(Topic ID: 203736)

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


By dcannan

2 years ago



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  • 184 posts
  • 107 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by fish1975tx
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    Topic poll

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

    • yes it's worth it 70 votes
      53%
    • yes. but I'll play less 39 votes
      30%
    • wish i could but can't afford it 1 vote
      1%
    • no 22 votes
      17%

    (Multiple choice - 132 votes by 129 Pinsiders)

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    There are 184 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
    #101 2 years ago
    Quoted from Dooskie:

    Yeah, gotta love it when people that have no clue about how to run a pinball business, and are unsuccessful running their own business, make those kinds of suggestions.

    Every business owner has to be careful of ‘helpful’ advice from failures and wannabes. Just like every restauranteur that gets an earful from people who think they know how to run a restaurant just because they know how to eat in one.

    #102 2 years 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 most of the better redemption games are.....$1.00 per play!

    #103 2 years ago

    Then you haven't been to Shorty's lately.

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

    #104 2 years ago
    Quoted from dcannan:

    When I first saw your post, I thought, what about the guy raising three kids like I did. Then I remembered in the eighty's I'd start each kid and my self with a roll of quarters, and usually ended up getting more before we were done.
    Good point

    Oh those were good times. For me it was the early 80s, and I'd go into Fun and Games in Framingham MA with 10 bucks. I could walk around for 20 minutes looking at machines with a roll of quarters in my pocket. Then I'd finally pick my first game and tear into the orange goodness that was that roll of quarters. Good times.

    #105 2 years ago

    In DC metro we have a many great places that DON'T charge $1 play (which is why people go back). The best spots are Vuk, Lyman's Tavern, The Blackcat and the Red Zone Grill ($1 play on a couple of select pins @ RZG). When you get out to the suburbs there's a few here and there that are $1, but they don't get played much. I personally am not willing to pay $1 continuously to play. Vuk is ALWAYS busy because they run a small NY pizza menu with beverages... more of a family place than the others which are bars. We hit that place all of the time and the staff is great and accommodating if anything goes wrong with the machines. We are very fortunate to have so many options around us.

    #106 2 years ago

    A buck a game is too much. I still play, but not really a fan of the newer games. I'll stick to the older classics. Plus, the only games around are 100 miles away and not always maintained properly.

    #107 2 years ago
    Quoted from jefryan:

    In DC metro we have a many great places that DON'T charge $1 play (which is why people go back). The best spots are Vuk, Lyman's Tavern, The Blackcat and the Red Zone Grill ($1 play on a couple of select pins @ RZG). When you get out to the suburbs there's a few here and there that are $1, but they don't get played much. I personally am not willing to pay $1 continuously to play. Vuk is ALWAYS busy because they run a small NY pizza menu with beverages... more of a family place than the others which are bars. We hit that place all of the time and the staff is great and accommodating if anything goes wrong with the machines. We are very fortunate to have so many options around us.

    VUK and Lyman's both own their own machines, which isn't usually the case for route pinball. They get 100 percent of the coin drop. That's why their pricing is somewhat feasible. Its also pretty presumptuous to say people "wouldn't go back" if the games were $1 a play. I've been to Lyman's many times and I see a crowd that would keep playing if the games were a buck.

    Hell, they sell $15 beef jerky there - but people buy it and come back for more because it's amazing. People will do the same for good pinball machines in good shape at $1 a play.

    It's not 1989 anymore. This toxic attitude toward $1 a play -along with insistence on free games, replays, specials - is horrible for pinball in 2017.

    #108 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    VUK and Lyman's both own their own machines, which isn't usually the case for route pinball. They get 100 percent of the coin drop.

    Lyman's doesn't own their machines, they're owned and operated by Dave Barber aka DAB Amusements. I don't know what the split is, though.

    #109 2 years ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    Lyman's doesn't own their machines, they're owned and operated by Dave Barber aka DAB Amusements. I don't know what the split is, though.

    Didn't realize that - isn't it at least a mix of games? I think the establishment owns the older games.

    Do you think people would stop playing there at a buck a game?

    #110 2 years ago

    I'm 99% sure it's all Dave Barber. Although sometimes he subcontracts with local pinheads to put their games on location.

    Last I heard the Black Cat was a mix of the owner's games and games owned and operated by the former Town Hall op, Chris - maybe you were thinking of that.

    As to the pricing, I have no idea. I know that I can go spend a couple hours playing and maybe spend $10, which always seems like a crazy value.

    #111 2 years ago
    Quoted from westofrome:

    I'm 99% sure it's all Dave Barber. Although sometimes he subcontracts with local pinheads to put their games on location.
    Last I heard the Black Cat was a mix of the owner's games and games owned and operated by the former Town Hall op, Chris - maybe you were thinking of that.
    As to the pricing, I have no idea. I know that I can go spend a couple hours playing and maybe spend $10, which always seems like a crazy value.

    Have you tried the beef jerky? The bartender was almost sheepish when she said it was 15 bucks. But it's amazing.

    #112 2 years ago

    They say everything is more expensive in NY but $15 beef jerky
    Is it a big piece, bag?

    Quoted from CrazyLevi:Have you tried the beef jerky? The bartender was almost sheepish when she said it was 15 bucks. But it's amazing.

    #113 2 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    This toxic attitude toward $1 a play -along with insistence on free games, replays, specials - is horrible for pinball in 2017.

    I just stated my opinion which I don't think is necessarily toxic. I know several other pinball folks that don't think $1 games are worth it is all. Not a big deal, to each his own. Also, I specifically asked the manager at Lyman's last time I was there (about 4 weeks ago) and he told me that the games were owned by someone else and they split the cut. Maybe he didn't know any better?

    #114 2 years ago

    To be fair, the ability to win replays and matches were part of what got me hooked on pinball initially - it's a significant differentiator from other coin op games. I think it'd be much better to reduce the match percentage and up the replay score thresholds without killing this unique aspect of the game entirely.

    #115 2 years 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 understand your point. But the operators were not putting games out before these places opened their doors. DFW was a strong collector area, but the machines on route were few and far between. And nobody, outside of the Movie Theaters and Nickelrama, were putting games on location once the well known arcades started to fade.

    Personally, I enjoy supporting these businesses that decided to invest so much time and money into creating a great pinball experience. And if that means that some other operators will not try to compete with them by placing traditionally priced games throughout the DFW Area, then I'm ok with with that trade off.

    My 0.02.

