Quoted from xTheBlackKnightx:
Parting out happens often with games predominantly due to lack of profitability within the general market. The wheels of time turn. This is more of a "phased trend" as it goes in cycles with pinball revivals when somebody is trying to cash in a quick buck. The numbers of EMs parted out today is a pittance compared to those that outright placed in landfills in the early 80s or the WPC games destroyed for their boardsets in the early 00s. Some titles have already been expunged completely from pinball history.
Save what complete games you can, but if not reuse the rest. I have squirrelled away my share of backglasses and parts as titles were prepared to be thrown out in dumpsters. If I tried to save every game in existence I ran into, I would have a full warehouse. Instead I try to pass the games onto people that I know will restore them properly, as I don't have the energy to do this anymore.
No doubt there were much more casualties to older pins 30 years ago, I guess I just wish people knew that most of these beauties can be brought back to life. I know before I gained basic knowledge of how EMs operate, I just thought there was no way something that looked so intricate and complicated was worth fooling with. This Pinside community is the best thing to happen to the hobby that I could imagine.
Another dilemma facing these older machines is just plain apathy. Last year a Gottlieb Spirit of 76 came up on EBay in pretty rough shape but it was an easy 2 hour drive away and even though I had zero knowledge about fixing up EMs, I was willing to buy it cheap and drag it home to learn on. Problem was, the machine had been in a storage unit for well over a decade, it didn’t power up, had rust and dirt everywhere and the cabinet was partially rotted out and needed to be rebuilt and the guy was asking $550. Even though the playfield and back glass were in decent shape, nobody was going to give him close to $550. He then relisted it at $400 and still no bites. I finally contacted him and told him I’d give him $150 for it or he could list on eBay for $1 and let people bid on it. He asked when I could come and pick it up and I told him with my work schedule it would probably be 2 weeks and he told me to call before I came down.
I called 10 days later and he told me his son got pissed that he could get at least $400 for it and to get it out of the way he drove it to neighbor’s house and threw it into a rented construction dumpster.
I guess I just wish everyone could see the beauty in these machines like we do. I know we can’t save them all but once they’re gone, they’re gone for good.