(Topic ID: 43849)

I Believe pinball can make a comeback on location...........!!!


By iceman44

6 years ago



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  • 181 posts
  • 78 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 years ago by Crazybanana
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    #96 6 years ago

    The guy who encouraged me to run my first tournament taught me a super important lesson: it's not about the games, it's about the people.

    When arcades were still popular "the scene" happened organically. Now that entertainment has moved a lot more into the home, it just doesn't happen automatically. It needs help. It needs a jump start.

    At the same time, people want a reason to get off the couch or give the video games a break, and get some real freakin' human interaction. The existence of sites like Meetup.com are a perfect example of this.

    This is where I see an opportunity for pinball. There are many people who like playing pinball, but they're casual players and they're spread thin. Casual players will not hunt down games fanatically like hardcore players. They won't scour yelp for locations or games in good condition. They need a focal point and a social opportunity.

    When you create opportunities for people to hang out, socialize and participate in something they all enjoy, the people will come out and start putting quarters in the machines. A few of the casuals will get more serious and join the hardcore. Eventually, with enough care and feeding it will start to form it's own feedback loop. I like tournaments for this reason because I'm competitive but also because people have a reason on their own to come back to the bar and practice even on those days when there isn't a social opportunity, such as a tournament.

    With no scene, once the interest starts to wane a little bit, the person finds another interest. Once a person has a scene, they're compelled to stay and keep doing it.

    #98 6 years ago
    Quoted from benheck:

    Isn't on-location coin-op on the long list of "Things the Smartphone Has Killed?"

    In my opinion, the single most important device that killed arcades/coin-op was the original playstation back in 1995. That was the first widely purchased console that truly had graphics and gameplay the arcade didn't have a clear edge on.

    It seemed also that arcades were going the redemption route, and a lot of the video games were expensive, short and shallow experiences. The home gameplay experience was simply superior and too convenient.

    #140 6 years ago
    Quoted from PinballMolly:

    Here's Pins and Needles last night...on a Tuesday. 45 people and zero A titles FYI.

    This picture was obviously staged. Those players look like normal people. Not one person in that pic with a B.O. Force Field.

    #144 6 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    It will never happen as there is no suitable medium for them to be placed in. The “arcade” is for the most part 99% gone. The few spots that have them always have tired machines in need of repairs.
    If it wasn’t for the ability to own them, I would never walk up to one and insert any money anymore, as every time I find one and do this, flippers hardly work, most of the GI is out, next to no toys work, etc, etc...
    Operators do not fix their machines. The business is for home use. Few places will be able to sustain a classic arcade route successfully, and even then I wonder how profitable that can even be.

    The vast majority of location games in my area are in bars. The cross-section of collectors who also frequent bars seems to be on the small side, and I think it's why a lot of collectors think location play is more dead than it really is. It's like if pinball was in churches I would never know either.

    #169 6 years ago
    Quoted from PDXGeek:

    I like the playing by hour idea, however the problem with this is it devalues getting that free game, and means someone can just hog the machine for an hour straight. They also have no incentive to let you play along. Wonder if there is a way to hybrid that idea.

    But it would be a nice option for operators. If you have a 'dead' location, you could enable this option and it might entice players. If you have another location that gets steady business already, you disable it.

    #178 6 years ago

    I scoped out the place for my next tournament tonight: Legionnaires Saloon, in Oakland.

    The place just opened, and my buddy just put three games on location there so I checked out the space and the games: Champion Pub, Scared Stiff and X-Men.

    With only three games, and not much space for more, I plan to do a "time-attack" style event. Each game is limited to 4 minutes. This format puts pressure on players, shakes them out of their normal play styles and keeps the event on time.

    While there I ran into a few pinball enthusiasts. With an event, they might just get into the local scene.

    You never know till you try, right?

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