(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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#3162 2 years ago

Let's say ARA is trying to screw DP out of $1000 per game. That's what, 12% of the retail price and say 20% of the cost price of a game. While that's shitty, does DP think they won't lose at least that much switching manufacturers and taking refunds because of the delay? Honestly if it were my company I might eat the cost and call Stern or someone else in the meantime to keep games rolling off the line.

While TBL is awesome (played at Pintastic) I thought it was so weird the company did crazy marketing parties and spent money on other stuff like that when that's not what sells games. Seemed like a waste and a sign of bad management. How many crazy launch events did Spooky have? Pinball is damn expensive to make so you better count your beans to be sure.

1 week later
#3504 2 years ago

Wait so the second game, which they have taken zero preorder dollars for, is blocking production of the first game? That is pretty messed up. DP should be working to get the original games out the door pronto. Eff the second game; that's counting the chickens before they hatched.

I still contend even the best case scenario, like switching to Stern and rolling off games before the end of the year would be > $1000 per game. (no way that happens anyways, it's likely ARA has tons of parts and proprietary stuff on hand that would need to be recreated and you can bet ARA isn't going to just hand over playfields and other parts if their contract is getting cancelled)

12
#3507 2 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Stern would never build this game. It would have to be converted to spike and stern electronics.

That simply isn't true. MMR does not use Spike electronics. It uses beaglebone. And Stern assembled them.

#3558 2 years ago

Been thinking more about this issue. As I stated a few pages back, the cost to switch manufacturers is likely greater than €1000 , so they would be better off switching manufacturers after this game and getting better contracts in the meantime. But then I was thinking, why the focus on the second game so much? And then I put the second game plus the timing of the dispute (September) and it kind of makes sense: What if Dutch Pinball is out of money, and was counting on prototype games being done for TPF or some other gaming event to sell game #2 in order to raise funds to finish TBL?

I guess to confirm this we'd need to know if the distributors are paid in full up front, if so selling game #2 is the only way to raise additional revenue. Whereas if the distributors only have a deposit, they would gain additional funds by pushing the remaining games out the door.
Obviously this is only a guess. I do not have any operational knowledge about Dutch pinball, other than they apparently admitted to lying to their customers about board issues, and have had some other issues (Philgate) and are not being open in their communications.

2 weeks later
12
#3814 2 years ago

I mean, they are announcing title #2 to get more preorder cash so they can finish title #1.

#3819 2 years ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

DP may not even be taking cash deposits on a second game. My guess is that they want to convey that they intend to be around for the long run.

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.

#3828 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

You have no proof of this. Why not let them make the announcement at TPF of what there terms are before you start your propaganda.

Yep, I have no proof. I'm just trying to put 2 and 2 together. I also have no skin in the game, I do not have a TBL on order. We wouldn't have to speculate if DP just sent an email around to its customers, even a short one. It's out there they lied about circuit board issues. So I guess why is this the truth?

Quoted from rubberducks:

No they wouldn't. At least, not unless they were completely out of their minds, and were likely prepared to fly in the face of all the legal advice they've received.

I guess? I am trying to see it from my point of view, if I were running a business. If they received legal advice telling them not to ship games fine, but I can't see any scenario where not shipping games is cheaper. Let's say there's 100 games to ship and so $100,000 is additionally on the line. Let's say it takes 1 year in court to resolve this and the best case scenario happens: ARA is ordered to complete the rest of the games at original cost. However it cost them $20,000 in legal fees and $20,000 in lost orders. Plus an additional unknown value of money not handed over for game #2 because DP has lost customer trust. So to save $60K in this scenario, they are going to drag out the process and spurn potential customers for an entire year?

Or, they could finish the games and sue ARA after the fact to attempt to clawback. Or finish the games and write off the loss, but in the meantime continue forward with finding a new CM. Or come to ARA and say, we will do $750 additional per game and strike a deal.

In the end, you can be right but still be made broke. And if you're running this like a business what is really important is continuing to collect revenue and ship games. And while this thing plays out they are doing neither, which is not good for any business.

#3981 2 years ago

They really believe there are 150 people that are going to pay 12,500 for a bride of pinbot? Yeah I mean that just doesn't make sense to me from what I know of the market. I mean you probably couldn't get one of the existing built lebowskis for that much and there are only like 50 of those.

They are in deep shit.

#4083 2 years ago

So I don't know where people think the refund money is going to come from. If they're so broke they can't pony up an additional $1000 per game then they have no money to refund.

It sounds like game #2 revenue was expected to fund game #1 production and that's the real beef; that they can't finish the games with the original collected money.

