(Topic ID: 122048)

Let's be honest...


By eggbert52

4 years ago



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    #1 4 years ago

    So I was thinking about this tonight after reading threads on The Big Lebowski, MMR, WHO NELLIE, The Hobbit, Metallica, new ST code, etc.

    It's easy to say that this is the pinball renaissance. However, I would like to see if you think this is truly the most healthy pinball has ever been. Back in the day pinball was subject to new competition in video games. However, I must say it's very ironic that in this day and age where technological advances seemingly occur on a monthly basis that pinball machines are now more prevalent than ever. You will see that I did not say "more popular." That would obviously be contested and I would be wrong to think that.

    I'm a software sales guy so I hunt all week long. If I were on the board of Stern or in an influential role in one of these other pinball companies, my primary goal would be to build commercial sales ASAP.

    Anyway, just curious of your thoughts. I can put up a poll if enough Pinsiders are interested.

    #2 4 years ago

    I would say that pinball machines in homes are more prevalent now then in the past but overall pinball machines on location are FAR fewer than the 70's. I used to be able to play at almost any convenience store, in restaurants ... any business with extra space had one or two. In a renaissance? Maybe but certainly not what I would call a peak of activity.

    #3 4 years ago

    Arcades like they were in the 80s and early 90s are dead. That's just hard on entertainment coin-op in general.
    I spent some time in Brazil around 2000, the import tax was ridic so consoles were crazy expensive.. and arcades seemed to be like they were in the 80s. If there are scenarios like that around the world i wonder how pins are doing in the wild.

    #4 4 years ago

    It's the e-cigs and hash oil, man

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    #5 4 years ago

    hi all-depends on location.one trend I notice a few years ago that happen by me..local pizza place had 1-pin..then 2...then 3!! then video slots make their appearance ..3pins..2pins..no pins..i ask why they remove they tell me they make more money on slots than pinball by 50 fold per month..tell me slots don't make noise bother other customers.so I think more small arcades pop up and pinball has made some kind of come back but for how long before people jump on the next big thing. noahs_arcade- do you have slots by you in tx? just curios as I don't know if tx. have gambling so people would be more open to a pinball machine in a bar or pizza place but I don't know.do you have pins at bars,stores etc?

    #6 4 years ago

    No, Texas is staunchly anti-gambling. I'll gamble on anything though.

    It's mostly private collectors here for pins, unfortunately. Couple arcades, couple bars, couple movie theaters. Certainly not as prevalent as when I was in upstate new york

    #7 4 years ago

    I think the "popularity" or "prevalence" of pins is more home-based, as the people that used to play are now old enough and have disposable income to finally live their youthful dreams of having pins and arcade games at home. Thatz just my opinion, and I am one of these people, currently up to 1 arcade game and 2 pins.

    #8 4 years ago

    For ops pinball was never more healthy than the Addams boom. Being a player it was great too, that game was everywhere. There are some games on location now but not like 88-95. Didn't need to own machines, they were all over the place.

    With the jpop and skit disasters unfolding I can't really consider now the healthiest pinball has ever been.

    #9 4 years ago

    Growing up in the 80's and 90's I remember playing pinball machines everywhere. I bowled junior leagues till about '94. The bowling alley had a large arcade, and around a dozen or so pins. Currently the alley has no pins, and instead has gone the route of redemption games. a few places have popped up recently, but I remember when it seamed like you could find a pin around every corner.

    I think the driving factor now, are people like me. I grew up playing and enjoying pinball. And now I'm in a position where purchasing a machine for my home is an option.

    It would be nice to see them in an environment other than a bar, so younger kids can experience them as I did. But, I feel like the days of having a $10 roll of quarters in your pocket is over. Kids are all about video games (at lease most it seems), and pins are always in need of maintenance, which turns a lot of possible location off of the idea.

    I'm all for the current pinball "renaissance", and maybe this is just the begining. But it's still a far cry from where it once was.

