Yeah, probably shouldn't have left that backglass out in the open. Doh!
Quoted from c3trey:
It's curious to me how much people underestimate the popularity of the franchise. The WWE pulls in a half billion in revenue a year and has a top ten rated cable program (top five if you exclude football) every week going back 15+ years. In terms of sheer numbers, it's a monster license (bigger than most they've run with) and it's not hard to see why Stern might think it'd be more attractive to operators than a 30 year-old band. I'm skeptical it'll pull in a pinball crowd, but the thinking is clear.
Quoted from SilverUnicorn:
You people are amazing. I think it's hilarious that this came from way out of left field and basically blindsided everyone.
Quoted from RDReynolds:
WWE gets large audiences...but they don't get any decent advertisers. They just renegotiated their TV deals. Pretty much everyone is getting HUGE increases for live programming, but WWE sure didn't. Advertisers are very hesitant to spend money on WWE since the audience is larger lower income than, say, an NFL game. So that is a strike against this for Stern. I can talk WWE business pretty much all day long (and especially WCW since I wrote two books on why they died), but I won't bore everyone with those details.
That said, I know PLENTY of wrestling fans who'll spend untold amounts of cash on WWE stuff. So it's possible that they'll sell ok.
Remember, there are 3 markets that Gary sells to: OPs, Collectors, and Individual owners. This pin in clearly targeted at OPs, so they don't have to actually SELL this pin to those wrestling fans, as long as those fans are willing to pump a bunch of quarters and dollar bills through them on route.
Quoted from ENDOFLINE:
I'm guessing this pin is gonna sell like hot cakes in the orange and yellow states
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Ever heard of the guys at Giant Bomb? Video game journalists and internet personalities. HUUUGGGEEEE wrestling fans. All of them 30-somethings and smack dab in the heart of...
... WAIT FOR IT...
I played a Royal Rumble on location at the Nickel City Arcade in San Diego about a month ago.
Quoted from Aurich:
I mean, that's cool and all, I admit I'm more curious about Spike than the actual game, but at the end of the day it's invisible stuff. I'll care if it means they stop releasing half ass coded games. Until then though it's not a huge deal to people who just want to play pinball.
Probably a big deal to Operators, though, if it truly turns out to be more reliable and lower maintenance.
Quoted from flynnibus:
I dunno.. giving them props for finally letting go and many years later finally updating the plumbing?
For the company with the most resources, the greatest assets, and the highest volume to diffuse R&D costs over... they are the last to the party when it comes to migrating off the basic board set principles established in the 80s?
I don't think that is advancing technology... that is being dragged kicking and screaming.
And even still, where are they leveraging this new tech? Sound so far?
For the biggest in volume and resources... I'd hold the standard WAY higher than simply playing 'me too' if I were to give them any credit for advancing tech. P-ROC, JJP, and the P3 platform have all pushed tech further, sooner, than Stern has.
It's pretty common for quasi-monopolies to be followers, though. Much lower risk, given their high fixed cost structure, if innovative ideas don't pan out. Stern is focused on "feeding the beast" rather than trying to gain a first-mover advantage. That's why they're happy to let other smaller players (e.g., JJP, DP, Spooky) add new features, raise/lower prices, and generally test the market. If it proves sustainable, Stern follows on the best of the ideas that worked, and they reap a good portion of the benefits (but not all) due to their relative economies of scale. And if something fails, they can sit back and say, "Boy, what a stupid idea THAT was!"
Have you ever heard the saying, "You can recognize a pioneer by all the arrows in his back"? Now picture those words coming from Gary Stern. Not a real stretch of the imagination, is it?
Quoted from iceman44:
Wrong strategy of course, they used to have a "monopoly", as in the only pinball maker in the world. Now they don't and market share will keep dwindling IF the demand remains high.
The barriers to entry into this market have been smashed and the flood gates are open because of the prices people are willing to pay for quality.
They should have taken the Apple approach, innovation, "first mover", always providing more value to the consumer, be a leader. Sitting back and playing the prevent defense is a good way to lose, and is actually a loser's mentality.
Of course, that is CLEARLY what they are trying to regain with the new system and some form of some kind of video display.
Great strategy, let the competition take market share that didn't exist a few years ago, makes gains and strides while you sit back and copy what works for them. A good way to find yourself F ed.
I'm not saying it's the RIGHT strategy. I'm just saying it's a TYPICAL strategy for a company in Stern's position.
BTW, there is one HUGE barrier to entry in the pinball manufacturing market that has not yet been smashed. The capital investment in "the beast" itself...
Quoted from iceman44:
I agree with that, but IF the "profits" are there the "capital investment" will be there.
That has yet to be proven out and I believe 2015 will be the year of the shakeout/shakedown for pinball makers.
Before JJP entered the ring, Stern himself said there was only room for one pinball manufacturer.
I don't know what the margins are for them but they will have peaked and will begin to erode as the second mover position catches up with them and I suspect that is why they want to move into "gaming".
I feel Consumer Discretionary is in for a rough ride this year and into 2016, to many global external factors that can deflate the 5+ year bubble ride in the US.
Perhaps? 2015 will definitely be interesting to watch. Stern has so much capital tied up in production capacity, and it is moving into a new facility which will likely expand that capacity even further. It has every incentive to keep that capacity utilized, even if it means lowering price. If Stern does that, then what is JJP going to do? Is JJP liquid enough to survive a price war?
For new entrants in this industry, competing directly against Stern is like betting against the house in a casino. The odds are always stacked in favor of the house. Unless you have a competitive advantage (e.g., photographic memory, accomplice), if you just play the odds, you run the risk of gambler's ruin over time, due to the magnitude of the house's bankroll.
Below is a photograph taken at Wrestlemania 29 on April 7, 2013.
80,676 fans packed MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, making this the 2nd highest attended event in the history of WWE.
Tickets went on sale on November 10, 2012, during which WWE set a first-day sales record of 52,029 tickets, beating the WrestleMania X8 record of 51,620 tickets. Partly due to increased ticket prices, WWE also set a first-day revenue record of more than $10 million, which topped WrestleMania XXVIII's previous record of $6.3 million.
FYI, Wrestlemania 31 is coming up (March 29, 2015 - Levi's Stadium - Santa Clara, CA).
Tickets are still available and the prices are VERY reasonable:
---> 3,126 ticket listings offered from $93 to $12,540 each.
Quoted from flynnibus:
Where is location pinball happening these days?
- bars and specialized barcades in urban areas
- specialized pin halls
Who are the audience in these locations? The urban/'burban 20-30 something white collar kids and existing pinheads. Where is the overlap with the classic demographic for WWE? Where is the location overlap for WWE fans and location pin? Pinball is not yet back in the convenience stores or truck stops like it used to be. (not stereotyping.. talking about where you can encounter games vs having to seek them out)
I think you are underestimating how many urban/suburban 20-30 something white collar kids are wrestling fans. The best example I can give you is the crew at GiantBomb.com, a video game website run by urban/suburban 20-30 something white collar kids based in San Francisco and New York City. The founder of the website is both a pinhead and a huge wrestling fan. One of the site's most popular podcasts -- The Giantbomb Powerbombcast -- is dedicated to wrestling, and it requires a premium subscription...
Quoted from Guinnesstime:
Looks fantastic. I still don't like the angled speaker panels though. Something about them that cheapens the look or something. Like they're forcing it to look more modern.
Maybe with the DMD angled up slightly, there will be less refection on the playfield glass?
I assumed the bleeps were simply placeholders in the early code for the eventual audio cues or callouts.
That's the most interesting observation I've read about this pin so far. Really puts it into perspective. Thanks.
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