(Topic ID: 265764)

Opinions About The Future of Pinball.


By Azmodeus

88 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 47 posts
  • 38 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 87 days ago by pookycade
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    #1 88 days ago

    I have seen a couple Facebook posts with people saying the sky is falling in pinball. I disagree fully.

    One can easily see the market shifting to home game ownership and perhaps less potential routed games being available.

    Shifting, not falling.

    (I wanted to comment in a different thread. But it was too much digression already.)

    Pinball is so dang resilient. The sky might fall elsewhere. It certainly will.

    Changes, of course always occour. Case in point. Now I need to obtain more pins in my house. I really only wanted my one. Now I need a Jurassic park and an iron maiden.

    I'm not sure that's falling I need two new games. Somewhat suddenly.

    Truly I hope everyone is getting through this time. This can take my mind off things.

    I look forward to everything pinball is bringing us in the future. Rock and roll! I'm pretty sure I will still need to bring my wallet.

    #2 88 days ago

    My man, I’m still buying and selling because it’s a HOBBY for me.
    If you’re asking for my opinion on the future of pinball I will personally want to keep playing it.
    Barcades IMO will blow up from this, because people will want to play this physical game (pinball) and if they cannot afford it for their home, they will pay 75 cents a game to do so.

    #3 88 days ago

    People who buy and sell pinball machines have more disposable income than the people who will be significantly affected by the economic downturn. Those who use them as a business device will be hurt but home owners will continue to do what they do. Prices may drop due to sales from operators but new games also won't be hitting the market like they have been so supply is going to be halted for a bit. I say it's a good time to pickup a routed game if you find a good deal, sales of HUO games should still keep on track of where they have been. $.02

    #4 88 days ago

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    #5 88 days ago

    I know quite a few people with not any disposable income and they still have pins. You dont need to spend 5 to 10k to have fun. My oldest pin cost $1100, newest was $7000. They are all fun, so I dont see it ever going away or being replaced

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    #6 88 days ago

    Pinball has always had ups and downs.

    And always bounces back bigger and better than before.

    LTG : )

    #7 88 days ago

    I hope things can return to “normal”. I have pins on location at a local brewery, it was a side job for me providing a little extra income. I currently don’t have any pins at home. I have thought about bringing a couple games home, especially if the shutdown last for months. I enjoyed seeing everyone have fun playing my games-

    #8 88 days ago

    This isn't going to kill pinball but pinball has been living on borrowed time for a while now. I don't think 20 year olds of today will buy and collect pins, Virtual pinball may thrive and perhaps a few small companies like spooky who seem to be able to manage selling 500 a shot will be around but this little surge we have seen in the last 10 years is dying, slowly mind you but dying all the same.

    #9 88 days ago

    People aren't just going to stop liking pinball. It will never die.

    18
    #10 88 days ago

    pinball was born in the depression.
    it survived world war 2, the video game craze, the video game crash, the coin op crash, the recession, it will survive this as well.
    like America, we are fighters and survivors. its the American spirit.

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    #11 88 days ago

    Pinball still looking pretty good to me!

    #12 88 days ago

    I see home ownership pinball continuing to grow over the years. People will continue to move away from alcohol related activities and move towards home based activities.

    Route pinball is another story. I see it doing good in population centers and failing miserably in rural areas. As prices for new pins continues to escalate, profitability suffers.

    There will of course be a shakeout of pinball manufacturers. Not certain how many manufacturers the pinball hobby can support.

    #13 88 days ago

    I had not thought of the blow up in public places this could cause. I sincerely hope a big bump is there for business in public places. Perhaps many of them.

    A few restaurants in my area are closed now. Permanently.

    I can see a clever operator capitalize on all Of this. Good.

    Quoted from MeNaCeFiRe:

    because people will want to play this physical game (pinball) and if they cannot afford it for their home, they will pay 75 cents a game to do so.

    #14 88 days ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    I had not thought of the blow up in public places this could cause. I sincerely hope a big bump is there for business in public places. Perhaps many of them.
    A few restaurants in my area are closed now. Permanently.
    I can see a clever operator capitalize on all Of this. Good.

    The OP here is renting out his pins for private use for a monthly fee while all the places he has pins are closed!!

    #15 88 days ago
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    #16 88 days ago
    Quoted from Hoopjohn:

    I see home ownership pinball continuing to grow over the years.

