(Topic ID: 203700)

deeproot Pinball thread

By pin2d

3 years ago

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20 key posts have been marked in this topic, showing the first 10 items.

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Post #111 Firsthand information from the Magic Girl programmer. Posted by applejuice (3 years ago)

Post #3026 RAZA promotional video Posted by PinMonk (2 years ago)

Post #5771 First RAZA gameplay video Posted by ZMeny (1 year ago)

Post #5874 RAZA video with more audible game sounds Posted by zaphX (1 year ago)

Post #5926 First RAZA video with successful ramp completion Posted by zaphX (1 year ago)

Post #5967 Another RAZA gameplay video Posted by flynnibus (1 year ago)

Post #6050 Closeup pictures of key playfield features Posted by Potatoloco (1 year ago)

Post #6133 Video of display animations Posted by LateCenturyMods (1 year ago)

Post #6329 Summary of Robert Mueller's interview Posted by jeffspinballpalace (1 year ago)

Post #6724 RAZA Gameplay video Posted by DS_Nadine (1 year ago)

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#15 3 years ago

I had posted this in the other thread:

Quoted from pin2d:

The interview will make some in the pinball community angry, some won’t believe anything deeproot says, and some will be skeptical but quietly hopeful/excited.

oh boy.

One of my biggest take-aways from the whole jpop story, and what I've learned after handing money over to that numbskull, was to never go against my own business instincts again. If it doesn't add up, it doesn't add up. There is nothing magical about pinball that breaks all the laws of business and profit.

So if whatever you have to share about deeproot is going to make people angry, that is not how you launch a business, especially in a niche market with limited customer base. So this is DOA, and someone else now is going to lose a bunch of money chasing a pipe dream.

#44 3 years ago
Quoted from EvanDickson:

I don't understand why hiring Jpop as a designer would mean they have obligations to customer's of his failed business. Did they also buy the remnants of zidware, whatever assets may actually exist, as well as liabilities?

They're talking about releasing his 3 zidware games, that was all developed with our money.

#66 3 years ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Can't believe no-one has commented on this yet:
******TWIP: Has pinsider Applejuice been paid in full for his work with Zidware? Is he owed a Magic Girl game?
dr: We have not heard from Applejuice. According to Zidware records that we have seen, Applejuice was paid over $100k, and has been in material breach of several terms of his agreement with Zidware for some time.*******
This does not exactly have the ring of truth to it ..... much like some of their other statements.
applejuice care to dignify this with a response?

Disgusting. Applejuice worked on this for years. Throwing out the $100k number seems like some sort of attempt to shame him or something, that he got more than enough money. The breach of terms I'm sure have everything to do with him finally coming out of the shadows and telling everyone the truth about what is going on. The only reason he did that was because he stopped getting paid for work he had already completed. And now they throw this final insult his way.

#67 3 years ago
Quoted from attack7:

I’m left with a very unfavorable picture of the company as both litigious and arrogant.

Not a whole lot of "feel good" in that interview.

#68 3 years ago

this page:


is way too complicated and legalese for a non-lawyer like myself.

I have no idea what they are offering. I also see that they want proof of payments, and obviously most of us got jack shit from John for our money. He couldn't even provide statements when asked.

#70 3 years ago
Quoted from pin2d:

THIS WEEK IN PINBALL **EXCLUSIVE interview with deeproot Pinball:

Thanks for the interview, at least some info came out. Amazing that this is Zidware attempt #4 now. (Original Zid, Pintasia, American Pinball and now Deeproot). John's reality distortion field is truly amazing.

#79 3 years ago
Quoted from Tsskinne:

Nothing digs an early grave like overconfidence...

Timewarp back to Jpop circa 2012.

#121 3 years ago

Who gives a flying F what he was paid. He worked for that money as per his contract. No getting away from his contract not being fulfilled and he went 3 months with no pay, and no magic girl. That's the dispute.

This is the sideshow deeproot has taken on with them taking jpop, this is all part of the taint. And somehow jpop is worth it to them.

#145 3 years ago

Jim, I'm going to take this as good news on your end. Whatever the deal was, I hope you at least have some closure and can move on and not look back.

#148 3 years ago

I think the one contentious patent is the "switch near lcd screen" which would apply to P3, as well as things like Ghostbusters hologram and Quantum Theater.

I believe P3 has a compelling "prior art" case, but who knows how these things shake out.

John really seems to loathe being called "the most hated man in pinball" and we'll see how his reputation improves if he starts trying to enforce patents that negatively affect other pinballs.

#151 3 years ago

did that patent end up being granted? anyone have a link?

#153 3 years ago

patent trolling is a big industry these days.

#157 3 years ago

Makes me sick that my money helped fund his patents.

1 month later
#169 3 years ago

congrats on the continuing good work.

I posted these comments in the large jpop thread, reposting here:

I know Robert is very bullish on this, but I've said before my biggest mistake with jpop (and other pinball startups in the rainbow days of 5+ years ago) was that I went against my own business instincts and what makes sense.

Right now this just seems like a bonfire of cash, raised from "other people's money".

And the biggest issue to me, from a business standpoint, is if I allow them the "Ferrari at Kia price" and "making pinball is easy" and "we're doing this in a disruptive way" is that the MARKET for pinball is still.... TINY.

If this passed my desk as a VC play, it wouldn't last 30 seconds.

So, at least it isn't my money going up.

#209 3 years ago

I can recall Andrew Heighway talking about ramping up to 400 machines per month. And everyone was confused because it wasn't even a question of IF they could produce that (they never did), but who the hell were they going to sell that all to?

#233 3 years ago
Quoted from clempo:

The only people that can possibly be con'ed here are past zidware customers that file a claim and deeproot employees.
For the rest of us, they don't take pre-order money, so anything they say is noise until your distributor shows you the machine in a box.

Where's the money coming from? Someone is paying for the party, even if it isn't us.

#234 3 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

Where's the money coming from?

Answering my own question, 2.4 million from 19 people:


To get people to cough up $2.4 million, you're going to lay on the hype.

#338 3 years ago

As Ben has so eloquently stated, Jpop makes more money not-releasing games than Ben has ever made releasing them.

