(Topic ID: 223902)

Thoughts after years offline

By Notpinhead

3 years ago


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    #51 3 years ago

    I have been in the Collectables/Antiques Field my entire life while enduring a career in Industry.
    Pinball is an intrinsically complicated segment requiring specialized skills (and parts) to maintain operation. When this continued operation becomes dependent on aftermarket Suppliers providing essential parts obsolescence is certain. I would argue the pinball Hobby is primarily one for the affluent since price has increased and availability decreased for Ems and early SS. When the average Joe (or Jane) could play practically anywhere for a couple of bucks affluence did not matter, it belonged to everyone,not just the Elite.
    Simply a case of the numbers being sufficient to guarantee Production of machines and replacement parts, as well as skilled Technicians to repair.
    After completing a Degree in the electronics field with the inherent student loans who today is going into full-time Arcade machine repair? I would love to know the median age of these guys, the youngest one I know is in his late 50's.
    There are actually those who consider a late model Spike system an investment.
    Return pinball to the masses through coin-op and it will survive. Hobbyist and Collectors can't keep it going. They actually serve as a detriment by hoarding machines in the dozens keeping only elitist playing.

    #52 3 years ago

    20 years ago I got my first pinball machine at around 10-11 years old - JP and T2. they got minimal play for 18 years. 2 years ago my parents semi-forced me to get them out of their house. Over the last 2 years, I've bought something like 10 machines, sold something like 6 machines. My collection now stands at 7 pins.

    20 years from now - someone will tell this same story except it will be Met and ACDC (or insert whatever you choose).

    now all I need is the Hummel market to rebound from the 98% price drop it's seen...

    #53 3 years ago

    Pinball is fundamentally an entertainment product. It should be compared to other forms of entertainment, not a pure collectible market. It is ludicrous to compare pinball to beanie babies.

    As long as people gather to drink alcohol in public places, there will be a market for pinball. Pinball is a unique entertainment form, since nearly all of them work the same way: two buttons and a plunger. You can be drunk AF and still have fun. You can play alone and nobody will shame you for it, or you can have a blast with friends or strangers.

    There are also millions more Americans alive now than in the 1990s when pinball was in its golden age. Until we stop producing humans at a rate less than we are dying, on pure numbers alone the hobby will grow.

    Sure, demand for new machines is very likely to drop when the next economic downturn comes. Some pinball companies will likely go under. But entertainment use, particularly cheap entertainment, always goes up during economic downturns.

    Old pinball machines /may/ become less valuable. Maybe. EM's are very cheap compared to SS and DMD, maybe the floor will fall on SS prices, then DMD prices as LCD games become the norm. But this has nothing to do with the popularity of pinball.

    I also totally agree that parts will /always/ be available as long as we have an Internet. The cost to create replacement parts keeps getting cheaper.

    By the way, most people who play my pins on location are under 30.

    #54 3 years ago
    Quoted from fattdirk:

    I run location pinball and while it doesn't really make money there is interest in it. What I'm seeing is the old guard operators are being replaced by small time hobby operators that do it for the love over the dollar. One of the issues is the players are cheap AF and demand to play the newest pins for 50 cents a play and scoff at a buck. Even at a buck the ROI is slim. The saving grace at the moment is that the price of new machines is so astronomical that you can sell a piece of heavily used equipment for a decent sum still and end up with a slight profit.
    Traditional operators tend not to even bother with it.
    I have some players in their mid 20's to late 30's, but it's still a niche and most people don't care. I think pinball will continue on but an increase in interest is just an illusion created by 40 and 50 year old men with money driving the prices up trying to put a piece of their youth in the basement gameroom. Pinball won't die but will be curated by those of us with an old soul.

    Are you going to the Cleveland show?

    #55 3 years ago

    In addition to the age component, what I've not heard mentioned is the cultural component.

    Many have said, "there are a ton of 20 somethings in my league, 20 somethings love pinball" and that may be.

    What is a new phenomenon is "tiny houses" and nobody with a tiny house is owning even one pinball machine.