    Marcus

    #116 2 years ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    I understand your point. But the operators were not putting games out before these places opened their doors. DFW was a strong collector area, but the machines on route were few and far between. And nobody, outside of the Movie Theaters and Nickelrama, were putting games on location once the well known arcades started to fade.
    Personally, I enjoy supporting these businesses that decided to invest so much time and money into creating a great pinball experience. And if that means that some other operators will not try to compete with them by placing traditionally priced games throughout the DFW Area, then I'm ok with with that trade off.
    My 0.02.
    Marcus

    Gotta agree with this. Here in DC we had a (very) few scattered route games that were barely maintained and $1 a game for years, and almost nothing else. Now that we have several locations dedicated to pinball, the handful of op-of-all-trades route games out there stick out as a sore thumb even more. No one would miss them if they went away. If anything, locations should be encouraged to work with pincentric ops - because the maintenance is beyond the traditional ops.

    #117 2 years ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Were you cleaning games when me and a buddy were there today? Lol

    Haha, nope, weekend bouncer, although I'm super interested in learning, my "maintenance" skill is limited to getting stuck balls.

    #118 2 years ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    I understand your point. But the operators were not putting games out before these places opened their doors. DFW was a strong collector area, but the machines on route were few and far between. And nobody, outside of the Movie Theaters and Nickelrama, were putting games on location once the well known arcades started to fade.
    Personally, I enjoy supporting these businesses that decided to invest so much time and money into creating a great pinball experience. And if that means that some other operators will not try to compete with them by placing traditionally priced games throughout the DFW Area, then I'm ok with with that trade off.
    My 0.02.
    Marcus

    Interesting, so traditional operators were turning a blind eye to location pinball and barcades pounced upon the opportunity. Also, I would agree it is better to have only a handful of great venues than spotty coverage or no location coverage.

    I just checked pinballmap and I was surprised to see that the DFW metroplex had so few games on location as a proportion to the population, even with the barcades. It sounds like if those barcades were NOT doing so well, that pinball on location would be a real problem in DFW. This seems odd to me because as you said, and I agree, the collector market is very strong with one of the best annual pinball shows in the country. Makes me wonder why operators did not place games? Some regulation/law creating a disadvantage? Distribution not championing location pinball?

    #119 2 years ago

    ltg good post. Usually guests in my house will comment that I should open an arcade and charge people. They will suggest turning it into a business and charging $5 or $10 per day. I usually smile and say good idea, but in my mind I am thinking, that wouldn't cover my parking fee nor increased liability insurance.

    Happy to pay $1 per game or 3 for $2 - if the game is fully working and a newer title. 75 cents seems right for older dmd's and 50 cent for SS. If a super arcade opened near me, I'd likely sell off many machines to skinny up some.

    #120 2 years ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    Makes me wonder why operators did not place games?

    If pinball machines made money. Operators would place them. Or if they were subsidized by something, like say alcohol i.e. barcades, you'd see them.

    The last decade or so have seen a lot of barcades come and go. Some last, some don't. Once the attraction wears off and alcohol sales drop, they change format like dump the pins and try something else or close. Read old posts on RGP a decade ago when barcades were hot in Detroit. All the excitement when they were opening up, pinball is growing, pinball is coming back. Nobody followed up a few years later when they were mostly gone.

    In my area Insert Coins came on like gangbusters three or four years ago. Changed format twice, and closed.

    Unless your players are huge drinkers ( the ones complaining about $1 play, but don't mind $8 drinks or expensive food ) the alcohol sales will be a tough go. And once the people that do drink a lot, realize they are subsidizing the games which they don't care about. They drift away. It's a vicious cycle. Note the places already changing from 25¢ play to 50¢ play. They already see a problem with the format.

    LTG : )

    #121 2 years ago
    Quoted from Ericc123:

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

    Where are some good places in the burgh?

    #122 2 years ago

    I'll go out of my way to play a cheap game sometimes. Occasionally there will be a brand new game somewhere at 4 or 6 credits to a dollar, I guess for the op to break it in? I'm speculating, maybe the factory setting is like that, don't know. There was a Star Trek in Brooklyn that was 6 for a buck for a good long time. The right flipper would stick up but I'd play that thing every chance I got. It got replaced with a tired Rolling Stones eventually... ug.

    #123 2 years ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    That's the thing... I'm not terrible. So imagine what it's like for people who stink at playing too. They're going to blow through their dollars/tokens even quicker and not want to feed more money into the barcade.
    So there's a place my GF and I are going tomorrow in Boston. Basically all games are $1/play... AND the beers are like $6/ea.
    (Let's ignore the girl for a minute, though she can play!)
    Example A - I buy $20 in tokens, which in turn gets me 20 games. I believe Op's in other threads said ideal ball time for $1 games are 3-5 minutes. So let's take the average of 4min/play and I'm sipping on drinks between games. That's only like 90 minutes, and if my focus is on pins, I've maybe only ordered 3 beers tops. So the revenue for the barcade is $20 + (3x$6) = $38. At that point if I'm considering diving back in, I'm looking at potentially doubling that expense and instead usually call it and leave because $72 in one evening is a LOT of money for myself to drink and play pinball.
    Example B - I buy $20 in tokens, which in turn gets me lets say 30-40 games ($0.50-$0.75/play) now I'm there for 2.25 - 3 hours, basically double the time. I've ordered 5 drinks, and because I'm 5 drinks deep that menu is looking awfully nice (and this place does have good food). Same coin drop, but they've gotten two more profitable drinks off of me, and I'm ordering food. After that, perhaps I have a 2nd wind because we talked about the games we just played and how we were so close to the GC score. Now they've received $20 + (5x$6) = $50 + food + a potential 2nd token purchase as I don't feel like leaving yet as I feel I've been getting good value for the money I've spent. Plus I am more inclined to return, perhaps with friends, and just spread the word in general.
    OR...
    Example C - Johnny Hipster walks in because pinball is all the rage, and gets $20 in tokens. He gets schooled because GoT is too damn fast, TWD has a flipper gap he can't manage, and KISS tilts when someone across the room sneezes. He burns through that $20 in less than an hour, wonders where that money went so quick, realizes even a movie ticket yields a better entertainment/hour ratio and decides not to return. In that time, he only had 1 PBR tallboy for the bar's $3 special. They made a quick $23 off of him, but I bet he ain't coming back.
    I understand people need to make money, but this isn't the travelling carnival where it's about the quick buck. IMO Barcades should be about building a base of loyal customers, and strategically pricing things so we want to do 2 things and 2 things only - STAY and RETURN another day. If they can't do those things properly, they'll go the way of all the frozen yogurt places named after random fruits and colors. There's something to be said about games constantly getting $0.50 dropped in them vs. $1 sitting there not being played, and again I'm talking barcades here.