#368 3 years ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

glad to see they are standing firm on the "no whitewood or test machine" policy.

Is it plausible that deeproot has a bunch of jpop pinball dioramas (ala Houdini), and just as American Pinball were led to believe they had a "nearly done" Houdini that they started showing and creating sales flyers for, the reality is jpop is awesome at dioramas and convincing people they are completed games (not needing whitewoods or test machines)?

#374 3 years ago
Quoted from brucipher:

When I read the most recent Deeproot interview, I took it more as they would develop a machine based on Jpop's previous Houdini design (but not necessarily call it Houdini).
They specifically said they are happy to add John's Houdini design to its portfolio of games. That doesn't mean they were planning to make Houdini.

John has wanted to do a Copperfield for years. Don't be surprised if his Houdini is repurposed. Not hard to come up with another magic theme.

#375 3 years ago

Here's the post from Zombie Yeti about Copperfield, from the other jpop thread:

Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 4.54.47 PM (resized).png

#404 3 years ago
Quoted from Rockytop:

This is going to be interesting to watch.
In my opinion, for this to even have a chance to succeed they would have to:
- Make everyone whole. Pay people back that are owed money/games from the Zidware deal
- Fix the MG games that did go out
- Make an absolutely incredible pin that was so good people might overlook all the baggage.
Even then, it might not go well.

Obviously that's the best case scenario "on paper". What happens in reality is a whole other thing.

1 week later
#430 3 years ago

This is so unnecessarily complicated.

I realize we're dealing with lawyers and there is no such thing as simple, but this is as simple as I can suggest:

All deeproot has to say is this:

-We're getting into pinball
-We'd like to use jpop and his designs
-We realize there are past customers of his out there that are out money
-We'd like everyone to feel good about what we're doing, so here's what we're offering:
-Please don't sue john.
-When we're done, you get XXX credit on the final pinball.
We're not asking ANYTHING else of you. Just don't sue him, and hope we succeed. If we do, you get something. If we fail, well, john is already a failure.
-You've waited 6 years already. This is basically a bad debt. Let us try and make a go of this and wish us the best. At this point what more is there to lose?

The end.

#431 3 years ago

I think what I wrote above kind of is similar to what they are saying, other than they've loaded it down with tons of legalese, and things to sign.

Don't ask me to sign something. Just ask me to take a chill pill.

#503 3 years ago
Quoted from jeffspinballpalace:

5) will games consist of a console and virtual reality glasses?

Quoted from deeproot:

5) No comment.

Perhaps this is where we can read between the lines about how these things will be cheap and easy to build. It's not a "real" pinball. And perhaps this is where the comment about P3 not being innovative comes from - P3 is still "real" pinball.

Maybe i'm totally wrong about this, but if they're going to drop bread crumbs then this where my mind is going.

#504 3 years ago

pasted_image (resized).png

This is not deeproot, this is an image I found when i googled VR Pinball.

1 week later
#594 3 years ago
Quoted from HeavyMetalBalls:

"you gotta risk it for the biscuit"

I did. Or more specifically, I risked it for the Biscuit Head.

pasted_image (resized).png

#599 3 years ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

There are many who no longer want John to be associated with pinball, period. In an ideal world, John would refund all Zidware customers and then just disappear from the world of pinball.

It never seemed like he learned anything. That is the problem.

#606 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Gotta give em credit for promoting and raising those funds

Nothing to sneeze at. Without seeing a business plan, no idea if its a smart bet or not, but 42 people thought so. And jpop is glad to get a paycheck again.

#636 3 years ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

They really need to read the contracts that John has.He was to complete and ship 100% working pinball machines in order to transfer the IP I haven,t opened mine however from what i have been reading they are very far from complete?

Those contracts are probably buried under a mountain of paper somewhere, and John probably thought they weren't important enough to bring to deeproot's attention. lol.

1 week later
#661 3 years ago
Quoted from deeproot:

In fact, this last visit we had some tough love talks about several design issues.

lol. Jpop being Jpop.

Quoted from deeproot:

It wasn’t pleasant at all.

I do appreciate when a good ass-kicking is dispensed.

#688 3 years ago

10 grand

#702 3 years ago

Sometimes I just can't help myself.

jpoppants (resized).jpg

#705 3 years ago

i'm not even good at this but sometimes you just get inspired.

jpoppants2 (resized).jpg

#706 3 years ago

when you're on a roll

jpoppants3 (resized).jpg

#708 3 years ago

you know, i was feeling shitty today. a good laugh is so healthy for you. I'm pissing myself looking at these pics, even though I made them.

#723 3 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

LOL Frolic. Lmao!

I'm waiting for deeproot to thumbs up one of my pics. Come on, show a sense of humor! It's funny!

#735 3 years ago

Makes sense, being based in Texas, that they would launch at TPF.

However, that exposes their weak business model, IMO. Selling to pinball fans at shows. That works for Spooky and the numbers they push, but that is failure for anyone trying to be bigger than "boutique".

Pinball shows are low hanging fruit, but there isn't much.

3 months later
#950 2 years ago

The unfortunate thing is, we know the road from showing a demo game at a pinball show to delivering games to customers is even longer than the road was getting that game to the show in the first place.

So nothing means anything until customers have games. The countdown to TPF means nothing to me, because manufacturing is the challenge, not creating the pinball.

#954 2 years ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Well, he says he want's to show them only when they're ready for delivering.
That's the REAL challenge and I'm looking forward what comes out of this.

We'll reconvene here in a year and see how we're doing.

#996 2 years ago

I'm curious how many pinballs they "need" to sell to justify the cash that is being blown.

Remember when Andrew Heighway was talking about 400 machines a month (back in the early days), and everyone responded with "who are you going to sell those to?"

Somewhere there is a plan, with their "quad assembly" and the numbers they'll be producing.

But so far all we have seen is them promoting to the usual "Pinball Show Crowd", which really only works if you are a Spooky.

2 weeks later
#1050 2 years ago
Quoted from hank527:

Then Jpop counter sues because he claims if he had gotten the full money from everyone that he could have made the games.

What an asshole.

1 week later
#1131 2 years ago
Quoted from Aurich:

I didn't listen to the interview and I'm not gonna, but they're seriously releasing a Houdini game? Extra lol to that, and if it's the hilariously broken joke Jpop did then I'm gonna need a trailer to carry the lols around with me.

