(Topic ID: 193149)

This Week in Pinball Updates


By pin2d

2 years ago



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    #651 1 year ago

    Started this thread about a year ago.

    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-copying-spooky

    Can add Godzillla to the list now.

    (Except need to remove Slayer .....maybe )

    #652 1 year ago

    Nothing against either company but if your constantly speaking of a title , there are ears bound to hear this. Take for instance back in the Data East days, can't remember which year. Data East ran a short video of titles they wanted/ were working on. Needless to say they did not get them all, notably NightMare on Elm Street. That went to Gottlieb. Guys remember , keep your cards covered.

    #653 1 year ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    Started this thread about a year ago.
    https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/stern-copying-spooky
    Can add Godzillla to the list now.
    (Except need to remove Slayer .....maybe )

    Everyone copies everyone else in business. You can flip the script and say it's Spooky copying stern just as easily. It's just part of competition and not all companies are going to work on some moral code of ethics. Kudos to Charlie for pretty much always taking the high road though. That's certainly not easy to do.

    People just need to quit getting all emotionally caught up in behinds the scene stuff from companies that they have nothing to do with. Stern and Spooky have both made some great games. Be excited for what they are making and let them worry about what is next.

    #654 1 year ago

    Bummer, I was looking forward to Godzilla being the first Spooky I took a keen interest in. OK Stern, you had better get this on the line at some point--and make it (much) better than the last attempt...

    #655 1 year ago
    1o810a (resized).jpg
    #656 1 year ago
    Quoted from jgentry:

    Everyone copies everyone else in business. You can flip the script and say it's Spooky copying stern just as easily. It's just part of competition and not all companies are going to work on some moral code of ethics. Kudos to Charlie for pretty much always taking the high road though. That's certainly not easy to do.
    People just need to quit getting all emotionally caught up in behinds the scene stuff from companies that they have nothing to do with. Stern and Spooky have both made some great games. Be excited for what they are making and let them worry about what is next.

    Correct. All we ever hear when somebody BESIDES Stern puts out a game - no matter how ridiculous and/or expensive it may be - is that "competition is good for pinball!"

    Well here ya go Godzilla fans - the #1 pinball company on the planet has acquired your dream theme! And they may rip off the stuff from other companies you like? CO-Op modes and stripped down playfields with no ramps and shallow code?!

    FUCKIN FABULOUS!

    Competition is good for pinball! It's not like DE put out a DMD game in 1990 and everybody else just shrugged and said "nah, that's not for us." All this competition is gonna get us all the awesome stuff we want people! So stop yer bellyachin!

    #657 1 year ago

    If Spooky can bring me a good serving of horror lavished in some blood and guts - Friday the 13th, Halloween, SAW (endless possibility for toys/mechs in that) or even some gritty themes like DREDD, I’ll line up to buy every single one and try to make up for that Godzilla licence being nabbed by Stern.

    #658 1 year ago

    If Stern sits on Godzilla license, how about Spooky undercuts then with Gamera license or Ultraman and produce before Stern does Godzilla?

    13DBE13F-729A-47B9-A20A-018A98516A0E (resized).jpeg315FE09F-D94B-4E81-8A84-347240D61EC6 (resized).jpeg
    #659 1 year ago
    Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

    Spooky is fine. Disappointments are going to happen. We move on

    I'm not though. I'm pissed. I don't want Stern's 9k disappointment-in-a-box that was Guardians of the Galaxy, and TBF, successes like Iron Maiden are few and far between. Godzilla is a license that needs and DESERVES a fanatic's touch, not the strictly licensed and sanitized garbage that Stern's mostly been pumping out. Ugh. That's even before you consider the business tactics at play here.

    Thanks for killing the dream, Stern. I won't be suckered into your overpriced LE's by a good theme any more than I will 8.5k em-wannabe games, or JJP's ever-shifting-price-point monstrosities.