    Wow, you drive from New Hampshire to Mass and expect to take your lady out on a date and show her a good time in the big city for $20.00!?!?!?! Seriously are you a student or employed or what? You can't go to a friggin movie today for $20.

    #124 2 years ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    I was trying to point out that you might have more pinball in more locations, throughout your metro area, if these barcades weren't charging rock bottom prices for pinball. As it is, it sounds like these locations are terrific places to play, so by all means enjoy the party.

    I guess that's kind of the point. I don't want to go to 50 different places to play pinball, and I damn sure will not pay a buck a game for any reason other than to decide if I'm interested in buying a game...not with the way games are designed these days. Man, I'd be super pissed paying a buck to play say.... a fast/tilty Aerosmith or TWD, where the average game time is probably under 5 minutes.

    #125 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    Wow, you drive from New Hampshire to Mass and expect to take your lady out on a date and show her a good time in the big city for $20.00!?!?!?! Seriously are you a student or employed or what? You can't go to a friggin movie today for $20.

    Wow, Mike, wow. 1) Both - I work and she's a student. 2) I clearly mentioned in the quote you quoted that I was removing my date from the examples and was providing single person scenarios. 3) When you met my GF and I at A4cade this summer, I hope you learned we aren't exactly the penny pinching type, but also not idiots either.
    If a game is $1 and is just basically taking dollars from us because it tilts when a fly lands on the machine next to it, we get tired of donating money for 1 plunge, 2 flips, and a tilt. I'm also the guy who introduced you the thread about Stern cabinets cracking, and then months later passed on the AS for sale at FTJ's because both corners are cracked. AND we're potentially about to buy a great game at a fair price from a Pinsider/coworker so he can offset his GOTG purchase he just made from you. Basically, we have some cash, but whether it's $1/play or $4K+ for a used machine, we always analyze what we're getting in return when we spend.

    BTW - I also gave you guys a referral yesterday, so please take the following as constructive. And hopefully you also remember from this summer that neither my GF nor I are rough players. So continuing on my last post...

    Real World Example D:
    We go out to The Automatic on Tuesday night, have a fantastic $70 dinner and decide to go across the street to one of your two local locations, because the lineup never fails to impress, and the staff is great should an issue arise with one of the games.
    We get $20 in singles and go right to the new AFMr. Tilt out of 1 of my 3 balls. Next game, 2 out of my 3. She tilts on a ball as well. We were disappointed with AFMr as we didn't feel like we even got to play it. Next - AS. Unfortunately the same thing. $8 down, only two 3-ball games have occurred without a tilt. Over to GOT and TWD, more of the same. Finally TAF, and I decided to stop playing after the first game. She scored a replay and played alone.
    We simply quit and ended up leaving borderline upset. We didn't even spend the full $20, let alone re-up, so the location only received $9/person + I had a few beers, but we planned to spend HOURS there. If a ball is bouncing around an outlane, I should be able to gently nudge back into play... at least get a warning. But almost every time, it was nudge-->warning-->warning-->TILT. There was virtually no middle ground. At some point it feels less like pinball and more of a donation.

    We almost called it a night, but because it was still so early, on a quick whim went next door to State Park - a place that (last time we were there) had a beat AFM w/ no rear GI and a very dim T3... but they were $0.50/play and at least shot ok.
    They changed the lineup to an ok players TSPP and a gorgeous MET Pro LED... both on $0.50/play, with very generous tilts. We ended up staying 2 more hours than we expected, I bought a good amount of drinks from the establishment, and even met some guy there who was so into pinball, we just started paying for his games to join in with us. I can't even speak to how TSPP was because we just kept feeding MET.

    My GF still thinks you guys are great, and I still even followed up the next day with the guy looking to buy to give him your full Pinside and BPA contact...but the GF said she strictly wants to go to State Park next time we go in because the contrast in what she saw for value. I think her words were "It's like having my hands tied behind my back. Am I supposed to just allow a game to take $1 from me and then drain without ANY attempt at save from me?". I don't disagree with her.

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    #126 2 years ago
    Quoted from BrianBannon:

    Interesting, so traditional operators were turning a blind eye to location pinball and barcades pounced upon the opportunity. Also, I would agree it is better to have only a handful of great venues than spotty coverage or no location coverage.
    I just checked pinballmap and I was surprised to see that the DFW metroplex had so few games on location as a proportion to the population, even with the barcades. It sounds like if those barcades were NOT doing so well, that pinball on location would be a real problem in DFW. This seems odd to me because as you said, and I agree, the collector market is very strong with one of the best annual pinball shows in the country. Makes me wonder why operators did not place games? Some regulation/law creating a disadvantage? Distribution not championing location pinball?

    I think part of the problem of being an operator in the DFW area is the local pinball community. We are used to being able to play games in excellent working condition. And while the games at the local Pinball places are not always 100%, they are normally being maintained by someone. And all it takes is a quick word to the management and the game will be fixed in the next few days.

    A route operator that is simply dropping a game into a location and then coming back every few weeks to collect the coin drop is going to find that DFW players will not drop coin into a non-functioning or poor playing machine. And since the OP is not maintaining the game, the coin drop is only going to get worse. So after a while, the operator will simply stop putting pinball on location and go with something else.

    I'm not sure that DFW would ever support pinball without a place like Versus, Nickelrama or Cidercade. And I believe that is because we have grown accustomed to playing nicely maintained machines in our own collections and at TPF. So any on route machine would have to live up to that expectation in order to get any serious coin drop here. Our players are not interested in playing pinball just to save pinball on route. They want an experience that is different from their personal collections, while maintaining the standards that their collections offer.

    My 0.02

    Marcus

    #127 2 years ago
    Quoted from Xerico:

    I'm not sure that DFW would ever support pinball without a place like Versus, Nickelrama or Cidercade. And I believe that is because we have grown accustomed to playing nicely maintained machines in our own collections and at TPF. So any on route machine would have to live up to that expectation in order to get any serious coin drop here. Our players are not interested in playing pinball just to save pinball on route. They want an experience that is different from their personal collections, while maintaining the standards that their collections offer.

    curious, are there no route players that are outside of the collector wordl in your area?