    #10 4 years ago
    Quoted from MarcG:

    For ops pinball was never more healthy than the Addams boom. Being a player it was great too, that game was everywhere. There are some games on location now but not like 88-95. Didn't need to own machines, they were all over the place.
    With the jpop and skit disasters unfolding I can't really consider now the healthiest pinball has ever been.

    yes what you say is true about pinball manufactures.... but no question the 'health' of pinball as defined by more players coming into the hobby is growing fast..look at the number of new people signing up with pinside.retro arcades popping up.even with the industry problems of getting machines out you can see from the demands for re-makes and new machines the hobby is growing.also in the old days ...manufactures release a game..no pinside or internet to comment good or bad..thats changing as the newer players demand more from stern and the other pinball companies to produce the kind of machines they want..im a pinball guy..em ss glass marble..i don't care I like them all.thats why I still can not understand em verse ss or any of this..we all play pins plain and simple and if you want this hobby to grow healthy take a second to turn on some one else to this hobby..also as side note this growth has created people using their brains and hands to make new mods,light kits,even better balls themselves.im happy to see this..people making new mods.using their brains..meeting and talking to new people.learning to fix and restore..hope it lasts and I try to do my part to add to the plus side of pinball not the negative.enjoy all this while you can

    #11 4 years ago

    Healthy now?? With a fleet of sinking ships and everyone's gold aboard, it's hardly a healthy time.

    #12 4 years ago

    Put it this way, with the exception of quite a few electro mechanicals, I would say that roughly 70-80% of older pinballs are owned and still actively working somewhere. Now...add 3-4 more pinball vendors and factor in that Stern has pumped out at least 2 games a year since 2004 and it's hard to argue that this is the most healthy pinball market ever. Not discounting the hey day when games were on location, but there are many more games available now then there were in the 80's and they ALL seem to sell.

    #13 4 years ago

    Pinball should get stronger on location in the next few years. It doesn't need any kind of licence (UK ) and isn't a gambling machine. And you can play video games at home for little money but because of the cost nearly all the general public can't play pinball at home.

    Also the JJP HD attract mode could be a game changer especially with pindemption animations an additional option. The modern pinball arcade in New York is the kind of business that should take things forward for younger players

    #14 4 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    Healthy now?? With a fleet of sinking ships and everyone's gold aboard, it's hardly a healthy time.

    agreed..on this point.but I consider that more of a business failure than reflection of the hobby..this will also change im sure..you can see as the pre-order business models crumble.my feeling is as time goes by the younger crowd will not put up with or support these kinds of business models in pinball.they want their games codes etc and are the future and will have much more say so..this will take time.im thrilled that people are becoming more demanding of everything from quality to delivery..keep it up or take what the manufactures offer..don't pre-order with out a pin to see and play.keep demanding what you want until change take place ..and hope that someone gets real pissed as time goes on and say I can do a better job,thats how new blood in pinball manufacturing will take place..fantastic to live a new part of pinball history happening right now..

    #15 4 years ago
    Quoted from belairjoe:

    agreed..on this point.but I consider that more of a business failure than reflection of the hobby

    See, I see it is a perfect reflection of the hobby. Everyone thought pinball was gold, and there could be no failure. New niche manufactures, people wanting to buy, it didn't matter "take my money" "sign me up based on a whisper of the theme alone", or someone who had a small part in an entire manufacturing process announcing a machine..

    How anyone could have thought two dudes in a basement could make something that meets that of Williams is ludicrous.

    There is only one smart way to buy - when there is a physical machine, you make the decision based on the code at that time, based on nothing else every happening. If you can live with that, you can't really lose.

    THAT will be the future of pinball purchasing, foreseen and already enforced by those of us that didn't get blue tonged with the new flavors of kool aid the last few years.

    #16 4 years ago
    Quoted from Atomicboy:

    See, I see it is a perfect reflection of the hobby. Everyone thought pinball was gold, and there could be no failure. New niche manufactures, people wanting to buy, it didn't matter "take my money" "sign me up based on a whisper of the theme alone", or someone who had a small part in an entire manufacturing process announcing a machine..
    How anyone could have thought two dudes in a basement could make something that meets that of Williams is ludicrous.
    There is only one smart way to buy - when there is a physical machine, you make the decision based on the code at that time, based on nothing else every happening. If you can live with that, you can't really lose.
    THAT will be the future of pinball purchasing, foreseen and already enforced by those of us that didn't get blue tonged with the new flavors of kool aid the last few years.

    no question about it! buy a finished machine,not a promise.they thought 2-dudes could make their pinball dreams come true.they only saw what they wanted..any negative comments by right minded buyers is deemed as traitor talk and you are told you don't support pinball etc etc..think it will happen soon? im thinking a few more dead dogs in the pinball manufacturing to come.and no question in my mind that many people have no real clue on what it takes to design and produce a product such as a pinball machine..they only see I want it!!! hurry up...the manufacutures....that's for another thread

    #17 4 years ago

    I just took part in the New England Pinball League final at the Pinball Wizard in New Hampshire and I thought I had stepped back in time about 30 years. Just rows and rows of pins and vids anywhere you looked. The sounds, the lights, pretty much everything but the smoke and smell

    I had 200 tokens in my pocket and I used up darn near all of them. What a blast! If you're ever down in southern New Hampshire, take a drive to Pelham and pay the place a visit. I'm already counting the days until next time.