    No, this is a great time for the hobby but it dies with the last of the arcade generation. Think of where video games and AI tech VR stuff will be in 20 years. Pinball will never die completely and there's plenty of games to swap around for those youth who discover it and some really old geezers like me.

    #17 88 days ago
    Quoted from screaminr:

    [quoted image]

    One of the more intelligent things to come out of Rummies mouth. Unknown unknowns indeed.

    You plan for everything and then something comes out of left field you didn't imagine and kicks you right in the crotch.

    #18 88 days ago

    The main demographic in pinball is 40-60 years old and are the ones that can afford and buy NIB games. I personally do not know anyone under 30 that has bought even a single NIB game. Unfortunately that is the generation that will be replacing the main generation currently buying and therefore the answer to the op's question is that Pinball is doing well now and for the near future but will almost certainly collapse from its current state when old farts like myself are replaced by the millennials. If you treat pinball as a hobby then enjoy your games but if you are looking at pinball as a long term investment, forget about it.

    #19 88 days ago

    It's definitely going to scale back and prices will be reduced. I think the downturn is going to be devastating to a lot of hobby operators that have locations that were hanging on a thread and won't reopen. There just won't be space to store all this equipment. This combined with the on-going paranoia of not wanting to touch shared surfaces are going to be a real downer for location pinball. In case no one has noticed in the last 5 years, location pinball has exploded. This has really increased demand on vintage equipment as well as new machines. It has also been the cause of prices on vintage games like vids to skyrocket due to collectors competing with barcades for the limited supply.
    We're headed towards a major recession / depression. The switch isn't just going to be flipped and everything back to normal. Yes pinball will survive but it won't be like it was for a few years at least. I'd hold off on making purchases for a minute till the panic sets in and people are unloading at fire sale prices. I haven't seen it start yet. Once the unemployment and stimulus money run out you should see prices plummet.

    #20 88 days ago

    Resilient? What happened in the 80s what happened in the late 90s

    Pinball is definitely going to take a major hit but so will every industry.

    The days or selling a 4 year old pro for 5k is gone. Sure diehard fans are still here but the average joe may not need that new pinball for the basement.

    Lastly routed games are the core of pinball if they suffer pinball suffers... how did you get into pinball in the first place? It was a routed game.

    #21 88 days ago

    We are in the UK and finding any kind of pinball machine with a decent price attached very hard.
    Over the pond you have so much more inventory and are lucky

    We have our first and in the middle of restoring it to our capabilities but I search in vain for another one.
    I do hope the price falls as that will allow people like us to get more involved

    #22 88 days ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    One can easily see the market shifting to home game ownership and perhaps less potential routed games being available.

    The market made his shift a long time ago. I used to have two fantastic locations near me. Both are gone. Here is one smaller location about an hour from me, but with normal traffic, it is a horrific location to get to. There is another one a bit farther from me, but their machines are basically unplayable. If I’m driving by, I still stop there and drop in tokens, because any pinball is good pinball. But it’s not good pinball.

    Over the last 5 years or so I’ve found I almost exclusively play at friends houses (and my own house of course). And what I find there are games that play great. If a game has an issue, it gets fixed. In most cases a game will play better than it did 40 years ago.

    I realize that a home machine should never be compare to a location machine. I’m just saying that this shift already happened. My potential of running into a game on location are almost zero.

    #23 88 days ago

    They just had a segment on CBS news about a company in Oregon renting machines, I think pinball will be fine for the foreseeable future.

    #24 88 days ago
    Quoted from DaveH:

    I realize that a home machine should never be compare to a location machine. I’m just saying that this shift already happened. My potential of running into a game on location are almost zero.

    This is all geography - come to Ohio, Michigan or Pa. There is tons of location pinball - or was...

    #25 88 days ago
    Quoted from Jaybird815:

    They just had a segment on CBS news about a company in Oregon renting machines

    So after these times of woe are behind us were gonna start seeing a bunch of HUOR on the market? I can already hear the price police.

    #26 88 days ago

    I think it is going to hurt for a while. Many small businesses (potential locations) are just not going to survive. How many barcodes will go under? This will have an impact on route operators. Many people who might spend on the hobby are going to take a significant amount of time to recover financially. Then there is the potential stigma that will be associated with “touching” things like pins - you think we had germaphobes before - this will amplify that. All these factors will affect sales of NIB pins. Plus the aging demographic of the pinball hobbyist.

