BlahCade 237: Indiana Jones and the Costs of Licensing

Jared Morgan Jared Morgan Follow Mar 14, 2022 · 6 mins read
BlahCade 237: Indiana Jones and the Costs of Licensing
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It’s here! Indiana Jones was released this week on every platform that carries Pinball FX3.

We discuss our thoughts on playing (admittedly not much) of it.

We also discuss (again) why the game costs what it does. Spoiler alert, licensing isn’t cheap.

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Show notes

03:50 - Thoughts to Hungary, Budapest

Our thoughts are with you. Stay safe, Zen Studios staff, and your families.

07:50 - Rollers of the Realm key giveaway

Thanks to Phantom Compass, we have five Steam keys to give astute viewers of the show.

RollersOfTheRealmReunion MonarchHall01

To get one of five codes for Rollers of the Realm, do the following:

  1. Look for the phrases in the YouTube video linked above.

  2. Email blahblahblahcade@gmail.com after 9am PST March 19, 2022.

  3. Put the subject of "Rollers Contest."

  4. Include the two phrases we held up silently during the show.

The contest ends at midnight on March 19, 2022.

Good luck!

10:45 - Indiana Jones available now on all "legacy" platforms.

The single table Indiana Jones release is available on all platforms that run Pinball FX3 and its variants.

233 indiana jones grail

The game is pretty faithful to the original table.

The "Classic Arcade" (Williams/Pro) physics are really accurate, and you can see some of the tells if you’ve played the physical table. I found the shot-making in Pro mode a bit difficult to "dial in," and you really need to be accurate in your shot-making to get the points. Combo-ing the left-right ramp pattern is not easy in the arcade, but it is doable which is how you want the game to feel. No vacuum ramps in this digital recreation.

27:00 - Pro/Williams/Classic please explain

Zen needs to pick a more accessible name for the difference between Single Player versus Classic Arcade game modes. It is a constant source of confusion among players in Discord and other forums where you compare and contrast modes.

You could flatten the physics types and give them a clearer name in the game mode list for a table. Also, explaining the differences would be helpful as well. Something like:

  • Basic physics

    • Steeper flippers to make it easier to catch the ball.

    • Simple flipper tricks like bounce passes.

    • Less bounce in rubbers.

  • Pro arcade

    • Arcade-accurate flipper pitch.

    • Flipper tricks like drop-catches and tip-passes.

    • Slightly harder game settings over basic.

    • Live/bouncy rubbers.

  • Pro tournament

    • All the features of the pro arcade but with harder game settings.

    • Something else I’m not aware of because I don’t play tourney physics.

If that is too much, just keep it simple and make it more like basic video game settings:

  • Easy difficulty

  • Normal difficulty

  • Hard difficulty.

31:30 - Visual enhancements in Indy Jones

There are so many visual enhancements in Indiana Jones, but some are a hit, and some are a miss.

233 indiana jones castle grunewald

We go through the ones we like and don’t like and give reasons for each one.

In a future episode, keep an eye out for commentary about visual enhancements across all Bally/Williams pinball tables.

45:30 - Did Zen do a good job

We give our overall impressions of the game and make a call whether you should buy it or not.

50:30 - Some pointed discussion about licensing

We’ve covered the difficulties of licensing games time and time again on the show.

So if you are new to licensing and want to understand why this single table is $15, you need to sit down and soak this part of the show in. If you do, you will get a better perspective on why the cost is what it is.

It costs a lot of money to cover the licensing for Indiana Jones, and this must be passed on to the consumer.

As just one example, Harrison Ford’s (likeness only) fee was allegedly more than the "Arnold likeness fee" Farsight Studios had to pay for Terminator 2. We know the "Arnold fee" was the majority of the $60,000 Kickstarter. And that is just one aspect of this multi-headed hydra of a licensing challenge.

If you still firmly believe that the table should be $7 after listening to our factual commentary, then you are deluding yourself. Sorry (not sorry).

Thanks for listening

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Jared Morgan
Written by Jared Morgan Follow
Technical writer, product person, VR junkie.