It *was* a high price at the time and one of the reasons some of us believe Gene didn't lose the million dollars that he always claimed. He certainly had cost overruns and unexpected expenses as businesses often do.
But he also had a profit margin built into each game price. And knowing Gene, that profit was on the fat side. So, for him to have lost that profit margin, plus an additional million dollars is hard to believe. Keep in mind this was 2005-2007 and not today's environment.
Plus, around the same time the new game owners were about to receive their games, Gene announced he had an additional 20 prototypes for sale at $12,000 each. An unheard of sum of money back then and he sold them out fairly quickly.
There was also a later run of "EXP" numbered games that he made from extra parts that were discovered. My memory is really foggy on those and how much they sold for but I wanna guess either $8 or $10,000 each?? ...I'd really feel way more comfortable if someone could confirm that price.
Quote from the Pinball database:
"At the 2010 Northwest Pinball and Gameroom Show, Gene Cunningham reported to us that additional units of this game were made using extra parts and playfields. These new machines carried serial numbers with the letters "EXP" for Extra Parts. He guessed the additional quantity was approximately 10 or 11 games"
I hate to diminish a romantic pinball tale, but whether Gene made or lost money, I think is worthy of being discussed.
Quoted from vdojaq:
Since this was Gene, which I have several of my own encounters with, I would suspect he expected to make about $1 million on the BBB remake and only made about $10K , therefore lost about a million in his terms.
Pretty much what Vdojaq posted is how I feel.