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Thread: The lost decade of Paintball

  1. #1
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    The lost decade of Paintball

    When Smart Parts did what they did, I predicted to some close friends that we would have a lost decade of paintball. The reason is simple, to outlive the Smart Parts electro patent. Those with a passion for the sport would walk away rather than having to deal with SP.

    There are a number of other factors that contributed, but none, IMO, more than Smart Parts.

    It is interesting to see, that after nearly a decade from the height of paintball in this century, that this prediction is coming to fruition. It wont be long before their electro patent loses its protection.

  2. #2
    I got out of paintball right before all this happened I think. 2004/2005ish. Would AGD still be around producing new products if SP didn't do what they did?

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    Now its GI Sportz, which is Smart Parts 2.0.....
    "When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty." Thomas Jefferson

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyleyoung21 View Post
    I got out of paintball right before all this happened I think. 2004/2005ish. Would AGD still be around producing new products if SP didn't do what they did?
    Who knows, but probably not. The winds were blowing in a different direction....we're pretty lucky to have AGD around at all, even if it is in a smaller form.

    The mag survived the culling that the electro markers put on the gun market in the early/mid 2000's. Personally, I'm seeing more mags now than I did in since 2005. The last scenario I went to, there was an entire scenario team of 8-10 people who had nothing but new ULE mags, some looked like some nice OG collection mags too. All in all, I saw probably 15-20 mags out of 200'ish people. Not a bad showing at all.
    HARDY HAR HAR!

    And we're just gonna put a happy little bush in the corner right there, and it'll be our little secret. AND IF YOU TELL ANYONE! THAT, THAT BUSH IS THERE! I WILL COME TO YOUR HOUSE! AND I WILL CUT YOU!

  5. #5
    When all paintball innovation became slightly faster boards and slightly lighter markers, I stopped following. I used to watch for the new innovations every year. I haven't looked at paintball news in at least 8 years now apart from mags and phantoms and only those because I shoot them.

    But I do agree with dahoeb about the mag scene. I guess a lot more people are getting sick of over-priced hype and remembering the solid markers of yester-year because I've seen way more mags on the fields in the last 3 years than I did in maybe the 10 years before that.

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    Some people did walk away. But I feel the majority stayed. Some smaller companies folded but the majority of thoses were not the ones with cutting edge technology. They were the ones that had been running on the same design for awhile. Icd, Aka, Agd. The lawsuits did slow new companies for a short time. But even those are sill popping up.

    The last decade was much more about paintball stepping back, culling out the unneeded. Figuring out that the arms race that was going on wasn't in anyone's benefit.

    I feel he sport is doing better its aligned itself to be more about the average player then the tournament players. Scenarios seem to get more coverage then tournaments now. Which is good because the average player can play.

    So the paintball industry wasn't lost just misguided for awhile. Still has a ways to go.

    Unfortunately some who are now coming back are out of touch with all the good that has come and gone over the last 10 or so years
    Quote Originally Posted by dano_____ View Post
    I keep forgetting to not feed my mags after midnight so they seem to multiply regularly.

  7. #7
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    Electro patent expired last year, FYI.

    http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=5112033

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    Personally, I felt a combination of the game transitioning away from woodsball to speedball and electronic markers and now a shift. I have to say call of duty, airsoft, and the milsim movement in paintball have largely contributed to me and my friends getting back into paintball..at least in terms of rate of fire, the automag, compared to milsim markers, is extremely formidable. That in combination with ebbs and flows of life...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dayspring View Post
    Electro patent expired last year, FYI.

    http://www.pbnation.com/showthread.php?t=5112033
    That might be true but GI has sued APX, and Valken twice, all in the last year.

    They are Smart Parts 2.0.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by cougar20th View Post
    The last decade was much more about paintball stepping back, culling out the unneeded. Figuring out that the arms race that was going on wasn't in anyone's benefit.

    I feel he sport is doing better its aligned itself to be more about the average player then the tournament players. Scenarios seem to get more coverage then tournaments now. Which is good because the average player can play.

    So the paintball industry wasn't lost just misguided for awhile. Still has a ways to go.
    Well said, Cougar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cougar20th View Post
    Some people did walk away. But I feel the majority stayed. Some smaller companies folded but the majority of thoses were not the ones with cutting edge technology. They were the ones that had been running on the same design for awhile. Icd, Aka, Agd. The lawsuits did slow new companies for a short time. But even those are sill popping up.

