settled.

2 weeks later
#4781 2 years ago
Quoted from NeilMcRae:

DP are out of business, ARA know it and quite rightly want to ensure that the money they use to build supply chain is going to generate the right return. DP need to choose to do this, or it will be bankruptcy...

It's either that, or they need to find another investor willing to buy in for less than 51%

#4785 2 years ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

And why would an investor do that and take the risk of not have a controlling interest?

Who knows the motivation of an imaginary investor? I was just saying they need to find someone with cash who is willing to take a smaller percentage if they don't want to give ARA their 51%. Maybe they can find some rich widow that needs a tax break, or some dude that has more money than he knows what to do with and who really likes pinball. Stranger things have happened, and all it would take is for someone to convince an investor they will make money even at a smaller ownership percentage. I am sure there are millions of bad financial decisions made every day.......

#4789 2 years ago
Quoted from RTR:

I don't know all the details but percentage wise, it's not a bad deal, DP needs to take it. It's really their only hope. They need someone to take a lot of the operational aspects off their hands. They can focus on sales, creative aspects, and future projects knowing that they are backed financially and operationally. If they had done this long ago we would all have our TBLs and our Pulp Fictions by now.
Gary Stern has the same kind of deal (although he probably owns a lot less than 49%) and he seems to do ok.

That is a dangerous proposition. The decision makers then would basically be concentrating on profitability with really no responsibility or presence in the pinball market. They could stagnate the code, cut corners to make a cheaper product, etc. Of course the opposite could be true as well....they could make things much better, but my guess is you will get less for your dollar. It is a huge risk to give away 51% of anything as you are then basically along for the ride. Now if you can get two or three additional smaller investors and split up the stock so no one has a blind majority...then your risk would be easier to take.

#4841 2 years ago
Quoted from unigroove:

.3. Let's take a look at this from a different perspective: Why would ARA be interested in 51% of a broke company?.

Maybe because they have a ton invested in parts and development, and they aren't willing to just write all of that off. 51% allows them to call the shots....what to make, how to make it, and where they get shipped. They will try to turn this around and generate as much cash as they can and use up their stock of parts. If it works, they are the savior. If it doesn't, they can liquidate the company and get 51% of any assets that might exist. This is precisely why sugar-daddy investment firms demand control.....they are not doing it because they know more about the product. They do it because they assume the risk and can determine when it is time to cut losses and dump everything to get whatever they can back.

2 years later
#9165 3 months ago

I'll admit I just scanned most posts as I can't keep up here, but anyone that thinks more games will ever be made by DP is crazy. I do feel bad for JAAP, but his former company is gone and people need to accept that.

ARA doesn't want these games in a warehouse, so I am sure they have worked out some sort of split with DP to get these games and parts sold. All of the claims about generating revenue to make the original buyers whole is pure crap. It has proven to be an unsustainable model time and time again. It is a pure cash grab, and DP needs a good cover to get dealers to purchase the games and to keep the original buyers from throwing burning dung on their door step. They have shown time and time again they cannot be trusted.

Now with that said, I am amazed at the rush of people to buy these games knowing others put out good money for them. I don't know if the original buyers would have any legal remedies, but they should surely be exploring the possibility. And while it is entirely legal for others to rush up to the sales counter....just ask yourselves how you would feel if the roles were reversed and you were one of the early buyers. Horrible Karma at the least.

Mostly though, I am really disappointed in the dealers and the attitude displayed regarding the situation. They know full well people got taken for a lot of money on these games, yet they are willing to just overlook that part of the issue and act like it doesn't matter. Aren't many of the early buyers your customers too? I am (or used to be) a huge fan of Cointaker.....but when you were asked about the early buyers and just replied that they would need to take that up with DP is unacceptable. This is a small industry, and small group that is like a family, and to just discard people that were wronged to "keep these games from going to the European market" is pure BS. It is a cash grab all of the way around....and the claims of "we aren't making much" are BS as well. "Much" is a relative term and really says nothing.

I was not an early buyer....I would have loved to have one of these games at one point, but I would never touch one now unless they were made completely by a different company. This whole deal stinks to high heaven, and I hope somehow the early buyers get made whole in all of this, but it won't be with any new startup of production. That will NEVER happen. There isn't enough money in 200 games to get that going, let alone 40.

All of this seems like going through your grandma's purse for cash after she passed away. Horrible....but I doubt anyone is going to lose any sleep over it. It is only pinball after all.