    #660 1 year ago
    Quoted from johnnyutah:

    Spooky undercuts then with Gamera

    I'm in if they do Gamera as a substitute to Godzilla. Lazer turtles FTW.

    #661 1 year ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    I'm in if they do Gamera as a substitute to Godzilla. spinning, flying Lazer turtles w/ jet leg holes FTW.

    corrected that for you

    #662 1 year ago
    Quoted from j_m_:

    corrected that for you

    I didn't want to overwhelm the uninitiated, but HELL YEAH.

    #663 1 year ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    I'm not though. I'm pissed. I don't want Stern's 9k disappointment-in-a-box that was Guardians of the Galaxy, and TBF, successes like Iron Maiden are few and far between. Godzilla is a license that needs and DESERVES a fanatic's touch, not the strictly licensed and sanitized garbage that Stern's mostly been pumping out. Ugh. That's even before you consider the business tactics at play here.
    Thanks for killing the dream, Stern. I won't be suckered into your overpriced LE's by a good theme any more than I will 8.5k em-wannabe games, or JJP's ever-shifting-price-point monstrosities.

    GOTG is a pretty awesome machine now. Out of the gate it was a disappointment when it came to code, but as of 1.02 it is well worth playing. Not to mention you can get a Pro for under 6k...

    I don't know if Stern is actually going to do a Godzilla pin, but if they do I have a hard time believing it is going to be bad.

    #664 1 year ago

    A Godzilla pin with some big ol' Groot hands

    #665 1 year ago
    Quoted from snakesnsparklers:

    A Godzilla pin with some big ol' Groot hands

    they are just going to recycle the code so might as well reuse the stupid hands also, lol.

    #666 1 year ago

    ULTRAMAN!!! DO IT! DO IT NOW!

    #667 1 year ago

    No interest for me in Godzilla theme

    #668 1 year ago

    Ultra Man is about to become current again like Godzilla.

    A2FE9D15-A29D-4DA1-9423-4D86F4BEAF78 (resized).jpeg
    #669 1 year ago
    Quoted from Aurich:

    Stern tried to buy out the Alien license from under Heighway, this is how they do business.

    just think how that might have worked out ... thousands might have had an alien pin, $2.5M might not have been flushed down the toilet, and you would have two years of your life back.

    #670 1 year ago
    Quoted from greenhornet:

    just think how that might have worked out ... thousands might have had an alien pin, $2.5M might not have been flushed down the toilet, and you would have two years of your life back.

    Or they might have just licensed the name, sat on it and done nothing. Which still leaves 2 of those 3 points in tact.

    #671 1 year ago
    Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

    Such is life... and Spooky is fine. Disappointments are going to happen. We move on.

    That sucks. I think we all know that Spooky will be fine. We are just bummed for you and Bug. It's too bad that whoever made the decision to issue the licenses didn't take a look into the passion that would be put into the final game.

    download (1) (resized).jpg

    #672 1 year ago

    Look, all I care about is who’s making the Point Break machine. Back off, Warchild.

    #673 1 year ago
    Quoted from johnnyutah:

    Ultra Man is about to become current again like Godzilla.

    play the snes game and save yourself 6k

    images (resized).jpg

    #674 1 year ago
    Quoted from AJB4:

    Anybody else notice that Beatles is going to be a "classic pinball" design. Surprising?

    So, no rules, just scoring points?

    #675 1 year ago

    I'd say it was fitting for Spooky to start picking superhero licenses to outStern Stern, but I'm tired of those. Spooky is already doing music themes (maybe that is what ticked Stern off). So we are back to spooky/horror themes, which is pretty good.

    What's better than one Godzilla pinball? Answer ..... four Godzilla's. Stern made one version, Spooky made one (literally), Stern's new Godzilla pin and a future Spooky Godzilla game makes four. As long as Charlie's version is significantly better than Stern's, the market will absorb it. Spooky could aim to get the Godzilla license in five years if Stern doesn't use it or renew. So the Charlie's dream gets delayed by 10 years total, that's only like 100 in pinball years. He'll still have his hair (maybe).

