(Topic ID: 147165)

Only three weeks until a major service call on GoT....c'mon Stern!!

By sandersj

5 years ago


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  • Latest reply 5 years ago by sandersj
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33
#1 5 years ago

Now that I've baited all the haters in here. My first GoT out of cycle service call? Emptying the bill acceptor as it filled up in only three weeks. I have a pretty low volume location so the actual numbers don't really correlate to other locations but for this location this is the hottest start for a new pin by at least a factor of two.

This is a problem I can live with.

20151219_124039.jpg

-1
#2 5 years ago

Yeah it's a killer game there best yet

#3 5 years ago

Cha-ching! Congrats! Thanks for putting pinballs on location!

#4 5 years ago

I also pimp them a little. Everything gets a shaker motor, and a local guy that makes custom shooter rods hooks me up. This is installed on GoT. Really like it.

12347600_10154397436007571_9219549283719321369_n.jpg

#5 5 years ago

Now if you do that 80 more times or so, you will break even!

#6 5 years ago

#7 5 years ago

Ha! Actually I get 100% at my locations (know the owners) so just 15 more times to pay off the game. The honeymoon never lasts though and it will calm down soon but I just wanted to share a positive pinball earnings data point. I just started a winter league that lasts until March and may have 30 people in it before its over so I'm hoping for an upwards trend in earnings.

#8 5 years ago

Was this a pro? I Went to a location with about 10 bucks to play got pro.

I Spent 2 on got and 8 on twd pro.

#9 5 years ago

Its a pro. My regulars are really diggin it. Most are GoT fans which helps.

#10 5 years ago

Theme sells! Maybe expect bumps once the new season starts too...

#11 5 years ago

That's a nice fat stack of cash. How many bills can fit in a collector before it is full?

#12 5 years ago

That looks like a 300 bill stacker

#13 5 years ago
Quoted from guyincognito:

How many bills can fit in a collector before it is full?

Depends on the stacker. 200, 300, 500, that one looks like 200.

LTG : )™

#14 5 years ago

Haha- pretty much the same thing happened the the owner/op of the bar one of our leagues is at, also a game of thrones pro. The coin mechs stopped working at all, and it turned out they were fine but the cash box had filled and quarters stacked up high enough in the cabinet to start blocking the coin switches on both sides. Good problem to have. How many quarters fit in a cash box?

#15 5 years ago
Quoted from Law:

How many quarters fit in a cash box?

Easily $500. They all pile up in the front though, so it wouldn't take that many to jam the coin switches.

LTG : )™

#16 5 years ago

Sigh. This week my immaculate TOM took in $30 (Canadian, which is like $20 US), and my DW took in $20 (also CAD). Why don't people in this town play pinball?

#17 5 years ago
Quoted from EvanDickson:

Why don't people in this town play pinball?

Yours is probably the norm. The other examples are rare.

Sorry.

LTG

#18 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Depends on the stacker. 200, 300, 500, that one looks like 200.
LTG : )™

Its a 300 note stacker. The biggest one that I know will fit in a Stern due to mechanical interferences. If I have to unload them every few weeks that's a problem of success. One note, whenever I get a new game in an it does great like this the other games suffer. My locals seem to have only so much money a month to spend on pinball but the numbers have been creeping up. In regards to promotional efforts........

I've tried sidewalk pinball:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/pop-up-pinball-sidewalk-pinball-in-huntsville-al

Started a pinball gang:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/new-pinball-gang-in-huntsville-al

And a winter league:

https://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/winter-league-huntsville-al

Turns out there's a group of local players that play at a specific bar that has a Kiss and they are starting a pinball gang as well. Its taken years of having well maintained machines on location and some wacky promotional efforts but things are trending in the right direction.

Step 1 is to get machines on location and maintain them. Easier said than done I know, but they have to exist in the wild before we can create new players. And new players is what the industry needs badly.

#19 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

Step 1 is to get machines on location and maintain them.

