(Topic ID: 108377)

The Official Pinside Kevin Kulek Skit-B Predator Discussion


By Xerico

4 years ago



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#5551 4 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I noticed that too and have formed a theory.
Kevin's website was filled with YouTube videos. In December 2013 YouTube started Content ID, which flags copyrighted material, typically via audio.
Videos of the game at shows wouldn't have flagged anything, but the "Mission Complete" and "Mode Walkthrough" videos had clear Predator musical score playing, which would have triggered a flag.
Getting flagged isn't a huge deal, worst case you can't monetize the video and the audio may get muted. But for a guy trying to fly under the radar, seeing a COPYRIGHT CLAIM 20TH CENTURY FOX in your YouTube control panel might have spooked him into whitewashing.
When exactly did the whitewashing occur?

The internet archive shows the whitewashing of the website occurring between June 30th and Oct. 3rd, 2013. Also added in that redesign, the following statement:

SafariScreenSnapz011.jpg

He knew what he was doing at that time, no doubt. Whether he had gotten official contact from Fox by this time is the question. KEVIN says he did in the PBN article, but maybe he is referring to the youtube flagging. If he got official word from Fox, flying under the radar was no longer possible, and his further requests for payment after that time would reveal something pathologically wrong with this guy. If it was just a Youtube flagging, then I could see that idiot thinking he could just keep going quietly and pull it off. After the C & D, whenever it happened, would eliminate naiveté as an excuse.

It was wrong from the beginning to think he could just do it without getting caught and lying to his customers about it, but continuing after he had clarity with the C & D that the gig was up, that's where he truly crossed a line that no good intentions will excuse. I want to know when that happened. Martin needs to clear this up I think.

#5552 4 years ago

@nintendo... you seem to think that it is only a "scam" if the people who put money into the project do not receive money back or a machine... you are incorrect in that...

your last paragraph is dreamworld...

edit: but i'm glad you agree that you can succeed in business without being a crook...

#5553 4 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

reductio ad absurdum...

harrypotterwand-meme-generator-is-that-a-wand-in-your-pants-or-are-you-just-happy-to-see-me-2ee7f6.jpeg
#5554 4 years ago

Lol..

#5555 4 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

@nintendo... you seem to think that it is only a "scam" if the people who put money into the project do not receive money back or a machine... you are incorrect in that...
your last paragraph is dreamworld...

Perhaps it's a dreamworld, but one thing to think about is that everyone has their own opinion, their own views, their own values and beliefs and we see can clearly see them all clash in this one thread.

I can't prove that his intentions where to scam everyone who bought into Predator, but I can't also prove that his intentions where NOT to scam everyone who bought into Predator...

#5556 4 years ago
Quoted from gamestencils:

SkitB: Hi fox! We're a couple home-brew pinball guys that have made a really cool pinball machine themed after your Predator movies as a fan project, we're super fans! We'd love to offer them to others in a limited production run if we could obtain licensing, is this possible?
Fox: NO.

you forgot the pause while the fox guy hit mute and laughed his ass off before replying...

#5557 4 years ago
Quoted from Code_Blue:

The problem with your reasoning is you don't need to get a C&D letter to know you don't have the license.

Yes, I agree. I think he knew he didn't have the license from day 1. Many however, want to give him the benefit of the doubt that he "thought" whatever he had was a license for a while. I think everyone can agree that once you receive a C & D from the rights holder, you no longer have any foot to stand on, regardless of whatever tortured logic you used for the first few years on the project.

To me, he lied from the beginning, but even if you give him the benefit of doubt, playing devils advocate, once that C & D showed up, he no longer has any claim to the truth. I want to know when that line was crossed.