    This is just one aisle, as you come in the door.

    One Aisle at PinWiz.JPG
    #18 4 years ago

    Nothing lasts forever. I'd love the current popularity to continue, I think we'll see a few more years, maybe 5 or so, then its just be the hardcore remaining. This mini flash is mainly due to 30-somethings like me having the money to finally grab these games and relive some of their childhood, which has allowed older collectors to sell them at a little bit of a premium to fund nib purchases. I see myself owning games for the rest of my life at this point, but I can see it being a fad for other people my age, they'll get bored of them and want to dump them if suddenly prices tank on them.

    #19 4 years ago

    The Hobby is healthy for what is is now......A niche market. That being said, niche markets can disappear over night. Back in the day pinball was a major industry because that's all there was. Renaissance or not, comparing pinball now to back in the day is just silly. Not even close, just look at the production numbers. Chase Commercial sales??? Very little opportunity exists, you might as well chase rainbow. Right now they are chasing profit which is what you do to survive. It's called "harvesting" in business. You take a legacy business with a niche following and you milk them both for margin until they both die. The other factor is the parts business. More money is being put into old games and mods than the combined sales of new games.

    #20 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    The Hobby is healthy for what is is now......A niche market. That being said, niche markets can disappear over night. Back in the day pinball was a major industry because that's all there was. Renaissance or not, comparing pinball now to back in the day is just silly. Not even close, just look at the production numbers. Chase Commercial sales??? Very little opportunity exists, you might as well chase rainbow. Right now they are chasing profit which is what you do to survive. It's called "harvesting" in business. You take a legacy business with a niche following and you milk them both for margin until they both die.

    I am not so cynical. If the current crop of manufacturers and designers are astute and continue to produce absorbing, exciting and challenging games, the industry will thrive. On the other hand, a few poorly made games could destroy the current momentum in pinball.

    May we all live in interesting times and it is an interesting time for pinball. Fifteen years ago, pinball was on its death bed and receiving last rites. It now flourishes.

    #21 4 years ago
    Quoted from reynolds531:

    I am not so cynical. If the current crop of manufacturers and designers are astute and continue to produce absorbing, exciting and challenging games, the industry will thrive. On the other hand, a few poorly made games could destroy the current momentum in pinball.
    May we all live in interesting times and it is an interesting time for pinball. Fifteen years ago, pinball was on its death bed and receiving last rites. It now flourishes.

    The truth is......It is not flourishing from any business metric that means anything. I am not being cynical, just look at the numbers. It's ok that pinball is slowly dying.........We all die eventually. Pinball falls under the "entertainment" class of discretionary spending in society and there are a lot of choices now. Video games won, there is no denying it.

    #22 4 years ago

    I agree, its definitely a niche market. I do think its great that there is now competition with Stern and JJP to produce great titles. Maybe this competition, together with some remakes, will keep the creative juices going for a while with all companies. I was born in 74 and remember the hay day of the arcade very well but I never gravitated to pins much. I'm still mainly a vid guy but being in this hobby has me crossing over to pins also. To me they go together so well. I would like to see a younger generation to embrace pins...this will be the future. I was at the Contemporary resort at Walt Disney World last night and it was so sad to see their game room pretty much empty. At one time another family came in and enjoyed it but its nothing like I remember from the 80's. They had a small line of pins and half of them were black and not working. It did make me feel good that my son (7 yo) went nuts when he saw the arcade. He ran in like I often did when I was younger and was just in awe. I hate that card swipe thing. There is something about putting a quarter or token in them that is so much better. Anyway, I guess my point is that I feel that in order to keep pinball alive we need to help get younger people into them as well as keep us enthusiast happy.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    The truth is......It is not flourishing from any business metric that means anything. I am not being cynical, just look at the numbers. It's ok that pinball is slowly dying.........We all die eventually. Pinball falls under the "entertainment" class of discretionary spending in society and there are a lot of choices now. Video games won, there is no denying it.