This is the problem the local bar has in my area. They have 3 machines, but they aren't maintained at all. My friend and I used to go in there about once a week, play pinball, eat dinner and have a few beers. But since they don't bother maintaining the machines, we don't bother going in much anymore.

#20 5 years ago
Quoted from Spyderturbo007:

This is the problem the local bar has in my area. They have 3 machines, but they aren't maintained at all. My friend and I used to go in there about once a week, play pinball, eat dinner and have a few beers. But since they don't bother maintaining the machines, we don't bother going in much anymore.

Yeah, having pinballs at a bar may not make them tons of money but at my main location everyone knows that there's lots of people there to play pinball first and consume their product second. If more bar owners were a bit more "out of the box" thinkers and could see this it would help.

#21 5 years ago
Quoted from EvanDickson:

Sigh. This week my immaculate TOM took in $30 (Canadian, which is like $20 US), and my DW took in $20 (also CAD). Why don't people in this town play pinball?

How's is employment out there? Serious question. With oil prices so low. Here in Alberta. Lots of job losses in the oil sector. Lots of ppl from out east that were FIFO (fly in fly out) positions were cut

#22 5 years ago
Quoted from pinballophobe:

How's is employment out there? Serious question. With oil prices so low. Here in Alberta. Lots of job losses in the oil sector. Lots of ppl from out east that were FIFO (fly in fly out) positions were cut

I think we're 11% officially, which is more like 20% in reality. That's status quo for here.

#23 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

Ha! Actually I get 100% at my locations (know the owners) so just 15 more times to pay off the game. The honeymoon never lasts though and it will calm down soon but I just wanted to share a positive pinball earnings data point. I just started a winter league that lasts until March and may have 30 people in it before its over so I'm hoping for an upwards trend in earnings.

You can thank me for one of your best customers...he left town about 6 months ago to take a job in Huntsville. My earnings noticeably took a hit for a while...not that many diehard players out this way.

100% is a pipe dream out here, I am lucky to get 75% at one location...only way it makes it feasible to buy new equipment occasionally. Everywhere else it's nearly impossible to get a location, and when I do, it's 50% at one that doesn't earn well to begin with. On top of that, pinball does not even come close to competing with the video gam(bl)ing machines; a very difficult sell.

-Mark

#24 5 years ago
Quoted from EvanDickson:

Sigh. This week my immaculate TOM took in $30 (Canadian, which is like $20 US), and my DW took in $20 (also CAD). Why don't people in this town play pinball?

I agree with Lloyd, that this is much closer to the norm. I have a location with similar earnings to the one you describe.

One thing I have learned, you don't need immaculately maintained or the prettiest machines. Yes, definitely keep them clean, with strong/aligned flippers and major functions working, and lamps replaced when practical. Past that it's irrelevant, to all but a few picky players, who are likely to be collectors to begin with.

And, new equipment does indeed help with earnings, but is not the answer, especially if you have nowhere else to rotate machines in and out of.

Location pinball is definitely improving overall here in the States, but not everywhere. Even in regions/cities where pinball does well, it's a far cry from "back in the day." Big operators generally have this attitude, and it's not worth their time to operate them, unless a location specifically requests one. That's how us small-time ops sneak in.

My point is, you can be doing everything "right," but at a lot of locations, it won't really matter. There's simply too much other competition for the entertainment dollar these days, and if you can't hook the younger generation and distract them from their mobile devices, it's a losing battle.

-Mark

#25 5 years ago

yeah, what Mark said....

"You can thank me for one of your best customers...'

Thomas is making a strong showing in local play. Definitely one of the best players in town. His gang name is "Mr. T".

I'll have to admit that my pinball business model is only partially legit. If I was depending on paying the bills with it I'd be living in a van down by the river. Fortunately I have a well paying day job and can extend the hobby into a public space and share the toys. BUT, things are looking up, at least here in Huntsville, and I'm adding a really large location next year (15 or so pins) at a really hot new entertainment venue that's under construction now. I'm taking the Chinese "long view", getting in early, and being patient.