I am not surprised. Phil indicated that DP had revenue issues. And also they did crazy things like throw big parties and hire lebowski girls etc. for comparison; how many parties and girls did Spooky pinball hire? Oh, none? They just hauled a game to shows and busted their ass to bootstrap a pinball company. Meanwhile DP took a huge amount of preorder money and mismanaged it.

#4278 2 years ago
Quoted from EternalLife:

If this is a money scam, they're bad at it.

I don't think anyone is arguing this is a money scam. I think the argument is they severely underestimated the manufacturing costs and/or they mismanaged the pre-order money. Either one is pretty fatal.

I remember reading back in a thread about Classic Playfield Reproductions, how when their business hit a really rocky time, they asked all the principles in the business to plop down their credit cards and take advances/pay using their cards to ride out the storm. I have to believe if the shortfall was simply $1000 per game, that Jaap and Barry could just get a $50K personal loan apiece just to get the games done. I think the future of their business relies on these games shipping in a reasonable amount of time. That they are going to take a "wait and see" approach while more people cancel orders and the relationship continues to sour with the CM is not the approach I would take.

The fact that they announced 150 games at 12,500 apiece leads me to believe the issue is larger than $1000 per game remaining. Obviously, I am speculating, but if they are taking preorders for up to 1.8 million USD on game 2, that, to me, implies that they did not have enough to finish the games at ARA even with NO additional price increase. Couple that with the emphasis on game 2 parts not ordered in their email, and it sounds like they very much were counting on new preorder revenue to finish TBL.

#4305 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

Those are they only two scenarios you see? I think you're overlooking the ARA hostage argument.

That's certainly a possibility, that it's all as Dutch says and ARA is doing this as a money grab. I don't really think that's likely given:

Dutch has shown poor business dealings before with Philgate
Dutch lied to their customers previously about the ARA issue
ARA has been around for a long time as an established business whereas Dutch Pinball is a brand new startup.

I mean ARA could be a shitty business partner but they seem to be doing very serious and legit business:
ARA is 9001 certified so has had its processes independently audited.
ARA has a medium sized company partner list
ARA employs > 50 employees.

#4307 2 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

I'm not saying this is what happened, but it is not at all unlikely.

I believe it to be unlikely. If there was evidence that ARA was trying to do a screw-job to Dutch, then Dutch would be better off getting the lawyers. If ARA is in breach of contract or specific performance requirements, then Dutch could win damages from ARA enough to have the games made elsewhere. They might even be liable for punitive damages (I am not a Dutch lawyer so...) in which case Dutch could gain MORE than they paid back to ARA.

Again, same thing applies... if I were Barry / Jaap here, and my company's existence were on the line, and I needed a lawyer to save the company, I'd take out the loan and hire the lawyer. Most of these lawyers work for damages anyways.

It's just incredibly charitable to Dutch Pinball to give them the benefit of the doubt here.

#4313 2 years ago
Quoted from sd_tom:

More wild speculation: Just to add as far as critically looking at ARA.. if ARA was that successful of a CM, they would be wanting to free up the space in their facility for their next client.

Based on the other Dutch info releases including the video at the CM facility, ARA ramped up a specific team to assemble the games. I don't know if they have space constraints; but I would imagine they were running TBL alongside their regular customers and processes. I don't think TBL held back their traditional business.

Quoted from sd_tom:

If It was 100% DP fault things are where they are, feels like they could of kicked DP out, siteing lack of payment as breach of contract, and moved on to next client.

If they believe DP is broke, they can hold the games hostage and force them to raise additional capital in order to pay them for work already done. They probably believe more money can come from DP's customers. They might not be able to sell the existing games to recoup losses so just cutting DP off isn't going to net them any of the sunk costs back.

Quoted from sd_tom:

it def was unprofessional for ARA to email DPs customers anyway.. can't imagine that was run by ARA lawyers.

Agree, but pinsiders were probably calling / emailing / otherwise wasting ARA people's time. They could have communicated that info directly to customers in order to either stop unneeded contact or because they felt DP misrepresenting the 'boards' issue provided some sort of negative PR about their firm.

#4321 2 years ago
Quoted from highdef:

How did the cost go up after the first 50 units were built and then again (after the 2nd round of 40)?

Usually payment is delivered in milestones for contract work. So N delivery target is met, pay $100K. When M delivery target is met, pay $200K. etc. I don't see any issue with their timeline. In fact, I think it's totally probable that ARA asked them for a larger payment per game for the next set of games. The questions that arise from that are:

Did the contract signed originally allow for increases in cost based on supply chain issues, labor issues, time issues, etc etc?
Did Dutch Pinball budget this game appropriately? Assuming there was profit in the game after BOM is paid and CM is paid per game, what happened with the profits? New businesses should keep retained earnings in case shit goes sideways like unforeseen expenses such as this.