    I used to think that was the case. Then we started putting games out and I quickly found out that the majority of regulars on route dont own any (or just 1) game, dont associate with the collector group, or are complete casuals.

    I fully agree that good maintainence is key to any route (either hobby or those crazy enough to try and do it to make money), but just wanted to point out in my epxerience the hardcores are a small % of what I see playing around town.

    #128 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    curious, are there no route players that are outside of the collector wordl in your area?
    I used to think that was the case. Then we started putting games out and I quickly found out that the majority of regulars on route dont own any (or just 1) game, dont associate with the collector group, or are complete casuals.
    I fully agree that good maintainence is key to any route (either hobby or those crazy enough to try and do it to make money), but just wanted to point out in my epxerience the hardcores are a small % of what I see playing around town.

    I'd love to find out but I don't have the capital to invest to even try. I can tell you that from my experience, any time I'm at Nickelrama OR a local Cinemark, at any given time when you discard collectors/known tournament players, those machines are at BEST 50% occupied. This is probably going to get me crapped on for saying it, but frankly, I wonder if any part of it has to do with demographics. We have a *vast* community of non-english speakers, both hispanic and asian, in parts of Dallas. I don't know about hispanic areas like Mexico or whatnot, but pinball was never all that big in Korea or Vietnam AFAIK, and those both make up large parts of the Asian communities here.

    #129 2 years ago

    as a hobby operator, i charge .50 for all DMD (earliest in terms of release date is Hook, newest is GB Pro,) and put system 11's on .50/.75/1. my slower locations typically get less expensive machines or ones that have already paid for themselves (these are not necessarily less popular, just ones that i am less worried about getting a big return on.) i have five locations at the moment, 2 are dedicated beer/barcades, 2 are brew/tap houses, and one is a traditional bar.

    the arrangements with owners varies, but in the smaller locations i have typically negotiated a minimum guarantee or much more advantageous split. generally those owners are not relying on coin drops to cover costs but using pinball as a way to draw in more customers for their food/drink.

    there is a lot of interest in both the Seattle and Portland areas but there are also plenty of operators from traditional to hobbyists, and the competition for quarters is strong. except in the case of a few very popular locations (Shorty's, Full Tilt Ice Cream) it's pretty unusual for games to be over .50 for long when new or possibly at all. many of them are mixed between different operators and we've found that pricing some DMD games higher than others (even new ones) drives players to the lower-cost games. i mean, yeah, the new Star Wars is pretty sexy-looking but after a play or two a lot of players will happily drop their coins in a TAF instead if it's cheaper. and raising all prices risks driving players to one of the myriad of other locations that aren't far away.

    with the current arrangements most of the games will pay for themselves in 18 months to 2 years, which is a time frame i am comfortable with since i am not relying on any of the revenue for living expenses.

    as a note, i also operate a number of video games and an Ice Cold Beer*; all of these paid for themselves within a few months and help support the cost of acquiring more pins. some of them generate more revenue that some of the pins, with of course way less maintenance.

    *yes, i got a stupidly good deal on my ICB.

    #130 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    but just wanted to point out in my epxerience the hardcores are a small % of what I see playing around town.

    True here in N CA, too, or Ghostbusters Prem wouldn't be making so much money. GB Prem and XMEN LE have drifted to the top of the earnings on the route I help with.

    #131 2 years ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Wow, Mike, wow. 1) Both - I work and she's a student. 2) I clearly mentioned in the quote you quoted that I was removing my date from the examples and was providing single person scenarios. 3) When you met my GF and I at A4cade this summer, I hope you learned we aren't exactly the penny pinching type, but also not idiots either.
    If a game is $1 and is just basically taking dollars from us because it tilts when a fly lands on the machine next to it, we get tired of donating money for 1 plunge, 2 flips, and a tilt. I'm also the guy who introduced you the thread about Stern cabinets cracking, and then months later passed on the AS for sale at FTJ's because both corners are cracked. AND we're potentially about to buy a great game at a fair price from a Pinsider/coworker so he can offset his GOTG purchase he just made from you. Basically, we have some cash, but whether it's $1/play or $4K+ for a used machine, we always analyze what we're getting in return when we spend.
    BTW - I also gave you guys a referral yesterday, so please take the following as constructive. And hopefully you also remember from this summer that neither my GF nor I are rough players. So continuing on my last post...
    Real World Example D:
    We go out to The Automatic on Tuesday night, have a fantastic $70 dinner and decide to go across the street to one of your two local locations, because the lineup never fails to impress, and the staff is great should an issue arise with one of the games.
    We get $20 in singles and go right to the new AFMr. Tilt out of 1 of my 3 balls. Next game, 2 out of my 3. She tilts on a ball as well. We were disappointed with AFMr as we didn't feel like we even got to play it. Next - AS. Unfortunately the same thing. $8 down, only two 3-ball games have occurred without a tilt. Over to GOT and TWD, more of the same. Finally TAF, and I decided to stop playing after the first game. She scored a replay and played alone.
    We simply quit and ended up leaving borderline upset. We didn't even spend the full $20, let alone re-up, so the location only received $9/person + I had a few beers, but we planned to spend HOURS there. If a ball is bouncing around an outlane, I should be able to gently nudge back into play... at least get a warning. But almost every time, it was nudge-->warning-->warning-->TILT. There was virtually no middle ground. At some point it feels less like pinball and more of a donation.
    We almost called it a night, but because it was still so early, on a quick whim went next door to State Park - a place that (last time we were there) had a beat AFM w/ no rear GI and a very dim T3... but they were $0.50/play and at least shot ok.
    They changed the lineup to an ok players TSPP and a gorgeous MET Pro LED... both on $0.50/play, with very generous tilts. We ended up staying 2 more hours than we expected, I bought a good amount of drinks from the establishment, and even met some guy there who was so into pinball, we just started paying for his games to join in with us. I can't even speak to how TSPP was because we just kept feeding MET.
    My GF still thinks you guys are great, and I still even followed up the next day with the guy looking to buy to give him your full Pinside and BPA contact...but the GF said she strictly wants to go to State Park next time we go in because the contrast in what she saw for value. I think her words were "It's like having my hands tied behind my back. Am I supposed to just allow a game to take $1 from me and then drain without ANY attempt at save from me?". I don't disagree with her.