    #676 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    Stern has a known history of buying licenses just to stop others from making them.
    This was a dick move, plain and simple.

    Its just cheaper to by a license and NOT to produce it, than to lose money to Spooky.
    So, finally Stern is afraid of Spooky. Lol

    #677 1 year ago
    Quoted from gambit3113:

    Look, all I care about is who’s making the Point Break machine. Back off, Warchild.

    Johnny Utah approves.

    #678 1 year ago
    Quoted from InfiniteLives:

    ultraman (us) (resized).jpg
    play the snes game and save yourself 6k

    if you're going to do that, do yourself a favour and play the good version of the game. it's miles better than the us one
    ultraman (sfc) (resized).jpg

    #679 1 year ago

    excellent interview with roger sharpe on licensing from 2014:

    http://pavlovpinball.com/pinball-licencing-101-how-much-why-and-harry-potter/

    >>> roger confirms that companies are not paying over $100 per game for most licenses. if still the case, a license for a limited run of 500 games would be <$50,000.

    “$100 per machine? I have never done a license at that figure for a pinball machine,” he says. “The profit margins just don’t make sense. All the licenses I have done with pinball are for far less. I would find it hard to believe that either Stern or Jersey Jack would ever commit to spend $100 per game.”

    “I have heard that some companies have spent triple digits (i.e. over $100 per machine) for a licence when they didn’t need to."

    “Pinball is something of a speck on [the licensors] balance sheets,” he points out. “Even back in the day, the amounts that were generated from pinball tended not to be as significant as the money earned from T-shirt sales or action figures."

    >>> roger explains why people fell for HPs alien and DPs TBL:

    [the license] gets you immediate recognition and attention, says Sharpe. “Look at Dutch Pinball with The Big Lebowski, and at the positive response Heighway Pinball received when it unveiled Alien.”

    But he points out that a good license doesn’t guarantee success. “The license gives you a semblance of credibility whether you are a new or an established company, but you still have to carry it through. A license doesn’t automatically give you credibility, just instantaneous recognition.”

    #680 1 year ago
    Quoted from gambit3113:

    Man, that's crazy talk. Godzilla is a huge license and a universally adored icon.

    According to google trends, it is a fraction of what South Park is, a game with a theme from the same era.

    godzilla (resized).jpg
    #681 1 year ago
    Quoted from SpookyCharlie:

    Such is life... and Spooky is fine. Disappointments are going to happen. We move on.

    Are you in need of inspiration?

    #682 1 year ago

    alita looks great, but how was kate micucci not cast for this role?
    kate-micucci-2048x1152 (resized).jpg

    #683 1 year ago

    I’m torn on this. I am a big Stern fan as well as a big Spooky fan. I think what Charlie has done is commendable; and it’s hard to start any sort of business in the USA never mind a manufacturing one. He’s made good games and been transparent with his customers.

    Having said that, no one has rights to a heavy metal theme or a monster theme just because they’re fans. If both companies went after the license, well, I mean, Stern is the more established brand with the history and capital to produce. Spooky can make the game but if I were licensing a property I’d go with the more established firm. I know it’s not like the licensors of Godzilla are watching this forum but It’s clear there’s risk in smaller manufacturers vs larger ones. See Dutch pinball.

    I think despite this stern has been pretty good to spooky and vice versa. Stern appeared on the spooky podcast plenty of times, let its employees do interviews, all things that were good for spookys brand. Did Stern want the Alice Cooper or Rob Zombie licenses? Probably! They did AC/DC and Metallica and now Maiden so it would be in their wheelhouse.

    I mean if Stern missed out on selling 1,000 Godzilla’s, how would their investors feel?

    #684 1 year ago
    Quoted from jgentry:

    Everyone copies everyone else in business. You can flip the script and say it's Spooky copying stern just as easily.