    The '80s folks grew up with Miami Vice and consumerism. Some in this younger generation seem to appreciate a simpler lifestyle. OK with living in a tiny house or not collecting tons of crap.

    They might play at a location on league but not necessarily own a machine.

    If society evolves to a "Ready Player One" culture where trailer homes are stacked on top of one another, pinball ownership would not fit in that lifestyle.

    I am not making any assumptions or anything, just wondering what pinball ownership might look like for future generations.

    #56 3 years ago

    I remember the days before pinball was discussed online.

    Each game that showed up on route was a surprise, and in many cases presented itself as a mirror of culture or subculture as it was happening in the present, with a few nods to the past, sometimes the long past. In those days there was a sense of balance and at the same time some irreverence which is what attracted players and made them cool wherever they were located.

    Fast forward to the present day, where it is home collectors with their dream themes discussed online that largely determine what games will be made, and that pretty much takes whatever cool and creativity there was about pinball and throws it all away. Perhaps better than letting pinball die altogether, but on the other hand perhaps not.

    Somewhere, I'd imagine, there is a happy medium where greedy manufacturers and selfish home collectors can meet, and make pinball cool again. But in reality, except maybe in the far corners of the industry, that is a dream that will probably never happen and pinball will die anyway. Unfortunately with that death, it will leave an embarrassing legacy unlike if it had already died years ago.

    #57 3 years ago

    My teenage daughter had a party at our home last week for 30 or 40 of her high school friends.

    IM, Metallica Pro and Premium and Hobbit got around 10 plays over 6 hours. The 3 SuperChexx machines, 2 Dynamo air hockey tables and the Pac Man Anniversary machines were played nonstop. Our kids have pretty big parties at our home every couple of months and rarely do any of these kids become fully engrossed with any of the 43 pinball machines.

    I just don't think many young people care for pinball. I hope I turn out to be wrong.

    #58 3 years ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    I just don't think many young people care for pinball.

    Maybe if they were to slap a theme on one that would pull them in, it might spark their interest a little more than what their dad or grandpappy might be into. And I'm not talking about some Toy Story as those kids have already grown up and it is mostly their parents with the nostalgic kick on themes like that.

    Of course there is always some one that will prove me wrong showing a six year old kid having the time of their life on one of these not so currently themed games, but then again when my daughter was six she thought that 70s retro pop station was pretty cool. Shame they have to grow up and decide for themselves what cool more fits their generation.

    #59 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Maybe if they were to slap a theme on one that would pull them in, it might spark their interest a little more than what their dad or grandpappy might be into. And I'm not talking about some Toy Story as those kids have already grown up and it is mostly their parents with the nostalgic kick on themes like that.
    Of course there is always some one that will prove me wrong showing a six year old kid having the time of their life on one of these not so currently themed games, but then again when my daughter was six she thought that 70s retro pop station was pretty cool. Shame they have to grow up and decide for themselves what cool more fits their generation.

    I think you are 100% correct with respect to a modern theme, but what would it be? That is the $64,000 question.

    I was going to buy a DI, but had my kids play it first at the Silverball in AP. Neither of them liked it and felt like the machine was designed by a guy my age who was pandering to their demographic.

    #60 3 years ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    I think you are 100% correct with respect to a modern theme, but what would it be? That is the $64,000 question.

    At that age they can turn anti anything their parents like. So don't expect them to jump up and down about what you are or used to be into. In fact, expect them to avoid it.

    All you gotta do is ask your teenage daughter. When I asked mine a couple years ago, she said Suicide Squad as that was the movie currently in theaters that her and her friends were going to see, and were all raving about. But again that is two or so years ago so they have probably moved onto something else since then.

    You gotta strike while the coals are hot so to speak, and now pinball can't even do that with newer shows and movies like they used to. It takes them too long to decide if it will be profitable or not. Not like the days when the pinball and movie release coincided with each other.

    #61 3 years ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    My teenage daughter had a party at our home last week for 30 or 40 of her high school friends.
    IM, Metallica Pro and Premium and Hobbit got around 10 plays over 6 hours. The 3 SuperChexx machines, 2 Dynamo air hockey tables and the Pac Man Anniversary machines were played nonstop. Our kids have pretty big parties at our home every couple of months and rarely do any of these kids become fully engrossed with any of the 43 pinball machines.
    I just don't think many young people care for pinball. I hope I turn out to be wrong.