    I am not so sure that dying is the correct phrasing. It is certainly a different world than twenty years ago. The analogy for me is bicycle frame building. With the onset of a few large companies (Trek, Giant, Specialized), producing masses of bicycles, small independent frame builders were almost extinct twenty years ago. Now, with a younger generation (think Gen X, Millennials if you will) who have rediscovered the craft and artistry involved, independent frame builders have experienced a renaissance of sorts. I suspect that the same thing is happening with pinball. A younger generation has discovered a previously waning industry and have helped in its rebirth. Will it be like 1995 for pinball again? Unlikely. It will continue in a different form and be geared to a different consumer (thing hobbyists, collectors) base. I doubt that it will ever be gone.

    #24 4 years ago
    Quoted from reynolds531:

    I am not so sure that dying is the correct phrasing. It is certainly a different world than twenty years ago. The analogy for me is bicycle frame building. With the onset of a few large companies (Trek, Giant, Specialized), producing masses of bicycles, small independent frame builders were almost extinct twenty years ago. Now, with a younger generation (think Gen X, Millennials if you will) who have rediscovered the craft and artistry involved, independent frame builders have experienced a renaissance of sorts. I suspect that the same thing is happening with pinball. A younger generation has discovered a previously waning industry and have helped in its rebirth. Will it be like 1995 for pinball again? Unlikely. It will continue in a different form and be geared to a different consumer (thing hobbyists, collectors) base. I doubt that it will ever be gone.

    No one is saying pinball will disappear. "We", meaning you and I And every other pinhead won't let it. That being said the cost to keep the hobby alive will only go higher. Not sure how much you understand about the history of pinball, but the Rennaisance is related to the longevity of pinball and the generations that have participated in it. Let me explain, I am 40, my generation was the birth of video games. We watched vids kill pinball at first, but saw the rebirth of arcades in the late 80's and 90's which brought them back. Videos games were growing the entire time with home consoles. I spent my high school and college years going to Arcades. Now my generation are old enough to own there own houses and be CEOs and high level managers with a lot of discretionary money.......That is the Rennaisance you are seeing. It's cool that I essentially can have something in common with someone my fathers age and that is because the hobby really hasn't changed. The cost of entry for the hobby will eventually cause it to die as the cost of an "impression" continue to escalate. Kids are not keeping the hobby alive and are not contributing to the Rennaisance.......Look around we are.

    #25 4 years ago

    "Kids are not keeping the hobby alive and are not contributing to the renaissance." That is true right this second. Jersey Jack knew and has always said the big HD screen is an absolute must to grab kid's today. All they know is screens I-pads , smartphones , TV , Video games. If he's right and I believe he is all games out there ( except WOZ ) are no good for the future of pinball in the "non-pinhead " world.

    The operators that have stuck with pinball may have done it for the love of the game probably combined with not being real risk taking businessmen anyway or else they would have been doing something else. When there are multiple big screen games available new and second hand ( with ticket animation options ) we will get the answer.

    #26 4 years ago
    Quoted from jungle:

    "Kids are not keeping the hobby alive and are not contributing to the renaissance." That is true right this second. Jersey Jack knew and has always said the big HD screen is an absolute must to grab kid's today. All they know is screens I-pads , smartphones , TV , Video games. If he's right and I believe he is all games out there ( except WOZ ) are no good for the future of pinball in the "non-pinhead " world.
    The operators that have stuck with pinball may have done it for the love of the game probably combined with not being real risk taking businessmen anyway or else they would have been doing something else. When there are multiple big screen games available new and second hand ( with ticket animation options ) we will get the answer.

    With all due respect, what Jack said and what Jack did are two different things. What Jack did will lead to pinballs decline. Games are simply too expensive and Jack enlightened Stern that they could charge more.......and they did. Jack essentially showed Stern (the real company keeping pinball alive) that there was more pricing elasticity than they thought. I love what Jack is doing, but let's be realistic, putting a navigation system in a 1982 Corvette is not going to work. Even with JJPs so called huge advancements, pinball is 30 years behind its competition,I.e iPads, iPhones, tv, movies and video games. I should also add most JJP games are going to Home Use owners. You and I love this hobby, so we defend it, but in the world of businness, you are in denial.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    With all due respect, what Jack said and what Jack did are two different things.

    This...

