Edit: Read this Post and get 2$ from Levi!
Quoted from konjurer:
Perhaps I can lift the shroud of mystery for you. I study and teach this stuff for a living and, while you may not like his style, I read the tea leaves as he knows exactly what he's doing and I think he is setting DR up for success. His team is designing for manufacturing as he is developing the product. He's laying down the architectural runaway for production (he calls the DR Package). When he talks about innovation hes not talking just about some crazy new mech never before seen, he's talking incremental improvements in the manufacturing process, materials and design. DR is learning, reacting to data and pivoting as they go. They're incorporating lean-agile thinking which is a deep and rich set of tools, principles and behaviors. He's not trying to develop one perfect machine but setting up products for different segments of the market. On top of that he seems to have the capital and, most importantly, a vision to pull it off.
You can downvote that all that you want guys but this is exactly it, and if RM really is doing it (wich nobody here knows) it is the exact thing Sterns "competitors" are missing.
- JJP basically started with a PC, not a slim & cost effective system, and targets a higher priced market segment. Now that they gain up ground, they optimize and start to aim for the lower tier market. Manufacturing seems to be compareable (no groundbreaking innovation) but no factual evidence here.
- AP started with off the shelf components as well (P3) wich is good to start quickly with but in the long run again not as cost effective. Yet with original themes, small hiccups and very hard effort they manage to undercut at least Stern Premium pricepoint while delivering more value. (I'd buy Houdini over any Stern Premium.) But (conjecture) they can't cash in on any hype if the manufacturing is not fast enough and if it'd be faster they wouldn't have the next game ready when the demand stalls.
So bearing that in mind you need your homework done regarding tech, manufacturing and processes before developing a game. Something that the competition couldn't do due to financial restraints. What Deeproot intend to to in terms of tech and manufacturing I don't know, but in addition to improvements in the mentioned areas you either need a scalable manufacturing process ("Quad-/ Octo-Assembly", altough this nomenclature was more of a PR thing) or, or better AND enough work (games) to keep your line busy.
That seems to be the plan and since everything has to start and ramp up at one point it only makes sense to start "small" with only one or two games. You see how it works, and release another game if demand stalls or if stable begin to ramp up production.
As much as it was foolish from JPop to reinvent the wheel regarding cabinets and other stuff and not using off the shell parts (wich for his production numbers would have been way cheaper), it is the only correct way if you set up a business that -as Robert did put it- want's to make a dent in Sterns market share.
Everyone can make a game. Especially that Staff at Deeproot should be able to manage building a finished game in all that time. AP did it and all Kudos to them! - So while most folks here see pure incompetence, because of "what did they do all those years" I'd guess they did what I think a business like them should do, and Robert says they are doing, wich is setting the basics first.
Of course maybe they just took a long vacation and Robert just throws all those "Buzzwords" in all the right places because he is a charlatan,... but that'd be not the first thing I'd assume with all that people.
I see other gaping problems/ open questions tough, since their PR really IS horrible and they hinted they want to omit distributors (wich makes sense since they would not have to a include a margin for them) but with a product like a pinball machine that is a hard thing to do and set foot in the community.
Before you can "expand" your audience you'd have to have one. So it makes sense to have machines at distributors.
(Wich of course, everything is possible. Giving the Distributor a machine for the showroom and pay them something for a "mediate" an order and deliver yourself, instead of having them to buy your shit unseen and sit on all of those WWE machines would be a good proposition. )
Not saying any of this is what is happening or will happen. Just want to say as well, that Robert makes way more sense then most of you think.
And if it all goes south, we'll stand on the sidelines and watch that ship burn... again...
So, whatever will happen it will be very interresting!