#5558 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

Perhaps it's a dreamworld, but one thing to think about is that everyone has their own opinion, their own views, their own values and beliefs and we see can clearly see them all clash in this one thread.
I can't prove that his intentions where to scam everyone who bought into Predator, but I can't also prove that his intentions where NOT to scam everyone who bought into Predator...

thing is, it's not "opinion"... nor values, nor beliefs...

unless by some miracle fox finds a signed agreement in their files (or kevin finally produces one), it was indeed a scam from day 1...

whether or not he intended to deliver machines is not relevant... and as noted before, even if he HAD delivered machines, and fox somehow never caught on, it is STILL a scam... he just would have gotten away with it... getting away with it doesn't make it any less of a scam...

13
#5559 4 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

I have a question. What made these people run to Fox and tattle that this guy was making these games? Why would they do this knowing the shit storm it would cause and that it would cause everyone to lose their game and money?

How did they "tattle"? If you have a license with Fox and I call up Fox and say, "Does this guy have a license?" They say "yeah, sure". I hang up the phone. You call it tattling because we know in hindsight they didn't have a license, but that was not known at the time for certain. They were protecting their own interests ($4750/pp) first and foremost.

That is what normal people do, particularly in the case of large sums of money. (This seems to be a thread where no matter how obvious something is, it needs to be stated, apparently)

Predator was scrubbed from Skit-B's site a long time ago, then months later after zero communication they claimed to be going into production and needed 3k minimum from everyone. Then there was literally no communication or updates for over six months after that.

The idea that if someone had just not "tattled" that everything would be great is silly. They showed no evidence they had the means to actually build the games (the original reason I got out). That was a major issue WAAAAAAY before this license issue came to light.

#5560 4 years ago
Quoted from gamestencils:

There's just no way to justify stealing from Fox in this case whether you see them as 'the man' or not. This project was going to unravel either way, the writing was on the wall long long ago. Here's how it should have gone in 2012:
SkitB: Hi fox! We're a couple home-brew pinball guys that have made a really cool pinball machine themed after your Predator movies as a fan project, we're super fans! We'd love to offer them to others in a limited production run if we could obtain licensing, is this possible?
Fox: NO.
The end. That's it. Everything beyond that is just bad decision making.

LOL! That's exactly how this would have (and should have) gone down.

#5561 4 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

thing is, it's not "opinion"... nor values, nor beliefs...
unless by some miracle fox finds a signed agreement in their files (or kevin finally produces one), it was indeed a scam from day 1...
whether or not he intended to deliver machines is not relevant... and as noted before, even if he HAD delivered machines, and fox somehow never caught on, it is STILL a scam... he just would have gotten away with it... getting away with it doesn't make it any less of a scam...

I think we both know the definition of "scam", although it can vary slightly.

But what are you trying to say? That the real reason he created this project was to scam the buyers or not?

Because my whole opinion/argument is based on him "not" wanting to scam people from the beginning and doing this out of true passion and heart. I just don't see any traces of this being a pure scam from the start. Now if he never showed any pics, went to any conventions from the get go then I'd back you up on your theory. But Kevin was pretty much putting himself out there in the community (address, full name, wife, etc...). So it's not like he was "hiding".

#5562 4 years ago

I'm also sure some of you can actually head on over to his house as we speak, so it's not like he's hard to find.

15
#5563 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

Because my whole opinion/argument is based on him "not" wanting to scam people from the beginning and doing this out of true passion and heart. I just don't see any traces of this being a pure scam from the start.

If it was a scam to steal money from the start, then it was one of the worst executed scams I've ever heard of.

11
#5564 4 years ago
Quoted from pmWolf:

I hope you realize what an IMPOSSIBLE situation we were all in.
If we run to the masses and present the second (and third) hand forwarded anonymous emails as fact, and it turns out to be bogus....we killed a project for no reason.
If we do nothing, and it is true...that's a bad position, too.
Also, if we ran out with the information early and presented it as fact...it WOULD have killed the project, right then and there. We would have been blamed at that point....like, "why didn't you guys fact-check this?" and "how can you trust a bunch of anonymous guys? You don't even know who they are!"
Even now, I really can't judge if they had an agenda, or axe to grind. None of them came to us, that's for sure.
Pete

Exactly. There was no path the mods could have taken without looking bad (or worse, exposing themselves to potential litigation):

1) Pull the fire alarm > Everyone cries that they killed the project.
2) Don't pull the fire alarm > Everyone cries because they got screwed.

