(Topic ID: 240235)

Why pinball is failing


By timarnold

10 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 118 posts
  • 88 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 10 months ago by MrBally
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    There are 118 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 3.
    -1
    #51 10 months ago

    This is gonna get ugly
    In before the lock.

    11
    #52 10 months ago

    Puff. Puff. Pass.

    #53 10 months ago
    Quoted from timarnold:

    Operators are going broke all over the country. New games are selling as record low numbers. Players yawn at the latest machines. If we do not address the Elephant in the room, this hobby is doomed.
    When the internet was starting up, I thought nothing of it. Sitting looking at a screen is NOT the same as playing a game on location. But now, the internet is REALLY staring to cut into the business model we all depend on. I have lost hundreds of customers in the last year to one web site.....
    www.catsthatlooklikehitler.com
    WAKE UP FANBOYS!
    Marble games are not cute.
    Pinball does not purr.
    Gary Stern does not want to take over the world.
    KITLER DOES!

    Filed under “drugs”.

    #54 10 months ago

    Tim, have a rough night???

    #55 10 months ago

    Typical pinside thread

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    #56 10 months ago

    I'm just SMH. The "elephant in the room" comment as a reference to pinball doom has been used every year since I got in the hobby 11 years ago, when Stern was the only player in the industry, on the brink of bankruptcy and liquidating titles.

    #57 10 months ago

    Tims wacky sense of humor not for everyone. Its a joke people. Some people are new to the hobby and dont know Tim to well.

    #58 10 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    <snip>
    The moral: stop pushing your core community away, or you risk fading into nothingness.

    And here I thought the moral was, don't buy a Delorean.

    #59 10 months ago

    I have to wonder if this was taken far more seriously than it should have been, and if Tim isn’t just laughing his ass off about now at the shitstorm.

    #60 10 months ago

    Umm. Probably.
    I'm still trying to get over "our Delorean community"

    #61 10 months ago

    The operators I know are doing pretty good.

    Young people (18-30) like pinball - it’s picking up.

    #62 10 months ago

    Where do I send my money again?

    13
    #63 10 months ago

    Came in here and...

    giphy.gif

    #64 10 months ago
    Quoted from tacshose:

    Tim, did your Pinside account get hacked?

    His password was "12345".

    14
    #65 10 months ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    His password was "12345".

    Wow! That’s the combination to my luggage.

    #67 10 months ago

    I was just at PHOF in Vegas last week and thought it was great. 50 cent games with 5 balls per game. Good stuff

    #68 10 months ago

    I’ll give a sincere response to this. Is pinball failing? Yes and No. It all depends on how you look at it.

    I’m seeing shows like Texas, Louisville, and MGC grow with larger crowds every year. Ann Arbor is selling out quicker and quicker every year. So, in my opinion, the popularity and interest is growing.

    I am a EM collector, prices in the EM market are going up. My last two EM machines cost me more than I paid for my last 5 games.

    As for the other side of the argument, the prices for new games are getting ridiculous. So if your looking for an answer if pinball is failing, you can start with the pricing and quality of machines being produced today.

    Gambling machines are replacing pinball machines in bars. All of my bar customers that had at least one pinball machine in their bar have replaced them with video gaming machines. I asked my one customer why he removed his Harley Davidson machine that he actually owned, he said the gaming company had him remove it because they did not want the competition.

    #69 10 months ago

    Tim, you're supposed to hold your breath while soldering...

    -1
    #70 10 months ago

    What? No thread lock yet??