1 year later
#7928 1 year ago
Quoted from twoplays25c:

Well, the voice seems to be computer-generated.

I don't think so. I think the voices were done by europeans trying to do an American accent, specifically the first actor trying to do an american 'western' accent like the cowboy in the film.

#7984 1 year ago

Man, Dutch Pinball went from needing $1000 additional a game (according to DP that’s what ARA said they needed ), so 50k for the games held hostage, now they need $500K.

When the shit first hit the fan about circuit boards being a lie, I proposed that they should just pay the $1k per game even if ARA was wrong. Better to sue them after production and get the games out. But that assumes they had the $50k to do so. I think ARA knew DP were broke, were trying to get them to raise additional capital for this move to avoid them not getting paid any final payments.

This is the perils of the preorder model. You have to take in all this money assuming your calculations on cost of manufacturing is accurate, sometimes years before manufacturing. It means you start a business not allowed to make any mistakes. Even if ARA pulled a screw job to DP trying to get an additional $1k per game, which I don’t believe... that’s actually Barry and Jaap’s fault in some ways. They funded a preorder model with exactly how much money it takes to build a game. They entered a contract with an established company who had surplus money vs DP which did not. ARA would have known they had no money for legal representation, because the preorder money was only earmarked for manufacturing costs.

If you look at Heighway pinball; they took preorder money, AND direct investment, and they still couldn’t make it. Granted I think a contract manufacturer is probably a smarter thing than trying to in house everything (and how Chicago gaming made it work for their first game); but still. If you don’t keep retained earnings and rely solely on preorder money you’re gonna fail.

1 year later
#9512 79 days ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Stern should pick this up and run with it.....

Why would they? It's an expensive license, fraught with legal issues and previously burned buyers, it's insolvent/in the hole from the get-go, built on a different system and software... That's not how you stay in business, by picking up these kind of headaches.

#9515 79 days ago
Quoted from Tuna_Delight:

A cheaper, more generic (typical Stern) looking TBL would be better than no TBL at all I guess, but still ...

You know that Stern built the MMRs right? If stern picked up TBL (they won't), it would be built using the parts DP used. In what way would it be cheaper and more generic?

#9824 73 days ago
Quoted from Coindork:

Would she even know what the documents say?
I would have to assume the court proceedings are in Dutch.
Serious question.

This isn't a serious question. If you're spending $500K to buy games from the Netherlands, you can spend a few hundred to hire an impartial translator.

14
#9867 71 days ago

While I'm glad the games are no longer being held hostage, I mean I think all early achievers who didn't get a game should rightfully be pissed. These assets should have been dispersed in a bankruptcy / insolvency so the creditors / EAs could get some relief. Instead, now Barry's debt is partially wiped and the EAs get nothing. In the USA if you misappropriate assets like this before a bankruptcy it's a crime.

I expect once all the parts and games are dispersed that DP will go insolvent / close up and that will be the end of that.

#10069 65 days ago
Quoted from drfrightner:

Seriously though... what is the highest price a pinball game has ever sold for? Does anyone know?

Ugh. Calm down, there’s lots of people with more money than sense. I recall a few years ago in New England an original kingpin changed hands for 50-60k

#10192 59 days ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

This is not copesettic. DP cannot legally build games with parts that have been paid for by one party, in order to sell finished games to a second party. DP either has to declare bankruptcy and dispose of assets properly or wait for some party to sue them and shut them down.

THIS. People saying “it’s just capitalism” are operating under a weird version of capitalism where you can fraudulently say you’ll deliver a game then deliver it to someone else to cover up your insolvency. That’s not how business transactions work. Early achiever payments are a debt needing to be repaid in a bankruptcy. Who should be made whole needs to be determined by an impartial bankruptcy trustee, not by DP getting to pick and choose winners (and preserve their own assets like rights to future games, parts, etc).

I get why financial action hasn’t been taken (it’s almost class action in size, foreign country, etc). But to say the EAs just made a bad business deal is bullshit. They were lied to, in the business world that’s fraud, and DP should be held accountable.

#10207 59 days ago
Quoted from Pinhead1982:

DP would 100% go bust-

What’s wrong with that? The same outcome would happen if DP went bust. Games would be sold to satisfy ARA’s debt. Parts would be sold too. The only difference is Barry wouldn’t get to call anymore shots and would be liable in some way. And possibly at least a judgement or bankruptcy could be filed so the EAs might get some relief, or at least promise of future relief if parts and games are sold.

