Are you paying $1.00 a game to play pinball in your area?

(Topic ID: 203736)

Are you paying $1.00 a game to play pinball in your area?


By dcannan

1 year ago



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  • 176 posts
  • 103 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 11 days ago by dasvis
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    Topic poll

    “will you pay $1.00 to play one game of pinball”

    • yes it's worth it 63 votes
      53%
    • yes. but I'll play less 34 votes
      29%
    • wish i could but can't afford it 1 vote
      1%
    • no 21 votes
      18%

    (Multiple choice - 119 votes by 117 Pinsiders)

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    There are 176 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 1 year ago

    Several months ago I was told of a new place to play pinball. It's what I believe is being called a barcade. They serve alcohol, the bar is visible but separate still trying to appeal to family's. They had a lot of videos and only a few pins, I was thrilled to find that they had a Medieval Madness, and I played it a lot. I just went back wanting to play MM. They now have a lot of the newer pins. The MM that I had played before for fifty cents is now a dollar a game as well is all of the newer games costing a dollar per game, with just a few being seventy five cents. I wonder how many parents will be handing out dollars to their children the way I gave quarters? Now that my kids have grown I could afford it, but admit I only played a few games of MM looked at the others and went home.

    20
    #2 1 year ago

    It's the standard price these days.

    14
    #3 1 year ago

    If you are paying less than a dollar a play be happy. It isn't worth it nowadays to route at that price lol

    #4 1 year ago

    Most places in Seattle are 50-75 cents. I haven't seen a $1 game anywhere.

    13
    #5 1 year ago

    It’s $1

    We all gotta make a living. Barcade included.

    Plus one day I will die so I’m gonna make it rain pinball money & ribeyes until they bury me.

    #6 1 year ago

    We are very lucky in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area.

    Versus Gameplay (Stern Army location) in Plano, TX has a $10 entry ($20 30 day pass) and all games are on free play. Right now, seven pinball machines are available. Stern Aerosmith Pro, Stern Meteor, Stern Star Wars Pro, Bally Four Million BC, Bally Paragon, Bally Shadow and Gottlieb Atlantis. Stern Guardians of Galaxy Pro and Bally Future Spa are expected in December.

    Nickelrama Arcade (Stern Army Location) in Garland TX has a $3.00 entry fee and $0.20 (twenty cents) per game. They have all of the latest machines, including JJP Dialed In, Hobbit, and WOZ as well as Stern Star Wars, Aerosmith, Batman 66, Ghostbusters, Game Of Thrones, Kiss, Metallica, Walking Dead, Spider-Man VE, Mustang and Star Trek. Guardians Of The Galaxy Pro will be joining the collection in December.

    Cidercade in Dallas, TX has a $10.00 entry and all games are on free play. They have LE/premium versions of many of the latest Sterns and JJP games. They also have some 90s DMD games. 26+ Pins in all I believe.

    Freeplay Richardson and Arlington has a $10.00 entry all games are on free play. I am not sure of the lineup, but there are at least 6-10 pinball machines at each location I believe.

    Cinemark 17 in Dallas, TX has machines on token play. Believe it is 2 tokens per game.

    We are definitely blessed in the DFW Area.

    Marcus

    #7 1 year ago

    Pittsburgh area is generally around $1 per play or 3 games for $2

    #8 1 year ago

    Most of the games on location around here are $1/play. Can be hit or miss if its worth it since some machines have issues that the operator doesn't fix.

    I try to make a 2+ hr trek to Rock Fantasy in Middletown NY whenever I can, the pricing there is much more reasonable and the games are typically pretty dialed in.

    #9 1 year ago

    Every place in New England is a $1 and sometimes the new games cost like $1.25 or $1.50. Only in like NYC and NJ you start seeing .75 and .50 cent games. Even tournaments are expensive at like $10 a league night and $30 tourney fees. Pinball is super expensive to play. I have heard it's well over a $1 overseas. Another reason why pinball will never become super big like say a videogame. With a videogame it's $60 and then the DLC and if you really like the game you start buying the infamous "loot boxes". You don't have to buy loot boxes or DLC to play the game though. It's just the nature of the beast especially when Marco sells an arm and a leg for stuff. Yes I was SUPER shocked too when I re-found pinball again because I remember when it was .50 cents a game.

    Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

    If you are paying less than a dollar a play be happy. It isn't worth it nowadays to route at that price lol

    Especially with $9k or $6.5k games!

    #10 1 year ago

    No pinball in my area...except my basement and those are free...well sort of. I'm sure if I dollar cost averaged it they are way more than $1.00 a play

    #11 1 year ago

    Usually the new titles around here are set at $1.00/play flat, and older sterns+WPC are $0.75 and 3/2. I definitely end up pumping way more money into the 3 for 2 games since I buy in groups and sorta forget about how many games ago I last paid (esp after replays). With dollar play I've gotta put in four quarters every single play and it makes it really obvious how much money you're paying.

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    Usually the new titles around here are set at $1.00/play flat, and older sterns+WPC are $0.75 and 3/2. I definitely end up pumping way more money into the 3 for 2 games since I buy in groups and sorta forget about how many games ago I last paid (esp after replays). With dollar play I've gotta put in four quarters every single play and it makes it really obvious how much money you're paying.

    Let me propose a question to you all: do you play less if there is a dollar bill acceptor on the game? Seeing a $1 rolling away is a bit more visually than putting in quarters or change in my opinion.

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    Nickelrama Arcade (Stern Army Location) in Garland TX has a $3.00 entry fee and $0.20 (twenty cents) per game. They have all of the latest machines,

    where do they make their money from?
    it can't be from the games, .20 cent games might pay for the decals and part of the maintenance for the year.

    #14 1 year ago

    $2 a games in a lot of places in Australia

    #15 1 year ago

    We have about 15 games out there mostly newer Sterns and a couple WPC games..$2 for 3 is our standard price. Classics and non DMD games a flat $.50

    #16 1 year ago

    I love that there are several barcades in Denver that offer $.50/game pinball. But I realize those places are making their money off of drink sales, which are essentially subsidizing the cheap pinball. So I can't hold it against the operator when I see $1/play games outside of a barcade setting. How could they make a profit routing games on the traditional model using 1990s pricing when the new games are twice as expensive and the arcade market has drastically changed?

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from hocuslocus:

    where do they make their money from?
    it can't be from the games, .20 cent games might pay for the decals and part of the maintenance for the year.

    Drinking (resized).jpg

    #18 1 year ago

    1 Canadian Dollar, seems to a deal. That's 78 cents U.S. a game.

    1 Dollar a game is the norm. Have seen $1.50 per token, 1 token per game. The 3 games for $2 is the 2nd chute set up for Stern games in Canada.

    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

    If you are paying less than a dollar a play be happy. It isn't worth it nowadays to route at that price lol

    In 1993 I bought a new in the box Twilight Zone. It cost a little over $4000. About two years latter I purchased one from an operator for six hundred dollars. He had earned enough from the game at twenty five cents a play, and was replacing it with another new game. I dealt with him a few times and don't think he ever sold a game that hadn't earned its money back. I guess it's probably less people playing pinball. But in my time the cost to buy has doubled, cost to play twice that.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from dcannan:

    I wonder how many parents will be handing out dollars to their children

    None
    ..kids dont wanna play pinball, the games are there for us not our kids...they have redemption games for kids

    15
    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from cosmokramer:

    None
    ..kids dont wanna play pinball, the games are there for us not our kids...they have redemption games for kids

    And my kids can plow through quarters at .25 per play on redemption games way faster than I can on $1 pins.

    #22 1 year ago

    3 games on a nice CSI in Greensboro kept netting free games and I had to leave a few to watch the Movie.
    3 games on a Ghostbusters in a Laundrymat and I played for 3 minutes.
    Sometimes its worth it, I would gladly drop a few bucks in any of the newer machines, probably more in the older ones if they are maintained.

    #23 1 year ago

    The barcade here is $1. Problem is the mixed drinks are $9. When they opened you couldn't get near the place on the weekends but business looks down to me. If you gouge people on drinks AND the games are $1 it makes us want to play pins at home then go out later. If their games were .50 they would make a lot more money in the long run.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from hool10:

    Let me propose a question to you all: do you play less if there is a dollar bill acceptor on the game? Seeing a $1 rolling away is a bit more visually than putting in quarters or change in my opinion.

