Date: 21st November 2009
Stern Pinball Inc has a new investor and partner who hopes to turn the business around and halt the decline in sales over recent years.
Dave Peterson of merchant bank and private equity investment firm Hagerty Peterson and Company is the new partner in the business and is believed to be working on a fresh business plan to improve the company's fortunes. Gary Stern remains the primary owner of the Stern Pinball and continues as its President and CEO.
The Stern Pinball factory
A new Director of Marketing, Jody Dankberg has been brought in to the company to work with Dave and he has already been hitting the phones to find out what various customers want from the pinball manufacturer. In addition, a questionnaire has been set up and customers who entered their details on the Stern website have been requested to give their thoughts about Stern products.
Barrington, IL-based Hagerty Peterson invests in companies it believes can benefit from its management expertise to give them a new direction and grow the value of the business. It also provides additional capital to help achieve that and has invested in a diverse range of companies from medical records, through customer loyalty schemes and even jewelry stores.
Stern Pinball is a new direction for Dave Peterson, though he is unlikely to invest in the company unless he thought it had the potential to be turned around.
Not all of Stern's problems have been of its own making, however. Without a reversal in the fortunes of the whole coin-op amusement sector - which the company has long held to be its core market - a change in focus, combined with changes to the product and an improved marketing push could be ways to secure the future of the business and bring that all-important growth.
One immediate sign of better marketing appeared on YouTube last week when Stern released three promotional videos of their most recent models - NBA, CSI and Batman.
Stern's new promotional videos on YouTube
The 1 minute 45 second promos feature in Stern Pinball's own YouTube Channel, suggesting they intend to create more such commercials for future pinball products.
So expect some changes and some new ideas coming out of the Melrose Park company over the next few months. We will, of course, bring you all the latest developments - first and free - here at Pinball News.
We asked for your comments and they are published below. Comments for this article are now closed.
Thank's encouraging news. I saw the YouTube vids the day they were posted, and it's a massive improvement on the laughable 'promotional' flyers which seemed to be the only promotional item Stern used to flog a £4,500 pinball machine. Great if you wanted the dimensions - do they ever change with Sterns? I know they don't do widebodies :-)
Good work Stern, it seems Gary isn't as insular as people think. He's taken on board someone's comments in order to get this guy in. New investment might equal new ideas and new markets. Obviously Dave Peterson sees something worthwhile and he's obviously good at what he does (well I hope he is!!!) Hopefully getting software as finished as possible prior to release of a game will be one of his main things :o)
I heard this news already, just wasn't sure of who it was that had invested. I think this is a great way forward, lets face it, its forward and optionally bang with a new ideas company or slow death the way its currently going. Great to see the new games they will make in future!
Great news. Thanks for the information.
I don't know what anyone else thinks, but this is great news! Stern needs to make more new pinball machines, and I think it's great that there's a new director of marketing. I've been a big fan of Stern since I played their Casino pinball machine. Can't remember the name though. I thought it was quite incredible of them to come out with Monopoly! (Love what happens if you get a match on that machine at the end of the game!) Pinball is a dying art, and Stern pinball is what keeps this wonderful object alive & living!
Thanks as always for keeping the pinball community up to date. Regarding the promos, I think it's a step in the right direction.
Whatever Gary does, it'll be good for the business because right now he IS the pinball business. Perhaps more direct-to-consumer sales and marketing is in order.
Jay Richardson Pinball Inc.:
This is great news.
Changes that need to be made.
1. Game code properly finished as mentioned above. Games that could have been great have failed because of unfinished code.
2. LCD or Plasma color display. Time for the Dot Matrix to go.It's been around since 1992. This would compete with today's video game market graphics.
3.Information released with brochures and promo videos before the game comes out.
4.Two-sided brochures again with more details. Proper detailed game manuals again like Indiana Jones, Batman etc. 2009 manuals are bad.
5.Listen to the ideas of operators and people who have been in the business many years.
6.Change the distributor plan. Allow smaller companies to buy from STERN. Note: Some distributors don't have a vested interest in pinball like others.
Internet hype will draw crowds and press releases will keep them on the line, but we need some great pins to turn it around. As VanHagar once sang "come on baby finish what you started"... finish the code in the production games that continue to sell (TDK). Would rather see 2-3 finished games released than 4 incomplete. People will buy and pay to play great games. New investors with a passion for the hobby will be a huge step in the right direction.
This is fantastic news and should ward off the "Pinball is dead!" cries for a while. The new videos are a big step in the right direction. Perhaps they could partner with the Elwin brothers and include Pinball 101 DVDs with each pin as an added value feature. The future of pinball seems a little brighter with this news - let's hope Peterson has some viable answers and methodology for turning Stern into the company it once was in its glory days!