    The last decade was much more about paintball stepping back, culling out the unneeded. Figuring out that the arms race that was going on wasn't in anyone's benefit.

    I feel he sport is doing better its aligned itself to be more about the average player then the tournament players. Scenarios seem to get more coverage then tournaments now. Which is good because the average player can play.

    So the paintball industry wasn't lost just misguided for awhile. Still has a ways to go.

    Unfortunately some who are now coming back are out of touch with all the good that has come and gone over the last 10 or so years
    yup

    SPs patent wars didn't kill paintball.

    video games killed paintball.
    "because every vengeful cop with a lesbian daughter, is having a bad day, and looking for someone to blame"

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    ^ Damn you Greg Hastings!

    I'm getting back into the sport because life has slowed down enough to allow me to. I was never an electro-marker fan as I liked the clunkiness and feel of mechanical markers. The last electros that even caught my attention were the FEP Quest and cam-fed Evil Omen.

    I enjoy going out and having a good time paintballing though my happy place is somewhere between the norms. I like the fields and speed of tournament-style play but hate how people simply shoot ropes using up a case of paint a game. That's not fun or skillful. I like woodsball and the variety of scenarios but hate the milsim side of it. I did my time in actual Service and have plenty of real steel so I don't care about playing pretend. If I want to sit and wait, like a paintball sniper, I'd rather grab a book instead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walking Stick View Post
    I like the fields and speed of tournament-style play but hate how people simply shoot ropes using up a case of paint a game. That's not fun or skillful.
    You’d probably like M500. Cuts the sitting and laning part pretty short.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    yup

    SPs patent wars didn't kill paintball.

    video games killed paintball.
    Never thought of the video games. Sounds right.

    Also I think airsoft has a good deal to do with the decline as well. My nephews and all his friends want nothing to do with paintball but will play airsoft everyday due to the realistic guns.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cougar20th View Post
    Also I think airsoft has a good deal to do with the decline as well. My nephews and all his friends want nothing to do with paintball but will play airsoft everyday due to the realistic guns.
    Airsoft's skyrocketing popularity is also due to video games, but in a positive way. The younger generation in their teens and younger are the "Call of Duty" generation. They've only known FPS, First Person Shooter, video games with realistic weapons and gear their entire lives. They have been using AK's, AR's, and all manner of weapons in virtual combat for YEARS. When they want to play something like that in real life, they naturally gravitate to airsoft since it offers the best simulation of that world. They can buy literal copies of the guns they've been playing with online for years. This is actually helping the gun industry too. These same kids can actually buy many real civilian versions of some of these military weapons, after they turn 21, if they have the money.

    When I first played paintball in '95, those type of games weren't developed yet for consoles. I liked paintball because it reminded me of watching GI Joe cartoons and playing 'war' in my neighborhood, not because I wanted to replicate actually battling drug lords or World War III with an M4 Carbine. If I had got into the game much later, I might have moved towards airsoft myself. As it is, I'm still more comfortable in my 90's era image of paintball, which is why I like the classic Mags so much.
    Last edited by Konigballer; 10-17-2017 at 10:14 AM. Reason: clarification

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    IMHO it's a two part issue.

    Number one was the economic downturn 2007-ish caused the rise of the electronic baby sitter/video games because expendable income became non existant, everyone pretty much kept their internet and already had computers / game consoles.

    Number two, fields became myopic in that their only focus was speedball and paintball became a newby unfriendly affair.

    Change paintballers attitudes, make a point to help a kid every time you play.

    If we all do this, that's how we can grow the sport.



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    Quote Originally Posted by cougar20th View Post
    Never thought of the video games. Sounds right.

    Also I think airsoft has a good deal to do with the decline as well. My nephews and all his friends want nothing to do with paintball but will play airsoft everyday due to the realistic guns.
    airsoft is also bananas cheap compared to paintball. you can shoot 30k rounds in a day, for 15 bucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    airsoft is also bananas cheap compared to paintball. you can shoot 30k rounds in a day, for 15 bucks.
    Interesting. I never priced it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    airsoft is also bananas cheap compared to paintball. you can shoot 30k rounds in a day, for 15 bucks.
    That's exactly why I took up airsoft. I prefer paintball, but for the price, it's hard to beat airsoft.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by going_home View Post
    Number two, fields became myopic in that their only focus was speedball and paintball became a newby unfriendly affair.
    ^This x10. All the fields I used to frequent back then started catering to their regulars to the point of alienating the walk-ons and first timers. Nobody wants to pay to be target practice for the home team.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    yup

    SPs patent wars didn't kill paintball.

    video games killed paintball.
    Actually- I believe that Paintball maimed itself, largely when it tried to re-image itself as a kid-friendly game of 'extended-range tag' and de-'militarized' it. This engendered hostility in the paintball community towards those that wanted to play 'war games' (mil-sim-ish, tactical-ish play styles) with camo and corresponding guns. Comments like "Camo is pointless", "look at all that crap on his gun", etc. This behavior and attitude drives away folks who want this sort of game, which is what most people who don't see speedball on ESPN (and other media sources) think paintball is all about.