    Sorry, I don't recognize your pinside handle even though I met you so I can't connect a face to the name. It just really sounded like you were attacking my locations. I have honestly never had anyone else complain to me about the tilts before. I will check AFM next time I'm there but it has never tilted when I play it. You can also be sure there are a lot of extremely rough players in the group and it's not uncommon to find two machines with their heads rubbing together from being shoved around so we will not turn the tilts off. Saying my games tilt when "a fly lands on them" is quite offensive to me because it is absolutely not true. It is a GROSS exaggeration. Maybe you are trying to be funny but I'm not laughing. I take great pride in maintaining my machines so when you spread lies about them you are hurting my business. All my games are super clean, error free, and if any issues do arise they are addressed immediately. I'm sorry if that's not enough for you.

    -2
    #132 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    Sorry, I don't recognize your pinside handle even though I met you so I can't connect a face to the name. It just really sounded like you were attacking my locations. I have honestly never had anyone else complain to me about the tilts before. I will check AFM next time I'm there but it has never tilted when I play it. You can also be sure there are a lot of extremely rough players in the group and it's not uncommon to find two machines with their heads rubbing together from being shoved around so we will not turn the tilts off. Saying my games tilt when "a fly lands on them" is quite offensive to me because it is absolutely not true. It is a GROSS exaggeration. Maybe you are trying to be funny but I'm not laughing. I take great pride in maintaining my machines so when you spread lies about them you are hurting my business. All my games are super clean, error free, and if any issues do arise they are addressed immediately. I'm sorry if that's not enough for you.

    Please highlight in my 'Example A/B/C' post where I directly say "Your machines tilt when a fly lands on them" or "when someone across the room sneezes". It was an 'in general' statement that pertains to ALL location play, namely at $1/play which is what this entire thread is about. I'm sorry if you read that part as an attack on your specific locations, as it wasn't.

    Then you decided to insinuate that I'm a cheapskate or something. I'm a customer. Money I earn goes into your games, and I spoke highly about the lineup and staff at FTJ's and A4 (here and many other threads). We have freggin date nights where we drive to Boston, specifically to play YOUR locations!

    Also, reread my last post. I never said that YOUR machines specifically tilt when a fly lands on them. Again, "in general" statement. If you linked it to your games because later in the same post, I talked about tilting on your games this week, that's you drawing an incorrect conclusion, and then accusing me of "GROSS exaggeration". I certainly did tilt on your games, a lot, and yes it was more than I expected to given our style of play, but I fully admitted to trying to nudge to save the balls.

    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    I take great pride in maintaining my machines so when you spread lies about them you are hurting my business.

    100% of what I've said in this thread is MY opinion based on $1 play in general, hypotheticals, and then also a recap about a night, 2 nights ago where we were customers of yours. I can't see where I've spread lies about your business, and for a long time have praised both locations, the lineups, the titles, the conditions, and the staff service both on Pinside and elsewhere. I wouldn't be on here trying to "damage your business" and simultaneously trying to divert business to you and away from someone else. But I absolutely also have a right on a forum to express if we have a frustrating night, because in all sincerity we did... and you have the right to either take that into consideration, or read it as an attack.

    PS - Seriously, if you still think I've written lies about your specific games, PM me. Hopefully between our in person meeting, and possibly reading my long ass posts on many threads, I'd hope one wouldn't think spreading lies is my M.O. If there's something I've written which is erroneous, I'm absolutely more than happy to edit.

    #133 2 years ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    Please highlight in my 'Example A/B/C' post where I directly say "Your machines tilt when a fly lands on them" or "when someone across the room sneezes". It was an 'in general' statement that pertains to ALL location play, namely at $1/play which is what this entire thread is about. I'm sorry if you read that part as an attack on your specific locations, as it wasn't.
    Then you decided to insinuate that I'm a cheapskate or something. I'm a customer. Money I earn goes into your games, and I spoke highly about the lineup and staff at FTJ's and A4 (here and many other threads). We have freggin date nights where we drive to Boston, specifically to play YOUR locations!
    Also, reread my last post. I never said that YOUR machines specifically tilt when a fly lands on them. Again, "in general" statement. If you linked it to your games because later in the same post, I talked about tilting on your games this week, that's you drawing an incorrect conclusion, and then accusing me of "GROSS exaggeration". I certainly did tilt on your games, a lot, and yes it was more than I expected to given our style of play, but I fully admitted to trying to nudge to save the balls.

    100% of what I've said in this thread is MY opinion based on $1 play in general, hypotheticals, and then also a recap about a night, 2 nights ago where we were customers of yours. I can't see where I've spread lies about your business, and for a long time have praised both locations, the lineups, the titles, the conditions, and the staff service both on Pinside and elsewhere. I wouldn't be on here trying to "damage your business" and simultaneously trying to divert business to you and away from someone else. But I absolutely also have a right on a forum to express if we have a frustrating night, because in all sincerity we did... and you have the right to either take that into consideration, or read it as an attack.
    PS - Seriously, if you still think I've written lies about your specific games, PM me. Hopefully between our in person meeting, and possibly reading my long ass posts on many threads, I'd hope one wouldn't think spreading lies is my M.O. If there's something I've written which is erroneous, I'm absolutely more than happy to edit.

    You can't be serious. You bash my games, say you will never go back to my location and post pictures of a competitors games in your thread? Great, have fun over there. If you had a problem with any of my machines you could have told me or the staff but no, you have to keep going with your ridiculous claims here. So you tilted AFM, AS, GOT, TWD, and TAF all in one session!?!?!? Since no one else has ever had this problem is there any chance at all it just might be you? Please don't respond I'm signing off from this thread.

    To anyone else who sees this please accept my apologies for venting in a public forum. Being an operator can be challenging. I have great passion for what I do and when someone attacks my livelihood I take it very personally. Here are a few pics of my Addams Family restoration that I put on location for everyone to enjoy:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mike217/albums/72157627040027505
    If anyone chooses to walk away from my work that is their choice. Once again, sorry if my efforts aren't enough to make some people happy.

    #134 2 years ago
    Quoted from Pinballmike217:

    You can't be serious. You bash my games, say you will never go back to my location and post pictures of a competitors games in your thread? Great, have fun over there. If you had a problem with any of my machines you could have told me or the staff but no, you have to keep going with your ridiculous claims here. So you tilted AFM, AS, GOT, TWD, and TAF all in one session!?!?!? Since no one else has ever had this problem is there any chance at all it just might be you? Please don't respond I'm signing off from this thread.
    To anyone else who sees this please accept my apologies for venting in a public forum. Being an operator can be challenging. I have great passion for what I do and when someone attacks my livelihood I take it very personally. Here are a few pics of my Addams Family restoration that I put on location for everyone to enjoy:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/mike217/albums/72157627040027505
    If anyone chooses to walk away from my work that is their choice. Once again, sorry if my efforts aren't enough to make some people happy.