    #28 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    you might as well chase rainbow

    Quoted from jungle:

    "Kids are not keeping the hobby alive and are not contributing to the renaissance." That is true right this second. Jersey Jack knew and has always said the big HD screen is an absolute must to grab kid's today. All they know is screens I-pads , smartphones , TV , Video games. If he's right and I believe he is all games out there ( except WOZ ) are no good for the future of pinball in the "non-pinhead " world.
    The operators that have stuck with pinball may have done it for the love of the game probably combined with not being real risk taking businessmen anyway or else they would have been doing something else. When there are multiple big screen games available new and second hand ( with ticket animation options ) we will get the answer.

    This is true from a dated viewpoint. 20 year olds and younger do a double take when you say the word "Pinball". Looking at the dot matix screen probably gives them the same feeling I get when I see a punchcard reader computer and tape reels.

    #29 4 years ago

    I think the multimorphic pin is a better approach to the problem jjp was trying to solve.
    LexiLightspeed.jpg

    #30 4 years ago

    while that is cool I don't see that surviving location use

    I operate machines and it's definitely not what it used to be.... ROI is measured in many years

    and these boutique games are just that, in the grand scheme of things they don't matter

    #31 4 years ago

    Jack has said pinball will never be Big Bass Wheel. The only question is can the percentage be changed a little bit. Maybe now it's 95% home 5% operator but I'm talking about 20% operator. That combined with increasing home sales will be very good news. If Jack is 30 years behind I-pads (! ) where is Gary ? Of course JJP is mainly selling to home owners at the moment. There isn't a good enough selection of games new and old around. And operators would never want the kind of games we've had for the last 10-15 years. Funnily enough Jack is selling plenty of games at high prices. What's the next big seller from Stern ?

    #32 4 years ago

    I am sure there are a lot more AC/DC machines than there are WOZ's but that's a different discussion

    as far as operating, a smart operator (hint: not me) puts games out that are guaranteed to make money...

    there are less people that want to play pinball as vs persons that want to win a stupid pencil with 10000 tickets...

    go to a dave and busters and you will see every single machine that makes money... anything that isn't there, it's because it does not make money (D&B had 500mil in revenue 2011 so they are probably good at this)

    "arcades" are a rarity, people just want to go to kiddie casinos now

    #33 4 years ago

    Yes, Stern kept 90's style pinball alive. And put out some games with great code (thanks LFS and KEF).

    But pinball is not relevant to the general public. The typical response from non-pinheads is "they still make those?"

    At least WOZ looks newer with the LCD. And it pushed the color lighting out there as well.

    Pinball collecting is bigger than ever, sure, and so is competitive pin.

    The most healthy pin has ever been? Hardly.

    Pin has made a comeback multiple times in the last with Space Shuttle, HS, TAF, etc.
    It can do it again.

    But until someone makes pins that teens and those in their 20s want to drop coin on, pin will largely be limited to collectors, shows/competitions, and locations run by pinheads.

    #34 4 years ago
    Quoted from jungle:

    Jack has said pinball will never be Big Bass Wheel. The only question is can the percentage be changed a little bit. Maybe now it's 95% home 5% operator but I'm talking about 20% operator. That combined with increasing home sales will be very good news. If Jack is 30 years behind I-pads (! ) where is Gary ? Of course JJP is mainly selling to home owners at the moment. There isn't a good enough selection of games new and old around. And operators would never want the kind of games we've had for the last 10-15 years. Funnily enough Jack is selling plenty of games at high prices. What's the next big seller from Stern ?

    Where are you getting these percentages from?
    You really think that less than 20% of sales go to operators?

    95/5? Really?

    #35 4 years ago
    Quoted from Newsom:

    Yes, Stern kept 90's style pinball alive. And put out some games with great code (thanks LFS and KEF).

    I tend to give a lot of crap to Stern for essentially not being Bally Williams in terms of quality, but in the end I do give them tons of credit for keeping pinball alive. Without Stern pumping out games for the last 15 years there would be no market for JJP or Zidware or Dutch Pinball or BW remasters.

    Pinball is for the most part for collectors and enthusiants these days just like caring about classic cars. It's not mainstream and the innovation of the great 90's games will largely never be recaptured. This is a gaming age of iphone games and Xboxes. But the aura and artistic value of the few great pins will live on forever.