    The point was that Spooky released the titles first, which they did. We could probably add Spooky's gamble on a retro game with non licenced theme in TNA, followed by Stern with the rumoured next Steve Ritchie title. My original thread was mostly tongue in cheek anyway, but now appears to be becoming more likely.

    Large, market leading companies are always copying from smaller companies in every industry. The smaller companies are more agile and able to take more risks than large incumbents. Large companies like Stern have a lot to lose and a lot more responsibility (staff, suppliers, distributors, shareholders etc etc). They can't risk that with an unproven idea.

    In fact, smaller firms need to take the risks first in order to compete and carve out a niche. The larger companies are happy to sit back and see what sticks and what doesn't. It's like a free form of market research.

    If it works, they just copy it - or in the case of tech firms, where things are changing so rapidly and huge amounts of capital flow freely, they just buy out the little guy instead of copying them.

    -5
    #685 1 year ago

    Serious question, How was I supposed to know Godzilla is a dream theme for this "Charlie" guy? I never met him or heard of him. Does he have a last name since many here seem to know him on a first-name basis.

    Obviously Stern knows of him and his liking for Godzilla. Maybe he, and his friends should have been a little more discreet.

    #686 1 year ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    Serious question, How was I supposed to know Godzilla is a dream theme for this "Charlie" guy? I never met him or heard of him. Does he have a last name since many here seem to know him on a first-name basis.
    Obviously Stern knows of him and his liking for Godzilla. Maybe he, and his friends should have been a little more discreet.

    The dark side of pinside comes out...so sad.

    #687 1 year ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    The point was that Spooky released the titles first, which they did. We could probably add Spooky's gamble on a retro game with non licenced theme in TNA, followed by Stern with the rumoured next Steve Ritchie title. My original thread was mostly tongue in cheek anyway, but now appears to be becoming more likely.

    I think you are reading way too far into it. I can just as easily flip the script and say stern gambled first on a retro game in WNBJM that was also an original theme. Ghostbusters certainly wasn't a counter to AMH, one was a 150 games, the other was a monster license that sold like crazy based on the theme alone. Stern has been doing music pins long before Spooky was and the IMDN license was rumored to have been acquired before RZ was even a thing. I guess Spooky is copying stern and JJP now with color changing LED's? Or is it that they just realized it's in demand and makes a better product?

    You can pretty much take any 2 companies in the same industry and find a way to argue that one is copying the other and then flip the script and do the exact same thing with the other company.

    #688 1 year ago
    Quoted from jgentry:

    I think you are reading way too far into it. I can just as easily flip the script and say stern gambled first on a retro game in WNBJM that was also an original theme. Ghostbusters certainly wasn't a counter to AMH, one was a 150 games, the other was a monster license that sold like crazy based on the theme alone. Stern has been doing music pins long before Spooky was and the IMDN license was rumored to have been acquired before RZ was even a thing. I guess Spooky is copying stern and JJP now with color changing LED's? Or is it that they just realized it's in demand and makes a better product?
    You can pretty much take any 2 companies in the same industry and find a way to argue that one is copying the other and then flip the script and do the exact same thing with the other company.

    you can attempt to rewrite history however you want.

    Intent and reality are pretty clear to those paying attention. Just sayin...

    You can flip the script, but it is inaccurate to do so.

    #689 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    you can attempt to rewrite history however you want.
    Intent and reality are pretty clear to those paying attention. Just sayin...
    You can flip the script, but it is inaccurate to do so.

    The TWIP story on this is about 3 sentences long.

    There IS no script. You can play detective all you want, to most of us there's absolutely no information, evidence, or background.

    If you really want any of us to get suitably outraged you are gonna have to spread around some dirt.

    #690 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    you can attempt to rewrite history however you want.
    Intent and reality are pretty clear to those paying attention. Just sayin...
    You can flip the script, but it is inaccurate to do so.

