Quoted from phishrace:
Agree. Despite this, location play is doing fine and and is actually thriving in some areas. Now can you please stop telling us the arcade is dead.? We already know this.
You guys buying the premiums and LE's have actually helped keep pro prices down. Thanks.
We're asking you to do more, like we are. You don't necessarily have to put your games out. Just go out of your way to support public games more often than you usually would. Play on location, compete in tournaments held in public locations and encourage your local league to play on location. If the games in your area are rough, drive a little farther and support good locations and ops.
Very much on topic is that the home market is nearing saturation. Game rooms are full and new home collectors aren't coming into the hobby nearly as fast as they were just two years ago. If you care about pinball and want to keep the hobby growing, the only place left for it to grow is amongst non-owners. I've seen location play come back twice in my lifetime. Once in the 70's when The Who's Tommy album came out and again in the 90's. It can happen again, but we need your help. Playing in private locations 95% of the time doesn't help.
If the operators want us to come out of our own gamerooms to play, they are going to have to provide a better experience. I actively look for location pins to play, but I rarely go back a second time. A dimly lit pin with the volume turned down is just not all that much fun to play. There is a Star Trek Pro at a pizza joint in town that I would like to play, but I can't get the op to turn the volume up enough to hear it. I had the same problem with a Metallica Pro at a casino. I couldn't hear it at all. I went back five times, each time asking for the volume to be turned up, and it never happened. Now I play a Metallica Premium in my gameroom.
I was in Portland last year, and it was great for location play. I had a great time for the three days I was there. There were a lot of really nice pins, and for the most part, they were really well maintained, and the volume was decent. I visited a pinsider's gameroom while I was in town also, and his gameroom was probably the most impressive thing I have ever seen. Every pin was lit up really nicely, and the volumes of all the machines were perfect. Even in a great location town like Portland, the home gameroom provided a better experience.
Back here in Reno, there are over 100 pins that I know of on location. I play them once in a while, but not a single one of them offers an experience that can match the games in my gameroom. It is getting better, but the ops are still not planning to put the premium machines on their routes. Until that happens, location games will continue to be a fun addition to my gameroom, but there is no way they will replace it.
I just played a few game of Metallica with the lights out, and the volume up, and I just can't get that level of fun on location. I hope that changes someday.