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    #71 10 months ago

    What in The world?... reminds of this part in billy Madison haha

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    #72 10 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    TL;DR - don't be an asshole, or risk fading into oblivion.
    You know, I remember a guy in our DeLorean community named Ed Bernstein. Guy was a complete and total asshole; he believed that DeLoreans should basically only sit in the round-about driveways of 8 bedroom mansions, that no one under 50 should own one, and that if you were under a certain age threshold, you were an inferior human being unless of course you had majorly deep pockets. You could ONLY do business with him if he was the ONLY person you ever did business with. You bought anything from anyone EVER - you were blacklisted, and he kept records - trust me.
    When I first got my car in 2003-2004, he treated me like total shit when I reached out for help. He cursed me for doing business with anyone else, and that my car would never run without the part he had that I needed (we got it running like 2 months later at the end of restoring the engine).
    Over the years, rumors and stories were going on about how he was completely segregating the entire community, and that he was hanging on by charging his most-dedicated customers insane prices. Parts on the defunct website would show something like $900 for a battery, and he limped on due to the loyalty of the people he knew when the car first came out in 1981.
    Now, the majority of our community are "young whippersnappers" in our mid-30s with aftermarket parts, full engines/transmission swaps, re-designed suspensions, and total new EFI fuel systems - things that bring the car into the future. You mention his name to nearly anyone under 30 who owns a DeLorean, they will respond with "Who...?"
    As for Ed, my understanding is he passed away, and his wife sold a majority of his stashed-away parts on eBay. I know because I bought some of them - a tachometer, a voltage/engine temperature gauge, and a oil pressure/fuel gauge - for less than the cost of a college textbook. His ex-business partner, Stephen Wynne, owns DeLorean Motor Company in Humble, Texas, and is considered the flagship for the vast majority of the "original car parts" community.
    The moral: stop pushing your core community away, or you risk fading into nothingness.

    What?? lol

    #73 10 months ago

    I have no idea whether pinball is thriving. At first glance all of the new manufacturers give me hope that demand is more than the supply....what worries me are the prices. I understand that most hobbies do not come without a significant financial sacrifice; but I worry that initial entry into the pinball universe is becoming increasingly more difficult.
    I would love to know the stats on how many people/families/households can even entertain the thought of adding ANY NIB machine to their homes? ESPECIALLY in a country that is not the USA. Being in Canada, the prices are insane.
    I do not live in a bustling metropolis but a city of roughly 300k people. I can count on one hand the amount of places that have a pinball machine (and only two of those places have more than one). It is next to impossible for an OP in my area of Canada to purchase machines and make any money. If we can't afford NIB in our homes, and there are no places to routinely play, we can buy used/older machines right? Maybe in the past this was a viable option but even used games are becoming untouchable for the masses. There was a stat I read recently that half of Canadian families were within $200 of not being able to pay their mortgage/rent...that is scary.
    I think pinball will survive forever as long as people are able to get involved and enjoy. It can't be too far off from peoples means. I think eventually, pricing will have to come down across the board to balance the market, getting more involvement, thereby increasing pinball's popularity even more.

    #74 10 months ago
    Quoted from Jokercyclone:

    Tims wacky sense of humor not for everyone. Its a joke people. Some people are new to the hobby and dont know Tim to well.

    I dunno. I’ve been in the hobby for 6 years and visit the PHOF regularly. I’ve always been treated like crap every time I go there by Tim & staff. Slow to understand his humor indeed.

    #75 10 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    TL;DR - don't be an asshole, or risk fading into oblivion.

    Now, the majority of our community are "young whippersnappers" in our mid-30s with aftermarket parts, full engines/transmission swaps, re-designed suspensions, and total new EFI fuel systems - things that bring the car into the future. You mention his name to nearly anyone under 30 who owns a DeLorean, they will respond with "Who...?"

    Damn, glad to know I’m not the only young kid who plans on buying a DeLorean!! I want to have one but I was worried that it’ll just be dogshit, glad to hear that it’s possible to pimp it into the future. I know the original engines can barely get that steel anchor with wheels up to 80.

    There are a few games that will need the same modernizing treatment in the coming years.
    Mainly games like Baby Pac that I’ve seen recently somone got rid of all the original boards and ran it off a Raspberry Pi with several fancy controllers and such. Essentially making the first truly bulletproof Baby Pac.
    Games like the Pinball 2000’s will need new tech to replace the ancient computers in them. Maybe even bring them to their full potential bringing internet connectivity and making the status LEDs useful?? 3D printing has already saved thousands of pinball machines!