    I probably play a bit more with DBA as it takes less time to slip a dollar in than four quarters

    #25 1 year ago
    Quoted from zacaj:

    I probably play a bit more with DBA as it takes less time to slip a dollar in than four quarters

    Plus I'm more likely to have dollar bills on me than a roll of quarters (assuming we're talking about one or two machines tucked into a bar or shop vs a dedicated barcade, which will have change machines).

    #26 1 year ago

    None of the games offered the incentive of three games for a two dollars. I always like to get a bargain and would put in the quarters to get the extra game. I did eventually start paying full price for the first game. I walked away from to many poor playing games leaving credits.

    #27 1 year ago

    Yes... $1 a game or $2 for 3 games. In the 90's

    Now $2 a game here in NZ

    #28 1 year ago

    $1=1/$2=3 on Sterns around here. .50 or .75 per play on older WMS/Bally/DE. All at breweries.

    The new game in town is the barcade with 50 self serve taps, which are both new concepts in our town. Same prices as above but uses tokens. I like the ability to put tokens on a card instead of finding 1s or a roll of quarters. I also like the ability to sample many different beers and top them off whenever I need. Time well tell if the novelty wears off and if the maintenance is kept up.

    Also a member of a local collective where we have 25 games on free play. $20 a month gets you access two weeknights and Saturdays (and the league is free). True pinheads here so all the games are meticulously maintained.

    #29 1 year ago

    looks more like an arcade on their website, though I've never been there.
    the one "free play" place in the area that has the latest games is also a distro cost $15 bucks at the door, but they are only open from 9am to 2am and only two days a month.
    I went there for one of those opening and only wound up staying for a little over an hour. Probably only played 10 games, because it was so crowded. not like show crowded, but crowded crowded. the games filled up after 10pm and everyone just camped out. you had to maneuver btwn people when it was your turn to play.

    I think it's great they are doing well, but not my cup of tea, I'd rather pay the dollar.

    12
    #30 1 year ago

    standard here is
    .25 per play on EMS
    .50 per play on SS
    .75 or 3 for $2 on classic DMD (some DMDs are straight .75 because of how they price)
    New games are $1 when brand new. After a few months they typically go to 3 for $2
    JJP and more expensive stuff is $1 straight or 6 for $5

    Reality is that your .50 to play in 1992 is .84 in todays market.

    I hobby operate, but I am also ALWAYS happy to play a nice game for $1 per play and am thankful for those that put out nice games and maintain them.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Travish:

    The barcade here is $1. Problem is the mixed drinks are $9. When they opened you couldn't get near the place on the weekends but business looks down to me. If you gouge people on drinks AND the games are $1 it makes us want to play pins at home then go out later. If their games were .50 they would make a lot more money in the long run.

    9 bucks for a mixed drink? Jeesh. Plus a tip, 10 bucks a drink. Freakin buy your own booze and stay home and play your pins.

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    9 bucks for a mixed drink? Jeesh. Plus a tip, 10 bucks a drink. Freakin buy your own booze and stay home and play your pins.

    Or just bring your own drinks to the bar.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from Multiballmaniac1:

    9 bucks for a mixed drink? Jeesh. Plus a tip, 10 bucks a drink. Freakin buy your own booze and stay home and play your pins.

    Exactly. Let's just say my better half is probably good with one at that point then we go to another place (no pins though) and drinks are way better. At $1 a game at home we probably paid off several of my machines.

    #34 1 year ago

    I'll pay $1 for a well-kept game... But a lot of places in the Bay Area seem to have only new Sterns which I tend to play one or two games on then lose interest, or other DMD's in medium to bad shape.

    I was excited to go and play AFM and MM for the first time a few weeks ago, but they were both really worn down, partially cracked ramps, filthy PF's and pitted balls, so I only put in a few games on each. From the operator's perspective $1 p/p makes sense. But it helps if they keep their games in good condition.

    #35 1 year ago

    Here in South Jersey, there's a vending service that goes by the name of "Bill's Vending Service." I feel like he's got the monopoly on pretty much every location here. Every jukebox, pinball machine, pool table, soda machine, gumball machine, etc, has his sticker on it. Every single pinball machine I've ever seen or played from him has always been, and still is, 50 cents. Sometimes we get lucky, and there's a 3 plays for a dollar (or 5 plays for $2) bonus on the older William's games that he vends. Matches are still on (but VERY low percentaged). Games are usually a mixed bag of how well they're maintained, but for the price, I can't really complain.