    I can absolutely be serious. But you seem to be getting worked up, so it’s probably be best we leave it at this.

    I never said being an opp is easy, but operators also don’t exist without customers. I’m not lying when I said I tilted on those games, and you have competition according to google maps that’s 120’ door to door from one of your locations that has two A-tier Sterns at half price and with what I personally felt was a more generous tilt.

    Also I never said I’d never return - again, maybe you’re so heated right now that, hell I don’t know, you’re maybe not reading everything I’m writing correctly or are just putting words in my mouth. I said based on the contrast of what we experienced on Tuesday, she wanted our “next time” (not forever like you claim I said) want to go to the place that had some great playing games at ridiculously low prices.

    I’m outta here too. I didn’t know speaking honestly about personal thoughts and experiences of $1/play in a $1/play thread was against the rules.

    #135 2 years ago
    Quoted from Yoko2una:

    I can absolutely be serious. But you seem to be getting worked up, so it’s probably be best we leave it at this.
    I never said being an opp is easy, but operators also don’t exist without customers. I’m not lying when I said I tilted on those games, and you have competition according to google maps that’s 120’ door to door from one of your locations that has two A-tier Sterns at half price and with what I personally felt was a more generous tilt.
    Also I never said I’d never return - again, maybe you’re so heated right now that, hell I don’t know, you’re maybe not reading everything I’m writing correctly or are just putting words in my mouth. I said based on the contrast of what we experienced on Tuesday, she wanted our “next time” (not forever like you claim I said) want to go to the place that had some great playing games at ridiculously low prices.
    I’m outta here too. I didn’t know speaking honestly about personal thoughts and experiences of $1/play in a $1/play thread was against the rules.

    outside perspective here. It is not what you are saying but HOW you are saying it and WHERE you are saying it. To me is sounds like PinballMike is readily accessible and tries hard to maintain good games and in good condition. I am just guessing that his number is readily available on all games and you could have contacted him directly if you noticed some issues or what you make it sound like, super tight tilts that make games not worth playing.

    From what I am reading here, I would be interpreting it the exact same way Mike is. I suggest taking it to PM and possibly edit your posts if you dont intend them to come off the way they are. Right now, you sound disgruntled and like you purposefully are trying to bash him and his business, but I think you genuinely would like to just be able to play good games on route and feel they are not too your liking.

    I can say from experience that in general, most people always feel tilts are too tight on route. I can also say that they are usually set at a reasonable amount to prevent some from abuse and it is more likely your play style causing the tilts than the actual game (just based on you tilting a bunch of stuff). I am guessing you either have very loose tilts at home and have grown accustomed to it OR more likely you just play heavy handed or with body weight on your palms/resting on the lockdown? I personally have seen lots of people that just dont realize they are playing in this manner and how it will make a tilt bob pick up momentum.

    Again, I suggest taking it to PM if you actually want to help.

    last thing, most operators (both hobby and pro) have realized that they want to treat all customers well, but there are some you will be happy to loose.

    #136 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    I can say from experience that in general, most people always feel tilts are too tight on route.

    And can vary from place to place and game to game. Front to back nudging takes more than side to side. For me, on a rug seems more sensitive than on a smooth floor.

    My original MM I always thought it was too sensitive, no matter how low I set it. ( centered and everything ) so I finally disconnected it. As long as players aren't abusive with it, I leave it off.

    And some people, just don't realize their own strength.

    LTG : )

    #137 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    my epxerience the hardcores are a small % of what I see playing around town.

    mainly what I see, as well.

    We have a couple "free play" arcades here in Houston. They both have a few recent titles, mainly oldies. I try to make the trip out there a couple times a month but damn that 30 min drive. Only been to the game preserve though.

    The one crappy thing about free play is, when you go to play a game, there is always some little kid that was nice enough to start a 4 player game for you. Kinda wish they would nix the door fee and just make the games 25 or 50 cents or something. They would definitely make more off me and I'd be happy to pay the extra cost. Also it seems like a maintenance nightmare for the owners. But hey... if their happy, I'm happy. For $15 bucks, I'll play a few 4p games.

    I've never been to the places in dallas, I did go to the original pinballz in Austin. That place is awesome, I didn't have an issue paying $1 a game for the newer titles. I'd be spending a lot more money on location if there was something like that out here.

    #138 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    outside perspective here. It is not what you are saying but HOW you are saying it and WHERE you are saying it. To me is sounds like PinballMike is readily accessible and tries hard to maintain good games and in good condition. I am just guessing that his number is readily available on all games and you could have contacted him directly if you noticed some issues or what you make it sound like, super tight tilts that make games not worth playing.
    From what I am reading here, I would be interpreting it the exact same way Mike is. I suggest taking it to PM and possibly edit your posts if you dont intend them to come off the way they are. Right now, you sound disgruntled and like you purposefully are trying to bash him and his business, but I think you genuinely would like to just be able to play good games on route and feel they are not too your liking.
    I can say from experience that in general, most people always feel tilts are too tight on route. I can also say that they are usually set at a reasonable amount to prevent some from abuse and it is more likely your play style causing the tilts than the actual game (just based on you tilting a bunch of stuff). I am guessing you either have very loose tilts at home and have grown accustomed to it OR more likely you just play heavy handed or with body weight on your palms/resting on the lockdown? I personally have seen lots of people that just dont realize they are playing in this manner and how it will make a tilt bob pick up momentum.
    Again, I suggest taking it to PM if you actually want to help.
    last thing, most operators (both hobby and pro) have realized that they want to treat all customers well, but there are some you will be happy to loose.

    Hey Hilton, now that I’m not in meetings, after reading everything, yeah I can see I came off a bit combative. But at the same time, this is a $1/play thread, and I do feel like my recent $1/play experiences are pertinent... especially with what I felt was a serious trend one recent night. Still giving you an upvote though as you are trying to at least consider both sides.

    Perhaps I could’ve been a bit more tactful, but on the other head of the same coin, I’m not shocked the supporting upvotes for the opposing viewpoint are from other opps and tech support folks. Also my viewpoints were intended to be constructive. Why would I actually refer and then SHOW my referral about the guy I’m allegedly, but not factually, slandering?

    I hope you saw in all my posts that I was on the whole supportive of the local establishments, and some of my comments were indeed either misinterpreted or even misquoted. You may disagree with me, but I won’t allow words to be put in my mouth.