How about you all smell the smoke for yourselves and choose to exit the project when the red flags started appearing? I did. I don't look down on those who stayed in but if you did stay in, that was your choice. Expecting someone else to look out for you is frankly, naive. I always appreciate it when others do look out for me but I never assume it, or blame them for my loss.

#5565 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

If it was a scam to steal money from the start, then it was one of the worst executed scams I've ever heard of.

Lol, that's for sure.

23
#5566 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

Hammer meet nail.
I am angry at Kevin, but I am also disappointed with the mods. Mcluvin is correct, providing a neutral statement was the right thing to do here.

I'm going to anonymous send the mod team a list of pinside handles that I believe are convicted conmen. Do you expect the mods to repost that unsubstantiated claim with a 'neutral statement' saying "it has been brought to our attention, through a source we can not identify that these people are unworthy of dealing with on pinside - but we can't confirm or deny who these people are"

You can't take your position of authority and spread unsubstantiated rumors... even if you say they are unconfirmed... because simply you saying them carries authority.

#5567 4 years ago

Does anyone here know Roger Sharpe? I'd like to know if he was involved with trying to make a last minute deal with Fox.

19
#5568 4 years ago

I find the arguments blaming anyone but Kevin amusing

#5569 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Does anyone here know Roger Sharpe? I'd like to know if he was involved with trying to make a last minute deal with Fox.

Interesting... and if he had miraculously gotten the deal done for Kevin, would the buyers still go forward with the purchase? Essentially excusing Kevin's deceipt and writing it off as a 'business mistake'? I do think some of this thread is BS when people spout off about the ethical implications.

18
#5570 4 years ago
Quoted from lowepg:

3. Trust, but verify.
Blame is 100% on Kevin. However, I'm a firm believer in the mantra:
"Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me"

Uh, I believe that's "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice ... can't get fooled again."

#5571 4 years ago
Quoted from GGBGROUP:

Interesting... and if he had miraculously gotten the deal done for Kevin, would the buyers still go forward with the purchase?

Oh, I think there would be a number of people who would have stayed in...(a few even told me so)

#5572 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Does anyone here know Roger Sharpe? I'd like to know if he was involved with trying to make a last minute deal with Fox.

If he lied about dragging the sharpshooter into this, I'll be out for blood

22
#5573 4 years ago

Most business fraud stems from well meaning but sloppy actions. It seems pretty clear to me at this point, Kevin/Skit-B started out with the skills to make a cool one off custom pin, showed it off at a show at got wild adulation. He has pretty much admitted he was really attracted to the ego stroking attention. This also explains why he kept bringing the machine to shows after pre-orders were filled. What comes next is the most tread worn path in the history of business fraud. He started getting money.....and when he needed more money, he just asked and it came cascading in....and he did keep asking for money. And when he started to actually realize he was in over his head, he started lying to keep the money from going back out again. Period. Its textbook fraud regardless of when (or if) he consciously realized he was actively lying to keep the machine rolling. Judging from his last mail, he is still not owning up to this and making excuses. Armchair quarterbacking here, but this is also classic substance abuse behavior. I genuinely wish everyone the best of luck getting their money back, but its in your best interest to take any statements from him regarding refunds as false and continue moving forward with you backup fraud plans until money actually shows up in your account. Respect the patterns that have already made themselves visible.

#5574 4 years ago
Quoted from GGBGROUP:

Interesting... and if he had miraculously gotten the deal done for Kevin, would the buyers still go forward with the purchase? Essentially excusing Kevin's deceipt and writing it off as a 'business mistake'? I do think some of this thread is BS when people spout off about the ethical implications.

Slightly different scenario with TBL as they had a license just allegedly issues following it. They seem to have recovered, remedied, and yes some people still chose to go forward with the purchase.