By trading insolvently, DP has further runway to possibly extort future dollars from potential investors / customers. This belief that DP will suddenly get their shit together after fucking it up this bad is unreal. Rather see these parts get bought by Marco or CGC or someone than let DP continue to front as a legitimate enterprise and not a bankrupt company.

16
#10215 58 days ago
Quoted from Rensh:

ARA dragged everything for years and so emptying the DP pockets.

Gonna stop you right there. DP has the opportunity to pay ARA 1000 euros additional per game according to DP to get the assembly moving again. (At least that’s what was said after the circuit board lies were exposed). Why didn’t they do that, instead of digging in and eventually involving the courts? In hindsight, 1,000 euros extra seems like a goddamn bargain and I bet to hell every EA wishes they had a chance to pay that additional cost and get a game.

It’s my contention that DP’s pockets were basically empty when the circuit board lies were told. They theorized they could sell 150 BoP’s at 12,500 to cover the TBL shortfall. ARA rightfully saw this as a form of check-kiting and did not order the second game parts and DP was stuck, not having enough money to finish TBL

#10238 57 days ago
Quoted from Rensh:

If you would have listened to Jaap’s explanation on video you would have learned that DP AGREED with this increase if ARA would step up production and produce 50 pcs BoP (not a SLE version) within 2017.

Why were they so bent on getting 50 BoPs made when they still had 100+ more TBLs to go? Oh yeah because they were broke and needed to sell more BoP preorders to finish TBL.

#10260 55 days ago

I love that they called the proceeds from selling EA games to non-EA’ers an “investment”. Bullshit.

So they have a bunch of parts for games and a license until December 2020. Wonder how long Barry will draw a salary from any remaining proceeds trying to get a new manufacturer until they go broke again.

It’s highly optimistic even with a bunch of parts that they’ll get new games built before the end of next year.

1 week later
#10406 43 days ago
Quoted from wyopin:

He plans to have all EAs made whole upon finishing 400-500 games by the end of next year

Oh yeah, that’ll happen, DP will make 500 pinball games in 60 weeks. Bullshit. Doesn’t Spooky only do 10 games a week, with a dedicated factory and 15 employees or something?

I only listened to 15 minutes of it when I realized none of those dudes were going to ask really hard questions or call Barry out on the previous major lies.

#10432 43 days ago
Quoted from BeeGeeMtl:

At least he's trying

Look, I get where you’re coming from, but Barry has had his chance. He actually had several, first with the Phil refunds where accusations of improprieties were first raised, then he got a second chance when he lied about the circuit boards and stopped issuing refunds, now he’s getting a third chance by selling EA games to new customers... how many chances are you going to give this guy? Why will this time it be different?

If you follow the narrative DP has spun, Barry has had several decisions which could have brought EAs their games. He could have ponied up more money per game. He could have given ARA a controlling stake in their business. It seems like several of his major decisions have actually made it less likely, not more , to get EAs their games.

And it does matter how long he tries. Every day he’s trying at what will probably be impossible, he’s burning more value, more licensor patience. There’s IMHO ample evidence Barry doesn’t have what it takes business knowledge wise to get these games made with the resources he has. I don’t know why I’d believe different based on the evidence other than wishful thinking.

#10486 42 days ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

Barry is confident there’s a market for 500 more TBLs at $12.5k

Barry also believed there was a market for pimped our BoP 2.0 remakes at that price too.

1 month later
#11027 8 days ago
Quoted from dts:

He even has a second game that he plans to start working on next March

Holy shit. Is this scam essentially going to happen twice then?

Look, let’s be generous and assume Barry is capable of manufacturing hundreds of TBLs on his own for cheap. Even if he could do that, how exactly is a second game going to help? It’s going to distract him and push out TBL creation even further (past the license expiry.) This is madness.

-2
#11040 8 days ago
Quoted from pinballslave:

You obviously haven't read a great deal about what's going on with this game... Barry is out of money you see, and cant afford to buy parts/pay rent etc etc if he only makes already paid for EA games, so he has to also make games to sell to keep cash coming in...

I’m aware of what’s going on. The problem I have with it is that it’s not even proven there’s enough demand at 12,5k to get EAs their games. Now we are talking about a second game, which would have a different parts list and Barry would have to author his own schematics and hire someone to do new software, etc... how does that get them closer to the EAs getting their games? Any game that’s not Lebowski will by definition have a lower margin and make less sense than Lebowski because Lebowski already has all the up front work done (proven parts, testing, software, assembly order and instruction)...

Talking about a second game really reveals how delusional Barry must be. Look I know I don’t know the guy personally like many of you do, but any rational observer has to know there is no business plan that makes sense with a new game. He’d be starting from scratch and I think we all know how well that went the first time.

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