#26 5 years ago

Are more location machines popping up in every city? 10 years ago, Toronto had 10 bars with one machine each. 5 years ago we had one place with 10 machines. Now there are almost 10 places with 4-10 machines and lots of 1-2 machine locations. We're going through a real boom right now which is great for our scene. And there is actually at least one operator making his living simply operating.

#27 5 years ago

My WWFRR has made $30 a week for 4 weeks take home. My metallica pro next to it has made $50 take home a week for 4 weeks. GOT primium going in their next.

Game Underground Natick Mall in MA

#28 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

Now that I've baited all the haters in here.

It backfired with me, I avoided it because it looked like whiner drama. Finally clicked because I was bored and it's interesting!

#29 5 years ago

The Pinside whiner drama cracks me up. I can't help but make fun of the situation.

And speaking of public mods I also have your ST translight at that location. Lots of positive comments on it.

#30 5 years ago
Quoted from dannunz:

My WWFRR has made $30 a week for 4 weeks take home. My Metallica pro next to it has made $50 take home a week for 4 weeks. GOT primium going in their next.
Game Underground Natick Mall in MA

That's consistent with my machines but total. So I'd say your machines are doing better in total earnings than mine. I just happen to be good buds with the owners of my locations and the 100% helps.

edit: unless you own your location of course..... don't know.

#31 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

The Pinside whiner drama cracks me up. I can't help but make fun of the situation.
And speaking of public mods I also have your ST translight at that location. Lots of positive comments on it.

Awesome. Love seeing them out in the wild

#32 5 years ago
Quoted from Gnatty:

Now if you do that 80 more times or so, you will break even!

This would be accurate thinking only if the game became worth $0 the second you bought it. Instead, you make money on it and sell it when you're done.

#33 5 years ago
Quoted from LTG:

Depends on the stacker. 200, 300, 500, that one looks like 200.
LTG : )™

Yep , I would say that too lloyd. as the bills come out the bottom on a 200, 300 out the side and 500 has the extention.

#34 5 years ago

Now if that's all filled with $5's your in business!! Seriously, that's an impressive stack for only 3 weeks. We have a number of games here in town I have yet to see a stacker that full. Hopefully that trend will continue for you for a while and not drop off. Congrats!!

#35 5 years ago
Quoted from Law:

Haha- pretty much the same thing happened the the owner/op of the bar one of our leagues is at, also a game of thrones pro. The coin mechs stopped working at all, and it turned out they were fine but the cash box had filled and quarters stacked up high enough in the cabinet to start blocking the coin switches on both sides. Good problem to have. How many quarters fit in a cash box?

It was a little over $550 that choked the coin box...

#36 5 years ago
Quoted from u2sean:

Now if that's all filled with $5's your in business!! Seriously, that's an impressive stack for only 3 weeks. We have a number of games here in town I have yet to see a stacker that full. Hopefully that trend will continue for you for a while and not drop off. Congrats!!

And your games are always cleaning and working well. I seriously wish I lived closer.

#37 5 years ago
Quoted from u2sean:

Now if that's all filled with $5's your in business!! Seriously, that's an impressive stack for only 3 weeks. We have a number of games here in town I have yet to see a stacker that full. Hopefully that trend will continue for you for a while and not drop off. Congrats!!

Thanks, my 200 note stacker on MMR got filled up once, that was the first one and a really good feeling.

So for the curious, if there are any..... The main brewery where I have pins is Straight to Ale and they're expanding into a new location. Check out the architects renderings in the link below. I'll keep 3-4 machines at the current location as long as it stays open but the bulk of my collection (modern Sterns at least) is headed to Campus 805 here in Huntsville. I may put some mid-90s Williams into an exclusive, non-public venue in that space but I'm not sure yet.

http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2015/07/straight_to_ale_poised_to_beco.html

#38 5 years ago
Quoted from TomGWI:

And your games are always cleaning and working well. I seriously wish I lived closer.

