Quoted from flynnibus:
...and not what Zidware sold or advertised. JPOP sold the idea of magic girl as a "can't miss exclusive" boutique game limited to 16 examples. Zidware was never pitched as "with enough orders... we can make this happen" - it was pitched as an exclusive offer that people were hyped into FOMO and why they needed to buy before the product even existed. RAZA as well was purely a pre-sales model - not a "gather enough orders to make this a reality" sales pitch. Zidware never pitched uncertainty of the product's availability or their funding to make the project happen.
That's why it's not 'crowdsourcing' and simply pre-sales. I take it further to risky behavior as 'investing' because it was a "company" selling stuff for 5 figure numbers with no credibility and huge promises.
I really don't want to drag more JPOP reliving into this deeproot thread. I just wish people would stop dismissing that all the red flags were there all along - people just wanted to see what they wanted to see from the cards. The pre-order frenzy and "10k by christmas" effect was in full swing.
It was indeed pre-sales and nothing else.
For those asking why people wouldn't understand it wasn't crowdfunding or investing - this was back in 2010 or 2011, crowdfunding was non-existant then, kickstarter probably didn't exist ?
The only comparable project was Gene's BBB. Gene basically did the same - presales. He made some flyers, went to a pinball show with a BBB, announced he was going to make it and collected money. Then people didn't hear from him for a long time (except some rumours) and suddenly BBB's got delivered.
There were no failed DIY pinball projects at that time.
It was known that Gene had problems and underestimated costs, but not all details were public. John had a much higher price so people assumed John had done his math and was able to produce the game. And for those thinking his number was too low, don't compare to pinball prices now. Stern games sold for about $4000 (or less). I don't remember what price John asked but it was a multiple of Sterns price (3x more ?).. so it all didn't sound too unrealistic.
The only real difference between Gene and JPop is that Gene had a game to make. JPop still had to invent everything. Had he been tinkering in his own free time and made up something (instead of paying himself for doing it) he might indeed have pulled it off.
Btw if I remember correct when John announced it (it was on my facebook too but I don't find the post anymore) he was only going to make 6 magic girl machines. He sold out in a day and then increased the number.
The first time I thought it was weird was in 2012 (did found that post on my flippers.be facebook page) when I got a zidware tshirt from him and he gave tshirts to everyone asking for them on my facebook page. My first thought was it was generous from him but I found it weird - after all JPop was a one man business, his games were already pre-sold, and as he was sending tshirts he would be paying that out of his own profits ? (this was all pre raza / ben heck / ..)