    You are not wrong. My kids don't care. Their friends don't care. Other adults don't care that I know. I don't know anyone else that owns a pinball machine.

    #62 3 years ago

    As a 20 year old dude, I can assure you, very few people under 30 are into pinball. Of those I know, I can count them on my fingers.

    I wish it wasn't the case.

    My friends would rather play video games. Women would rather see me do pretty much anything else. My mom would rather see me spend money on pretty much anything else.

    It's a dying hobby after this rush, no doubt.

    #63 3 years ago
    Quoted from SilverballSleuth:

    As a 20 year old dude, I can assure you, very few people under 30 are into pinball. Of those I know, I can count them on my fingers.
    I wish it wasn't the case.
    My friends would rather play video games. Women would rather see me do pretty much anything else. My mom would rather see me spend money on pretty much anything else.
    It's a dying hobby after this rush, no doubt.

    As a 20 year old with probably a fairly fresh outlook compared to those that pinball seems to be geared to these days, what would you like to see as far as pinball themes, and what could they do to catch the eye of other people around your age if that is even possible?

    #64 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    make pinball cool again

    Just like America, pinball is already pretty fucking cool.

    Quoted from Mike_J:

    My teenage daughter had a party at our home last week for 30 or 40 of her high school friends.
    IM, Metallica Pro and Premium and Hobbit got around 10 plays over 6 hours.

    Yeah because cyborg men, 70's metal, and dragons are what teenage girls are into?

    Look, nobody in their right mind would design pinball for a teenage girl. They're not the demographic, and they never will be. This proves nothing at all.

    #65 3 years ago
    Quoted from Brijam:

    Just like America, pinball is already pretty fucking cool.

    Almost as cool as driving a Tesla. We should all drive Teslas.

    And all restaurants should be Taco Bell.

    #66 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Almost as cool as driving a Tesla. We should all drive Teslas.

    And here I thought you'd never see the light. O-din, I'm so proud of you!

    #67 3 years ago
    Quoted from SilverballSleuth:

    As a 20 year old dude, I can assure you, very few people under 30 are into pinball. Of those I know, I can count them on my fingers.
    I wish it wasn't the case.
    My friends would rather play video games. Women would rather see me do pretty much anything else. My mom would rather see me spend money on pretty much anything else.
    It's a dying hobby after this rush, no doubt.

    Location pinball or barcade I disagree, as many people play from all demographics, but yeah be in your 30s and tell your friends you are dropping $25k on a pinball collection and they will think you are outta your fucking mind.

    We have entire threads on Pinside on where we are afraid to tell people what a pinball machine costs, and this due to out of control pricing will only get worse.

    We need location pinball to come back in a big way, and be the next bar Golden Tee like phenomenon.

    #68 3 years ago

    We're getting false readings from "captive audience" situations. Pinball specific events and venues are packed and it can feel like we're seeing the return of something big. But once a location introduces competition into the mix, whether it's video arcades, that Golden Tee Machine, or those timed basketball shooting contraptions, forget about it. I see a parade of mostly open, unplayed pinball machines. Same experience with your home of 43 pins vs 12 video arcades when the kids come over.
    I get that some under 40 dudes are "discovering" pinball, and get the itch to start collections. But this is hardly the groundswell needed to absorb the increase in manufacturing and pricing we're seeing.
    I hear the sound of a bubble popping in the not too distant future.

    #69 3 years ago
    Quoted from Brijam:Just like America, pinball is already pretty fucking cool.

    Yeah because cyborg men, 70's metal, and dragons are what teenage girls are into?
    Look, nobody in their right mind would design pinball for a teenage girl. They're not the demographic, and they never will be. This proves nothing at all.

    I thought that girls love dragons. How else can you explain why GOT is so popular?