I do think Stern should be careful about where they source help from. Apple almost went bankrupt after pulling in John Sculley. The person may know business but they really need to know the industry. John Sculley knew how to run business but didn't know the computer market and after 10 years in the company almost sunk it. It is true that this new guy isn't running business but there will always be the scary thought in my mind. I do indeed hope this turns stern around, I also hope the learn to come out with an UNLICENSED title not all these licenses.
That is good news about Stern Pinball we operaters need a pinball mfg. They build a good reliable product. Not every title is a great earner but we take our chances. Our locations need pinball, ask for it and we set minimins of collections. A clean good working pinball will earn money not as much today but it will come back, I hope.
Pinball Wizard already mentioned unlicensed games for a change. I do agree. But if Gary want licensed games he should pick them for the better. If you want the youngsters to get into pinball pick a license they do like. Not one (like e.g. CSI) where DAD is watching TV for and not the children. It's still a guess what will happen but at least something is happening. Can only hope for the best. I'm shure Martin (and I) will ask Gary about more details during his visit to London in January.
Made in China?
Kevin @ Strictly Pinball:
I had heard that this was in the making for some time and here it is.
I think it's about time that they tried a new approach. I bought my first new Stern, a NASCAR four years ago and at that time I was surprised to find they were still in business.
It's sure a struggle on the street to operate pinball these days. I've got 11 pins on location and another 27 assorted video games out there and the pin earnings are soft compared to most video games. I started my own local pinball league this year to try and get more play out of my pinballs on location and it doesn't hurt that I love to play too...I wish and hope for the best with Stern.
Have a City Themed game , like Chicago , with some Blues songs. I agree , 2-3 complete games are far better than 4 incomplete games.Alot of Evangelical churches have youth groups as do many other Christian denominations. Keep it Scriptural , not religious and pitch out that idea amongst the faithful, this is a country Under God.
This is great news for a community that is getting far too accustomed to bad news.
This idea has some potential, but there are great flaws with this- The first problem being the economic and entertainment climate. I understand that this company only invests in companies that it believes can be turned around, but coin-op is such a tough business these days. There need to be a lot of changes to the design of machines, from physical design to software.
Better materials need to be used. I've played two different NBA machines, one of which was on location right after it was purchased, and it was covered in rubber dirt. If they could use better materials, it would make a pinball machine a better investment for those unwilling to deal with the hassles of a pinball machine. If Gary Stern can see the importance in completing software for machines before they're released, then there is potential. If they can institute some simple technologies that Williams / Bally were employing forever, then there is potential. An example of this would be switch compensation: Why does it not exist? I've never owned a Stern, so for all I know it could have this built into the software, but after 1,000s of hours playing on location, it seems to be a forgotten feature. That's a simple way to make a machine more reliable.
What happened to non-licensed themes? This could drop the cost of a machine considerably, the savings of which could be reallocated to design, software, materials, etc. If we are forced to play licensed machines from here on out, why not something more accessible to a wider audience. CSI, 24, and Big Buck Hunter are not as popular as Stern seems to think, and if you're relying on a theme to generate revenue, why would you want something that's not attractive and accessible? Star Trek, Star Wars, Nintendo, Disney movies, Pixar movies, James Bond- These all have a broad appeal, and while some have been done, it will still be played and / or collected.
Furthermore, pinball needs to stay relevant in the 21st century. A good friend and I were having a conversation about the future pinball, and he brought up the idea that pinball has always tried to stay relevant with pop culture, and now it needs to keep up technologically. The idea of replacing the DMD is good, but cost is too high. Why not have Internet capability for a global leader board (NuCore, XBox Live, PSN, etc.)? How about an iPod Dock and headphone jack if someone wanted their own music to play behind the sound effects? Instead of licensing themes, why not license the PB2K system from WMS Industries? Why not rethink the overall design of the machine? Does every cabinet have to be exactly the same? Here's a random idea that is terrible, but demonstrates what I mean: Let's make a "1984" pinball machine, and in addition to the DMD, there's a DMD / small CRT at the top of the backbox with Big Brother watching.
Also, why not keep the Williams / Bally designers on board? I hear word that John Borg is the last designer working in house, and last time I checked, he wasn't one of the great designers that worked for the #1 Pinball manufacturer (During the golden ages of pinball)- We need those who understand the philosophy of pinball design, and only them (No input from Gary or anyone else) to design for us.
I digress. I have a ton of other ideas and thoughts, and could go on forever because I want Stern Pinball to succeed! On the original subject at hand, I hope that this works wonderfully. This deal has all of the ingredients for success, now we just need an Iron Chef to bring it all together- Do you think Gary Stern can take kitchen stadium and keep pinball alive? I hope he's the one, because there is not another Skywalker.