    More on video games below.

    Quote Originally Posted by Konigballer View Post
    Airsoft's skyrocketing popularity is also due to video games, but in a positive way. The younger generation in their teens and younger are the "Call of Duty" generation. They've only known FPS, First Person Shooter, video games with realistic weapons and gear their entire lives. They have been using AK's, AR's, and all manner of weapons in virtual combat for YEARS. When they want to play something like that in real life, they naturally gravitate to airsoft since it offers the best simulation of that world. They can buy literal copies of the guns they've been playing with online for years. This is actually helping the gun industry too. These same kids can actually buy many real civilian versions of some of these military weapons, after they turn 21, if they have the money.

    When I first played paintball in '95, those type of games weren't developed yet for consoles. I liked paintball because it reminded me of watching GI Joe cartoons and playing 'war' in my neighborhood, not because I wanted to replicate actually battling drug lords or World War III with an M4 Carbine. If I had got into the game much later, I might have moved towards airsoft myself. As it is, I'm still more comfortable in my 90's era image of paintball, which is why I like the classic Mags so much.
    This is key- taking some ‘virtual’ experience and ‘doing it for real’- this has and will always be a factor. Before video games, popular media drove interest in paintball (combat films and television, and I just remembered the movie “Gotcha!”). Folks get into this idea and then, they look for ways to play it out. For some, computers/consoles will be enough but, may even drive players to other experiences. Virtual Reality will be satisfying to even more players than computers/consoles and given some of its potential, (a more accessible player base, the exercise value, no pain/bruising, no cleanup) it may even serve as a substitute for actual field time for a lot of folks. This will leave the potential paintball / airsoft community only with the folks who want to feel the impact, dirt and handle the guns. In other words, the hardest of the bunch.

    Here's an interesting fact about airsoft and paintball- Airsoft reached the big box stores of the time, at least a decade before paintball did.

    I got my first airsoft pistol (Daisy "Soft Air" 1911) in 1986-87 (from a Toy Store chain or, the toy section of a department store) and I immediately thought of how it could be used to play games with my friends. I quickly realized (based on experiences with laser tag, squirt guns, rubber band guns, and just yelling "bang") that it wouldn't work well because there's no reliable evidence of a hit. Airsoft (the game) became a thing first in overseas countries where there were restrictions on impact forces that severely limited or forbid paintball.

    In the 80s paintball clearly had a more ‘tactical’ feel in the player base, and in the businesses.

    In the 90s, key players (companies and media outlets) in paintball tried to re-brand it and pushed the speedball thing, especially in the U.S. The vast majority of fields I’ve ever been to, never fully went ‘speedball’ but, they almost universally changed their game formats (small fields, bunkers every 15-20ft, short time limits). Interestingly, Canada never seemed to have this image issue and, in part due to laws that restrict airsoft guns (as replica firearms), paintball up there has a much larger ‘tactical’ segment (most of the current milsim-ish paintball industry got its start up there). But now that speedball is shrinking (and some would say struggling) the industry is leaning back towards the ‘tactical’ side.

    Quote Originally Posted by dahoeb View Post
    That's exactly why I took up airsoft. I prefer paintball, but for the price, it's hard to beat airsoft.
    I’ve been told that airsoft has a relatively high turnover rate (fewer numbers of long-term adopters). I believe this is related to the lack of reliable hit evidence and playing in groups larger than personal friends. What I mean is that as a playing group gets larger and more impersonal, I believe that there will be a higher likelihood of cheating. Paintball hit marks help with this but don’t eliminate it as we are all aware of. Airsoft has no such quality, which leads to frustration, more cheating, and keeps it from being more successful than it currently is.
    Last edited by uv_halo; 10-18-2017 at 02:24 PM. Reason: readability

  22. #22
    Agree 100%
    From a poster at PB Nation:

    ""Jim, back to your cave. Bob Long is on the batphone..."