    As for the initial post, Tim’s clearly having a good laugh and missed April 1st. Shoulda been a basement post to be honest. Oh well. I always enjoy how things like this take extremely unexpected turns on Pinside!

    #76 10 months ago
    Quoted from jwilson:

    His password was "12345".

    That's amazing. I have the same combination for my luggage!

    This is an edit... I'm sorry... Someone beat me to the Spaceballs reference.
    I feel like colonel sanders when he caught the stunt doubles... So I shall slink away.

    #77 10 months ago

    Pinball failed 19 years ago.

    I don't think it's failing now with all these games popping out and a devoted community dropping 10 grand on something NIB without even knowing how it plays , It's just changed. This is a resurgence going on currently and I may not be a fan of every game that is being launched but I can rest easy knowing we are all doing our part keeping this thing alive. Ain't no worrying here.

    #78 10 months ago

    Jokes, they aren't for everyone.

    #79 10 months ago

    Here's the main question... And I don't know when we'll get a real answer... Pinball is coming back. Arcades are coming back. How big will they both get. Most likely nowhere near the heyday of their past.
    For 60s and 70s Pinball made more money than the film industry. At least that is according to a documentary that I watched, or an article that I read. So take that with a grain of salt... Also, until Jaws, Exorcist, and Star Wars. There really weren't hug box office movies. Most people here think a film that did 20 million in the 80s was a flop... Cos, they don't realize that 20-40 million was a hit film in the 80s, not a super hit, but good business.

    Anyway... The true test to pinball I think will come when the older guard starts to die out. Let's hope that won't happen for a long time, as I wish health and wealth to everyone. But, is the new young blood in pinball enough to not only replace the old guard, but also continue to grow the industry.
    Only time will tell.
    And honestly... I do think there will be a slight or minor crash. Where the bubble bursts on some of these prices. But, I do think pins will hold some degree of value. Some of the cheaper pins might be like a craigslist piano. You pick it up and take it, its yours free.
    But, the quality pins, those prices might fall, but still hold probably half their value.

    Again, that is just speculation. The main thing to note. Look at all the arcade stuff coming back. When the next recession hits America, and its a matter of years... Pinball and arcades are going to get hit hard. But, I think hopefully the health of the hobby will keep the good companies afloat.
    So, I think while it may never get to the heyday of yesteryear. And a good production run might be 2000-5000 sales instead which in the past was a normal production run. But, different era, different expectations and also different ways to manufacture.

    But, one thing is certain. Pinball is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    #80 10 months ago

    I think Tim just wanted to share the Kitty Hitler link.
    To know Tim is to understand his humor and sensibility.

    #81 10 months ago
    Quoted from srmonte:

    Tim,
    The pinball hall of fame is slowing because you are extremely rude and show your patrons no respect. I have been collecting and playing pinball for 19 yrs. I used to love coming to your location, but you and your staff treat people terrible. I was yelled at for nudging a machine several times. Set your tilts better if you dont want nudging, it is a huge part of pinball. I have taken friends and other non pinheads to your location and all of them have been offended and treated poorly. Honestly I am glad to hear you are reaping the rewards from your behavior. Honestly you could close down and I really wouldn't miss ya. Sorry man but the truth is what it is.

    Same thing happened to me before nationals recently. I was literally told nudging wasn’t allowed and is considered abuse because it would catch the pin on fire. This was before another worker was following me around to wipe any replay credits that were left.

    Their place, their rules, but it makes me extremely thankful to have a place like Cactus Jack’s in OKC.

    #82 10 months ago
    Quoted from srmonte:

    Tim,
    I used to love coming to your location, but you and your staff treat people terrible. I was yelled at for nudging a machine several times. Set your tilts better if you dont want nudging, it is a huge part of pinball.

