Quoted from PinballCompany:
You are not far off. Let me help you...
Cost to build is actually going to be close to $3800 per machine after adding toys and finishing touches. The license cost for 300 machines is in your range (good guess). Assuming an average selling price (1/2 at wholesale and 1/2 at retail) of $5875 and that 1/2 of the customers will pay by credit card, that takes another $27,000 in credit card fees. We also have advertising costs and warranty costs. The total return of the project is a roughly $400,000 over 4 years if it is successful. Keep in mind, we have been paying out money for R&D and license fees for 2 years already.
If you want to put up $500,000 of your money to build a pinball machine and sell it with no profit, that's your choice.
If you want to buy the machine but think the price is too high, call us to work out a trade or cash price like many other Pinsiders do.
As for why 300 machines? It is all that we can reasonably get built before the license expires. By then, they will all be sold to happy buyers.
Calling someone greedy suggests they are being selfish with their choices and that's just rude. I have a tough skin and like who I am as a person, so it really doesn't bother me that you think I'm greedy. I did this project for all the families that call me wanting something for the kids to play and their feedback means the most to me. I would love to sell the machine for much less, but it wasn't in the cards.
thanks for your openness and I think you are doing a good job at helping us to understand.
I am may or may not be a potential buyer. My question is, what type of rules will be involved? Is there a framework such that a skilled player can still be challenged at the same time having enough front end fun for lower level players?
I'd give PotC as an example where there are maybe 4 tasks to complete (aside from ancillary tasks like x many pop bumper hits, or hit the stand up targets one time each.). But aside from 4 tasks, being able to stack modes of multiply jackpots (such as combo rewards) that would bring an advanced player higher points.
So it's easy to get started, but to get all the real tasks completed takes a bit of skill and would be rewarded with a full blown wizard mode that would be rewarding to a skilled player.
I am not against the layout (maybe similar to Avatar without the toys) but if the rules are good, and considering a game like WNJM sells for $5k, I think this would have some good value as a novelty and rare machine so long as it's got acceptable rules for a more advanced player.