    I don’t know how long it will last but there will be a big impact IMHO. I hope my opinion is wrong though.

    #28 88 days ago

    If this adds to the spread of the virus. People moving games into houses, increases the exposure to more people.

    And what if a person infected traces back to the machine.

    Will CBS cover that too ?

    I know people are renting machines.

    For me the risk of getting infected or sued into the ground. Isn't worth the money/risk.

    LTG : )

    #29 88 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    If this adds to the spread of the virus. People moving games into houses, increases the exposure to more people.
    And what if a person infected traces back to the machine.
    Will CBS cover that too ?
    I know people are renting machines.
    For me the risk of getting infected or sued into the ground. Isn't worth the money/risk.
    LTG : )

    CBS won’t have to cover it because the delivery program has been suspended due to a stay at home order.

    #30 88 days ago

    It's a cool idea but I wonder how the insurance/legalities work with renting machines out? Do you have to do a separate insurance rider for each home/location or is it all covered under your business policy? I'd be worried if one of my machines got destroyed or if it was responsible for a fire.

    #31 88 days ago
    Quoted from Azmodeus:

    I have seen a couple Facebook posts with people saying the sky is falling in pinball. I disagree fully.
    One can easily see the market shifting to home game ownership and perhaps less potential routed games being available.
    Shifting, not falling.
    (I wanted to comment in a different thread. But it was too much digression already.)
    Pinball is so dang resilient. The sky might fall elsewhere. It certainly will.
    Changes, of course always occour. Case in point. Now I need to obtain more pins in my house. I really only wanted my one. Now I need a Jurassic park and an iron maiden.
    I'm not sure that's falling I need two new games. Somewhat suddenly.
    Truly I hope everyone is getting through this time. This can take my mind off things.
    I look forward to everything pinball is bringing us in the future. Rock and roll! I'm pretty sure I will still need to bring my wallet.

    The harder the time, the more the people want to... well, do nice things for distraction.

    So yes, I‘m looking forward to upcoming games and would appreciate some news outside of ‚corona‘.

    BUT, that doesn‘t necessarily go for buying that stuff for home use.
    And of course that doesn‘t mean locations will not close, some will. But there‘ll be new ones eventually.

    #32 88 days ago

    Whatever barcades are still open when we can all go out in public again are going to make a ton of money in the first few weeks/months.

    In the last two weeks, I’ve had seven unsolicited requests from people who are practically begging to get games into their homes. Lots of people out there who don’t own games and need to get their fix from location pinball!

    #33 88 days ago

    QC issues may be worse for pinball than COVID-19

    I suspect many have the resources to buy several games to occupy this newfound leisure time but aren't (due to QC & silly pricing).

    #34 88 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    If this adds to the spread of the virus. People moving games into houses, increases the exposure to more people.
    And what if a person infected traces back to the machine.
    Will CBS cover that too ?
    I know people are renting machines.
    For me the risk of getting infected or sued into the ground. Isn't worth the money/risk.
    LTG : )

    Sued by tracing it back to a machine? That sounds really paranoid and really difficult to prove. Also trivial to include a clause in the rental agreement that the owner of the machine cleaned it thoroughly and isn't responsible for any illness resulting from the transaction.

    From my perspective, it's no different than allowing restaurants to do take-out and delivery. Once the game is in your home, you can wipe it down just like you do groceries.

    In any event, thought it was an interesting way for an op to keep some people employed!

    #35 88 days ago
    Quoted from PW79:

    QC issues may be worse for pinball than COVID-19
    I suspect many have the resources to buy several games to occupy this newfound leisure time but aren't (due to QC & silly pricing).

    I’m sorry, but this doesn’t make any sense to me. People are yearning to have fun. Things like pooling clear coat quickly become unimportant when priorities change as they are now. Getting a game in your home is a pretty incredible thing.

    #36 88 days ago
    Quoted from snaroff:

    Sued by tracing it back to a machine? That sounds really paranoid

    With what is going on right now. I have good reason to be paranoid.

    Quoted from snaroff:

    really difficult to prove

    Maybe yes. Maybe no. Might be a one in a million shot. Me, I don't have the reserves to fight off a lawsuit.

    LTG : )

    #37 88 days ago

    The hobby will survive but it’s hard to argue pinball wont be impacted. Small businesses are closing, unemployment is skyrocketing, and disposable income is gone for many. I will continue my enjoyment and support but can’t understand why all the cheerleaders pretend it’s not going to pressure used game prices, operators, and manufacturers.

