With the recent release of AFMr from CGC, I think that the pinball producing world has changed. I think that this could be the start of competitive pricing and might lead way to the demise of Stern Pinball.
For years Stern has been buying finished cabinets and Playfields from CGC and has been charging a mark up for them. Stern assembles the games in house and keeps raising the price to see how much the market will bare.
With the development of MMr, CGC built the cabinets and playfields and paid Stern to assemble their games. Driving the cost up because you have 3 companies making profit off of one game. PPS, CGC and Stern.
Now with the production of AFMr, CGC has decided to assemble the games in house. This game has a cheaper build because you now have one less company getting paid from the product. Stern has been left out of the profit this time around.
But Stern still needs to purchase their playfields and cabinets from CGC, and they presumably charge a mark up on these parts to help with the bottom line. Making a profit off of CGC parts inside Sterns games. I also presume that CGC is making a profit off of the Playfield and cabinet to stay in business. Therefore a game built in house by CGC will always have the potential to cost less to manufacture. CGC will always charge Stern more for cabinets and playfields then it will cost them to make them.
CGC controls the ability of Stern to make new games. If the Playfield line at CGC is running full speed creating new playfields for AFMr, will they also be producing playfields as quickly for Stern? Could this lead to delays in Stern's factory because they are waiting for shipments of playfields and cabinets from CGC?
Unless Stern can begin producing their own cabinets and playfields then they will always be dependent on CGC to make new games, and they will always be charged a premium for these parts, an extra cost that they will need to pass on to the customer. CGC will have a manufacturing advantage over Stern because their not dependent on Stern to stay afloat, and their production cost will always be less then what they sell parts to Stern for.
This could be the beginning of competitive pricing for new games and CGC has a clear advantage over Stern.