The vast volume of machines American Pinball has shipped really showed that the depths of Houdini Pinball are inexhaustible.

2 months later
#1463 2 years ago
Quoted from pin2d:

Is it "Pinball"?

Lol. When were those 3 words used to describe any other pinball startup? Even the P3 qualifies as "pinball", no one contests that. I'm intrigued, but not sure in what sense.

#1481 2 years ago

I asked Robert how many Zidware customers had reached out to deeproot to file claims. He shared there weren’t as many as he would’ve liked, but he hoped more would be filing claims this month. (Note: The deadline to file claims is at the end of October – visit https://zidware.deeproottech.com to file a claim.)

Robert, I can only speak for myself but I've been uneasy to agree to anything when I've been "told" and not "shown". Especially when coming out of a situation where I was lied to for years. Once bitten twice shy. Regardless of not asking for more money, there is a wall of legal text to be agreed to.

I've been patiently waiting to see more. I wish your deadlines weren't imposed on a time frame where I can't be shown and only told what's going on. That's where I'm at.

#1582 2 years ago

Here's pinball money.

pasted_image (resized).png
1 week later
#1698 2 years ago

thanks for the updates, looking forward to hearing what happens.

#1714 2 years ago

Thanks, knockerlover.

I'm having deja vu all over again.

New pinball startups talking a good game is so 2014.

I mean, I know they have a ton of talent, and I know that talent is excited. But we've seen this movie before.

Even when they show up with a game, it doesn't mean anything until customers start receiving good quality machines in a timely fashion.

Quoted from knockerlover:

“Will release more than any manufacturer in history, and more titles that has ever been released in one year”

And sell those to whom, exactly?

I swore after jpop I'd never go against my business sense again. This makes no sense. The only different variable this time is where the money came from, but that doesn't change who the buyers are and how they get manufactured.

#1717 2 years ago
Quoted from Zavadoza:

Steve Ritchie just crashed the Q and A and it was epic.

oh man, please fill us in.

#1721 2 years ago

So I guess that's it?

#1723 2 years ago

pinballnews.com has been updated including the deeproot seminar and photos. I won't repost here but the link is:


#1750 2 years ago

It's likely still RAZA. If I remember, the premise was aliens invading, and creating zombies. In some of the original art I remember some guys with antennas. Some of it looked like Mars Attacks as well with the glass domes over their heads. So the art was redone, but some of the imagery is still similar.

It used to be Ben Heck creating zombies.

#1751 2 years ago

It feels like they threw away the Zombie Yeti work and used it as inspiration for a new artist.

pasted_image (resized).pngpasted_image (resized).png
#1752 2 years ago

I still wish I could get this game, the one I ordered. And sip lemonade while I watch Ben build it at my house.

I'm still a zidware customer. I should call them and see how my game is coming.

pasted_image (resized).png
1 month later
#1927 2 years ago
Quoted from frolic:

I know Robert is very bullish on this, but I've said before my biggest mistake with jpop (and other pinball startups in the rainbow days of 5+ years ago) was that I went against my own business instincts and what makes sense.
Right now this just seems like a bonfire of cash, raised from "other people's money".

Quoting myself from 5 months ago. The business case didn’t make sense then and here we are today where things aren’t as easy as was being spun then. The burn rate money is new information and is shocking.

#1930 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

So he's going to have a expense run rate of nearly a million dollars a month. Do the math on what you think his sales projections must be to sustain that kind of expense... then think about the price points he keeps talking about.
Let's assume he plans on a healthy 33% margin. That means he needs over 2.2 million a month in gross revenues just to break even (and this ignores startup costs). If you assume distribution makes at least 10% on sales... and an even 'average' price of 5k USD per unit. That means they need to sell 500 games A MONTH @$4500 to distribution just to break even month to month.
And if they go for some disruptor pricing... the volume numbers just go up of course.
And of course, every month you aren't making those kinds of numbers.. the hole just gets deeper.
This is the kind of stuff that makes people so skeptical of deeproot.
And it's not like pinball is something where you have R&D cycles that ebb and flow in terms of invest... then sell... you're spending that kind of operating expense all the time as you make the next widget in the pipeline.

Good analysis. This is the stuff I mean of not making sense.

#1931 2 years ago

and we all know from history, showing up with a game at a show is the EASY part. THEN the real challenge starts.

1 week later
#2107 2 years ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

ZIDWARE was the company.

Still is a company. A lot of effort has gone into keeping it alive. Zidware still owes me a game.

#2112 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

The very idea that you'd redesign stuff or even run a business selling just a dozen or so examples was the red flag from the start. There simply isn't enough revenue on the table to fund any sort of business operation, let alone R&D, game design, and manufacturing. And exactly why JPOP was able to pay himself some salary, and fail to do much of anything else.

The original threads are still here on Pinside. It was a different time then, no one was spotting those red flags then. But no one also could have predicted that jpop would be paying himself handsomely for years and finishing nothing.

Anyhow, this was lesson learned for me. It will save me a lot more than I lost.

#2119 2 years ago
Quoted from Roostking:

Do you consider this a purchase, or an investment?

I paid for a pinball. I was not given anything in return. It was a purchase, crowd-funded style.

The company can fail (it hasn't), and this would be over. But it still lives, so I'm still owed.

#2128 2 years ago
Quoted from SadSack:

You forgot this one.

I didn’t include that one because by the time that thread existed (2014, years after the other threads (2012)) the emperor had no clothes and there was a lot of concern, including from myself. The threads I posted showed how different it was originally.

Here's your link with my posts highlighted. It’s worth comparing the big thread with those older threads I posted because the mood had changed.


#2135 2 years ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

I really don't want to drag more JPOP reliving into this deeproot thread.

It's the jpop stink that follows him around everywhere, and into the deeproot thread.

#2152 2 years ago
Quoted from jlm33:

As soon as JPop announced he would then build 100+ or more RAZA, the Assembled-in-your-garage approach would not work anymore.

Hence the "Ben Heck will build it in your house for you" solution.