    I'm paying attention, and to me it's just a business move. Do business moves sometimes suck for a group of people, sure. But I doubt the sole reason, or even the majority reason, was to be shitty to spooky.

    #691 1 year ago
    Spsksc (resized).jpg
    #692 1 year ago

    Sad that Stern got it - they may do it justice, but I've no interest in Spike (2), as things currently stand.

    IMO Spooky should have just gone ahead with an unlicensed 'monster lizard' theme in the same style ... it was always pretty unlikely they'd be able to compete with a big player on what's potentially a very valuable license.

    #693 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    you can attempt to rewrite history however you want.
    Intent and reality are pretty clear to those paying attention. Just sayin...
    You can flip the script, but it is inaccurate to do so.

    What history did I rewrite?

    #694 1 year ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I do agree that Stern pulling this move is the equivalent to them finally admitting Spooky is impacting their sales and wanting to sting back. Luckily Spooky gets the last laugh with an original theme that is killing it a nearly sold out licences ACNC, and of course Danessi #2 around the corner.

    I think Spooky are helping to drum up sales for everyone else, actually. Including Stern.

    Objectively, Spooky are doing pretty well, but demand far exceeds supply (what they can build in a reasonable time frame).

    This is extremely evident with TNA. They're creating a lot of demand and desire for a new game, but might be filling 20% of the interest compared to if you could just order one and have it days or a couple of weeks later. So people buy other stuff.

    If TNA was a Stern or JJP title and exactly the same spec as now, I'd be very surprised if it hadn't have hit the 1000 units mark already.

    #695 1 year ago
    Quoted from rubberducks:

    Spooky should have just gone ahead with an unlicensed 'monster lizard' theme in the same style ... it was always pretty unlikely they'd be able to compete with a big player on what's potentially a very valuable license.

    I've always thought that the board game "King of Tokyo" could be a great license. Take control of a number of different Kaiju beasts and score points by causing as much destruction as possible. Also lends itself to the competitive and cooperative gameplay. You can either work with the other players or battle to see who is the King of Tokyo.

    tokyo (resized).jpg

    #696 1 year ago
    Quoted from rubberducks:

    Sad that Stern got it - they may do it justice, but I've no interest in Spike (2), as things currently stand.
    IMO Spooky should have just gone ahead with an unlicensed 'monster lizard' theme in the same style ... it was always pretty unlikely they'd be able to compete with a big player on what's potentially a very valuable license.

    If Heighway could get Alien anybody can get anything.

    #697 1 year ago

    At Comic-Con they announced a new Godzilla movie. Looks awesome.

    #698 1 year ago
    Quoted from OnTheSnap:

    At Comic-Con they announced a new Godzilla movie. Looks awesome.

    Holy crap looks great!

    #699 1 year ago
    Quoted from cooked71:

    The point was that Spooky released the titles first, which they did. We could probably add Spooky's gamble on a retro game with non licenced theme in TNA, followed by Stern with the rumoured next Steve Ritchie title. My original thread was mostly tongue in cheek anyway, but now appears to be becoming more likely.
    Large, market leading companies are always copying from smaller companies in every industry. The smaller companies are more agile and able to take more risks than large incumbents. Large companies like Stern have a lot to lose and a lot more responsibility (staff, suppliers, distributors, shareholders etc etc). They can't risk that with an unproven idea.
    In fact, smaller firms need to take the risks first in order to compete and carve out a niche. The larger companies are happy to sit back and see what sticks and what doesn't. It's like a free form of market research.
    If it works, they just copy it - or in the case of tech firms, where things are changing so rapidly and huge amounts of capital flow freely, they just buy out the little guy instead of copying them.

    Stern did retro first - Whoa Nellie. Stern did Godzilla first.

    #700 1 year ago
    Quoted from OnTheSnap:

    At Comic-Con they announced a new Godzilla movie. Looks awesome.

    And starring the girl from Stranger Things - gonna be a blockbuster!

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