    #70 3 years ago

    I think poor maintenance of machines on location is killing pinball for the younger generation. Every single machine at the local theaters are dirty, need flipper rebuilds, and are angle shallow to make up for the weak flippers. The machines are slow and not fun to play. These machines would completely turn me off from pinball if I was just discovering it.

    NIB prices will go up because older machines are still expensive. Why would manufactures charge less than the price of used machines?

    I’m 35 and looking for my 3rd pinball machine. Most people I talk to in any age group know nothing about pinball. No one knows that there are rules and strategy.

    There are a lot more bars getting pinballs lately. I rarely go to bars though. I guess I need to get out more and join a league.

    #71 3 years ago

    Pinball will die when folks stop playing. Just too much fun to stop.

    NIB games are getting up there but they hold their value and still earn well on location.

    Based on most of the very “local” observations folks are making about how many folks play pinball here I will mention one more worrisome observation - My family doesn’t have IPhones so Apple must be on the downturn. I sense a bubble for that stock.

    #72 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    As a 20 year old with probably a fairly fresh outlook compared to those that pinball seems to be geared to these days, what would you like to see as far as pinball themes, and what could they do to catch the eye of other people around your age if that is even possible?

    Why are you asking him?

    20 somethings don't know what the hell is going on and have almost nothing to offer marketers at a modern pinball company.

    If Stern had taken your daughter's advice and built a Suicide Squad game - you know that movie was a gigantic bomb, right, came and went in two weeks, and is now considered a joke if people remember it all? - Gary Stern would own one less Porsche.

    Stern knows what they are doing and how to run a successful company. You have no clue. Your daughter has no clue.
    Leave it to the pros bro.

    #73 3 years ago
    Quoted from Brijam:

    Yeah because cyborg men, 70's metal, and dragons are what teenage girls are into?
    Look, nobody in their right mind would design pinball for a teenage girl. They're not the demographic, and they never will be. This proves nothing at all.

    There were 15-20 boys and 15-20 girls.

    It proves that 30-35 of those kids find pinball to be much less exciting than SuperChexx, air hockey and PacMan.

    #74 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    If Stern had taken your daughter's advice and built a Suicide Squad game - you know that movie was a gigantic bomb, right, came and went in two weeks

    Perhaps. But so might have GOTG if they had released the game when the movie came out. You are right though, they aren't stupid enough to take those kind of chances like they used to. Wait a few years and see if there is a profit to be made is smart business.

    #75 3 years ago
    Quoted from pcprogrammer:

    You are not wrong. My kids don't care. Their friends don't care. Other adults don't care that I know. I don't know anyone else that owns a pinball machine.

    We host a fare number of parties in our home for all different age groups and interests. What I can say is in the case where folks come over and the pinball machines are a "surprise" there is rarely any real interest in playing them. We have added some other non-pinball things to our gameroom, in particular the 4 player sit down Daytona driving games, because we have learned that if all we have is pinball it can be pretty much of a bummer experience in these cases.

    On the flip side, if the event is advertised as a pinball thing typically the folks that show up have at least a passing interest in playing pinball. I have a fairly cool tournament system that I broadcast to all the TVs in the basement to transmit live bracket data and I normally will run this type of tournament anytime non-pinball people are over. It kind of gently nudges them to actually play pinball as the tournament is double elimination, so even the uninterested are in it for a couple of rounds. As those folks drop it is still fun to watch other players competing against each other, and everyone can keep track of things on the 3 different TVs. I run simple 2 player tournaments, I don't do Pingolf or anything like that because it is usually all I can do to get folks to understand how to start a 2 player game and take turns playing each ball (no lie), I can't imagine having people trying to shoot for a specific score or something like that. It's just too much for the novice players. Using these events we have gotten a lot of folks interested in pinball, at least for an evening, I can't say any of them are going out and playing on location or buying machines. Hopefully maybe we are planting seeds for some interest in the future?

    #76 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Perhaps. But so might have GOTG if they had released the games when the movie came out. You are right though, they aren't stupid enough to take those kind of chances like they used to. Wait a few years and see if there is a profit to be made is smart business.

    They'll be making Iron-man related movies for years. They'll be making GOTG movies for years. They'll be making Hulk movies for years. Dino rock bands will be selling tickets and music for years.

