Hindsight is 20/20.
2013 was a time of unicorns and rainbows in pinball land.
The skit-b "they don't have a license" rumors took a while to build, and really only really got going when they failed to deliver machines for a year+ after "Mission Accomplished". As the rumors grew, they were asked again and again, and their non-answers and internet scrubbing is what ended up motivating people to start making phone calls and the house of cards fell. and really, it took the legitimacy of Pinball News to elevate the story from rumormonging.
Jpop was at his shop working on a game at that time, and it even wasn't late by his own schedule yet. In hindsight we can see that it "ended" spring 2014, when he stopped paying people. Only 6 months later when he showed up with empty cabinets did it blow up on pinside. So, in 2013 his games were very much in development.
In both cases, there was nothing to sound the alarm bells in 2013 or earlier. People then were saying jpop was a flake, or skit-b are in over their head, but there wasn't enough to start a fire over, and barely any smoke other than expected internet critics. Not enough to warn the world.