If Kevin resolved license and his other issue of manufacturing, I bet some (not all) would have stayed in still. Not saying right, but not BS.

14
#5575 4 years ago

Hopefully everyone gets their full money back.

The pinball manufacturers who actually produce and manufacture their machines in accordance with the law are looking at potentially $1,000,000+ in revenue unspent in the hobby. The Predator pre-order money may have otherwise been spent among the current offered NIB machines over the last 2 years, on older machines with the seller turning around and buying a NIB, or saved towards an imminent release over the next year or so. I don't think that amount (or even a portion of those sales) is insignificant to those manufacturers.

If the anonymous group did not alert Fox, then one of the other manufacturers should have. No reason for them to lose sales due to illegal competition (losing sales to someone building a better more desired legally produced pin is just business).

#5576 4 years ago
Quoted from Noahs_Arcade:

If he lied about dragging the sharpshooter into this, I'll be out for blood

I bet here's how it went down. Someone like Aaron or perhaps Kevin himself (unlikely) reached out to Roger, explained the situation somewhat earnestly, and asked for his help with contacting Fox. Roger says "No thanks". The end.

#5577 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

If it was a scam to steal money from the start, then it was one of the worst executed scams I've ever heard of.

you cant say that's the worst scams executed did you forget we live in the state of Illinois?

#5578 4 years ago

Blood, I tell ya!

#5579 4 years ago

I was almost conned into buying one of the last predator spots......luckily I didnt

19
#5580 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

Because my whole opinion/argument is based on him "not" wanting to scam people from the beginning and doing this out of true passion and heart. I just don't see any traces of this being a pure scam from the start.

There is no way any grown adult in this industry who has been around for more than 6 months and is interested in making things does not have any awareness of the idea of 'intellectual property'. FFS.. we deal in a market where 'licensed' vs 'unlicensed' titles is a weekly topic.

There is absolutely zero chance a person like Kevin goes 'wow, I want to make a game based on a movie..' and doesn't have any notion that licensing is needed. The guy repeatedly (even from the start) argued they had the legal standing to do the game - so he was aware of the topic. There isn't any chance at all this dawned on him later.

Now do people all the time misunderstand licensing and what is needed... certainly.

I think you are trying to defend some position that you think people are saying Kevin was out to steal everyone's money from the start - that's not what people are saying. What they are saying is he was lying about his project all along, and hence misleading people and getting them to buy into something that sold on false pretenses. Hence.. 'scam'.

If I setup shop and try to sell you all translites that I claim are NOS... and later people find out they are in fact reproductions.. it's a scam, regardless of any fact over me shipping the product out or not. It was sold under false pretenses... just like Predator

#5581 4 years ago
Quoted from zeddex:

Judging from his last mail, he is still not owning up to this and making excuses.

The way he ended that last e-mail with "signing-off" makes me wonder if anyone will hear anything else from him again. Is that how he normally ended a message?

#5582 4 years ago
Quoted from belairjoe:

You cant say that's the worst scams executed. Did you forget we live in the state of Illinois?

By "worst" scam, I didn't mean the largest in scope. I meant the most poorly executed.

-3
#5583 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

I certainly am not blaming them one bit. I am expressing disappointment with their decision to take no action when a neutral statement could have been made with ease. I have always viewed the Mods as having our back i.e. someone attacks you or you attack someone, they take care of both issues. They control flame wars & nutjobs too. For the most part they have a unified level headed common sense view towards the pinball community and I applaud that attitude. However, they dropped the ball on this one.

Quoted from flynnibus:

I'm going to anonymous send the mod team a list of pinside handles that I believe are convicted conmen. Do you expect the mods to repost that unsubstantiated claim with a 'neutral statement' saying "it has been brought to our attention, through a source we can not identify that these people are unworthy of dealing with on pinside - but we can't confirm or deny who these people are"
You can't take your position of authority and spread unsubstantiated rumors... even if you say they are unconfirmed... because simply you saying them carries authority.