    #36 4 years ago
    Quoted from jungle:

    Jack has said pinball will never be Big Bass Wheel. The only question is can the percentage be changed a little bit. Maybe now it's 95% home 5% operator but I'm talking about 20% operator. That combined with increasing home sales will be very good news. If Jack is 30 years behind I-pads (! ) where is Gary ? Of course JJP is mainly selling to home owners at the moment. There isn't a good enough selection of games new and old around. And operators would never want the kind of games we've had for the last 10-15 years. Funnily enough Jack is selling plenty of games at high prices. What's the next big seller from Stern ?

    Even at $8000 a game, JJP is not making money, Pinballsales.com is. Currently JJP looks to be a big write off for Jack. Jack created JJP out of passion, not business sense. This isn't about bashing Stern or JJP or about what Jack says.....This is about an industry that is slowly dying. Flecom brings up a good point, if pinball was a viable business or had a future with kids, it would be in Dave & Busters, Chuck E Cheese or Disney........There are a lot of kids pumping through those places and no pinball to be found. Pinball was out smarted in a very smart gaming industry. It is dying because it never evolved to where it made sense and could compete.....Heck pinball 2000 is more advanced than a JJP pinball machines. We all love pinball here, sadly we are the exception not the rule.

    #37 4 years ago
    Quoted from Kneissl:

    I think the multimorphic pin is a better approach to the problem jjp was trying to solve.
    LexiLightspeed.jpg (Click image to enlarge)

    I don't think this solves the issue. It still appears dated as it is mechanical and not downloadable. It is more or less wishful thinking in a lot of ways. The fact that pinball is purely mechanical and physical is the only separating factor it has, so better to be weird and foreign to that crowd than try to find a way to make a hybrid video game/pin in my eyes. That may be its only saving grace.

    #38 4 years ago

    Why does everyone point to adams as pinballs heyday? Yeah 23k machines, but aren't there more ss's with those kind of numbers? The arcade's heyday was the late 70's and early 80's.

    Healthy is relative, but I would be dollars to donuts that all the current manufacturers comebined are not touching the output of one of the big boys back in the early 80s.

    #39 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    Nothing lasts forever. I'd love the current popularity to continue, I think we'll see a few more years, maybe 5 or so, then its just be the hardcore remaining. This mini flash is mainly due to 30-somethings like me having the money to finally grab these games and relive some of their childhood, which has allowed older collectors to sell them at a little bit of a premium to fund nib purchases. I see myself owning games for the rest of my life at this point, but I can see it being a fad for other people my age, they'll get bored of them and want to dump them if suddenly prices tank on them.

    In 2007 Pat Lawlor also called for the demise of pinball manufacturing in 5 years, yet here we are 6-7 years later with a much healthier industry that didn't need the technological advances he thought were necessary. I see quite a bit of enthusiasm from age groups well into their 60's, so if the latest surge is only due to 30-somethings, your 5 year prediction is probably off by quite a bit as well. It's a fad that has been going on for decades, but there is some truth in what both of you have said.

    #40 4 years ago
    Quoted from dung:

    Why does everyone point to adams as pinballs heyday? Yeah 23k machines, but aren't there more ss's with those kind of numbers? The arcade's heyday was the late 70's and early 80's.
    Healthy is relative, but I would be dollars to donuts that all the current manufacturers comebined are not touching the output of one of the big boys back in the early 80s.

    Just for a rough estimate I added up some years production from the ipdb and 1978 and 79 had around 250K machines produced, where 1992 and 1993 had around 100K produced.

    Not a precise number but definitely a wide enough difference to take note that the peak really was in the late 1970's

    #41 4 years ago
    Quoted from flecom:

    there are less people that want to play pinball as vs persons that want to win a stupid pencil with 10000 tickets...
    go to a dave and busters and you will see every single machine that makes money... anything that isn't there, it's because it does not make money (D&B had 500mil in revenue 2011 so they are probably good at this)
    "arcades" are a rarity, people just want to go to kiddie casinos now

    "Kiddie casinos"....haven't heard that term before, but it describes perfectly what the modern "arcade" is these days.

    #42 4 years ago
    Quoted from Newsom:

    Where are you getting these percentages from?
    You really think that less than 20% of sales go to operators?
    95/5? Really?

    Quoted from thedarkknight77:

    Even at $8000 a game, JJP is not making money, Pinballsales.com is. Currently JJP looks to be a big write off for Jack. Jack created JJP out of passion, not business sense. This isn't about bashing Stern or JJP or about what Jack says.....This is about an industry that is slowly dying. Flecom brings up a good point, if pinball was a viable business or had a future with kids, it would be in Dave & Busters, Chuck E Cheese or Disney........There are a lot of kids pumping through those places and no pinball to be found. Pinball was out smarted in a very smart gaming industry. It is dying because it never evolved to where it made sense and could compete.....Heck pinball 2000 is more advanced than a JJP pinball machines. We all love pinball here, sadly we are the exception not the rule.