    There won't be another Suicide Squad movie anytime soon.

    You can argue your personal tastes - which you will be doing every day you aren't suspended for the rest of our lives - but you can't argue smart business. These guys know what they are doing and have a proven business plan, which isn't centered around keeping one eccentric old coot happy. Even you seem to realize it's smarter to play it safe and make themes that their customers seem to want even if a 20-year old isn't gonna think it's "cool."

    #77 3 years ago

    If I told my daughters I'd give them $100 if they could name the title of a pinball machine I've owned in the last 5 years. There were quite a few. I'd probably be keeping my money.

    With that said the 24 year old guy that works with me went to Geeks Mania in Madison with his girlfriend to play. Pinball is not a primary interest of his but enough of one to seek it out on occasion.

    #78 3 years ago

    Well, "The Rocky Mountain Pinball Showdown" was again packed this year. I think the venue is now too small to accommodate the crowd size.

    So I am not seeing the decline at the show, that's for sure.

    #79 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    They'll be making Iron-man related movies for years. They'll be making GOTG movies for years. They'll be making Hulk movies for years. Dino rock bands will be selling tickets and music for years.

    Sure, but when will we see the next pinball game where they actually have the foresight to release it when the theme is new? Oh yeah, the answer is probably never.

    #80 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Sure, but when will we see the next pinball game where they actually have the foresight to release it when the theme is new? Oh yeah, the answer is probably never.

    1. who cares? "New" gets you Suicide Squad, not Iron Maiden. New Gets you Johnny M and The Shadow, Not Ghostbusters. Stern wants to sell games not keep you happy.

    2. you always move the goalposts. GOTG is new. They are still making GOTG movies. Same with Iron Man. Same with Spiderman. How is Deadpool not "new?" They are making movies and comic books.

    3. Who cares? Like I said Stern is trying to pay the bills not keep you happy.

    #81 3 years ago
    Quoted from AlexF:

    If I told my daughters I'd give them $100 if they could name the title of a pinball machine I've owned in the last 5 years. There were quite a few. I'd probably be keeping my money.

    My daughter got hooked at a young age when I gave her the Big Daddy challenge. She fought that thing for hours and hours until she finally pulled it off.

    But even now she is kind of particular about the games she plays. She says "keep the Big Daddy, Stars, and TNA" And I don't really have a problem with that. She has good taste.

    #82 3 years ago

    Hmmmm...who are they gearing these machines for? Let's see what's coming up....Munsters, Beatles, Monster Bash, Elvira, Willy Wonka, Jaws.
    But, every young person I know with money wants a pinball machine for his "man cave"
    I'm not worried about pinball.....

    #83 3 years ago
    Quoted from spfxted:

    Hmmmm...who are they gearing these machines for? Let's see what's coming up....Munsters, Beatles, Monster Bash, Elvira, Willy Wonka, Jaws.

    Ya know Ted, that's a real good question, but it certainly wouldn't be me. Of course those making these games are a little older than I am so I guess it makes perfect sense.

    #84 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    As a 20 year old with probably a fairly fresh outlook compared to those that pinball seems to be geared to these days, what would you like to see as far as pinball themes, and what could they do to catch the eye of other people around your age if that is even possible?

    That's a really good question. I think that out of everything out there, released in the past 5 years, Dialed In!, hit the nail on the head as far as theming, gameplay, and entertainment for all. The smartphone app connectivity was a wonderful idea too.

    Music themes are cool, and again, approachable for most. I think Iron Maiden is a terrible license, but AC/DC, Aerosmith and Kiss are all great themes.

    I'd like to see some more. Prince, maybe Bowie.

    Original IPs, for me, are always number 1. If I want to listen to a record or watch a movie, I'll do just do that.

    I personally dislike the Marvel & Movie/TV licenses. Sure, they have mass appeal, but I don't think they are much more for the average person than a play or two.

    Someone much smarter than me will have to determine how to reach the millennial market.

