I don't know if there is a fear that "good" players will come along and keep winning free plays or will make one game last a long time so they must charge big money.
For me I will put in more money overall if I can play more games. When arcades were still around me I would put several dollars into the $.25 per play machine but might only play the $.50 machine for one game. If a place only had expensive pins ($.50 per play in those days) I would only play a game or two. It was not the amount of money that I spent overall that mattered to me, it was the perceived value per play that I looked at.
The few pins that are around me in pizza shops, it is just painful to watch. You can see the college students look at them, $1 per play or buy a big slice of pizza. Which do you think wins out? These games are just sitting idle, no one playing. I would think any money going into them would be better compared to them just sitting in attract mode burning out light bulbs and attracting dust.
I would like to hear an operators take on it, on first glance I would think the pins would earn much more at $.25 or $.50 per play, just because more people would randomly throw in a quarter they have in their pocket. Does the added wear and tear of 4 poorly played (very short) games by amateurs really put that much more wear on the machine compared to 1 well played game by someone is competent and willing to put in a dollar? The vast majority of players I see are so novice theirs games are so short the perceived value to them is awful, compared to playing a game of pool or megatouch.