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We have recently learned that the launch of deeproot Pinball will not happen in March at the 2019 Texas Pinball Festival as originally planned. Below you will find a statement from deeproot Pinball and an interview with Robert Mueller where he shares some of the reasons behind the delay.
Statement from deeproot
“During a leadership meeting on December 3 it became clear that all necessary deliverables would not be ready in time for our reveal at Texas Pinball Festival. Rather than rush with little-tested innovations, fail to deliver what has been promised, or lower the level of expectation we have for ourselves, we decided to postpone the reveal. While we are not going to reveal at TPF, we chose to support the TPF experience by keeping our sizable monetary investment in tact. We thank Ed and team for rolling out the red carpet for us. We are grateful for their support, and would urge everyone to attend what will be another amazing pinball experience next March.
Interview with Robert Mueller
This Week in Pinball: What are the reasons for the delayed launch?
Robert Mueller: We aren’t worried about spin or making anything positive or negative. It is very simple. I owe it to my staff that the blood, sweat, and tears (innovations) we have expended will be showcased and delivered to the public in the best possible way. That includes extra stress and cycle testing of new innovations; using additional time making sure launch titles are code and AV complete; increasing the durability of the playfield; and improving playfield assembly process efficiencies. Lastly, I’ve promised future customers that we will ship in two weeks of a sale being made. We simply will not reveal anything before being able to keep the promise by promptly shipping games after a reveal.
TWIP: In your Goodwill Terms, you had a deadline of June 30th, 2019 for Zidware customers to get their deeproot games. Will deeproot meet that deadline?
RM: Our legal commitments to the small percentage of Zidware customers that both filed and perfected a claim will remain unchanged.
TWIP: Does that mean that Zidware customers may get a deeproot pinball machine before your official launch?
RM: It is possible, but hard to predict exactly what will happen in six months time.
TWIP: What are the biggest hurdles you have to get past before launch?
RM: Staffing. It has been very difficult getting qualified candidates (in TX and UT) that will fit our pipeline.
TWIP: Do you still plan to launch in 2019?
RM: We will launch when we are ready. I certainly hope it’s in 2019.
TWIP: Is there any concern at deeproot that the launch may never happen?
RM: Zero concern. We are spending over $750k a month now on this project, and that will increase through launch. That is unsustainable without a launch in the short term.
TWIP: You have said in the past that “Pinball is Easy” – do you still believe that?
RM: I’ve been very clear. Pinball is Easy because there are no excuses for failing to deliver value, quality, and quantity. But everything that goes into making pinball is definitely (not for the faint of heart) complex.
TWIP: How many people are now employed by deeproot’s pinball division?
RM: From my best guess, we have more non-line, non-temp staff than all the other pinball companies put together. And that will only increase over the next few months.
TWIP: How is the morale with those employed at deeproot Pinball?
RM: Very high. Things are good when staff are so passionate and focused that you have to remind them to go home and see their families. And everyone here knows we are doing something that’s never been done before in Pinball, nor many other industries. There is excitement in being a part of this amazing project.
TWIP: Are there any plans to scale back on any features or technology in order to get to the launch date more quickly?
RM: Every company has countless ideas, features, or tech that never make it to the light of day. We are no different. Our goal is to get as much as we can of my original 2015 scope in v1. Along with a few extras.
TWIP: When deeproot launches, will the plan still be to get customers their machines within two weeks?
RM: Yes. When spending that much on a machine, they should be able to ‘drive it off the lot’ and start enjoying it.
TWIP: Do you plan to have a certain amount of machines built and ready to ship before launching?
TWIP: When do you expect manufacturing to begin?
RM: Sooner rather than later. I’d prefer not to give away any specific dates so we can remain flexible and agile as we approach launch.