    #38 88 days ago

    Who knows? Speculation leads to rumor, which Leads to "fact" somehow in today's world.

    All I know is, folks are screwed economicly and possibly health wise for the time being.

    So my hobby isn't really on the priority list.

    #39 88 days ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    With what is going on right now. I have good reason to be paranoid.

    Maybe yes. Maybe no. Might be a one in a million shot. Me, I don't have the reserves to fight off a lawsuit.
    LTG : )

    Lloyd, I totally understand and certainly wasn't telling you (or anyone else) what to do!

    Whenever pinball is in the news, I think it's worth watching. If pinball weren't relevant, they wouldn't bother talking about it on a national news program. This particular segment (that aired today) was directly relevant to this thread...

    #40 88 days ago

    I really think the future depends on whether all the manufacurers survive. Stern didnt get its second wind until they had competition. If it is just one manufacturer, things look bad. If there is competiton the future is still bright. Everyone here will keep there pins. Eventually the bottom will completely fall out on EMs, but there is another 20 years before 1980s+ pins go out.

    #41 88 days ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    I’m sorry, but this doesn’t make any sense to me. People are yearning to have fun. Things like pooling clear coat quickly become unimportant when priorities change as they are now. Getting a game in your home is a pretty incredible thing.

    I'm not sure about that. If anything the people that were not buying NIB prior to all of this due to quality issues likely value their money more and demand a quality product for a $6k - $12k+ luxury toy. I would think that a majority of those types of buyers are going to hold onto their money, enjoy what they have, and try to save more during a time of a pandemic and mass layoffs.

    #42 88 days ago
    Quoted from PanzerFreak:

    I'm not sure about that. If anything the people that were not buying NIB prior to all of this due to quality issues likely value their money more and demand a quality product for a $6k - $12k+ luxury toy. I would think that a majority of those types of buyers are going to hold onto their money, enjoy what they have, and try to save more during a time of a pandemic and mass layoffs.

    Who knows - we are all in uncharted waters!

    #43 88 days ago

    If any wants thinks the sky is falling and wants to dump there collection ...pm me I’m a buyer

    #44 88 days ago

    Hey guys - we are not talking about Beanie Babies here and some sort of crash like that. If your in it for the $$$ as an investment well then you need to re-think things. Its all about the fun of playing, restoring (if that's your thing) and having something to even just look at with all the flashing lights and stuff. Pinball will go on.

    #45 88 days ago
    Quoted from Greenandwhite:

    The hobby will survive but it’s hard to argue pinball won't be impacted. Small businesses are closing, unemployment is skyrocketing, and disposable income is gone for many. I will continue my enjoyment and support but can’t understand why all the cheerleaders pretend it’s not going to pressure used game prices, operators, and manufacturers.

    This ^

    I live in Australia so things might be slightly different here, but I imagine many things are the same, most pinball collectors are around 50yrs old and have a few pins.

    Unemployment has doubled in America and no doubt there will be quite a few of the above in that group, some will be 55yrs - 60yrs old and will probably struggle to find another job as things slowly come back, there will be no "bounce" back.

    To compound that their superannuation has taken a major hit and they now have less money to fund a much longer retirement than they planned.

    Thus over the coming 6 months many of them will give up and sell their pins and flood the market with secondhand pins decimating their value and greatly slowing sales of new pins. Who will be buying new if classics are cheap?

    This was always going to happen as collectors aged but has been bought forward about 10yrs due to covid-19.

    #46 87 days ago
    Quoted from pintechev:

    I’m sorry, but this doesn’t make any sense to me. People are yearning to have fun. Things like pooling clear coat quickly become unimportant when priorities change as they are now. Getting a game in your home is a pretty incredible thing.

    If that's the case I'd have a new game.

    But I really don't want roll the dice & end up with a grenade. Especially when I already have a basement full of ill shit.

    I also want to get laid but still exclude that bitch Carole Baskin.

    #47 87 days ago

    It will take a minimum of 12 months for my arcade to recover to pre COVID revenue levels and honestly I am planning for 2 years to get there. My goal is for now hold the fort and get to break even in a year. And that’s if I’m lucky. Gonna be a bumpy ride, but it was bumpy before. Good thing is we carry almost no debt. Other than rent it’s all paid for already

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