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
    Actually- I believe that Paintball maimed itself, largely when it tried to re-image itself as a kid-friendly game of 'extended-range tag' and de-'militarized' it. This engendered hostility in the paintball community towards those that wanted to play 'war games' (mil-sim-ish, tactical-ish play styles) with camo and corresponding guns. Comments like "Camo is pointless", "look at all that crap on his gun", etc. This behavior and attitude drives away folks who want this sort of game, which is what most people who don't see speedball on ESPN (and other media sources) think paintball is all about.

    i know this is a very common sentiment in some circles but i guess i dont really see it. i think generally tournament players tend to look down on rec players, but thats not as much a symptom of field type, as it is that tournament players simply tend to be better players ... because they take it seriously.

    #stillneverseenawoodsballtournamentwonbyateamthatw asn'tatournamentteam

    ok, maybe that hashtag got a little long.

    idk, maybe im wrong, but that's been my experience.

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    IMO, why wouldn't a field cater to a personal who will play every week, drop money for 3 cases of paint, buy the latest and greatest new gun versus selling a bag of paint to the guy that plays stock class with a gun older that the field or a woods baller who plays once a month? Yes 2 big drastic examples but the point is, fields are their to make money, they will always go the shortest quickest route. No field wants to loose money just to keep integrity of a preceived status. Businesses are there to make money.

    The biggest problem is that fields do not recognise that they must put on different hats for dealing with both the tournament types and woods ballers. The fields that do that, stay around. A successful field is one where they will listen to the customer before numbers start to decline. Tell the owner, tell the field, do not ***** & moan on the internet. Be active with your field. Tell them that this ref is good, that ref is bad. Help the field help themselves.

    With this, a field needs to know how to protect the walkons, they need to separate the skill levels because if you don't, you will kill the player base, the field will fail and you are left with nothing.

  25. #25
    anyone here run a field? i'd like to know how much is made from regular players versus the constant stream of rando's.

  26. #26
    If it's anything like the bowling business then rando's (which includes party's, corporate groups, etc.) make up the vast majority of sales. If your regulars are driving off new business, you're better off without them. OSG in NH has done a really good job IMO in creating a culture where the refs and the regulars really work to bring the squids along and present the sport in a positive light. They've also made a deliberate choice to not have any speed ball fields... I think that helps

  27. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by cockerpunk View Post
    i know this is a very common sentiment in some circles but i guess i dont really see it. i think generally tournament players tend to look down on rec players, but thats not as much a symptom of field type, as it is that tournament players simply tend to be better players ... because they take it seriously.

    #stillneverseenawoodsballtournamentwonbyateamthatw asn'tatournamentteam

    ok, maybe that hashtag got a little long.

    idk, maybe im wrong, but that's been my experience.
    I’m not talking about tournament players specifically. I’m really talking about the entire industry and those in the playing community that embraced speedball. I’m talking about the tournament formats that banned camo, the field operators that changed their setups to make effectively, every woodsball game a speedball game, the media outlets that pushed speedball tournaments as the ‘end game’, and told the community that the hottest gear was flashy, high ROF ‘markers’ and jerseys, and presented it as a kid-friendly game.

    I have mixed feelings about the manufactures of the late 90s and early 2000s. On one hand, I get the fear of the ‘gun stigma’ from the late 90s but, that never stopped Tippmann. On the other hand, the clear majority of manufacturers were focused on the speedball tournament scene, knowing that the vast majority of their customers would never participate in a tournament and use their capabilities against renters and other recreational players.

    All of the above led to the popular conclusion that ‘tactical’ was stupid and while I’m sure some tournament players voiced this, every comment I ever read or heard came from players who never even shot a paintball in a tournament, it was literally popular in the mainstream playing community to look down on more ‘tactical’ interests (gear, formats, tactics, etc).

    As for Tournament players dominating tournaments and looking down on non-tourney players, umm, duh? That’s true in just about every game I’ve heard of that has a tournament side to it. That being said, I don’t think paintball (in its native, pre-speedball form) is well suited for a tournament. I can poke holes in all of the current and past implementations but, I can’t say what would definitely work. I have ideas but, I feel they have just as many holes as what’s out there. I think the root of it is when you try to standardize everything in order to isolate the capabilities of the players and their teamwork, the game becomes less ‘tactical’. For example, when everyone starts knowing where the other team is (to include literal line of sight to the other team), stealth and concealment go right out the window.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    IMO, why wouldn't a field cater to a personal who will play every week, drop money for 3 cases of paint, buy the latest and greatest new gun versus selling a bag of paint to the guy that plays stock class with a gun older that the field or a woods baller who plays once a month? Yes 2 big drastic examples but the point is, fields are their to make money, they will always go the shortest quickest route. No field wants to loose money just to keep integrity of a preceived status. Businesses are there to make money.