So now the moderators have no responsibility or accountability to members here or is it just a selective responsibility applied every now and then?
While I appreciate the hypothetical argument you're making, I'll stand behind my assessment that their decision to take no action was a mistake and I will further state that if I was in possession of the information at the time and Kevin did ignore my queries, I would have absolutely no problem informing pinside of the situation.

#5584 4 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

By "worst" scam, I didn't me the largest in scope. I meant the most poorly executed.

I stand corrected.lol

#5585 4 years ago

If a Nigerian prince really has a check for you to cash but then looses the check after you send him a $500 transfer fee, was he really scamming you or just a victim of bad luck?

#5586 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

So now the moderators have no responsibility or accountability to members here or is it just a selective responsibility applied every now and then?

Don't pick out the moderators specifically. It sounds like the majority of the anonymous-email recipients were so-called "immortals" anyway (still LOLing at that term in the article). There are no pinside rules to deal with anonymous tips, and I can see each and every mod filing those emails under "not my job." If you're going to complain of the secrecy, blame EVERYONE who got the emails, not just the pinside mods. I still think someone shoulda spilled the beans, considering all the other overwhelming evidence, but I'm certainly not gonna blame anyone for staying the F out of this mess.

#5587 4 years ago
Quoted from metallik:

Don't pick out the moderators specifically. It sounds like the majority of the anonymous-email recipients were so-called "immortals" anyway (still LOLing at that term in the article). There are no pinside rules to deal with anonymous tips, and I can see each and every mod filing those emails under "not my job." If you're going to complain of the secrecy, blame EVERYONE who got the emails, not just the pinside mods. I still think someone shoulda spilled the beans, considering all the other overwhelming evidence, but I'm certainly not gonna blame anyone for staying the F out of this mess.

Agreed.

38
#5588 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

So now the moderators have no responsibility or accountability to members here or is it just a selective responsibility applied every now and then?

They ABSOLUTELY DO NOT....This is a freaking message board....The moderator's sole purpose is to monitor content that's against forum rules (political, religious, vulgarity, harassment, et al). It's not their job to babysit grown adults and keep them from making impractical decisions. You make it sound like Pinside owes something to it's members. Last I checked, it's a free board assembled by Robin for people to talk about Pinball. Pinside doesn't owe members anything. Robin could shut it down today, and frankly, I wouldn't blame him based on some of the comments made in this thread against moderators.

13
#5589 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

So now the moderators have no responsibility or accountability to members here

Correct.

Moderators enforce the forum rules. Expecting them to do anything else is presumptuous and naive.

Particularly, ingratiating themselves for the purposes of 'consumer protection' in a business deal between individuals and Skit-B pinball that involves nearly $5000 per game is face-palm ridiculous. If you want someone to look out for you, get a lawyer.

27
#5590 4 years ago

I had the emails too, I didn't post them here. I PM'd them to anyone who asked me for them, they didn't post them either. Lots of people had them. All of us decided we simply couldn't tell if they were true or not, and it would be reckless to just post them willy nilly.

You can argue with hindsight whether or not that was the right call, but at the time I was convinced it was, and given what I knew at the time I still think it was correct.

It's easy to argue with hindsight, but if you were in the same situation you might feel differently about it. Especially if you knew that Kevin was talking to Fox, and trying to save the project. I thought it was a longshot, but at this point waiting a couple weeks to see how it played out seemed smartest.

The reality is you guys got screwed a long time ago, it sucks to say it, but a couple weeks earlier notice wasn't going to make a difference here.

#5591 4 years ago
Quoted from Noahs_Arcade:

If he lied about dragging the sharpshooter into this, I'll be out for blood

At this point, I wouldn't think it would matter.

#5592 4 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

It's easy to argue with hindsight, but if you were in the same situation you might feel differently about it. Especially if you knew that Kevin was talking to Fox, and trying to save the project. I thought it was a longshot, but at this point waiting a couple weeks to see how it played out seemed smartest.

