Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mailbag Extra: Deep Water Edition

Where's the Hydrotec paintballs and the 50 cal issue at now?

This is two separate questions and I expect to have more info related to small ball soon so today's extra is about HydroTec. (Another mailbag question came over the transom recently that got me digging into something else that might provide some answers soon.)
If you've been following HydroTec you know (from tweets & their website) that they continue to stall while claiming to be working away diligently on things like paint seams and color combos, etc. Which is probably true but there is also speculation that there are other, primary causes at work. Around the time of the public disclosure of the HydroTec water-based paintball project there were rumors that one or more of the major paint suppliers would likely file suit against HydroTec if for no other reason than to impede their delivery to market. In the case of KEE the rumors swirled around the past employment of Mr. Ronnie Bayless who worked, in the past, on a number of paintball-related projects for R.P.Scherer and others. The rumored wedge was something on the order of proprietary knowledge and systems belonging to KEE via RP (included in the purchase/merger of PMI & National) given that Mr. Bayless was (then) employed by HydroTec.
The latest rumorology claims KEE never filed suit against HydroTec but did present them with a cease & desist order. Further the latest rumors claim Mr. Bayless no longer works for HydroTec but just when that relationship was severed (if in fact it has been--the website gives no indication it has) remains unclear. And finally rumors hint at a growing dissatisfaction with HydroTec's progress, or lack thereof, from a principle investor that VFTD reported last year was rumored to be Kraft Foods or a subsidiary company. VFTD has not confirmed that rumor but it continues in play in the deep background.
HydroTec is nearly a year behind their originally announced roll out date of January 2011 with no end in sight.


Harb said...

Kraft foods is about the only thing I would like to know more about. seems kind of tiny to warrant anything from a company that size.

Zamp said...

Well, while HydroTec keep talking and working, Russian manufacturer Art-Life made paintballs with up to 15% water in the fill.
AFAIK, the trick is in structuring the inner side of gelatine ribbon with some radiation (ultrasonic, I guess) which makes it unpenetrable by water.

Anonymous said...

The point is this product was supposed to be a cheaper and more consistent (accurate) paintball for the player, which is good news in anyone's book, unless your a competitor.

A cease and desist order is nothing more than playground bully boy tactics by an organisation that realises the new product is a winner or they had missed the boat on a previous opportunity.

Get the product to market and everyone should stop beating around the bush!

Anonymous said...

And while I'm on a rant 50 cal is a pathetic joke, great if you like being ripped off by an organisation that would have you believe smaller is better and all for the same price as .68 cal.

I think the playing community who actually pay for their paint are slightly aggrieved at being told something smaller, lighter, you can't see fly down the other end of a tournament field is going to be better for them (and oh by the way it's a couple of dollars cheaper per box) just how stupid do they think we are!!!!

Gabriel said...

I'd like to see Hydrotec finally release their paintballs, from what I've read, it looks to be a very promising product..maybe GI/DXS could buy their patents?

Anonymous said...

Well if nothing else, Hydrotech brought us a new font on VFTD ;)

Baca Loco said...

That was mighty observant of you, Anon. I didn't notice until you pointed it out. The style sheet is supposed to keep that from happening. Fixed. ;-)

Mark said...

Shit I'm still waiting for the seamless ball circa 1992.