I collect these games but modestly and slowly but I am always checking local classifieds- I think the market is actually increasing for many EM titles.
Two things Drive this but I will start with an observation so we will call it three.
1) As these games age out the average condition continues to drop- and the feasibility of a repair that does not take hundreds of hours goes down- so the value of a beat up basket case is not moving much- but I do see them at prices I feel are unreasonable yet the listings go away and don’t come back. So the market is going up. I just don’t agree with it.
2) Restored EM titles are going up in value rather quickly- I suppose this is good for me as I restore games but I don’t sell them (never have sold a game- I have 5 and buy carefully). As the availability of good games goes down the price of anything in decent shape continues to rise. The fact is these games are old enough that I truly believe we have two markets- a junk yard of shit that will take you insane time and effort to resurrect- and the remaining good game (I mean not trashed) the value of these increases even as unrestored examples.
3) They are pinball games- and no one can argue that’s not more popular than it was 10 yrs ago or 5 or 2.... as the DMD market goes up these become the entry point and demand is increasing. I see a LOT of EM threads with new buyers- a Lot more than 2 or 5 years ago. So more people are buying them that were not previously collectors. That raises prices.
I disagree with the entire premise. I also know that this is true (see below) and thus the market is all over the place right now. People who know are raising prices on good games- people who don’t are throwing them away.
One thing that will always be true- some view these games as garbage in grandmas basement and they get sold dirt cheap. So its always possible to find really cheap cheap examples.