I wish you lived closer also

I think there is a need for more Dentists in Madison... We are all super hip and no anti-dentite allowed here...

#39 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

yeah, what Mark said....
"You can thank me for one of your best customers...'
Thomas is making a strong showing in local play. Definitely one of the best players in town. His gang name is "Mr. T".
I'll have to admit that my pinball business model is only partially legit. If I was depending on paying the bills with it I'd be living in a van down by the river. Fortunately I have a well paying day job and can extend the hobby into a public space and share the toys. BUT, things are looking up, at least here in Huntsville, and I'm adding a really large location next year (15 or so pins) at a really hot new entertainment venue that's under construction now. I'm taking the Chinese "long view", getting in early, and being patient.

Thomas was one of our better players, no doubt. And one of the few from our league that would patronize my machines more than once a week, during league play.

I am transitioning from one that had a decent paying day job with a small route, to no day job, a small route, and a large arcade. None of the them make much money, so I may be the dude in that Chris Farley sketch if things don't start picking up soon.

We're definitely early in Joliet, trying with a few others businesses to turn the downtown into something resembling its heyday. But progress is slow, sometimes it's hard to tell if things are regressing or progressing. And I am patient... but there is only so much patience...and $...one has.

I am impressed you are able to make things work in Huntsville, and more on the way. The South is typically a barren wasteland when it comes to pinball...although I understand Huntsville is kind of its own animal, thanks to the huge number of tech/engineering jobs there at NASA.

-Mark

#40 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

Thanks, my 200 note stacker on MMR got filled up once, that was the first one and a really good feeling.
So for the curious, if there are any..... The main brewery where I have pins is Straight to Ale and they're expanding into a new location. Check out the architects renderings in the link below. I'll keep 3-4 machines at the current location as long as it stays open but the bulk of my collection (modern Sterns at least) is headed to Campus 805 here in Huntsville. I may put some mid-90s Williams into an exclusive, non-public venue in that space but I'm not sure yet.
http://www.al.com/business/index.ssf/2015/07/straight_to_ale_poised_to_beco.html

Wow, that's an insane amount of $ to get that place off the ground.

We looked into the whole microbrew/craft beer thing early on. For a tiny setup with minimal capacity, it was something like $250K. And that doesn't take into account another $500K in building improvements.

It's true...takes money to make money.

-Mark

#41 5 years ago
Quoted from markmon:

This would be accurate thinking only if the game became worth $0 the second you bought it. Instead, you make money on it and sell it when you're done.

The problem with that is, if you want an expanding business/route, you can't sell the machines for a long time. And they break down, require repairs, and eventually will wear out. I have yet to "break even" on any equipment I have purchased new in the last 2 years.

But yes, "on paper" the machines these days have a high value which doesn't depreciate quickly. Who knows how long that will trend, though.

-Mark

#42 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

That's consistent with my machines but total. So I'd say your machines are doing better in total earnings than mine. I just happen to be good buds with the owners of my locations and the 100% helps.
edit: unless you own your location of course..... don't know.

Agreed.

You need to fight for more than 50/50, especially if you have new/newer equipment.

-Mark

#43 5 years ago
Quoted from marcos:

Wow, that's an insane amount of $ to get that place off the ground.
We looked into the whole microbrew/craft beer thing early on. For a tiny setup with minimal capacity, it was something like $250K. And that doesn't take into account another $500K in building improvements.
It's true...takes money to make money.
-Mark

Yup, the Straight to Ale expansion is on the order of millions and the landlord is paying for the required renovations and they will lease the space. The developer has spent millions renovating that school. I'm also a founding owner of a local nano brewery currently in development (Green Bus Brewing) and its TINY and that's still a six digit investment with the partners putting in a ton of sweat equity on the renovations.