    Quoted from tacshose:

    Location pinball or barcade I disagree, as many people play from all demographics, but yeah be in your 30s and tell your friends you are dropping $25k on a pinball collection and they will think you are outta your fucking mind.
    We have entire threads on Pinside on where we are afraid to tell people what a pinball machine costs, and this due to out of control pricing will only get worse.
    We need location pinball to come back in a big way, and be the next bar Golden Tee like phenomenon.

    Locations are out there. Well maintained ones are sparse. When one pinball machine fails on a novice - they think pinball sucks. Locations as a whole, as strange as this sounds, is keeping pinball alive and killing it simultaneously.

    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Why are you asking him?
    20 somethings don't know what the hell is going on and have almost nothing to offer marketers at a modern pinball company.
    If Stern had taken your daughter's advice and built a Suicide Squad game - you know that movie was a gigantic bomb, right, came and went in two weeks, and is now considered a joke if people remember it all? - Gary Stern would own one less Porsche.
    Stern knows what they are doing and how to run a successful company. You have no clue. Your daughter has no clue.
    Leave it to the pros bro.

    You're exactly right Levi. Stern had managed to keep the train on the rails for 18 years. Whatever they're doing, they're doing the right things. We can all be fans and wish for certain themes, but if Stern keeps making 'em, I'll keep playing 'em.

    #85 3 years ago
    Quoted from SilverballSleuth:

    You're exactly right Levi. Stern had managed to keep the train on the rails for 18 years. Whatever they're doing, they're doing the right things. We can all be fans and wish for certain themes, but if Stern keeps making 'em, I'll keep playing 'em.

    Yes as one of their number one fanboys, his opinion should not be discounted. How many of these games he actually buys is another story.

    But for the last five years or so, Stern has struck gold with a combination of the economy being solid, the home collector market growing, and old rich dudes longing for themes from the past. And some of the other companies have followed suit.

    It may not be for everyone like myself, but it must be profitable enough to get them into a larger facility, and keep them churning them out one after another. At this point in the game, it's whatever works and keeps the money flowing in. If the economy takes a turn like it did ten years ago, that may change, so not a bad idea to make as much money as you can while you can.

    #86 3 years ago

    Themes I like are good.
    Themes I don't like aren't good.
    This is subjectively objective.

    #87 3 years ago

    I operate 4 locations with my partner and 90% of all players are under the age of 40.

    The youth embrace it, the cash box tells me so.

    #88 3 years ago
    Quoted from Anonymouse:

    I thought that girls love dragons. How else can you explain why GOT is so popular?

    You mean with women? It's because the show focuses on relationships and has many extremely strong female leads.

    Girls love the right kind of dragons - the kind they can control. These dragons are metaphors for men, right? Thus Daenerys Targaryen's control over her dragons symbolizes her control over men - that's literally her story, and it is compelling as hell for women.

    The dragon in the Hobbit is the antithesis of the kind of dragon girls like. In The Hobbit, the dragon was a metaphor for greed. Plus, the Hobbit tanked in the box office.

    #89 3 years ago
    Quoted from Mike_J:

    There were 15-20 boys and 15-20 girls.
    It proves that 30-35 of those kids find pinball to be much less exciting than SuperChexx, air hockey and PacMan.

    That's what I said.

    You're trying to say that because these teenagers prefer Pac Man right now over pinball that pinball will fail when they grow up? That's a mighty leap.

    #90 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Perhaps. But so might have GOTG if they had released the game when the movie came out. You are right though, they aren't stupid enough to take those kind of chances like they used to. Wait a few years and see if there is a profit to be made is smart business.

    Except that GOTG isn't a good pin. All that a well known theme does is insure quarter drops from casual players who don't know the difference between a good pin and a mediocre one, so it insulates the operator. That's smart business.

    #91 3 years ago
    Quoted from tamoore:

    Themes I like are good.
    Themes I don't like aren't good.
    This is subjectively objective.

    Stern is still in business and thriving. This is completely subjective.

    Why would they fuck with the formula to keep one crazy old who man happy? It beggars belief!

    #92 3 years ago
    Quoted from Brijam:

    Except that GOTG isn't a good pin.

    Sure, I could only play one game on it before I'd had enough. Of course I felt the same way about Iron Maiden, Kiss, Aerosmith, and a few others.

