Quoted from rai:
Ok, sorry I have not been following the Jpop thread anymore. Also, while I may have been out of line negatively about you personally, but with how tight you and Kevin are, and you were saying to everyone to calm the f-down when you may have know that Kevin never had a liscense and was under C&D action which in my book is not cool.
No matter how small a number it was, I know it's not going to kill Fox, but it's not cool to steal IP or assist in the attempt to steal IP.
I understand. There are a lot of people who are out a lot of money. I can't take back what I posted in the past, I can only apologize and hope for forgiveness. Kevin mislead me. Back when I made this post:
I thought the problem Kevin had was that he was too busy with what he was working on to keep on communication. I asked him what the deal was with licensing and he told me (trying to quote as best as I can):
"We worked out an agreement with Fox with a guy who was a big pinball fan and really loved what we are doing. He said that if we were a non-profit and kept it to a limited run, we could do it." When I asked about why he couldn't promote Predator he told me "Because it is a limited run and it is sold out, we dont need to draw the extra attention to the project because we cant use the Predator name to promote our business in any online presence or social media." (my god even typing this now it reads like such bullshit).
He told me it was all in order. That's the story I got. I had no reason to not believe it.
Now my post the other day, here:
Here I am asking people to be calm was for a different reason. Kevin was working on a deal (now shared by Pinball News) and it was fragile and not official and Kevin couldnt get it worked out in the 2 weeks he asked for. (I had told him that he needed to send something to the owners so that he could at least stick to the 2 week message window.)
Let me fill in some blanks.
By now the whole truth on this Predator stuff was bubbling over. This is on the heels of me asking Kevin, "I know the Predator stuff is not my project, but I hate the feeling of doubt I have about it. People keep telling me the license is bullshit. Can you just show it to me?" He said he could understand why it was important to me and that he would get something for me. I didnt get anything. We talked again a day or two later. I asked about it again. He was going to get me something. I pressed again. This is what he told me:
"When I was looking into it, I discovered what I have isnt all I thought it was."
... "What? So it's a f-ing lie?"
I asked, "how did you think this was going to play out?!?!?! Was this why you were dragging ass on getting those playfield populated and those first 10 games shipped? Does this mean you actually did receive those C&Ds???"
By now I am way upset. I had been lied to by someone who I thought was a friend. I had vouching for him and look like an ass. But above all, the thing that pissed me off most was that if this was all happening, why the hell didnt he try to get help sooner??? These things could have been worked out!
I decide that I can suspend my getting super pissed at Kevin and focus on a solution. Since he talks to me, maybe I can hold him accountable to actually taking some steps towards some better solution.
I begin by telling Kevin "You need to address this right away. This is the kind of thing people go to jail over!"
This seems to get his attention, "I know. I know. This is bad."
I told him that I have no idea what the hell is going on with the Predator project. How many owners are there actually? What has been paid for? What agreements do you have?" I made a drop box and had him getting all his documents together. I got the owners list, the receipts for parts bought, quotes for stuff to be bought.
I asked him if he could reach out to Roger Sharpe. He helped with TBL, he could surely help here. Roger was an old family friend I learned so it seemed like a no brainer. Around this same time talk of working something out with JJP (I cannot confirm this as fact) and Heighway (Martin confirmed this in his article) both come up. It seems to swing back and forth day by day, which one is looking like the best option.
One night we had a long heavy conversation about the options. A) Go with JJP with Roger's help B) Hand the project over to Andrew or C) Cancel the project.
Going into the conversation I didnt say that C was on the table. I had been running numbers based on the bill of materials information I was given and what the spreadsheet said that people had paid and the numbers we so tight. $4750 was BARELY enough to cover building it themselves.
A) Paying JJP to make them seemed like something that would take outside money to make it work, not to mention pay Roger and the licensing cost! He seemed convinced that JJP could get the BOM low enough for it to be possible. I was skeptical.
B) Have Heighway take over the project. This one seemed confusing to me because it didnt seem to tie up any loose ends. It would mean that Predator the game could get made. But I would think that Heighway would want it to run on their hardware and that Kevin couldnt just hand over everyones money to Heighway and expect all the owners to be cool with it. He liked this idea because it meant the game could get made. I said that if that was the case, he should let Heighway take the game over and refund the money. Then let the owners buy the game if they want it.
C) Refund the money. This is the only thing that made sense to me. While I felt this would be the hardest for Kevin to do, it was the one that was most right. Anything else was going to drag on and on and on. There surely was money spent. I had seen invoices paid. So maybe there was room for some sort of partial (70%? 80%?) refund that could be given that would be better than this nasty mess.
Its about this time where I cannot unsee/unhear/unlearn anything I have learned. I talked to the others in our crew and we concluded that we couldnt work with Kevin on any sort of business level. Its just going to be a bad idea. We were going to work so hard to just keep him on track and that was a waste of our time.
So that brings me to the money. Kevin seemed to think that he could actually get someone to "invest" in the game and recoup on future games. I start to explain "thats not really an investment, thats a risky loan for a damaged brand..." and then I stop. Whats the point? I am not going to be able to help him sort out his money challenges. I had gotten to know Doug (Iceman44) through discussion we had around the JPOP projects. He is a pinball loving money guy. I had asked Kevin if it would be all right for me to find someone who could help him sort out money options for Predator. He said ok. I told him that he needed to get me a detailed breakdown of all the money. What was in paypal. What was in other accounts. What was spent on parts he got. What was spent on stuff he was waiting for. All of it. I said if someone was going to help him sort it out or "invest", he needed to do the BARE MINIMUM and get his stuff in order. He was going to get right on it! I asked Doug if he would help and he said he would.
But can you guess if that detailed break down of the money was ever produced??? NOPE.
So I tell Kevin I cant help him. I have thought of everything. I have run numbers over and over. Even ran them with others in the pinball biz to make sure I wasnt missing something. I consulted with others. There was nothing I can do. I hate feeling like that.
The last hope was that this Heighway thing worked out. This is why I asked people to be patient. I know now how horrible of a request that was to all of you. But I knew it was fragile.
I was not prepared to deal with the fall out. I was so caught off guard. I have never experienced anything like this weekend before. I didn't handle myself well. I got hung up in semantics with YKPinballer (I am very sorry. I know your intentions were right. I was so worried about getting misquoted that I let that become the issue). I was dealing with feeling like I was failing at trying to see a decent solution brought this Predator nightmare. I was hurt because I was lied to by Kevin. I felt horrible about how this would reflect on all the hard work that everyone contributed to the FAST projects. I was seeing all of this falling apart because Kevin wasnt honest and forthright in dealing with all of this. He was given the opportunity to do something pretty awesome and totally blew it.
I am prepared to be blasted over this post as well. I started typing and this is where it ended up. I wanted everyone to know that I sincerely had the best intentions.