#2165 2 years ago
Quoted from taylor34:

This is not to rub salt in anyone's wounds, but in the original announcement thread (on rgp), a lot of people didn't think it made financial sense and highly questioned whether it would be produced. It didn't matter, it still sold out immediately.

Thanks, that was more what I was looking for, something dated 2011 when he announced it, and who critically saw it then, not the 2014 threads (culminating with the "empty cabinets" Expo). By 2014 he already had my money.

I never used RGP so I never saw that originally, but those that posted there get "I told you so" rights .

#2171 2 years ago
Quoted from Mr68:

No they don't, not really. They spoke in generalized terms and they were just guessing at the time and they had a chance at being correct.

Well, that is how the entire psychic industry operates as well, and they get it right some of the time. lol.

3 weeks later
#2248 2 years ago

It would be different it was never said.

This would be like his comments about "pinball is easy" don't count because he said them in 2018.

It was said, and the giveaway still stands (including the guys coming to your house to set it up - unless you don't want them to come), so it's fair to talk about it.

#2259 2 years ago

So other companies are giving TWIP t-shirts and translites to give away to promote their brands, and Deeproot is giving away 5 machines and paying for the designer to get on a plane and set it up in their house.

My "This doesn't make sense" rule is kicking in here.

1 week later
#2287 2 years ago

I just watched the Fyre documentary on netflix and couldn't help but think of deeproot. That everyone thought these guys don't know what they're doing, or are geniuses. well.... it didn't go well. lol.

#2292 2 years ago

It's not like they're spending big money sponsoring all kinds of pinball shows. It would be crazy to be spending all that money with no product to sell, or not even a website to funnel prospects to. That would be like lighting money on fire. Ooops.

#2294 2 years ago

Not sure I’d compare pinball with hundred million dollar Hollywood movies. Plenty of money lit on fire there though.

1 week later
#2313 2 years ago

Just spotted this from the TWIP deeproot page:

Quad Assembly will be like no other ever used in pinball manufacturing, in an office type setting.

No assembly line

#2332 2 years ago

I used to have good conversations with jpop talking pinball and his career. I'd then wonder if he just spent 90 minutes talking with me on the phone how often that happens with every other customer.

He needed a boss back then, so hopefully that helps with the current situation.

#2334 2 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

He has beyond a boss, he has a boss who's dumping a shit ton of his money in this company, and a bunch from investors. I guarantee there are daily morning status update meetings going on over there.

and yet the big TPF reveal has been pushed back to some undetermined date.

#2353 2 years ago
Quoted from J85M:

Around August 2018 I was lead to believe it was certainly open and available for licencing, but at the time no pinball related pitches had been made other than the VPcabs & Zen pinball projects..... so did you pick it up after August/late 2018?

Good data. TWIP was there October 2018:

"They had recently had a party in the break room, celebrating landing a major license. (TEASER: The license is an 80s movie many people have been craving!)"


#2362 2 years ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

But if it IS BTTF, risk of trusting a new company be damned

The good news is they've got at least 5 other titles to deal with and ship and support before you have to worry about it. Not really a new company any longer.

#2383 2 years ago
Quoted from HeavyMetalBalls:

Yesterday Kaneda talked a little bit about deeproot. He said a buddy of his has seen what's going on at deeproot and when they launch it's gonna blow everything out of the park.

Will there ever be a jump again the size of Pinball2000 or even WOZ? I don't see how anything following the rules of mechanical pinball will be anything more than evolutionary at this point. Maybe a cool new toy, or something.

And then there's that nagging issue about needing to find thousands of new buyers, immediately.

4 weeks later
#2464 2 years ago
Quoted from Chicoman:

Maybe the curse of Jpop continues....the guy has the Anti-Midas Touch!

Jpop's Reality Distortion Field is very powerful. Unlike Steve Jobs who used it to get the impossible out of people, Jpop uses it to light money on fire.

And right now, no matter what way you want to spin things, there is a whole lot of money being lit on fire at DR. Especially now with the TPF launch out the window, so they are into borrowed time.

#2499 2 years ago
Quoted from Richthofen:

THEY ARE SPONSORING EVENTS. A company with zero cash flow and nothing but expenses is sponsoring Pinburgh and otherwise spending money on shit they shouldn't.

Reminds me of a scene from Silicon Valley where a receptionist is offering the boys some fancy coconut water while they waited for a meeting, and his response was "I get it, you're funded."

Tech, however, can scale to massive size which is the bet everyone makes on it. Pinball manufacturing, well, we have a pretty good grasp of the potential of that and endless cash burn is not a recipe for success.

3 weeks later
#2576 2 years ago

They solved a problem no one has.

#2619 2 years ago

Another problem with every playfield swap strategy is that it only saves money on the cheapest part of the game - the cabinet.

#2673 2 years ago


TWIP reached out to Robert Mueller of deeproot to inquire about the document. He shared that the cabinets shown in the document are prototype cabinet ideas that were mostly scrapped.

Scrapped, but I wonder how much time and resources were spent on the scrapped idea. In light of them totally missing their TPF debut and no future dates announced at all.

#2676 2 years ago
Quoted from fosaisu:

at least so far it’s not on someone else’s dime.

Well, it is on someone else's dime. Just not "ours".

My main observation is from a biz standpoint. No one stays in business spending money and not shipping product, no matter who is funding it.

#2722 2 years ago
Quoted from teekee:

No doubt... after that release Deeproot just took a big sigh of relief!

Deeproot will have to live up to their own hype and then deal with the reality of it just being another pinball machine.

#2737 2 years ago
Quoted from Zavadoza:

It's 12 different games that have a whitewood at this time.

And that’s how you burn through almost $1 million a month, kids.

#2764 2 years ago

Some deeproot news posted here:


For us in this thread, this seemed to be the biggest chunk of new info:

They have a strong team of experienced animators, “around 40 people” with experience at Disney (Disney Infinity was specifically mentioned), Lucasfilm, Weta, EA and others. While this talent favors the film industry, they also have people with experience in creating video games. Because of this, expect their games to have high-quality animations and artwork.

I'd be curious how "40 animators" compares with the entire compliment at Stern or JJP. Isn't it just Jean-Paul de Win who does ALL the JJP games?