    I’m a customer, but if you knew me and my girlfriend in person, you’d know my GF is one of the few/only females in the hobby that has held the title “Pinball Technician”. She’s no slouch. She worked at the Pinball Wizard Arcade in NH that unfortunately closed this year. She fully knows the tilt mech’s of 110 concurrent location pins under one roof (at a notoriously tight place!) , and I’m not a noob in the slightest seeing how I’ve been playing location pins since the 1980’s. We both thought something was up Tuesday night, and due to our combined experience in this hobby, it’s not completely unwarranted or irrelevant. And I’m sorry but it’s not off limits to mention when there’s a neighboring place that’s at the moment more attractive. I know we are supposed to look out for our own here, but we shouldn’t shun places or people that are routing A-tier games for great prices.

    I made some points and I don’t think I misstated anything from a factual POV. I also think all my opinions we’re presented fairly in a discussion about $1/play thread.

    However, I’m wiped I spent 2 hours at one of Mike’s customers house tonight and with other normal parenting BS, I now I need to call it a night. If tomorrow I see that I was seriously out of line, I’ll humbally edit my posts. But I hope opps like you can understand that I had an honest opinion, and those opinions from a customer (as much as you may disagree) are still valid... especially from a guy who is still emphatic and positive about the locations in question and had F’ing referred someone to the operator in the last day... who now apparently misquotes me and hates me.

    #139 2 years ago

    In the hope of getting this thread back on topic regarding cost/play...Apologies in advance for the length.

    With all respect to operators who take care of their games, I think a higher cost/play *may* decrease the number of people willing to plunk their hard earned cash into a machine.
    I believe this is especially true for people who are new/unskilled (I qualify as more the latter now..but I still think I'm new).
    Even more so for games attractive to the new player, but drain very quickly (I'm looking at you Ghostbusters (Pro) )
    The net result is new/unskilled players can feel cheated...and I think this is much more likely at a higher cost.

    It seems there are definitely a few ways to take this...
    The number of folks returning to pay to play will decrease (I mean really, who wants to feel cheated?)
    The number of folks returning to pay to play will not increase (who will talk their friends into playing if they're not having fun?)
    My view of the world is "cheap" and somehow this makes me an evil customer taking money out of an operators pocket?

    I obviously am speaking a bit tongue in cheek here.
    I get that margins are razor thin (especially taking into account all the legal costs...taxes/insurance costs are crazy high relative to coin drop!)
    I also well understand inflation that has occurred over the past 20+ years (if only it was $1/gal for gas like back in the day!)
    Finally I believe you get what you pay for most of the time (Ferrari's don't sell at Chevy prices unless they're completely obliterated)

    However, I'm also thinking of 2 experiences (both solo) this week at 2 different locations:
    1- I spent $5 on 5 games, $25 on food & one beer. The games were in great shape...I had fun and I went specifically to play a particular pin, but I'm not sure if I'll be back or not.
    2- I spent $5 on 20+ games (and got some replays/matches along the way), $8 on one beer (yeah it's outrageous)...I'm sure that I'll be back even though the games are not in as nice a shape (but they're not malfunctioning).

    This is an unfair comparison since the location in #1 is more out of the way for me...but if it was a less expensive experience, or I got to play more, I'd go out of my way to stop there.

    Hopefully some level of sustainability will occur somehow, it would stink to lose the pinball opportunities that have recently returned (new locations, new machines, new manufacturers).

    ps. To give you an idea of my skill level, I don't usually come in last in my weekly league anymore but I doubt I'd have kept coming back and been able to improve without being able to take advantage of lower cost/play opportunities somewhere.

    #140 2 years ago
    Quoted from Dah-le:

    This is an unfair comparison since the location in #1 is more out of the way for me...but if it was a less expensive experience, or I got to play more, I'd go out of my way to stop there.

    Spend $17 less on food and beer would be less expensive.

    LTG : )

    #141 2 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    Spend $17 less on food and beer would be less expensive.
    LTG : )

    McDicks drivethrough and a bottle of hootch in the parking lot. Works every time.

    #142 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    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.

    because ems don't have 50 cent settings lol. id put mine at 50 cents if there was a setting. when you have nice clean fully functional ems out there it warrants more than 25 cents that is split with location owner IMO. if its blown out not nice 25 cents is fine. you pay for what you get. want a nice pin to play, cough up the coinage! 25 cents 3 balls is best we can do on location as ops. if its 5 balls for 25 cents thats pressing it! esp with replays easy to be had.

    #143 2 years ago

    $1 per play new games. 75 cents to a buck per play on wpc games esp ones that have been gone over well and play supreme! 50 cents on ss games like harlem globetrotters, power play, other classic ss games.
    pinballs have more upkeep/parts to buy that most coin op games. the games that operate under $1 PER PLAY and are new, is because the location owner also owns the games so they can charge less and make cash from drinks, food, whatever else they sell in their location.
    and, as an op you really should be getting more than 50% from pins on location IF you upkeep your pins well enough.
    unless location owner wants to go 50/50 on the constant new rubber, play field cleaner, balls, lamps, broken plastics, and anything else you replace or upkeep often.

    #144 2 years ago
    Quoted from Dah-le:

    With all respect to operators who take care of their games, I think a higher cost/play *may* decrease the number of people willing to plunk their hard earned cash into a machine.
    I believe this is especially true for people who are new/unskilled (I qualify as more the latter now..but I still think I'm new).
    Even more so for games attractive to the new player, but drain very quickly (I'm looking at you Ghostbusters (Pro) )
    The net result is new/unskilled players can feel cheated...and I think this is much more likely at a higher cost.
    It seems there are definitely a few ways to take this...
    The number of folks returning to pay to play will decrease (I mean really, who wants to feel cheated?)

    Sounds great, but that's not the way it works in my experience. On the route I help with at one location is a Dialed In, BM'66 SLE, and Ghostbusters Prem - all at straight $1/play. Despite the fact that it's the hardest of the three pins, people come back to Ghostbusters Prem over and over (and over). It earns the most of those three. People will have repeated 1 minute games (this is with a VERY liberal tilt and longer ball saves, even!) and keep putting dollars in. I don't understand it, but I just have come to accept it.

    Also, for a new machine (especially the Prem/LEs the OP I work with puts out) it's better to have less plays at a higher cost to put less wear and tear on the machine than a ton of plays cheap and the machine blown out quicker and/or requiring more maintenance.