    The biggest problem is that fields do not recognise that they must put on different hats for dealing with both the tournament types and woods ballers. The fields that do that, stay around. A successful field is one where they will listen to the customer before numbers start to decline. Tell the owner, tell the field, do not ***** & moan on the internet. Be active with your field. Tell them that this ref is good, that ref is bad. Help the field help themselves.

    With this, a field needs to know how to protect the walkons, they need to separate the skill levels because if you don't, you will kill the player base, the field will fail and you are left with nothing.
    I agree with everything except ‘protecting the walkons’. However, I must preface this disagreement with something more fundamental that we may disagree on- I don’t believe that paintball should have made itself ‘kid-friendly’ and that it should be primarily aimed at adults (who have at least some maturity, and disposable income).

    Here’s a great example of ‘another way’. Warplay Paintball in Virginia used to? (I haven’t been there since this whole FS round insurance debacle came up) rent A-5s with RTs, allow all firing modes, point blank shots and even blind firing. Every game had a distinct goal (bring a flag back across a bridge, escort a VIP through enemy controlled territory, defend a building for a given time), and they featured respawns (more often for attackers, less often for defenders). They gave great safety briefs (to include advice on stuff like how prevent being shot point blank), and they left large portions of the park natural, without bunkers every 15ft (but contractor grade structures at key locations). They pushed their field as providing an experience and I believe they delivered on that promise. They opened up a proper airball field but, it was strictly for airball games not included in the regular admission fees.

    I believe the proper approach is for the regular players to help the new players along. In my opinion, new players don’t really need to be protected but rather the regular players (with the support of the field staff) shouldn't tolerate ***-hattery.

  28. #28
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    uv_halo: i only stress to protect the walkons in that, when you have a birthday partt group or some preteens that have rentals and a hopper, they need protection from those that will dump half a case a game. No one wants that or needs to bunker a kid in a pickup game for nothing more than saying they did that. So yes, they need protecting because if you leave it up to the players, then you will have rental players not ahowing up because they will get murdered. Constantly slaughtering them does not foster an atmosphere of nurturing development in the sport. Picking on 12y/o children is not fun, and it should be up to the field to make sure they come back again, not only for their financial benefit but to build upon their player base.

    Now, you must understand that in the 90s, paintball as a sport, wanted to get mainatream, to get into the realm of X-games. You can not do that in the woods. How else can you bring the sport to the spectator? You need to get out of the woods for that. You need to be able to present the game to the viewer. Being held in the woods, though part of where the game started l, does not lend itself to that. Remote woods means its hard to get to. So they did need to do speedball.

    Also, speedball is what sold. Whether it was the Rate of Fire wars, where everyone was trying to hold the fastest gun, or the simple fact. In that era, you had guns of the month, proshops having the latest and greatest new guns, some by manufacturer, some by what was hot. Why, because that is what sold.by selling someone a $1200 gun, you know they where going to spend money on new packs, loaders barrels, etc. With that, they were good for cases of paint. You can only, normally sell one gun to a person, but you can sell hundreds of cases of paint to that 1 person. The faster the gun was , the more paint he ahot, the more money you make. Paintball economics.

    Now, you did have a movement away from mil-sim in the beginning. It only made sense. Even if the field banned camo, it was because they wanted to sell you something. Do you realize why camo was used because it was cheap and it worked well in the woods. So, why not look like a paintballer? Its not a bad thing, becUse that proshop, that field want to make money off you.

  29. #29
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    Speedball is not what was, or what is selling now.

  30. #30
    Speedball was what we were told we needed - but it frankly it never served anyone other than short sighted, greedy manufacturers and field owners with no business acumen or vision. It is obvious that speedball wasn't what was needed nor what sold (at least sustainability) - as this fact can be observed by the current miserable, static state of the industry.

    I started in paintball literally around the time organized, legitimate fields first started opening on the east coast. There were 3 guns in those days - Nelspots, Splatmasters, and PGPs. Pumps were a relatively *new* thing and premium "stock class" markers (Like Bushmasters) were still a few years away. I saw walk-on crowds just as big, just as excited and just as *potentially* profitable then as any other time in the history of the sport.