Great news.I hope they will care more about there home use only buyers as well.My last game Indiana Jones,came with a badly damaged head. You could tell it was done during manufacturing.I was told to take it the way it was, or send the hole game back for a new one. That is not very good customer service.It has a Gary stern autographed backglass.I currently own 4 stern games all home use only 3 I bought new in box.the last one almost made me re-think buying the LOTR LE GOLD.I hope it arrives undamaged. Keep pinball alive.
Don't underestimate the power of the home market. Increase the amount of potential home buyers by offering no interest financing. Nebraska Furniture Mart has made an absolute fortune throughout the Midwest by routinely offering as high as 36-month no interest financing on their furniture and electronics.
Many people cannot scrape together $4k for a game all at once, but if you let them pay for it $100 or so per month for three years then you suddenly have a lot more potential buyers.
I have used NFM's financing to buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods over the years without paying a single penny of interest. If it weren't for their financing, I'd probably still have an older refrigerator, an older TV, an older washer/dryer. Those were purchases that weren't necessities, but because of the no interest financing option I pulled the trigger and paid them all off over time.
I would gladly buy a New Stern or Two if I had the ability to finance it interest free for 36 months. There would be a new LOTR LE on its way to my basement right now for sure. But as exist today I'm slowly building my pinball fund to buy a used one.
I'm one of many potential customers that they could snag by offering a longer term no-interest financing option. Anyone else interested?
Great news! I hope they come out with some very good new pins like Spiderman! finished codes would help,also I like the idea of LED'S and plasma to put pinball ahead of the technology curve. Some fresh ideas might help too,as long as it stays true to pinball.
As a WOF owner, STERN you need to win my confidence back before I purchase again. When you take a game into production you have made the commitment to build the game complete. To knowingly leave a product incomplete is punishing the people that have invested in the product. Follow this up with incomplete games and there becomes a pattern. It has been said there is nothing to gain for completing WOF. Is your credibilty not worth the money it would take to complete the game(s)?
I am a small collector who has purchased 5 STERN games since 2003. Not a lot but I have shown a commitment to support a product I believe in. I do not believe your product any longer. Add up the lost sales from collectors that feel the same and this issue does become larger. I hope this new vision includes rebuilding STERNs credibilty. I will not come back without it.
This does sound like good news, unless Stern ends up like Bally and goes off in another direction. I too started a pinball league this year and we now have 16 pins at our location. It would be great to see some new Stern offerings!
I'm not sorry this has happened, but whether it is great news as many are claiming depends entirely on what happens from now on. If the bean counters simply take over, it will not do pinball any favours. Stern's approach needs to change as several recent products have evidenced a downward slide despite significant price hikes, and those who believe otherwise are living in the past. There have been some terrible choices of license and some lacklustre games of late.
Continuing to rely on distributors and operators to 'market' a product that has largely dropped off the public's radar is dated thinking. There is already some evidence they are starting to address this at long last, which is positive. Stern Pinball needs new blood and fresh ideas to work with established industry personnel to create a product that is as relevant to today's market as it is appealing to those who have followed pinball over the years.
Great news, long overdue, Stern Pinball needs a new injection of ideas and technology that better reflects the interest of the current consumer market. Lcd back glass with live video feeds from the motion picture and tv titles would add huge fan appeal, as well as more innovative playfield design, which was much better in 90's williams bally pinball games. Pinball still has a place in bars, family centers, bowling alleys etc. The recent indianna Jones pinball would have been a smash hit if we could have scenes from the movies in the backglass, not 25 year old dot matrix animation. Pinball technology should reflect the 21st century not 1980.
For me as a pinball collector and player these are very good news. I hope Stern survives this bad times. Nothing can be more sad to hear, that pinball machines are not produced anymore. I hope more pinball machines like spider-man or lord of the rings will appear. Also a new machine without licenced theme would be very great.
Rich Young Sr:
Is Dave Peterson a Pinball addict like most of us? Is he investing for love of the game or strictly a business investment?
Have them search the RGP archives there are plenty of threads with suggestions discussing what Stern should do.
I would like to see them make the pin more modular, make the cabinet neutral art like old pins. Then make the playfield disconnect completely with plugs like Pin2k and offer just playfield kits like Pin2k. (playfield, translight and downloads for ROMS programming). No need for new Cabinet art each time.
Space is always an issue, You could put the playfield kit boxes under your pins for storage. Get the cost of the kit down somehow, China?