    But as long as others find them entertaining and they can sell them, that should help keep them in business.

    #93 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    Sure, I could only play one game on it before I'd had enough. Of course I felt the same way about Iron Maiden, Kiss, Aerosmith, and a few others.
    But as long as others find them entertaining and they can sell them, that should help keep them in business.

    On that I can agree with you 100%.

    #94 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    Stern is still in business and thriving. This is completely subjective.
    Why would they fuck with the formula to keep one crazy old who man happy? It beggars belief!

    To tell you the truth, I don't care about Stern games, themes, business practices etc. myself. I don't really like them. but, I just don't play or buy their games. I'm not going to run around yelling about how the themes suck. I'm in the minority here. Clearly lots of other people like them and what they're doing.
    More power to 'em. Rock on!

    -1
    #95 3 years ago

    This becomes a worry for many of us with 10+ games.

    I really hate people who try to make this a class warfare game. Most people I know who are passionate about this hobby are average everyday folks who scrimp and save. Sure there are a few Heavy hitter collectors out there. The heavy hitters collectors have done a lot to preserve this hobby. Some invite others or even fund elaborate locations that don't make money to share with others.

    I don't see this hobby dying. I don't see it doing anything but growing. Look at Stern and all these boutique companies that have managed to stand tall.

    I do think a couple things need to happen.
    #1. Open source , continuous integration of source code.
    #2. Standardized components used across industry when possible.
    #3. Lets think of a future where people can't solder anything ( it's coming ) what happens
    #4. We need people that will train the next generation of hobbyist techs.
    Thankfully there are some resources out there.

    Thats all I have time for.

    #96 3 years ago
    Quoted from TechnicalSteam:

    I don't see this hobby dying.

    The hobby will still be here long after the industry dies, that is a given.

    What's not certain is how long this industry of new machines will survive. I see it dying a painful, pitiful death when that time comes, as sales of Doogie Howser don't meet anywhere near what was projected and the economy itself is once again in the tank.

    #97 3 years ago
    Quoted from o-din:

    The hobby will still be here long after the industry dies, that is a given.
    What's not certain is how long this industry of new machines will survive. I see it dying a painful, pitiful death when that time comes, as sales of Doogie Howser don't meet anywhere near what was projected and the economy itself is once again in the tank.

    SO you think we'll only be down to say, 6 pinball companies instead of 15?

    Or are we talking serious contraction and it's just Stern and JJP again?

    Or do you think we'll be down to JUST Stern again, pumping out poop like NBA?

    Or do you think it's all over and the industry is nothing but a rotting corpse?!?!!

    #98 3 years ago

    I don't see NIB dying ever.

    My son is 8 loves pinball. Even started coming out to compete. His brother wants to come. He has friends that now want to go.

    Since pinball is almost exclusively in bars and no one is taking kids this is a problem.

    This is why if I ever open a space. It won't be in a exclusive bar situation.

    #99 3 years ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    SO you think we'll only be down to say, 6 pinball companies instead of 15?

    Or are we talking serious contraction and it's just Stern and JJP again?

    Or do you think we'll be down to JUST Stern again, pumping out poop like NBA?

    Or do you think it's all over and the industry is nothing but a rotting corpse?!?!!

    I think what we are seeing now is an anomaly in the history of pinball. Game sales must be at an all time high since the mid 90s. Eventually there are going to be so many machines and not enough new interest or money and there will be no where to put them all. So fire sales will abound as people try to get some of their money back to ride out the next impending economic downturn. New game buying will be the last thing on many people's mind as the economic crisis continues on. Who will survive? I can't predict how bad it will be, how long it will last, or who will. But I think I'll get by. You probably will too.

    #100 3 years ago

    Even if every pinball manufacturer died today, this hobby would be fine. It's full of resourceful, talented people who can provide support and replacement parts, and with modern manufacturing pretty much anything is possible.

    Beyond that, like any niche hobby, there will always be demand for bespoke manufacturers - you can buy a brand new Delorean for example. So someone like Spooky can pump out editions of 500 and be fine.

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