    The issue is that very few men like Tom Kaye (who brought HPA to the sport, then gave it away in "open source" fashion - for the betterment and growth of the industry) had any sort of vision about the future and most only were reaping what they could in the moment - usually at the expense of everyone else. Field owners were no better. Instead of creating awesome fields with amenities that drew players back, and charging for EXPERIENCE, they instead went the easy route and tried to make profits solely off of paint sales. It was OBIVIOUS over the years, as fields shrank (from acres to yards), game time limits became fractions of hours (from over an hour or more to 15 minutes or less...) that it all was a contrived effort only to induce more paint sales. The manufacturers whole heartedly threw into this paradigm, and created silly "air games" around the sole principal of generating the most volume of paint use possible.

    If paintball had stayed true to its roots (the present game formats resemble NOTHING of what the first 10 years did, nor the direction...) and business men with vision had led things, we 'd have amazing fields that, just like other places we pay lots of money to visit, we'd be happy to pay a profitable field fee to play. Instead things got off to slow but steady start, then the entire playing format was changed (not evolved - but literally replaced) with a version to support revenue and nothing more. Now all are reaping the logical repercussions of poor strategic planning and vision.

    Don't even get me started on the "it needs to be in a format that can be on TV" - the manufacturers drove this silliness too. There are a TON of sports that sell LOTS and LOTS of very expensive equipment that is not on TV at all, or only in a very limited , not very exciting format. Two that easily come to mind are cycling and golf - both are *extremely* equipment driven and both are horrible to watch on TV yet have outstanding participation regardless. NO ONE would suggest watching golf is interesting - yet its sales of equipment crushes paintball. Why? They don't charge by the stroke, or spend all their energy developing equipment that is LESS efficient (ie requires MORE stokes to achieve the same result) they do the opposite and create equipment that *works better* and they charge the participant for the EXPERINCE, not for their handicap.

    First strike and other ACCURATE shaped projectiles are the future of the sport, along with the experience associated milsim games. The days of running around on AstroTurf, dressed like a clown, dumping a half a case of paint or more per elimination are dead, they just haven't stopped twitching yet. If manufacturers had spent the last 20 years or so going the original direction, I think they'd be much further ahead. Instead the pie must now be split with airsoft and other emerging competitors...

    It will be interesting to see where things go, but right now it is not looking good. There seems to be a doubling down on paint sales as the life blood of the sport - leading the incestuous industry to attempt through multiple means (insurance, producing non-FSR compatible markers) to quash what is likely the only avenue forward if paintball is to exist in 10 more years.

    -Calvin


    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody View Post
    uv_halo: i only stress to protect the walkons in that, when you have a birthday partt group or some preteens that have rentals and a hopper, they need protection from those that will dump half a case a game. No one wants that or needs to bunker a kid in a pickup game for nothing more than saying they did that. So yes, they need protecting because if you leave it up to the players, then you will have rental players not ahowing up because they will get murdered. Constantly slaughtering them does not foster an atmosphere of nurturing development in the sport. Picking on 12y/o children is not fun, and it should be up to the field to make sure they come back again, not only for their financial benefit but to build upon their player base.

    Now, you must understand that in the 90s, paintball as a sport, wanted to get mainatream, to get into the realm of X-games. You can not do that in the woods. How else can you bring the sport to the spectator? You need to get out of the woods for that. You need to be able to present the game to the viewer. Being held in the woods, though part of where the game started l, does not lend itself to that. Remote woods means its hard to get to. So they did need to do speedball.

    Also, speedball is what sold. Whether it was the Rate of Fire wars, where everyone was trying to hold the fastest gun, or the simple fact. In that era, you had guns of the month, proshops having the latest and greatest new guns, some by manufacturer, some by what was hot. Why, because that is what sold.by selling someone a $1200 gun, you know they where going to spend money on new packs, loaders barrels, etc. With that, they were good for cases of paint. You can only, normally sell one gun to a person, but you can sell hundreds of cases of paint to that 1 person. The faster the gun was , the more paint he ahot, the more money you make. Paintball economics.

    Now, you did have a movement away from mil-sim in the beginning. It only made sense. Even if the field banned camo, it was because they wanted to sell you something. Do you realize why camo was used because it was cheap and it worked well in the woods. So, why not look like a paintballer? Its not a bad thing, becUse that proshop, that field want to make money off you.

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