This

-7
#5593 4 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

What they are saying is he was lying about his project all along, and hence misleading people and getting them to buy into something that sold on false pretenses. Hence.. 'scam'.

That's definitely one possibility. But there's so many possibilities that no one knows who's right and who's wrong. I'm not an expert on the subject so I don't know the timeline of the events (I don't think anyone can say with a 100% certainty they do except Kevin), but it really comes down to what happened before Kevin asked for people's deposits.

At the time Kevin asked for money, was he already contacted by Fox to C&D operations? Did he know 100% at the time that he was never going to get the license? If yes than I can definitely agree with everyone that he was misleading them into buying a project that he hopefully was going to complete under the radar which = scam. But I don't know the timeline of the events and can't say 100% that he really wanted to screw the buyers. I guess I give people the benefit of the doubt by nature but if I remember correctly he still had all his youtube videos up and images on his site of the Predator machine when he was asking for pre-orders. Perhaps there was still uncertainty and he really believed he would be able to get the license at the time. Maybe someone can chime in with more knowledge than me of the timeline.

46
#5594 4 years ago
Quoted from starfighter:

I am expressing disappointment with their decision to take no action when a neutral statement could have been made with ease.

Quoted from starfighter:

So now the moderators have no responsibility or accountability to members here or is it just a selective responsibility applied every now and then?
While I appreciate the hypothetical argument you're making, I'll stand behind my assessment that their decision to take no action was a mistake and I will further state that if I was in possession of the information at the time and Kevin did ignore my queries, I would have absolutely no problem informing pinside of the situation.

Quoted from flynnibus:

Do you expect the mods to repost that unsubstantiated claim with a 'neutral statement' saying "it has been brought to our attention, through a source we can not identify that these people are unworthy of dealing with on pinside - but we can't confirm or deny who these people are"

Quoted from GGBGROUP:

The idea of this site having a moderator's rule about notifying the board when they receive an anonymous tip of some sort will simply never work. Don't you all think it would quickly be abused by EVERYONE who has an agenda, or just wants to stir the pot.

Quoted from blondetall:

The rumors may be true, but then again they may just be unfounded rumors that, when mixed with the lack of communication from Kevin, killed a company.

Ok, once again I'm only speaking for myself here, but if anyone reads the one big rant that I posted on here awhile back and realizes that I did that as someone who had a whole lot of "nothing" to report and was going insane by it, it may make more sense. I wasn't mad at the bystanders here, which I tried to explain and apologized for. I was mad at the deluge of unofficial second-hand rumors and assumptions that we were being given, by well-intended people who may or may not have been given the truth themselves, and no way to prove or disprove anything.

There is no way that we could have made a statement that would have made everyone happy and not caused panic. I don't know what kind of "neutral statement" would have done anything but put a big bullseye on our backs, as there was so much crap going around that we couldn't even keep it straight. And what were we supposed to create a neutral statement on? The current situation just a fraction of the rumors that have been flying around. We can't make a statement about every rumor we hear, or we (moderators and Pinsiders alike) would all quickly go insane. Heck, I'm halfway there now just with this whole Predator mess.

And I can guarantee you that we didn't have any special information that we used to get ourselves out of the situation first before letting everyone else know, because about half of us are preowners and are still right there with everyone else, trying to get a refund/chargeback and sad/mad that 3 years of our lives have been wasted on a machine that we're never going to get.

Not a single email was sent directly to us from the anonymous group (hereto referred to as AG.) The AG was sending individuals emails then telling them not to release information, or to only release to certain people, or whatever. Some people had written them back and asked who they were, and they said (and I am paraphrasing here since I don't have the emails) "It doesn't matter who we are. We could be part of the industry, or a Pinside moderator, or nobody, and the information would be the same." So since they specifically said moderator, people would send it to us.