I don't doubt that all the talent at deeproot can produce some very exciting stuff. But I'm a business guy and this still doesn't make sense.

#2777 2 years ago

Jpop working on these games for infinity seems like some sort of hell project. Like doing time in purgatory.

Not sure what to make of that estimate, but we know it won't be anytime soon as they would never have skipped TPF.

#2805 2 years ago

Makes me nostalgic for the days of when jpop would dazzle us with art.

#2829 2 years ago
Quoted from aingide:

I agree. The sizing seems optimized to work with the width of a playfield and the height of the backboard under the glass.
If it works, it'd be a clever way to quickly change scenes so each mode feels unique.

It seems logical to suspect they took the jpop back of playfield LCD idea and stretched it to fill the entire back. However, obstructed view would still be a major problem.

#2870 2 years ago

The $750k quote was from December. Robert also said it will ramp up as they get to launch.

That's $3,750,000 just counting December to April. Yikes.

I'm sure there's a ton of cool stuff in the halls from all that cash, but no products rolling out the door.

And do all these staff just go home after? They seem like permanent hires, so this cash burn at this intensity will only go up.

#2927 2 years ago
Quoted from lpeters82:

If it were modernized they might attract a new audience, but do you think the current audience would follow?

Someone *could* re-invent pinball, to be popular with a new generation today but I guarantee one thing... no one here would like it.

#2967 2 years ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

that they clean this slate

There's no cleaning of the slate. Jpop is still suing his past customers who won judgment against him in court, and the offer to zidware customers was ended before anything other than hot air was actually shown to anyone.

#3097 2 years ago
Quoted from iceman44:

$16 million raised as of last Aug is a few bucks more than you started with?

Wow. I thought the number was $7. No risk of the cash burn ending anytime soon.

1 week later
#3284 2 years ago
Quoted from benheck:

I spent 30 hours "thinking about fonts" for ACNC. I made a custom comic font and tested the kerning (spacing) of every letter pair so they wouldn't overlap on screen. I even tested "impossible" pairs like XX. Why? Because I knew the programmer WOULDN'T think about that.
When it comes to ignoring details "you snooze you loose"

I'm assuming you also did this within deadlines and budget.

That is where the wheels fall off for everyone else.

#3327 2 years ago
Quoted from deeproot:

I’ve said two things from the beginning. Pinball is easy; everything that goes into making pinball is not.

Uhhh. Not how I remember you saying it.


3 weeks later
#3422 1 year ago

Reminds me of these type of threads:



I've learned through hard experience it's easy to razzle dazzle, or even show a prototype game. None of that matters until manufacturing is pumping out games in quantity.

#3434 1 year ago

BREAKING NEWS: Ben Heck is moving to San Antonio!


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MORE BREAKING NEWS: He really isn't.


#3475 1 year ago
Quoted from pin2d:

tens of titles

This doesn't make sense. No one does this, and by "no one" I mean every company in every industry - for a reason.

#3489 1 year ago

Ah, the good old tire fire has been lit back up.

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#3517 1 year ago

I always find it peculiar when manufacturers shit on Pinside and pretend like it doesn't matter. Last I checked it has over 5000 daily users. Where else in the world is that concentration of pinball buyers?

2 weeks later
#3796 1 year ago
Quoted from JamesUK:

I asked them how they would go about getting games into the U.K. and got a reply stating they "do not plan to sell internationally at this time"
That's a shame, I am still of the opinion they could be a positive disruptor to the industry - especially around pricing. It just seems that "at this time" they won't be a disruptor with much impact outside of the U.S.A. I am hoping this changes before launch.
P.S. - do not criticise my grammar, us Brits invented the language, we will do so with it as we choose.

It’s not like Stern ships half their product overseas or anything.

#3806 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

Maybe DR has online components and they don't want to deal with a European data center and GDPR? That's 100% a guess, but something I run into at work all the time. I can't make certain product offerings in the UK/Europe until it makes business sense for me to spin up environments there.
Privacy laws have made it too restrictive for me to spread the goodness internationally.

All probable. However, greatly limits their reach. So now all their sales goals have to be accomplished without filling shipping containers full of pins.

#3850 1 year ago
Quoted from Fulltilt:

Nice but what's the art for?

I followed the link back to their Utah studio page. http://deeprootstudios.com/

but no idea. and they have 31 twitter followers, so dunno who its supposed to be for.

#3891 1 year ago

I'm a Zidware customer. Waiting to hear from jpop when my game will be ready.

#3977 1 year ago
Quoted from deeproot:

Stay out of it Ben. I consider your comment to be providing legal advice without a license.

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#4024 1 year ago
Quoted from greenhornet:

the other day some of you were trying to tell the deeproot story through the use of proverbs. is that even possible?

Not unless you want to be accused of practicing law without a license.

1 week later
#4079 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

The secret litigation group have NOTHING except wasted legal fees as I advised yrs ago
I feel bad for Bruce Z because he’s a lawyer and at least gave it a shot
The other nameless dopes that led people down the wrong path should be ashamed of themselves

I'm going to reframe this.

The litigation group WON their judgment against John. He's the deadbeat who won't pay, and countersued them. John deserves all the jeers he gets at any pinball show he appears at.

The lawsuit was with Zidware and John, not deeproot. John lost.

My RAZA game order is with Zidware. John spent all of my money and lied to me about the progress until it was too late. I didn't sue him, but he still deserves all the jeers he gets at any pinball show he appears at on behalf of customers like myself who lost their money that was paid to him in good faith.

There's only one person who should be ashamed of themselves. Not the victims.

#4084 1 year ago

All anyone has gotten so far lies somewhere between Jack and Squat.

From reports there’s not that many zidware customers getting anything from Deeproot. If the offer was meant to rehabilitate John’s reputation some way it will be about as successful as John rehabbing his reputation from shipping magic girl.

Just my opinion.

#4088 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

What do you mean there "aren't that many zidware customers getting anything from Deeproot

Robert in a this week in pinball interview had mentioned that there hadn’t been that many applications. We know that the lawsuit group is not included and then we also know that people like myself who chose not to sign legal forms when nothing had been shown. And still nothing shown And the offers ended last year.