    Of the 1000 WOZ le new machines did 50-100 go to operators ? I don't think so but I could be wrong. I hope I am wrong.
    I am talking about the future. Not now or the past. So yes in recent years pinball has not been in D&B type venues. No way did pinball 2000 have the wow factor of the hobbit. The latter has large HD screen separate from the purely pinball playfield. And most importantly it didn't have pindemption animations. These new JJP machines will be in the kiddies arcades soon. Not whole rows of them but it would be a comeback.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from Baiter:

    In 2007 Pat Lawlor also called for the demise of pinball manufacturing in 5 years, yet here we are 6-7 years later with a much healthier industry that didn't need the technological advances he thought were necessary. I see quite a bit of enthusiasm from age groups well into their 60's, so if the latest surge is only due to 30-somethings, your 5 year prediction is probably off by quite a bit as well. It's a fad that has been going on for decades, but there is some truth in what both of you have said.

    I agree with you, great point. I just see most people my age getting in and out of it faster than you'd think. They're much more fickle than the older crowd. They are not buying NIB games from what I can tell either. They're looking for "vintage" or "retro", mostly less expensive 80's era games or in some cases if they have more $$$ perhaps some DMDs fomr 90's. When that charm wears off, they'll dump their machines when the next thing comes along, whatever that may be. I'm sure some will hold on to them, I personally have always wanted a pin, I also love working on them. I'm not the only one my age that is like that, just not everyone is so pin crazy or wants to work on these machines all the time. Some other retro thing will replace this. Vintage still camera use and moving film use is having a bit of a resurgence right now. Yeah, it is a niche thing too, but there are people essentially seeking things they are unfamiliar with because it is new and fresh to them to work with them. It is an experience, but when the novelty wears off, it is back to convenience. Not trying to have a negative outlook on this, but I doesn't seems as healthy as some like to paint it.

    #44 4 years ago

    I'm waiting for another crash so I can actually afford them again.

    #45 4 years ago
    Quoted from GoneFishinLvMsg:

    I'm waiting for another crash so I can actually afford them again.

    You need 1 million $$ for 2 chicks at the same time.

    #46 4 years ago

    I've seen pinball declared dead so many times I can't take it seriously any more.

    It's crazy to call it healthier than ever - in the 70s/80s/90s there were years when ONE or more title sold more than units than the entire industry produced in 2014.

    It does seem healthier than when I got into it 15 years ago - there are more manufacturers putting out a higher quality product.

    One thing I find interesting is the predictions here that we are seeing the last wave of enthusiasm, because people in their 20s and 30s have some money and want what they played when they were kids etc.

    Well I got news for you - based on previous prognostications, those people who are revitalizing the hobby now don't even exist. 15 years ago, pinball was doomed because "kids today don't play pinball" - there's no arcades and even if there were kids are too busy playing Playstation etc. Yet here we are a decade or so later and all of a sudden all those playstation kids have their own place, have jobs, and are buying pinball machines?

    The hobby keeps revitalizing itself with new blood because it's cool as shit, and younger people tend to catch on to stuff that's cool as shit.

    I met plenty of good players in their early 20s (not counting the 12-year old phenoms whose dads are into it) at PAPA. One of the best players on my league team is 24 and we have others under the age of 30. These people never played pinball on location when they were kids as they are too young for bars and there are no arcades (supposedly?) yet they own or will own machines and are skilled players.

    I think it was proven a long time ago that pinball as a hobby has little in common with jukes, which was what people always compared it to 15 years ago. "Pinball is in the death throes just like jukes were -everybody is aging out, soon nobody will want them." Clearly it's very, very different.

    Now keep in mind people tend to get pinball as a hobby confused with pinball as an industry, and this is a point I used to make when everybody assumed the death of Stern (which looked inevitable) would be the death of pinball. It isn't so. Maybe the industry is growing too fast right now, maybe retail prices on new machines are too high. Maybe this leads to a contraction, I don't know and really don't care that much. I don't think any of that is nearly as important as everybody seems to think it is. "pinball" - people collecting, playing, and new blood in the collecting and competition hobby - really is not that dependent on the general health of the industry.