    I literally don't understand this behavior at all, as it was Tim himself who once said in a formal interview that nudging and shaking is part of the game.

    I'm positive he was quoted as such in one of those Multiball music zine issues from many years back (I'll have to see if I still have that one around somewhere).

    #83 10 months ago

    think tim wishes the fish would bite like this

    #84 10 months ago
    Quoted from Diospinball:

    Here's the main question... And I don't know when we'll get a real answer... Pinball is coming back. Arcades are coming back. How big will they both get. Most likely nowhere near the heyday of their past.
    For 60s and 70s Pinball made more money than the film industry. At least that is according to a documentary that I watched, or an article that I read. So take that with a grain of salt... Also, until Jaws, Exorcist, and Star Wars. There really weren't hug box office movies. Most people here think a film that did 20 million in the 80s was a flop... Cos, they don't realize that 20-40 million was a hit film in the 80s, not a super hit, but good business.
    Anyway... The true test to pinball I think will come when the older guard starts to die out. Let's hope that won't happen for a long time, as I wish health and wealth to everyone. But, is the new young blood in pinball enough to not only replace the old guard, but also continue to grow the industry.
    Only time will tell.
    And honestly... I do think there will be a slight or minor crash. Where the bubble bursts on some of these prices. But, I do think pins will hold some degree of value. Some of the cheaper pins might be like a craigslist piano. You pick it up and take it, its yours free.
    But, the quality pins, those prices might fall, but still hold probably half their value.
    Again, that is just speculation. The main thing to note. Look at all the arcade stuff coming back. When the next recession hits America, and its a matter of years... Pinball and arcades are going to get hit hard. But, I think hopefully the health of the hobby will keep the good companies afloat.
    So, I think while it may never get to the heyday of yesteryear. And a good production run might be 2000-5000 sales instead which in the past was a normal production run. But, different era, different expectations and also different ways to manufacture.
    But, one thing is certain. Pinball is not going anywhere anytime soon.

    And with the old guard will go the repair knowledge. Bunch of people sure now how to write $10K checks, but then they don't even know how to take the glass off their game, how to replace balls, or how to switch out bulbs. With these surface mount boards doing away with the "older analog" boards from the B/W days, we will have lots of 250 lbs paperweights.

    Need proof? Look at the Stern nodeboard discussions.

    #85 10 months ago

    This is pretty awesome. A classic "RGP in 2003" style rant.

    Who opened the Tim Capsule?

    #86 10 months ago

    I've been to the PHoF at least two dozen times since it opened at the 3300 E Tropicana Ave location in the mid 00's. My knucklehead friends had some issues with the staff there - but like I said, they're knuckleheads and what they were doing was... best left in Vegas. But me and my more... reverent friends have never had an issue with Tim or any of his staff. So it makes me wonder why some of yawl have had such awful experiences there, and at the risk of even more downvotes headed my way, if some of these unpleasant situations were maybe not entirely all of Tim's fault?

    You see the work area at the back of the PHoF, it's always got people working on stuff. And if you do see Tim working on something, he's buried deep in the guts of some non-working pin, and probably doesn't want to talk to you about how you've been playing since the seventies and / or how you prefer Stern over JJP. No reason to get "butthurt" about it. Thank the man for doing more than anyone else has ever done for pinball preservation and keep it moving.

    Peace & love.

    #87 10 months ago
    Quoted from TRC73:

    I've been to the PHoF at least two dozen times since it opened at the 3300 E Tropicana Ave location in the mid 00's. My knucklehead friends had some issues with the staff there - but like I said, they're knuckleheads and what they were doing was... best left in Vegas. But me and my more... reverent friends have never had an issue with Tim or any of his staff. So it makes me wonder why some of yawl have had such awful experiences there, and at the risk of even more downvotes headed my way, if some of these unpleasant situations were maybe not entirely all of Tim's fault?
    You see the work area at the back of the PHoF, it's always got people working on stuff. And if you do see Tim working on something, he's buried deep in the guts of some non-working pin, and probably doesn't want to talk to you about how you've been playing since the seventies and / or how you prefer Stern over JJP. No reason to get "butthurt" about it. Thank the man for doing more than anyone else has ever done for pinball preservation and keep it moving.
    Peace &amp; love.