All I’m suggesting is there’s not enough people included to make a difference. Just like how the 50 people that received Lebowski’s don’t make a difference for the rest that didn’t.

#4119 1 year ago

I wasn’t involved in the lawsuit but I definitely received some pleasure from the reports and the photos of John in court. That was pretty sweet. I hope those involved got even more out of it than I did.

#4147 1 year ago

So was there a single person that took the cash? I wonder how many people are actually in on the deeproot offer.

#4190 1 year ago

Here's a deeproot topic:

Some pin friends and I were discussing that the only plausible explanation for the number of games under development there is some sort of modular swap system. Otherwise the cash being spent is being wasted. Discuss.

#4202 1 year ago
Quoted from frolic:

Here's a deeproot topic:
Some pin friends and I were discussing that the only plausible explanation for the number of games under development there is some sort of modular swap system. Otherwise the cash being spent is being wasted. Discuss.

The second option I posted is also plausible. lol.

1 week later
#4228 1 year ago
Quoted from NoQuarters:

I like the idea of a game actually getting to production.

don't be ridiculous. We need more art drips, followed by some cryptic videos, followed by a "this is a game changer" pod cast, followed by a prototype showing up at a show, followed by "shipping in 2 weeks" for another year.

#4273 1 year ago
Quoted from johnnyutah:

Interesting.[quoted image]

That’ll send waves through their 48 twitter followers.

#4295 1 year ago

If part of their business model is to jump into the app store gaming market with a new IP, I say.... good luck with that.

#4324 1 year ago
Quoted from dc2010:

Happy customers spend more....

$5k customer acquisition cost.

#4332 1 year ago

There’s always been lots of cash and some very happy pin industry people with regular pay checks. Not sure a few refunds makes any difference with shipping machines.

2 weeks later
#4495 1 year ago
Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

There appears to be a pink penis.

oh my gosh. It cannot be unseen.

#4517 1 year ago

Dunno, I thought pink penis update was a pretty good one.

#4642 1 year ago
Quoted from wolfemaaan:

Curious why these guys have a vendetta for a brand new company who is using their creative studios to do lots of interesting ventures one of which happens to be pinball. I see this negative talk about the owners as well even though they haven’t did any business with anybody here.

If you are asking a sincere question, the answers are in this thread. Extreme hubris. Disparaging of the existing pinball companies and products (that we all enjoy now). Blown self-imposed deadlines which erode confidence. Weird legal threats for pinside posts. Hiring of a pinball pariah who harmed a ton of pinheads (only some of which are made whole from the deeproot deal - a minority and certainly not all). Following the well-worn path of all pinball start ups to talk big, and then as deadlines fall to start dribbling out things like art which after the "pinball is easy" talk will create doubt in anyone.

That is my sincere answer to your sincere question.

#4681 1 year ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

LEs just exaggerate a simple problem that was always there. Most people can’t be objective about something they are heavily vested in. The more money in... the bigger the problem.

I never posted many reviews, but I had to admit to myself I'm biased towards the machines I own, so I stopped participating. If I can have that clarity for myself, then its true for just about everyone, and I haven't even looked at the charts in years.

#4686 1 year ago

Robert would be in a better position if he were promoting his actual product that was on sale that was demonstrably superior and not just a vapor email denigrating his competition.

4 weeks later
#4978 1 year ago

Oh my gosh, that update is pure jokes. Every step of the way they continue to push their dates down the road and temper expectations, after the extreme hubris of their initial announcements and interviews. This is why people dump on them.

Things that stand out:

"Two *early* prototypes" ... modified down from "several"

"These prototypes will not have final art, design, or code"... uhhh, so much for the "we'll show our games when we're ready to deliver 2 weeks later"

"We also plan to release a teaser for our second title" lol, you do realize this is EXACTLY what jpop kept doing? Announcing and releasing art. This is the easiest part of pinball... the announcement.

"This teaser will showcase a level of cinematic animation never before seen with pinball"... making pinball is hard, making art is easy, let us dazzle you with some more art for our second game when we haven't got our first game out the door.

As the cash dumpster fire continues to burn.

#4986 1 year ago

We are finishing an in-house auditorium for the release

Holy flying f___. People travel to the Steve Jobs Theater, but are people going to travel to San Antonio for a pinball release that needs its own custom built theater? I am astonished.

if Stern came asking, I would listen. Third, JJP, Spooky, AP, Cosmic, etc. but not P3. Gerry let that boat sail years ago.

oh my gosh, Gerry, that is some bad blood there! You've got an enemy. lol.

2 weeks later
#5063 1 year ago

This seems like such a recipe for disaster. A debut that "isn't" a debut with tons of cell phone videos and crappy players bricking the ball and exposing all the broken elements of the game. And the game will now have been revealed, you only get to do that once. By the time it gets shown again it's old news.

This is what low profile location tests are for.

2 weeks later
#5092 1 year ago
Quoted from PinballManiac40:

Robert already stated these are prototypes with no artwork. This is not a full production product launch. Don't be expecting to be more than that.

This is going to go well.

#5144 1 year ago
Quoted from rubberducks:

Looks like patent trolling, or a worthless document to show restive financial backers that, "Look, really, we're innovating!"

jpop used to talk endlessly about his patents as evidence of his "working".

#5152 1 year ago

Everything I know about the futility of patents for the little guy is that only the biggest companies are able to fund their defenses of patents.

There are lots of stories of guys unsuccessfully defending their patents. I personally have decided to never bother patenting my own innovations. I just keep them close to my vest and guard what I can, which is helped by not having to publish them for everyone to look at.

The patent system seems to only serve the biggest companies and the patent trolls.

#5156 1 year ago
Quoted from toyotaboy:

If anything, patents are there so they have a leg to stand on when the cease and desist letters go out.

I think that's all it is. Or the patent trolls using them to extort with the same letters.

#5163 1 year ago

Can't be too serious, they haven't tweeted the announcement to their 60 twitter followers.

#5187 1 year ago
Quoted from Shapeshifter:

So, according to website teaser coming soon?

Yes, a teaser for their second game, the one they won't be showing in Houston.

#5246 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I was in area visiting a client and drove by DR offices today
Def not in manufacturing ramp mode

What else can you tell us?