    #36 1 year ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    We are very lucky in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area.
    Versus Gameplay (Stern Army location) in Plano, TX has a $10 entry ($20 day pass) and all games are on free play. Right now, seven pinball machines are available. Stern Aerosmith Pro, Stern Meteor, Stern Star Wars Pro, Bally Four Million BC, Bally Paragon, Bally Shadow and Gottlieb Atlantis. Stern Guardians of Galaxy Pro and Bally Future Spa are expected in December.
    Nickelrama Arcade (Stern Army Location) in Garland TX has a $3.00 entry fee and $0.20 (twenty cents) per game. They have all of the latest machines, including JJP Dialed In, Hobbit, and WOZ as well as Stern Star Wars, Aerosmith, Batman 66, Ghostbusters, Game Of Thrones, Kiss, Metallica, Walking Dead, Spider-Man VE, Mustang and Star Trek. Guardians Of The Galaxy Pro will be joining the collection in December.
    Cidercade in Dallas, TX has a $10.00 entry and all games are on free play. They have LE/premium versions of many of the latest Sterns and JJP games. They also have some 90s DMD games. 26+ Pins in all I believe.
    Freeplay Richardson and Arlington has a $10.00 entry all games are on free play. I am not sure of the lineup, but there are at least 6-10 pinball machines at each location I believe.
    Cinemark 17 in Dallas, TX has machines on token play. Believe it is 2 tokens per game.
    We are definitely blessed in the DFW Area.
    Marcus

    On the face of it, having barcades and other venues bundling their pinball prices into a door fee or drinks seems advantageous for the player. Yet, these sorts of venues placing games on free play or at nominal prices drives other operators away from pinball. So you might have more destination locations in a metro area, but fewer overall locations of traditionally priced games scattered all over the map. Most operators aren't going to be too keen on placing a $1 pinball machine within an easy drive of these free or cheap play venues.

    #37 1 year ago

    Played 32ish well maintained pins yesterday, from PinBot to Metallica, all 50 cents per play at Pins Mechanical Company in Columbus, Ohio.
    Champ Pub
    Hobbit
    Getaway
    AFM
    Scared Stiff
    GoT
    MM
    High Roller Casino
    Star Wars
    POTC
    Playboy old one
    Xenon
    BK 2000
    WCS94
    Fish Tails
    Shadow
    South Park
    Indiana Jones
    Eight Ball Deluxe
    PinBot
    Tommy
    Adams Fam
    TZ
    Space station
    Star Trek newer one
    Ghost Busters
    Shrek
    TWD
    Aerosmith
    Kiss newer one
    AC/DC
    Metallica
    One of these games was set to free play, but I'm not tellin which one. You'll have to find it on your own.

    -5
    #38 1 year ago

    Barcades are learning that they have to price the game at something to keep people interested. Most are going to at least $.25 or $.50 to play. If nothing else it keeps people from pushing the start button 4 times and walking away after the 1st, 2nd ball because they have something invested.

    Personally, I won’t play a straight $1 game. I’ll do 3 for $2 if it’s a well maintained B/W “it” title or newer Stern. If it’s an older, middle of the road kinda pin (JP JD T2 etc) the OP has made his money hand over fist and should just sell me the pin

    #39 1 year ago
    Quoted from dcannan:

    The MM that I had played before for fifty cents is now a dollar a game

    A usual problem with barcades. Over time either interest in games drops and they change format to keep alcohol sales up, or prices go up.

    Quoted from dcannan:

    I wonder how many parents will be handing out dollars to their children the way I gave quarters?

    Everybody's budget is different. I have 25¢ a play games, 75¢ a play games games, and $1 a play games. I try 3 games for $2 on the 75¢ games. And 6 games for $5 on the $1 a play games.

    I try to have the assortment to have something for everyone's budget.

    LTG : )

    #40 1 year ago

    I wish we had location pinball around here ...id gladly pay a dollar a game.

    #41 1 year ago

    Around here, newer Sterns are $1 a game or 5 games for $4. And Williams/Bally DMD games are 50 cents a game or 5 games for $2.