#9169 3 months ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Nothing personnel, strictly business. DP was a "business". ARA is not a pinball business, CT is a business that sells pinball machines.
And if anyone thinks DP, ARA, or CT is going to closely inspect these machines at anytime is nuts. I have no doubt CT is telling buyers AS-IS. No Warranty, ZERO support.
The pinball community will have to address issues, much like Alien.

I hate it when people use that term..."strictly business", like it somehow excuses us from having any human compassion. In the end, we are going to be remembered/judged not by our business, but how we are as a human. People can do whatever they want and my opinion is just that....an opinion. But I for one will loose a ton of respect for those stepping over the early buyers.

As a medic, I once worked a case of a heart attack at a blackjack table. The woman fell off of her chair and the casino was crowded. As we were treating this woman, people were placing bets over the top of us because....hey, it was an open seat. I guess that was nothing personal either, but it was just as disgusting.

#9170 3 months ago
Quoted from cpr9999:

Remember these are not DP assets to make EA whole. By court order they are ARA assets, so they have zero agreement with EA (as harsh as that sounds). Remember court order, ARA owns the assets. If your ARA how to you recover part of your lost money in this - best option is to sell them off (and DP was probably the quickest avenue to help them - although probably very uncomfortable agreement after court ruling).
Maybe ARA should have went direct to CT and cut DP out.

Makes no difference. If folks would stop tripping over themselves to lay down 12 grand for these, maybe ARA would be able to work something out with the early buyers. But DP having a hand in this and making one dollar is pure criminal in my books.

#9180 3 months ago

No doubt that is true, but not everyone is so forgiving. One person here and one person there...at some point it can add up, and with this small of a community we aren't talking thousands to make an effect. All I can control is me...…..

#9207 3 months ago
Quoted from cpr9999:

It is not just as disgusting - that is much worse - it is a human life. Losing $$$$ sucks, but not potential human life loss.

I wasn't referring to the loss of human life. I was referring to people's greed...and yes, just as disgusting in my books.

#9209 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Why would people want to boycott the people that stood alongside the EAs, took their blows as well, and have weathered through with their customers on this, and two other 'startup' blowups? CT has done FAR more for buyers than you want to give them credit for now in this narrow view you have.
This is a failure - not everyone will be made whole. But you shouldn't piss on someone because they are trying to find some middle ground instead of holding onto 'all or nothing' fantasies.

Unfortunately, that middle ground means Barry is now making money off the same games twice. He is not doing this out of the goodness of his heart...he is either clearing his debt with ARA or putting money in his pockets, or more likely both. This is why I have a problem with how this is going down. If this were a typical company failure, and ARA was selling off assets, then I wouldn't have near as much of an issue. But this guy takes people's money for games that are never delivered and then gets to sell them again to someone else. The distros know this and dont care. If any money he makes goes back to original buyers, then that would be a step in the right direction, but we all know that isn't going to happen.

#9214 3 months ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

Barry has a lot of things to get lined up and will then tell us more..

Tell you more what? He is a proven liar, so why would you believe anything he has to say? Amazing how hope and greed can cloud common sense.

#9226 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Dp “making money” is the least likely scenario mentioned here yet. Get out of psst obligations? Yes. Maybe get some cash to do things? Maybe yes. But all of that is offset by the years of effort with no new money. They are way in the red never to come out. The thing that should bother people IMO is if DP set themselves up to be able to walk away freely after this arrangement.
The fixation on “my game..” etc is just personal frustration. First shipped or last, whatever... the games are not “yours” until it is shipped to you. What matters is DP has not fulfilled its obligations to the prebuyers... and getting to that still seems like a long hard path.
The optimist at least says we have a light at the end of the tunnel on getting the ara anchor removed... and the persistence of DP to not just go away.