#5299 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

Animations will blow you away...

I would hope so after the millions invested into the animations.

#5317 1 year ago
Quoted from vicjw66:

Why bother showing a watered down, mech missing prototype?

Good grief. More strategy from the jpop playbook. No one else does this.

#5334 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

What does it matter to the consumer?

Confidence in the long term prospects for the company. Whether they'll be around to support their product. Replacement part availability for all their unique pieces. "10 year warranty" that means more than the paper it's printed on.

#5405 1 year ago

I do appreciate Jpop actually appearing more humble in his interview. That was always grossly lacking during the zidware years.

The supershort and wide LCD I don't think is a great innovation. Not enough space to wow people. Go walk around a Dave & Busters these days to see the importance of LCDs with attractive games.

In the end its... a pinball. Really comes down to their pricing (and ability to manufacture in a meaningful way).

#5420 1 year ago

All those millions of dollars invested have to be built into any price of the game. The game is going to have significant BOM, R&D costs, overhead and still have meat on the bone for resellers and distributors. And it's built in Texas. How is that going to be sub $5k?

#5425 1 year ago

My gut predicts $7k-$7500.

Robert talks a lot about "value", so there could be more for the money at that price range, better value than a Stern Premium. But I don't think he's equating "value" with "cheap".

#5428 1 year ago
Quoted from JodyG:

He said pricing will "humble the competition". I don't see how you do that by selling a game for more than the current lowest price Stern pro offering.

Because it's not like Robert has ever failed at living up to his bluster before.

#5434 1 year ago
Quoted from razorsedge:

Seems to me that this game could be simply treated as a loss or break even by deeproot (without caring), considering the levels of funding that seem to be available. Setting up a larger company in this way, for the longer larger run, you would never expect the first product to pay for setup costs, not by a Very long way.

I might have thought this possible if they launched within their original timeline, but there's a whole additional year of cash burn.

Yeah, I get that they've got big funding, but at some point that has to turn into something.

#5720 1 year ago
Quoted from wolfemaaan:

This game as a prototype is already better than any Stern produced. Try to find any dimpling or pooling?

The prototype has a mirco playfield.

#5848 1 year ago

It would be easier to accept this as a first pin effort if we hadn’t been getting years of hubris and grandiose talk. Now here we are watching shitty cell phone footage of bad players playing what appears to be just another pinball.

#5856 1 year ago

I was part of the groan launch of Dialed In and changed my tune when I actually played it, becoming a buyer. So I'll be the first to admit seeing a game online isn't the best way to experience it.

Like Dialed In, this one had a lot of hype behind it, so it was imperative to launch properly. They can claim all day long this isn't their launch, but that doesn't make a difference to the thousands of hardcore pinheads who will experience the game the first time this way.

#5918 1 year ago

DR has so far shown only to promote to the hardcore pinball crowd. Robert will do a podcast and then get annoyed that we didn't all hear him on there and he has to repeat himself.

They've spent a ton of money sponsoring pinball shows.

Pinside IS their primary market, whether anyone agrees with that or not.

#6087 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

I don't know, maybe i expected way too much after 7 years?

I'm trying to imagine what it might have been like if jpop showed up with THIS game at the 2014 expo instead of just empty cabinets. But that was the same expo that DP blew everyone away with Lebowski, and I think Lebowski again would eat RAZAs lunch.

2019 this RAZA isn't moving the needle at all. imo.

#6436 1 year ago
Quoted from wrb1977:

Do you honestly believe that Pinsiders are deeproot’s or any other pinball company’s largest potential customer base???

There is no larger collection of pinball buyers anywhere. It would make sense to work with Pinside than call it, and the people on it, names.

#6491 1 year ago

Where does building a custom Deeproot theater fit into the COGS?

#6509 1 year ago

Is it possible to "disrupt" the pinball market with another mid to high tier manufacturer? We already know Stern Pros outsell everything else by a large margin, and everyone else is fighting over a small piece of the pie.

#6602 1 year ago
Quoted from Delta9:

And the windows wont break lol

Can't wait to see the deeproot "hammer test" now.

#6611 1 year ago
Quoted from sataneatscheese:

Did you see Tesla's big reveal and test of their new glass?

Yes, exactly.

#6666 1 year ago
Quoted from wcbrandes:

This really sounds fishy to me Ice. Its well known, start up pinball is not a money maker and the majority go under. How the F do you raise 30 m for a start up that is in an Industry that 90 percent goes under in the first two years? Certainly there are not that many dumb people handing this kinda money over to a well.... promoter. I,m being kind

The lesson I learned from jpop: "If it doesn't make sense, it doesn't make sense."

This whole thing doesn't make sense.

#6786 1 year ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Nobody would design a ramp shot to be made only from a fast rolling ball

Jpop says "Hold my beer"

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1 week later
#6851 1 year ago
Quoted from thedarkknight77:

I also went back and listened to the Robert and Steve Bowden podcasts and is it me or do they genuinely sound uninterested. Clearly that reveal did not go well in their mind. Maybe it’s just me???

I found RM's comments about losing enthusiasm for pinball peculiar when they haven't shipped a single title.

#6869 1 year ago

It doesn't make a difference at this point. We're at "rubber meets the road" time. Whether or not they considered it their reveal, RAZA has been revealed and this thread is already dead.

1 week later
#6935 1 year ago
Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

An all day launch event for pinball machines?
That seems excessive.

I think that's pinball machine. Singular.

The list of who qualifies lists the usual assortment of pinheads, this doesn't exactly transcend outside the hobby. Mostly everyone there would be already familiar with RAZA. Maybe first time hands-on, but that would also be accomplished at TPF (which has its own VIP room).

But hey, why not BUILD A CUSTOM THEATER and host an ALL DAY event, because who cares about the money?
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#6966 1 year ago
Quoted from flynnibus:

Look at the filing and see who is paying for Zidware's chapter 7... wait for it... it's deeproot (paying the attorney).

Nice analysis. Answers some questions.

A scroll through the list of creditors (dozens and dozens of them) really paints a picture of the harm jpop delivered to the pinball community.

#6985 1 year ago
Quoted from DS_Nadine:

When I look at the RAZA playfield , compared to a bare looking Strager Things (Pro), that is exactly why I'm hopefull for another competitor being around. Especially if they'll actually manage to be competitive pricewise.

