If Stern thought it could sell more units of unlicensed pins they would do that rather than going for licenses.
They are in the business of making money not making losses.
Without the licenses over the last decade or so, where would pinball be today?
Probably without a major manufacturer.
In the meantime, all I can say is, bring on Steve Ritchie's unlicensed pin! He's spending a lot of time designing it. I am expecting something great.