(Topic ID: 133982)

What will it take to get Pinball back in Dave & Busters?


By Jared

4 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 271 posts
  • 111 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 years ago by NathanP
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    There are 271 posts in this topic. You are on page 6 of 6.
    #251 4 years ago

    I have an Answer!
    The ROI per SQFT for pinball was not high enough plus the maintenance cost of each machine was much higher then other games they can fill the space with.

    When the Equity firms bought Dave and Busters they started watching the ROI numbers and such much closer, and simply there are other games that make far more, and customers like better

    #252 4 years ago

    ROI is the big factor, but another one is in that current thread about the Stern KISS arriving DOA.

    Some in the community say "that's pinball" and just accept it. But is this another reason operators are dropping pinball? Ops want to get a machine and start making money, they don't want to spend time trying to get it working. If they look at trends and see a pattern of x% pins defective out of the box, while Big Buck Hunter vids are 0% doa, at a certain point they're likely to say "eff pins" and stop ordering them.

    You can't ignore that reliability is important. Downtime costs money.

    #253 4 years ago
    Quoted from Tigger64:

    ROI is the big factor, but another one is in that current thread about the Stern KISS arriving DOA.
    Some in the community say "that's pinball" and just accept it. But is this another reason operators are dropping pinball? Ops want to get a machine and start making money, they don't want to spend time trying to get it working. If they look at trends and see a pattern of x% pins defective out of the box, while Big Buck Hunter vids are 0% doa, at a certain point they're likely to say "eff pins" and stop ordering them.
    You can't ignore that reliability is important. Downtime costs money.

    I wish I could say Big Buck hunter vids were 100% out of the box.. They are not. Sadly about the best manufactures in this business are about 80% out of the box. We carry every major manufacture in the business.

    Issues out of the box are not uncommon to say the least. When a Home customer asks us to bring a game in the box we advise them that's not the best Idea and we really prefer to burn it in a day or two here before it goes out.

    Example. AMI jukeboxes changed the way they mount screens in there 19' Model earlier this year. So far since they have done that we have had 1/3 come in with a broken glass touch screen due to the monitor not being supported enough in shipping.

    Second Example. Namco we have gotten 2 shipments of Pacman Arcade parties with the florescent light fixture for the marque wired wrong so when you plug in the game it blows the breaker in the home, and the main fuse in the game instantly.

    Sterns QC is actually better then most, These games do no like being shipped, and second not all issues will show up when a game is QC'ed for 15-30 Min. anyone whos been to Sterns Plant knows every game goes through the QC line, before going in a box. Are there issues that needed fixed at Stern Yes but there are in every manufacturing operation. These games are made by hand and mistakes are made.

    JJ

    #254 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gexchange:

    Issues out of the box are not uncommon to say the least. When a Home customer asks us to bring a game in the box we advise them that's not the best Idea and we really prefer to burn it in a day or two here before it goes out.

    +1

    My dad bought his first pin last year from gexchange, a ST Premium. He has never owned a pin or done maintenance on them, so I actually kept convincing him to wait until I made him understand that it's a machine with a lot of parts, and he needed to mentally prepare himself for the reality that it will break a lot and might even be broken when he received it new.

    I had a whole document of stuff for him to do when he received the pin, including testing every switch and every coil and making adjustments if need be. In the end, he really lucked out and his ST has been nothing short of perfect. He hasn't had to fix one thing on it and it arrived 100% working.

    Couldn't be happier about that, but I'm also comfortable knowing we have gexchange as the distributor in case anything went wrong, and not some fly-by-night distro.

    2 weeks later
    #256 4 years ago

    I have a couple machines at an arcade, and I'll tell you, 95% of my money comes from non-pinheads... and 99% of all the complaints come from pinheads... and a good player will put in $1 and play for 30+ minutes, an average person will be out in <5 mins (games are set to 5 balls) I have nothing against pinheads obviously, I am friends with most of them, but I am not surprised that locations really don't care what collectors think/want because they don't go put money in the machines anyway!

    they require constant maintenance, cleaning, and have terrible ROI... I have had a Tron on location since I got it NIB and it still hasn't paid itself off... and that's one of my good earners!

    I will say though title is everything, the ONLY machine I own that has paid for itself is my South Park, it's simple, it curses, and you can kill kenny over and over again (which is what most people did)

    so to sum it up simply, you want more location games, GO PLAY LOCATION GAMES

    #257 4 years ago

    Sounds like a pretty shitty job to me...
    And "can" make 50$/hour "at their peak", means a couple of guys make 20$ an hour for wasting their life away at D&B.

    #258 4 years ago
    Quoted from PhilGreg:

    make 20$ an hour for wasting their life away at D&B

    That's more than I get paid for going to a bar when I feel like it.

    #259 4 years ago
    Quoted from Guinnesstime:

    I asked the girl behind the counter for help. She knew nothing about them and I told her I could help, but she wasn't allowed to open up games.
    Finally our solution was to physically tilt the machine up -- way up -- to allow both balls to be free.
    Because, pinball.

    I know this is a late reply, but was it not possible to "Newton" the second ball out of the shooter lane? All it takes is the right touch to get some separation between the balls, then launch ball 2 into ball 1.

    #260 4 years ago
    Quoted from flecom:

    I have had a Tron on location since I got it NIB and it still hasn't paid itself off... and that's one of my good earners!

    Do you have the eli kit in there? I wonder if that would help with earnings.