    #42 1 year ago

    I am totally fine paying a buck a game. If I found a pin around me, I'd be happy to pay that. If multiple pins were there, I'm happy to drop 20 bucks for a bit of entertainment. If it's the latest game, so much the better. And if there is a nice place to eat close by, I'll make it an afternoon.

    #43 1 year ago

    If the games play nice then $1.00 is good to me. If they play bad then I am done.

    #44 1 year ago

    6.75 pints (20 oz, not stupid 16 oz)
    Scratch made food to order.
    Tokens $1
    Tuesday's 2 credits for one token.
    Wednesday's free token with every purchase.
    Every other night 1 token to play. Any game.

    Pins are the niche draw. Service, food and drink keep them coming back.

    12
    #45 1 year ago

    A buck a game? Kidding me? That's a steal! This isnt 1982 folks, and given the cost of owning a pin these days it's nothing, NOTHING!!! support your local operators!
    Give your kids a buck, and at the same time teach them fine motor skills with a side order of both mechanical and electrical engineering!!!

    I love this hobby, beers on me.

    #46 1 year ago

    Here in The Netherlands, it's usually 1 Euro (about $1.20) per game, sometimes 3 for 2 Euro. At the local redemption arcade, with card readers instead of coin mechs, it's already 1.25 Euro per game.

    #47 1 year ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    On the face of it, having barcades and other venues bundling their pinball prices into a door fee or drinks seems advantageous for the player. Yet, these sorts of venues placing games on free play or at nominal prices drives other operators away from pinball. So you might have more destination locations in a metro area, but fewer overall locations of traditionally priced games scattered all over the map. Most operators aren't going to be too keen on placing a $1 pinball machine within an easy drive of these free or cheap play venues.

    I get it, but MAN I LOVE CIDERCADE in Dallas, I can’t wait to go back! Fantastic lineup of games!

    #48 1 year ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    We are very lucky in the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas area.
    Versus Gameplay (Stern Army location) in Plano, TX has a $10 entry ($20 day pass) and all games are on free play. Right now, seven pinball machines are available. Stern Aerosmith Pro, Stern Meteor, Stern Star Wars Pro, Bally Four Million BC, Bally Paragon, Bally Shadow and Gottlieb Atlantis. Stern Guardians of Galaxy Pro and Bally Future Spa are expected in December.
    Nickelrama Arcade (Stern Army Location) in Garland TX has a $3.00 entry fee and $0.20 (twenty cents) per game. They have all of the latest machines, including JJP Dialed In, Hobbit, and WOZ as well as Stern Star Wars, Aerosmith, Batman 66, Ghostbusters, Game Of Thrones, Kiss, Metallica, Walking Dead, Spider-Man VE, Mustang and Star Trek. Guardians Of The Galaxy Pro will be joining the collection in December.
    Cidercade in Dallas, TX has a $10.00 entry and all games are on free play. They have LE/premium versions of many of the latest Sterns and JJP games. They also have some 90s DMD games. 26+ Pins in all I believe.
    Freeplay Richardson and Arlington has a $10.00 entry all games are on free play. I am not sure of the lineup, but there are at least 6-10 pinball machines at each location I believe.
    Cinemark 17 in Dallas, TX has machines on token play. Believe it is 2 tokens per game.
    We are definitely blessed in the DFW Area.
    Marcus

    Honestly, the pinball and the Texas BBQ is why i can’t wait to get back to DFW lol

    #49 1 year ago

    In a city I visit the arcade is .75 per play. The pins are maintained. I would probably think a bit harder at $1.00 per game but a buck ain't that much when I remember being a kid in the 60s and pinball was a quarter a game and gasoline was .25 a gallon. Kind of even steven.

    Today, gas is $2.50 per gallon and pinball has lost ground comparatively as it struggles for $1.00 per game acceptance. Comparatively, pinball at $2.00 per game could be considered a bargain against the gallon of gas.

    #50 1 year ago

    Sunshine Laundromat is 75 cents for all games. That seems a fair price, considering how well the machines are maintained. I've played over 200 games on various machines, and not once have I gotten a match! Since I don't know what I'm doing on the new machines, games are VERY short.

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