Quoted from Bendit:
So you're telling me that a $5000+ Bally or Williams game can be turned into an expensive paperweight just by having this board go bad???????
Absolutely, this is not a new concept.
Welcome to the world of pinball.
In many cases, it might be more akin $8000-10000 today, dependent on the title and condition of the machine.
Although most are probably not aware now, the same problem occurred in the early 2000s with WPC and WPC-S board sets as the they also were unavailable and games were cannibalized from other lesser non-popular titles as they began to fail. The reason that WPC-95 were not an issue is the games were between 4-6 years old. Now the cycle repeats again as they approach the the 20 year mark.
This cycle has existed since the dawn of SS electronics.
The same cycle was repeated for System 11, System 3-7, GTB SS80, GTB System 1, and MPU-35 since 1978, until reproduction boards were made, or parts made available for repair in some cases.
It is already happening presently with Stern WhiteStar games from the 2000s.
Many games are being landfilled or warehoused, due to lack of replacement MPU board sets.
Much to chagrin of Stern, that has no interest in having these games continue functioning, as they make no money from them.
This is a primary advantage of remaining EMs, and they continue to run like tanks for decades after many SS machines falter due to lack of available electronic parts out of obsolescence. So many early SS machines were dumped at of lack of parts in the early 90s it was not funny.
Operators with MMrs are also already being butt $#@%ed recently due to primary LED / controller board failure on the the main playfield.
$299 a replacement, while still available, as most a out of "warranty" quickly. When the board fails, the game goes completely inoperable.
Your best defense and lesson to be advised is to make sure that your boards are never hacked by unqualified repair personnel.
Knowledge is power, and now you are more educated.
Best of fortune.
"Je vois tout."