I don't think we are that far apart on what we are saying. I agree the machines don't belong to any one person until they arrive at the door step. My comment about "making money" was relative in the fact that he is getting 'something' out of the deal, otherwise he would not be involved. ARA won the court case, so they got to keep the assets in consideration for what was owed them. That part is over...once the judgment was handed down, the assets belonged lock stock and barrel to ARA. We don't know who contacted whom, but Barry would like us to believe he reached out to ARA to make a deal to "generate some cash flow". I believe that part of the deal is probably true. Think about it.....once the court case was over, he could just walk away scott free, but he knows there is money still to be made and some bones to pick. ( I do not know corporate laws in other countries, but I would assume the officers of DP have a similar protection as in the U.S. and the corporation would be liable for the debt) He strikes a deal to help ARA get rid of machines and parts they have no use for, because he knows people will be lining up to buy the machines. he has the rights to the IP, so maybe the sales have to happen through him? (just a guess). By his own accord, he is doing this to generate revenue...he says to use as seed to start more manufacturing. Anyone that believes that will ever happen is a fool....there is not enough money in what is left to start up anything, else it would have already been done. Yes, Barry is out lots of money and time, but it was his business that he mis-managed and ultimately ran into the ground. He and ARA will sell off the assets for some coin, and you can bet there is a negotiated split that will compensate Barry somehow...so maybe you can't point to a specific game that is being sold twice, but he is making money off the same assets twice, because now they currently belong to ARA. Distros know these games will be hot, and it is a chance to make some coin on their end, so they could care less who is out the money so long as they get something back. I have no issue with them getting their piece of the pie....I do have a problem with them facilitating Barry doing the same. he should be the last person to make ANYTHING.

#9230 3 months ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I think you're overstating here. We don't know the scope of the court judgement. The judgement does not necessarily include what the settlement of the debt is... it is more likely a judgement simply over the disputed contract terms and obligations. Meaning, the outcome is a determination of the obligations, not necessarily the settlement of HOW that obligation will be met. result being "Yes DP, your arrangement with ARA means you do owe XYZ per game, and ABC for other work, ++ ". That's why Barry (in his tale) says they made an arrangement (outside the court) with ARA to settle up. He is saying they came up with a way between them to settle DP's obligation to ARA (the obligation confirmed by the court ruling).
So, we assume after the court case DP is not 'free to walk away' - but instead now have a confirmation from the court that they are in serious debt to ARA vs the previous state where the amount owed was in disagreement. So the aftermath is... DP has no more recourse to disagree with ARA, so in huge debt, and no goods to sell to raise funds to pay off ARA or fund new production.
So very easily DP at that point could just goto bankruptcy.. and ARA would have their abandoned goods to deal with and try to recoup their losses. But the optimist can say instead of just rolling bankruptcy, and Barry walking away, they've found this settlement that at least ensures the previous games are getting out.

I concur... the sales price is the one that puzzles me the most. Because by the time you take CT's cut, shipping and total obligation to ARA.. how is there sizable amount of money left for DP to fund anything.
To play optimist... at least now the idea of getting someone else involved as an investor has a -better- probability (not good, simply a relative term ) than it did previously as the big ARA problem is no longer looming. So funding and history is still a problem for DP.. but at least it's not Funding, History, and Planet-Killer Liability suit.

My issue is with the way you present this.. as if it's the distros and Barry trying to make some quick bucks and pocket stuff before the hammer falls. These folks are not grabbing scraps in some greed fashion... they are recovering --something-- out of huge losses.
The pure 'greed' angle would have been to wash their hands of it all and walk away ages ago. One could argue if motives are selfish or not, and who is #1 in their view.. but suggesting they are making out in these deals I think is a very slanted view.

It's all speculation for any of us here...so there is no right answer unless the court decision and actual agreements are laid out here in front of us. You are placing a lot of weight with the things Barry has said, and you could be right. I guess all of the years as a cop and investigating and watching these type of things go down maybe has jaded me, but Barry has repeatedly lied, so I put absolutely no weight in anything he has claimed. You yourself even question his claims as to the revenue he will generate to start production again...we all know that is a false claim, so why would we believe ANYTHING the guys says? How do we know he even has an agreement? has anyone ever seen the judgment other than Barry's reference to it? Do we even know it really exists? there is a lot of opinion riding on a few comments and a sketchy letter.

But as I said, it is pure speculation for either of us. And I understand your point about suggesting people are "making out" in these deals, and that is not necessarily what I am saying. I don't think there is enough money here for anyone to be "making out" on the deal. But make no mistake...there is a financial incentive for Barry to go through all of this work, and there is a financial incentive for the Distros to grab these games and sell them. It is not about anyone "doing the right thing" else the early folks would be paid first. This is a financial arrangement, plain and simple, and I have a problem with Barry making 1 dollar off of these games until the early folks are reimbursed. And for those that are saying he isn't making money, debt is only getting cancelled, etc.....I don't care if the guy is getting a blowjob out of the deal....he should never be allowed to walk away from this deal with any kind of "happy ending" until the folks he cheated get reimbursed. Just my opinion, and I have been wrong many times before......so who knows here

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