    "Yawl" Huh? Welcome back buddy

    I agree with your sentiments on this as cornball as it may seem!

    #88 10 months ago
    Quoted from CrazyLevi:

    "Yawl" Huh? Welcome back buddy
    I agree with your sentiments on this as cornball as it may seem!

    Yawl is very popular among internet people!

    But, regardless.

    #89 10 months ago

    You're "doin' to much of dat stuff" Tim. You better cut it out.

    tenor.gif

    #90 10 months ago

    What does Hitler think of the website cats that look like him killing off his beloved pinball?

    #91 10 months ago

    Amazing how many people can't seem to take a joke.

    #92 10 months ago

    @CATSONPINS on Instagram does not approve of this post.

    #93 10 months ago

    Garry Stern,
    Whe need a Kitler pinball machine!
    Licence should be easy

    #94 10 months ago

    Hell in a hand basket I tell ya

    #95 10 months ago
    Quoted from NPO:

    And with the old guard will go the repair knowledge. Bunch of people sure now how to write $10K checks, but then they don't even know how to take the glass off their game, how to replace balls, or how to switch out bulbs. With these surface mount boards doing away with the "older analog" boards from the B/W days, we will have lots of 250 lbs paperweights.
    Need proof? Look at the Stern nodeboard discussions.

    Isn't that happening with EM machines...
    I'll say this. Pinball repair can be intimidating. I myself work as a computer tech for a school district. I'm not the best tech, but I am really good at my job, and there are a lot of things that are over my head in with pinball repair still. I actually think I picked the wrong machine as my first machine(talk about a 250 paper weight). But, I'm slowly learning. My major repair was reconnecting the right upper flipper wire that solder joint broke off in for iron maiden. Simple... But, I never soldered before... First attempt was rubbish. Only lasted an hour. 2nd attempt looked better and is a keeper. Hasn't broken yet and on like hour 30 of play.

    I also own my own independent comic book production company. I draw, I paint and yet, I'm still reticent about working on any of my machines. Its just a phobia I have that I will make it worse or break it.

    And I think most people have that fear too. Which is why I think most people should buy a beater for their first pin. Restore it, if you want. But, just something that you can play and not worry about breaking. And if/when it does break learn how to fix it yourself. Because, with a beater, you might not be so afraid at damaging something. But, with a 5-9k pin, you're going to have that fear.

    So while I don't have a crystal ball and won't pretend to know what the future holds. You're most likely correct that there might be less pinball repair techs. They're already are not as many as what there was in the past. But, I have faith or hope that the strength of the hobby will be able to keep the old pins going. Lots of really cool new replacement boards are now made, that are better than the originals.

    #96 10 months ago
    Quoted from clg:

    Amazing how many people can't seem to take a joke.

    It's amazing how a shitty joke isn't funny.

    -1
    #97 10 months ago

    Or how much vitriol a "shitty joke" can create among grown men.

    #98 10 months ago
    Quoted from TRC73:

    Or how much vitriol a "shitty joke" can create among grown men.

    Sorry I insulted your messiah.

    -1
    #99 10 months ago
    Quoted from Rum-Z:

    Sorry I insulted your messiah.

    Sorry you have such strong opinions about a fellow human being.

    #100 10 months ago
    Quoted from TRC73:

    if some of these unpleasant situations were maybe not entirely all of Tim's fault?

    I usually take what people say with a grain of salt. Not saying there isn't merit to their side, but every business has customers who have a bad experience. Usually what you don't hear is the businesses side of the story.

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