#44 5 years ago
Quoted from marcos:

South is typically a barren wasteland when it comes to pinball...although I understand Huntsville is kind of its own animal, thanks to the huge number of tech/engineering jobs there at NASA.
-Mark

yes, NASA and military contractors (I'm one of those) according to the 2010 census we have 20,000 people with engineering degrees in town, not to mention all the other technical degrees, physics, math, etc.... We are very high tech and "if it won't work here..........", I did something wrong. But again, the long view. Lets see where it is in 10 years.

#45 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

yes, NASA and military contractors (I'm one of those) according to the 2010 census we have 20,000 people with engineering degrees in town, not to mention all the other technical degrees, physics, math, etc.... We are very high tech and "if it won't work here..........", I did something wrong. But again, the long view. Lets see where it is in 10 years.

Crazy...yes, you are in the right place to attract the (potential) pinball crowd!

My locations are on or near campus at the largest university in the state, with a large engineering college.

Unfortunately, college kids don't play pinball these days, regardless of major.

This campus was a pinball Mecca as recent as the late 90's...and now, other than a handful of machines I operate, and a handful of old 90's machines I don't operate that are usually in poor condition...location pinball is dead here.

Too many $0.99 apps that can be played over and over...vs. $1 for a single game on a nicely maintained, modern pinball machine. I suppose "modern" is irrelevant. Most Sterns that sit next to a 90's WMS title are the same to most people...they can't tell the difference, and think they are all old.

Pinball needs some innovation to generate some excitement...I hope Stern at least comes out with an LCD soon. Not that it's remotely cutting edge...but it's something.

-Mark

#46 5 years ago

Speaking of apps, I'm about to install Payrange hardware on all my location machines. Today's younger crowd just doesn't carry cash anymore. And being able to ring up games using their credit card should bring some more money in.

#47 5 years ago
Quoted from sandersj:

Speaking of apps, I'm about to install Payrange hardware on all my location machines. Today's younger crowd just doesn't carry cash anymore. And being able to ring up games using their credit card should bring some more money in.

I have it installed on my route. However, other than a few die hard players, people aren't really using it.

It's a Catch 22 type of thing as an early adopter...casual players aren't interested in downloading an app, installing it, registering, and loading at least $5 on it (appears to be $10 minimum, but isn't) all to play a game or two. And since I am unable to have more than two machines per location, and PR doesn't exist elsewhere in the area, it's hard to get people interested.

It seems to work well in locations that have many machines, however.

PR is still buggy and is missing some functionality...but it has promise.

-Mark

#48 5 years ago
Quoted from marcos:

PR is still buggy and is missing some functionality...but it has promise.

I have interest in it, but NO desire to be a beta tester when it costs as much as it does plus the 4% cut they take.

#49 5 years ago

Well, I've got 30 people in my winter league and I think about 10-15 of my regulars would use it. The bartenders at my location say people come in all the time trying to get cash off their credit cards from the bar and they aren't allowed to do that so they have to leave and hit an ATM to get cash for pinball.

Like just about everything in modern location pinball "it's an experiment".

#50 5 years ago
Quoted from marcos:

pinball does not even come close to competing with the video gam(bl)ing machines; a very difficult sell.

You know, ever since Illinois made it ok to put gambling machines anywhere (not just in dedicated casinos), it's really become obtrusive. There's at least 3 restaurants within 5 miles of my house that have a couple slots machines at a minimum, plus a dedicated strip mall bar (Dotty's) that has a bunch of them. I'd like to say it's a fad that will eventually die out, but how often do you see casinos go out of business. I just can't imagine how all of them can survive with the way the market is saturated now. People don't have endless money to dump into gambling machines that pretty much guarantee you'll come out negative.

And while some restaurants will dedicate closed off areas (adults only), often I see machines out in the open. It's amazing how pinball machines were once regarded as gambling devices and got smashed to pieces, but somehow slot machines are ok today. Clearly it only shows that illinois is super broke (when it can't even pay out lottery winnings because they don't have a balanced budget and aren't even supposed to touch those funds), so let's throw more misery into the mix by making gambling legal anywhere.

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