Pinball News Presents : PREDATOR PINBALL: THE INSIDE STORY : Kevin Kulek Talks About The Predator Pinball Fallout.
Pinball News posted an interview with Skit B Pinball’s Kevin Kulek about his side of the Predator Pinball fallout.
It was the talk of the pinball world when we published our report into the Predator Pinball project and confirmed for the first time what had only been suspected up until that point – that Skit-B Pinball did not in fact have a licence for the use of the Predator name or any of the other assets used in the game.
We ended that article with the hope that Predator Pinball could be saved and those who pre-ordered could eventually get their game. Unfortunately, so far none of those possibilities have have so far proved to be the lifeline which could save the project.
So to get his take on the event of the past few weeks, what it all means for the project, the buyers, and for him personally, Pinball News spoke to the man at the eye of the storm, Skit-B’s Kevin Kulek.
He told us how it had been a tough time for him and his family, and although we had asked him many questions in the preparation our report, Kevin felt he still had a lot to say and wanted to fill in some of the blanks left after our earlier conversation.
So we are happy to give him this opportunity to put his side of the story.
Key amongst the claims he makes is how Skit-B did contact Fox at the outset, before they built the first prototype Predator game, and received some kind of guidance about what they could and couldn’t do for their own personal project.
Although this is something that is very different to a licence to make a commercial product, that, he says, is how they interpreted it at the time.
“The general consensus, the general thought people have is that we have done something really bad intentionally, and I would really like to clear that up”, he told us.
“You see the thing with that is, when we were first starting out, the pinball landscape was much different. This is when it was just Stern and this random guy from New Jersey might be trying it out, you know. We did contact Fox initially, and they had given us, like…. I don’t really know how to say it, it’s almost like, how to do this under fair use kinda thing. We read it as a permission to do what we were doing. And it’s like, this really dark corner of this really small, niche community and, you know, it’s no big deal.”
This was before the announcement of the intention to build and sell 200-250Predator pinball machines, when it was still Kevin and Aaron’s next basement project.
“Yeah!”, he said. “So when it came to licensing we could make these things and people could buy them. So it was like, we’ll make sure it was OK with the people on the licence, because that’s obviously something we’ll have to deal with. And… in retrospect is seems as though it was, their take on it was we’re just, you know, a couple of guys who are going to make this thing and ride around the shows because we like to do that kind of thing. I guess a better sharing of intent would have… maybe helped that to be resolved sooner. But at the time we were just looking for permission and we thought we found it. And we moved on.”
Even when Fox told them to remove all mention of the Predator project from their website and stop promoting the game, Kevin says they didn’t see this as a big deal.
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