Quoted from Kneissl:
Can anyone do a sub 5k game besides stern??
You can get your BOM under 5k. But honestly factoring in programming, design and engineering work, as well credit card processing fees and other small costs that add up, a smaller run game priced under 6k game is a money losing venture.
Then when having your game manufactured by an outside company there is also the cost of having the game assembled and handled. Each game assembled could easily start at $700-$800 each. So add that in also.
Stern can do it because they have the infrastructure in place and can spread these costs across many titles and get it all running optimally. Spooky is doing it too, just doesn't have the economies of scale that Stern does. Yet.
Most importantly, in my opinion, is to make sure the game is priced in a way that makes the entire effort worth doing. The market always wants the lowest price possible, but if it is priced so low that the parties involved "break even" at best in the end, then there is little incentive to do it again.
While cool new game designs are the most exciting part for many, I find a solid business plan and responsible company making the games to be just as, if not more, exciting. But I am small biz guy outside of pinball, so my tastes may be skewed.
I love TA. Scott did a killer job. Definitely one of my favorite games played at Expo last year. The sound was so impressive. Crunch the numbers and figure out how to get this game into the hands of its biggest fans!