They claimed there was no license at all, but they couldn't prove it. Then we had people that worked with Kevin on here vouching that they had seen a license and/or wouldn't work with someone without a license, so we were at a draw. It seemed at one point that there were two AGs because some emails were concerned about the buyers first and foremost, and the others specifically just wanted to expose Kevin as a liar at all costs and referred to the owners as stupid "clapping seals" and didn't care what happened to their money. They got progessively more smug depending on who they were emailing at the time. So the information didn't even line up with what we had from supposedly the same group.

And it wasn't just the AG. Some people had before questioned how I might possibly think that some group or company had a part in bringing down Skit-B other than just Kevin himself. If I was supposed to take stock in the AG emails then I had to at least entertain the other rumors going around from other anonymous groups or people.

About four months ago the rumor was that when Heighway came out with Alien and they were talking about all the trouble they had getting the artwork approved, people started questioning how Predator got approval, started poking around asking more questions with Fox, Fox realized that they had given the wrong type of license to Kevin which didn't encompass everything that they told him it did for the amount of money they charged, and then Fox demanded more money. They also demanded manufacturing be in place, which Kevin didn't have and was trying to get. Hence the "give me more time" requests because he was having to line that up and get contracts done.

Secondary rumors said that Fox themselves didn't contact Skit-B, but groups of people had contacted Fox to ask about it. That seems to be the most truthful of the rumors so far.

There was also rumor that there was a parts supply issue. Emails showing the same parts and nothing being built seemed to help support this, but the main rumor was that the trough assembly was having to be redone or rebuilt somehow because vendors weren't supplying them due to competitors using their buying power/muscle to block needed parts and slow down/shut down production. It didn't help that other companies/employees were linked to the initial reports of there being licensing problems, but all of this was given to us second hand as well.

Secondary rumor on this was that the competitors knew there was a time limit on the licensing and were doing everything they could to push production past that time limit so it would cost more money to relicense it and/or kill the project which they may/may not be trying to get for themselves.

Then there's the rumors associated with Skit-B themselves, compounded by lack of communication and/or cryptic emails from Kevin. Rumors of more money needed for licensing means bringing in another investor/manufacturer who will then make the run unlimited and cost more. Rumors that the current rumors had enough people dropping out that there was a run on the bank and the project was doomed no matter what, so the only hope was to stay in and hope there were enough left to pull it off or attempt to get a refund (which nobody was able to do anyway) and watch the project crumble. Rumors that there are last-minute licensing deals being made and a manufacturer set up but it will take a week or two for the contracts, and if anything is said before the contracts are signed then everything will fall apart.

And since nobody is standing up showing proof, all of it is speculation and rumors. And the more secretive emails we got, the more stories and versions we got. Do you know how many hours of my life I've spent on Pinside, talking behind the scenes, trying to get information for not only myself but my fellow Pinsiders stuck in the same situation? How much time of my own time I've devoted trying to find out "the truth" and then trying to help with credit card chargeback info once "the truth" came out and we were all still screwed?

I can guarantee you that had we received an email from an individual that said:
"Hello, I am ___. Here are my credentials, you know me on Pinside as ____, feel free to check my posts. I have contacted ____ at Fox and talked with them regarding the Predator license. There is no license, and they can confirm that. Their phone # is ______, their email is _______, and my contact information is _____. Please feel free to reach out to myself or that person as proof, and distribute the information as needed to help the Predator pre-owners and/or Kevin get out of this situation as quickly and easily as possible."
... that we all would have immediately validated the information, passed it along, and saved ourselves and EVERYONE time, worry, pain, and money.

#5595 4 years ago
Quoted from nintendo:

I think we both know the definition of "scam", although it can vary slightly.
But what are you trying to say? That the real reason he created this project was to scam the buyers or not?
Because my whole opinion/argument is based on him "not" wanting to scam people from the beginning and doing this out of true passion and heart. I just don't see any traces of this being a pure scam from the start. Now if he never showed any pics, went to any conventions from the get go then I'd back you up on your theory. But Kevin was pretty much putting himself out there in the community (address, full name, wife, etc...). So it's not like he was "hiding".

dude... for the last time... when he collected money for a licensed product that he did not have a license for, he was scamming the buyers...

whether or not he intended to deliver, or even indeed deliver, has ZERO relevance...

again, you seem to believe that if the buyer ended up with a machine, they were not scammed... you are mistaken in that belief...