    #47 4 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    I agree with you, great point. I just see most people my age getting in and out of it faster than you'd think. They're much more fickle than the older crowd. They are not buying NIB games from what I can tell either. They're looking for "vintage" or "retro", mostly less expensive 80's era games or in some cases if they have more $$$ perhaps some DMDs fomr 90's. When that charm wears off, they'll dump their machines when the next thing comes along, whatever that may be.

    What about Vinyl?

    Absolutely left for dead 20 years ago. Growing every year now. A "fad" that's been on a 10-year upswing?

    #48 4 years ago
    Quoted from jungle:

    "Kids are not keeping the hobby alive and are not contributing to the renaissance." That is true right this second. Jersey Jack knew and has always said the big HD screen is an absolute must to grab kid's today. All they know is screens I-pads , smartphones , TV , Video games. If he's right and I believe he is all games out there ( except WOZ ) are no good for the future of pinball in the "non-pinhead " world.

    You aren't grabbing kids anymore. And talk of it comes across like a grandfather trying to pick out a gift for his grandson ("I hear they like these flat screens these days"). They're playing video games in 1080p on a giant TV at home all day. Some animations on a pinball machine are nothing to them.

    Pinball is a home luxury item. It's competition is pool tables, air hockey, and other expensive home entertainment options. Sure there is a small market for machines on location (mainly built around nostalgia). You'll have trends like barcades popping up here and there. But you're never going to have a major resurgence of pinball on location. The world has changed.

    #49 4 years ago

    The only way pinball would be saved is if Nikki Minaj or Flo Rida made a song about hoes and popping bottles over expensive pins at the club, then clubs would start having them and operators would be back in action for a few months, then it wouldn't be cool anymore because Wiz Khalifa would come out with a song making fun of them. That's the rap game.

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    I've seen pinball declared dead so many times I can't take it seriously any more.
    It's crazy to call it healthier than ever - in the 70s/80s/90s there were years when ONE or more title sold more than units than the entire industry produced in 2014.
    It does seem healthier than when I got into it 15 years ago - there are more manufacturers putting out a higher quality product.
    One thing I find interesting is the predictions here that we are seeing the last wave of enthusiasm, because people in their 20s and 30s have some money and want what they played when they were kids etc.
    Well I got news for you - based on previous prognostications, those people who are revitalizing the hobby now don't even exist. 15 years ago, pinball was doomed because "kids today don't play pinball" - there's no arcades and even if there were kids are too busy playing Playstation etc. Yet here we are a decade or so later and all of a sudden all those playstation kids have their own place, have jobs, and are buying pinball machines?
    The hobby keeps revitalizing itself with new blood because it's cool as shit, and younger people tend to catch on to stuff that's cool as shit.
    I met plenty of good players in their early 20s (not counting the 12-year old phenoms whose dads are into it) at PAPA. One of the best players on my league team is 24 and we have others under the age of 30. These people never played pinball on location when they were kids as they are too young for bars and there are no arcades (supposedly?) yet they own or will own machines and are skilled players.
    I think it was proven a long time ago that pinball as a hobby has little in common with jukes, which was what people always compared it to 15 years ago. "Pinball is in the death throes just like jukes were -everybody is aging out, soon nobody will want them." Clearly it's very, very different.
    Now keep in mind people tend to get pinball as a hobby confused with pinball as an industry, and this is a point I used to make when everybody assumed the death of Stern (which looked inevitable) would be the death of pinball. It isn't so. Maybe the industry is growing too fast right now, maybe retail prices on new machines are too high. Maybe this leads to a contraction, I don't know and really don't care that much. I don't think any of that is nearly as important as everybody seems to think it is. "pinball" - people collecting, playing, and new blood in the collecting and competition hobby - really is not that dependent on the general health of the industry.

    excellent post. i think you nailed it.

    the world isn't going to go back to a time when pinball machines were normal sights in every laundromat and pizza parlor, and kids are not going to be dumping quarters at arcades in droves ever again. but pinball is going to hang on and grow if it finds a new slot in our society to fit into, and it appears to be doing so. competitive pinball and home pinball hobbyists are both way bigger deals than ever before. can the old timers agree on that? those two forces combined still dont come close to equaling the volume pins generated back in the day, of course, but even without being a huge mainstream phenomenon, i believe interest and activity will remain strong enough to maintain more than one manufacturer, a substantial parts and supplies industry, and a lively pinball enthusiast community / culture.

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