    People complained about the $1 price when the OP started the rollout of these Prem/LEs a couple years ago, but once they got used to the well-maintained pins and decent rotation of new titles for a buck, those complaints are pretty much gone now.

    #145 2 years ago
    Quoted from Dah-le:

    In the hope of getting this thread back on topic regarding cost/play...Apologies in advance for the length.
    With all respect to operators who take care of their games, I think a higher cost/play *may* decrease the number of people willing to plunk their hard earned cash into a machine.
    I believe this is especially true for people who are new/unskilled (I qualify as more the latter now..but I still think I'm new).
    Even more so for games attractive to the new player, but drain very quickly (I'm looking at you Ghostbusters (Pro) )
    The net result is new/unskilled players can feel cheated...and I think this is much more likely at a higher cost.
    It seems there are definitely a few ways to take this...
    The number of folks returning to pay to play will decrease (I mean really, who wants to feel cheated?)
    The number of folks returning to pay to play will not increase (who will talk their friends into playing if they're not having fun?)
    My view of the world is "cheap" and somehow this makes me an evil customer taking money out of an operators pocket?
    I obviously am speaking a bit tongue in cheek here.
    I get that margins are razor thin (especially taking into account all the legal costs...taxes/insurance costs are crazy high relative to coin drop!)
    I also well understand inflation that has occurred over the past 20+ years (if only it was $1/gal for gas like back in the day!)
    Finally I believe you get what you pay for most of the time (Ferrari's don't sell at Chevy prices unless they're completely obliterated)
    However, I'm also thinking of 2 experiences (both solo) this week at 2 different locations:
    1- I spent $5 on 5 games, $25 on food & one beer. The games were in great shape...I had fun and I went specifically to play a particular pin, but I'm not sure if I'll be back or not.
    2- I spent $5 on 20+ games (and got some replays/matches along the way), $8 on one beer (yeah it's outrageous)...I'm sure that I'll be back even though the games are not in as nice a shape (but they're not malfunctioning).
    This is an unfair comparison since the location in #1 is more out of the way for me...but if it was a less expensive experience, or I got to play more, I'd go out of my way to stop there.
    Hopefully some level of sustainability will occur somehow, it would stink to lose the pinball opportunities that have recently returned (new locations, new machines, new manufacturers).
    ps. To give you an idea of my skill level, I don't usually come in last in my weekly league anymore but I doubt I'd have kept coming back and been able to improve without being able to take advantage of lower cost/play opportunities somewhere.

    As a hobby operator we try to provide a variety and that would be my suggestion to anyone else wanting to try it.
    The best location will have at least one .25 game (EM), one .50 game, one .75 classic, and one $1 new game.

    I agree with vireland that the reality is different that what you state. Your opinion is valuable, just pointing out it is different than the majority based on the coin drop and watching people play. I want the variety on route, but the newer games get the most play.

    I will say that I firmly believe in trying to help new people not feel cheated. We regularly turn up ball saver and I think that is one of the most important settings to change from default. It allows a house ball to come back to life and that is good for casuals to feel they are getting a value. The good players dont need it so it wont make their games any longer.

    I would say that unless you live in an already thriving pinball town (i.e. Seattle) then you should expect to be paying $1 on all new games IF you want to keep seeing new games. I would say that if you are comfortable playing all older games in poor condition then continue to support the operators that provide that service. I personally want to bring new pinball to the masses and also provide options which all give them a good playing experience but also allow us to continue to add new stuff to the line up.

    To put it as simply as I can, we are over 4 years in and have not taken a single quarter out of a game in that time. Every single coin dropped goes to split, game maintenance, insurance, fees, etc... and what is left over goes towards paying down the loans (slowly) or buying new games (both older stuff to fully refurbish and brand new stuff) to put on route for the community to enjoy. We have 3 members in our hobby operating group and all 3 of us spend considerable time every week to keep the games running. We dont take out a dime for our time and often make poor business decisions for the benefit of supporting the scene with new stuff (good business decisions would be to buy only old classics and never take a risk on something brand new that costs a bunch).

    What am I getting at... Well if you look at it for the time invested, I would be smarter flipping burgers for 10 hours each week (that includes accounting for any possible value the games have once paid off) and I cant imagine anyone attempting to do this fr a living is getting rich. It is some degree of passion project for anyone attempting to keep pinball alive and growing (likely lots of passion, or is it obsession ) and to do it, games simply HAVE to be at $1 per play and NEED the support of pinheads alongside the casuals if you want to see it grow and continue. I would love to be in one of the select towns where the numbers possibly work out to be able to put stuff at .50 like it was 1994 and I also understand the tactical pleasure of dropping in 2 quarters and perceived value of doing so... Sadly the world has changed around pinball, and if pinball is forever perceived as needing to be .50 for pinheads (I assume if you are on this forum then you are way more of a pinhead than most) then it wont succeed in the long run.

    Last thing I will add and LTG mentioned it, but it may be worth switching a little of that money from the food/beer fund into the pinball fund
    It is always good to help support the bar where you play, but go for the tall boy instead of that $8 drink

    #146 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    The best location will have at least one .25 game (EM), one .50 game, one .75 classic, and one $1 new game.

    I'd personally be a lot more open to an occasional dollar-priced game if most places would follow this logic. I think I'd have a heart attack seeing an EM on route and would probably spend all my money on that though, to be honest.

    #147 2 years ago

    Prices where I play in Alabama.
    Most games: $1/play, $2.50/3 plays
    BM66: $1.25/play
    Solid states:50cents/play
    EM's:25cents/3 ball game

    #148 2 years ago
    Quoted from Whysnow:

    We regularly turn up ball saver and I think that is one of the most important settings to change from default. It allows a house ball to come back to life and that is good for casuals to feel they are getting a value. The good players dont need it so it wont make their games any longer.

    Great idea.

    Even the worst players on a video game can usually count on 4 or 5 lives and get 3 or 4 minutes of fun/value for their dollar.

    #149 2 years ago
    Quoted from Frax:

    I'd personally be a lot more open to an occasional dollar-priced game if most places would follow this logic. I think I'd have a heart attack seeing an EM on route and would probably spend all my money on that though, to be honest.

    Cactus Jack's Oklahoma City. The late models are all .75 per game. In the back room: EBD restored/.25 play, Fathom/.50 play, Interflip Dragon/ NOS pin/.25 play, High Speed/ .25 play. And a couple of others.

    #150 2 years ago

    I set my new games 3 for $2 and every other $.50

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