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.