#5596 4 years ago
Quoted from spfxted:

Does anyone here know Roger Sharpe? I'd like to know if he was involved with trying to make a last minute deal with Fox.

Quoted from GGBGROUP:

I bet here's how it went down. Someone like Aaron or perhaps Kevin himself (unlikely) reached out to Roger, explained the situation somewhat earnestly, and asked for his help with contacting Fox. Roger says "No thanks". The end.

Roger has been in this business for a VERY long time. He has connections with pretty much every company that a pinball or gaming company would need to be in touch with. I guarantee if he was called early on he could have salvaged this even after Kevin had screwed up so badly. Look, at the end of the day it all boils down to money. Fox doesn't care what license you want to use as long as you are willing to pay what they want for it. So could roger still save this? Probably......but that being said it is very likely that if Roger was brought on and secured a license that the game would not look like, sound, or cost what we were told. Fox will want a say on every aspect of the art, the music, and sound to be used. So even if it was saved by Roger would people still be interested in a game that will likely cost more to make and not look or sound like they had been previously promised? Probably not.

#5597 4 years ago
Quoted from jonnyo:

Particularly, ingratiating themselves for the purposes of 'consumer protection' in a business deal between individuals and Skit-B pinball that involves nearly $5000 per game is face-palm ridiculous. If you want someone to look out for you, get a lawyer.

But that is exactly what they did when they contacted Kevin for a response. I'm only expressing my disappointment that they stopped between step one and step two.

16
#5598 4 years ago

Can we quit playing semantics around the word Scam? He lied, he took money. It's a scam.

His goal was never to grab a big pile of cash and disappear. His goal was to use a guaranteed hit theme to bring in cash to fund his pinball company start-up and subsequent dream career of being a pinball designer (a dream he has not given up based on his recent emails). He took a huge, stupid gamble with other people's money, and kept going with it long after it was clear that the licensor was onto him.

Just because one of his motivations in the beginning was to "make a cool game for people" doesn't excuse his lying about the license and gambling with his customers money. He could have taken his paypal account down to Vegas with the best intentions in the world and that wouldn't mean it wasn't a scam.

Nice guy or not, naive or not, after the C & D, he has zero leg to stand on, and his continued lies to keep the money from flooding back out make this a scam. Now that he is caught, even if he figures out a way to pay back every cent (and I hope to god he does), that doesn't erase what he did anymore than a kid being forced to go pay for the candy bar they tried to sneak out of the store.

If it isn't a scam, then I have a pitch for MY dream start up company I would like you to fund, and I will tell you whatever you want to hear about who is endorsing me if it means I can get your money.

-14
#5599 4 years ago
Quoted from blondetall:

the anonymous group (hereto referred to as AG.)

May I suggest Anonamyass instead? Rolls off the tongue much easier...for me anyway.

-36
#5600 4 years ago
Quoted from ccotenj:

dude... for the last time... when he collected money for a licensed product that he did not have a license for, he was scamming the buyers...

"Dude", Collecting money for a licensed product that he did not have a license for is NOT scamming the buyer. It's called conducting business "illegally" and screwing Fox over, not you. Now, not refunding you the money and running to another country would definitely conclude this was all a scam for you, the buyer. But he's still living in what New Jersey or wherever he's from where he can be contacted by you, me, the police, etc... So like I said it's not like he's hiding. He's there, in the flesh, he even responded recently to a few emails. No one had the balls to call the cops because they are waiting on a few days. But you can bring him to court right now if you wanted to if you really believe this was a scam.

My argument all along was based on his intent and if he REALLY wanted to screw the community. My arguement is NOT based on him doing business illegally by not having a license. Two different things.

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