    #261 4 years ago
    Quoted from PhilGreg:

    Sounds like a pretty shitty job to me...
    And "can" make 50$/hour "at their peak", means a couple of guys make 20$ an hour for wasting their life away at D&B.

    A lot of the games are rigged / have a pay out %. Also they can up the price per play / lower the max ticket pay out.

    years ago blackjack had better rules now days most places on the strip have the 6-5 BS.

    #262 4 years ago
    Quoted from PhilGreg:

    Sounds like a pretty shitty job to me...

    Then don't quit your day job.

    But for people who enjoy it, and have the skills, it's better than making $7.25 at Walmart.

    #263 4 years ago
    Quoted from flecom:

    I have a couple machines at an arcade, and I'll tell you, 95% of my money comes from non-pinheads... and 99% of all the complaints come from pinheads... and a good player will put in $1 and play for 30+ minutes, an average person will be out in <5 mins (games are set to 5 balls) I have nothing against pinheads obviously, I am friends with most of them, but I am not surprised that locations really don't care what collectors think/want because they don't go put money in the machines anyway!
    they require constant maintenance, cleaning, and have terrible ROI... I have had a Tron on location since I got it NIB and it still hasn't paid itself off... and that's one of my good earners!
    I will say though title is everything, the ONLY machine I own that has paid for itself is my South Park, it's simple, it curses, and you can kill kenny over and over again (which is what most people did)
    so to sum it up simply, you want more location games, GO PLAY LOCATION GAMES

    Sounds like we're back to the reality that modern pinball, as awesome as it is, still turns off the non-pinheads. I remember my video game obsessed childhood in the 80s, I'd drop a quarter into the pin out of boredom or waiting for a favorite game to open up. A minute tops, three balls drain, no clear objective other than keep the ball alive. Not much has changed except now I love the game and have come to appreciate the shots & rule strategies--the ones I understand. A rather lame user experience, certainly not a profitable one.

    But it's funny because those very flaws are what keep the current fanbase passionate.

    Maybe pinball should be attached to one of those claw machines. Get a high score and watch the prize drop.

    #264 4 years ago
    Quoted from keithm:

    Sounds like we're back to the reality that modern pinball, as awesome as it is, still turns off the non-pinheads. I remember my video game obsessed childhood in the 80s, I'd drop a quarter into the pin out of boredom or waiting for a favorite game to open up. A minute tops, three balls drain, no clear objective other than keep the ball alive. Not much has changed except now I love the game and have come to appreciate the shots & rule strategies--the ones I understand. A rather lame user experience, certainly not a profitable one.
    But it's funny because those very flaws are what keep the current fanbase passionate.
    Maybe pinball should be attached to one of those claw machines. Get a high score and watch the prize drop.

    Or maybe not so they don't get hit the the legal issue or having good players clean them out.
    A lot of the claw machines now days are the pay out % ones.

    #265 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gexchange:

    I wish I could say Big Buck hunter vids were 100% out of the box..

    Second Example. Namco we have gotten 2 shipments of Pacman Arcade parties with the florescent light fixture for the marque wired wrong so when you plug in the game it blows the breaker in the home, and the main fuse in the game instantly.
    ... These games are made by hand and mistakes are made.
    JJ

    No doubt there are "out of box" issues. We see it with all kinds of things including computers and home electronics. That's why burn in periods are important.

    I remember a batch of monitors where some would fail in the first week, but if it survived the burn-in, they ran like a tank forever.

    So that's the real test: how did the BBH or Pacman do later? Did it settle down or did they still need a lot of attention?

    #266 4 years ago

    I know someone at the local D&B who does this as a hobby. He buys all his points with 50% off coupons and only plays on half-price days. He only plays Speed of Light and they can get the max score (999?) every time. Then he gets iPads and Playstations or whatever. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.

    2 weeks later
    #267 4 years ago

    So I just ran across this:
    http://arcadeheroes.com/2015/09/10/location-news-button-mash-coming-to-los-angeles-ca-dave-busters-continues-growth/
    Wait until what you read half way thru the first paragraph! I'll be going to a D&B for the first time in a LONG time!

    #268 4 years ago

    There is a Tron Pro and a Rolling Stones Pro at the new D&B on Hwy. 121 and Cheek-Sparger in Euless, TX. The pins are located near the pool tables.

    #269 4 years ago

    Dave and busters is all about the bottom line. Nothing else. Little background story. Dave and buster sold the company to a big corporation and stayed on as consultants. Dave had a great idea to add flavored syrup in many different choices to the bar. They could charge a little extra for each soda drink and alcoholic drink as an upsale. It was a disaster, no one ordered it and the bartenders and employees drank all the syrup instead. The company lost eight million in the first quarter of implementation. An idea by the founder failed. Dave and busters new board of directors chose to fire Dave and buster from the board and from the company. Typical classless American corporate greed.

    The last time I discussed this with a db manager his response was that pinball machine maintenance costs too much and they would have to train and pay an employee more than they are willing to part with.

    #270 4 years ago
    Quoted from NathanP:

    Typical classless American corporate action.

    An $8M dollar mistake pretty much means you are getting fired.

    #271 4 years ago

    Losing touch with your customer in the name of corporate profits is just sad. Removing pinball machines, removing video games and adding more redemption games is pigeon holing their appeal. Dave and busters has become a kiddie play land when it used to be an adult bar as many previous posters have discussed. My group of friends and I used to go all the time,e very year for my birthday in fact, but I won't go again. They have lost the personal touch, the small things that other places don't have. It's sad that corporate greed has ruined yet another great American business.

    8 million is less than 2% of their annual revenue.

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