I thought the idea of Deeproot selling for Pro prices (or below) has been pretty clearly put to rest by Robert. No point comparing Stern Pros to non-existent models.

I am curious where they end up.

#6996 1 year ago

I wonder what the response would have been had deeproot revealed a "mixed reality" system like the Stranger Things projector.

#7014 1 year ago
Quoted from chiefbrody:

seems deeproot's sponsorship on the ifpa site has expired.

It was a head scratcher to see the top billing (TPF, Pinburgh, ifpa) promotion going on years ago when they had no product to sell (and still don't).

#7020 1 year ago

That would be crazy after the dozens of people they have on payroll.

#7023 1 year ago
Quoted from JodyG:

No, not Thele. This was on the most recent K podcast.

If this is true, it’s not because they needed him because we know how deep their visual art department is. It was done solely to hurt JJP.

#7025 1 year ago
Quoted from JodyG:

The thing about it is, if you are having success with a known manufacturer, what would make you jump ship to go to some new company that hasn't shown a thing in the last two years? Even the promise of a pile of money wouldn't be really smart in the long term if this new, unproven company goes tits up. Could something be going on a JJP? They recently lost their tech support person from what I understand as well. Supposedly GNR is finished already and sitting in a closet until reveal time.

Well, I could be slow on my rumor consumption. I won't fault anyone for taking a paycheck being offered. I still find it odd that with the graphic department deeproot has (it's strongest asset apparently) that they'd still take someone else on. And that someone else then becomes unavailable for contract work for others.

#7034 1 year ago
Quoted from f3honda4me:

Or they drank the koolaid.

Getting regular paychecks will make anyone feel good.

However you can't escape that the company hasn't sold a single widget yet.

There's a scene in the TV show "Silicon Valley" where the investor advises them to not make money. As long as they are "pre-revenue" it's all rainbows and unicorns. The moment cash comes in is the moment they become a real businesses and real business metrics apply.

#7049 1 year ago
Quoted from iceman44:

Not sure how that happens when you float RAZA as game #1.

I also haven't seen anything demonstrated that they are aiming pins at anyone other than the pinball show crowd. How big is that market? Well, I think we know exactly how big it is, its what it is right now. And if you aren't competing with Stern Pros, then you are left fighting for the scraps at the higher end of that market. Goooooood luck.

#7101 1 year ago

wow. $2 million in cash just for finders fees. I know that's the biz and normal but yikes.

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#7105 1 year ago

Whatever is going on, this deeproot investment has to pay off for its investors. That only happens with revenue, and lots of it.

#7144 1 year ago
Quoted from DakotaMike:

And we've seen A LOT of start-up pinball companies go under,

This is it for me. We've seen this movie before too many times to pretend it can't happen again. A lot of us (myself included - I'm in the bankruptcy list of victims) deluded ourselves that real-world business didn't apply to pinball.

1 week later
#7285 1 year ago
Quoted from CrazyLevi:

It would be wise for them to announce their license I think, regardless of how far off the actual game is. Would get people interested again.

Oh man, if they started doing that I would definitely think they are finished. That's straight out of the Heighway Playbook. Announce your next game because no one is talking about the one you have for sale.

#7317 1 year ago

Deeproot HAS been marketing for years. Robert does podcasts, he donated 5 machines to TWIP to give away (or at least the promise of 5 machines), but that was all promoted already. Top of line sponsorship of large pinball shows and tournaments.

Considering the fact that they don't have anything to sell, they've spent a ton of money already promoting their brand.

#7320 1 year ago
Quoted from HighProtein:

To pinball nerds that already knew about deeproot...

I'm not saying it was smart money.

In fact I'll go so far to say in a couple of years this will be a textbook example of how to ruin a pinball company before it started.

#7333 1 year ago
Quoted from mkecasey:

But they really owe us nothing up to this point.

Well, technically true, but they started in a hole jpop dug when they chose to take him in and continue his zidware games.

There's a list of dozens and dozens of pinheads damaged for 4 to 6 figure amounts posted within the zidware bankruptcy documents earlier in this thread.

Deeproot played some weird game of trying to rehab jpop's reputation with a wall of legal text to be signed by mid 2018 before they showed anyone a piece of art. Then the deadline ended after only a handful of people signed off on it and over a year before the first "not a reveal" at Houston.

You could say "sucks to be them" for the people on that list, but the bigger point is that deeproot never successfully rehabilitated jpop's reputation and when they start with a radioactive history this is what you get.

#7336 1 year ago
Quoted from JodyG:

I think the main issue Pinsiders have with Deeproot is the the way Robert came into the scene with guns blazing and making huge promises he failed to deliver on so far. Hurling insults at other manufacturers that actually have tangible products you can buy today is a bit of a cheap shot when all you have shown in two years is a barely working "revival" of an already known game.

This makes me laugh because it's also correct. So you have this issue, and the jpop issue, both huge and blaring.

1 week later
#7351 1 year ago
Quoted from Tranquilize:

With Stern's crazy production schedule, the market had become pretty saturated.

Stern releases as many titles as are needed to keep their factory humming. If their release schedule has increased that tells us each title is selling less.

1 week later
#7374 1 year ago

Um. We’ve already seen the game. Fine, they’ll reveal their backglass now.

There’s not much more to talk about despite the all-day event schedule.

#7397 1 year ago

Deeproot trademarked "Every family needs a pinball...Every pinball needs a family"


as well as "Pinball for the masses"


which would imply a mass-market price, or that was their original intent.

Being the best "value" at boutique pricing isn't a mass-market solution.

#7402 1 year ago
Quoted from DanDanDAN:

the top price point is, give or take a few dollars is $3K.

"The Pin version 1" I believe came out at $2999, and even that was too high for this market. I remember Gary at CES that year giving interviews and would take people's breath away (not in a good way) when giving the price, in light of the fact that they are at CES and surrounded by much cheaper entertainment.

I'm not even sure how well a pinball priced at fuseball table prices ($999) would sell. It would sell "some", but still not a mass market thing. And as you pointed out, most of us here wouldn't consider that a real pinball.