And as other said complete the code!!! Get Steve involved again and head his advice. Oh and put a couple extra coats of clear on the playfields.
Hope the new investors turn this around to allow Stern to live on.
Regarding the coin-op side: in the 80's you'd go into a location and clean and strip a playfield and replace the rubbers in 1.5 hours. Then the game would play nicely again for weeks. That and easy accessibility to replace bad parts needs to be considered.
As do new players enjoying the game. If you want the coin-op market not all games can be made for the wizards on rec.games.pinball.
I hope Stern gets stronger with this news. GL gang!
|Super Dave Osbourne:
Hopefully this will lead to more than mediocre releases and interesting modern pinball for the masses.
I think that you should do a Price Is Right pinball machine. I have always loved pinball since i was young. I hope I can work their some day.Please try and make this pinball machine.Keep making pinball machines.
The first thing Peterson needs to do is stick Gary in a broom closet with a jar of bees to keep safe. :)
Stern could turn there fortune just by having a decent online parts store instead of using there **** distributor system.
Stern's first focus needs to be on the operator market - getting more pinballs in more locations. Lower the cost of the machine (unlicensed themes, less exterior cabinet artwork, fewer toys) and the maintenance while increasing the appeal (LCD display). The target is to double the number of machine sales each year for the next 3 years.
One other place I think Stern could make more sales is by continuing to make models for a longer time. For older models the cost of development has already been covered, so that is additional profit. The only times a pinball should not be made is if the license has expired or if parts are no longer available.
10 things that obviously need to be addressed...and Jody, thanks for *not* getting back with me, I could have gave you a list of 100+ things over the phone...new people...same old Stern...
Yes, I am yelling on purpose!!!
1.) THE BALL IS WILD!!! Lower ball times!
2.) Offer enough "front end candy" so all players can see what the game has to offer!
3.) Learn to promote your product, this isn't rocket science!
4.) Lessen flipper power and lose play field items that require rocket flippers & stop designing games that destroy themselves!
5.) Stop putting things on the play field that break so quickly.
6.) Lose the drawn out story lines and make it about points!
7.) Stick to comic themes, this is your bread and butter, they appeal to your target market and almost EVERYONE!
8.) Screw resale value, build a game that makes ops money now!
9.) Stop giving free games, extra balls, and price deals! Stop coddling players and show ops the money!
10.) Lose expensive play field toys that end up breaking, stop putting so much code in games that 99% of players never see, lose all the dot animations and get the price of games down to 3k!
11.) Figure the hell out who your target market is already! Is it the ops or the homeowner?! If you answered the latter, your already DEAD!
To add to someone's previous comment on why not keep the Williams/Bally designers... Steve Ritchie used to work for Stern and was later laid off. Listening to him at Pinball Expo there was so much freedom to the point that as long as they made "money machines" they were free to do anything they wanted. Stern pinball is just the opposite, Gary goes through each pinball design and tells them to cut things. I had the opportunity to talk to John Borg one on one for over an hour and he says that Gary cuts a lot out of his designs. An example is that he has been trying to put on a lower "sub-playfield" (think Haunted House) but every time he does, Gary has it cut out.
Bring back the 2000 concept easy to change a game easy to upgrade easy to maintain low costs toys that cant break only a projected image with the way computers are today you can just imagine what could be done.
As a LOTR owner, fantasy themed games are needed to stir the imaginations of the player. I like surprises! New gadgets are great but I think the theme of the game needs the most attention.
This may seem like good news, but it also indicates how tragic the current Stern situation is. I could give a list of things how they got to this point, but that has been beat to death over the past years. Now I don't know the personal reasons why this investor got involved, but I assume it is to make a profit. (what else?) Gary couldn't sell the company, so this was probably the next best thing. So things will need to change else you will get the same result as before (which got Stern in this situation). The question on the long term is: what will happen if the investor can sell his part/share in the company for enough profit? Than a new partner comes in, or Gary is back on his own. For now the company probably can continue to make pinball games, but the new direction could also involve making slot machines, or other gaming devices. Basically we'll just have to wait and see. I can only hope for more interesting pinball games than have been put out the past 10 years . Correction: the past 25 years from that factory.
I say aim for titles that make sense like Gears of War, were in console gaming. Make some games with titles everyone knows and cares about (CSI WTF?) and lessen the cost of course!
Pinball Player and Collector:
Sounds like great news with Stern.
Some things that would be nice to see are:
Remaking of older plastic sets ( sega stern data east ) As some of the older 1990 machines are hard to find the missing plastics etc. should be easy to make, and a return in profit.
Also with the newer machine now comming out from stern, How about more clear coating on the playfield and a better plafield plywood ? as with the ones at the moment, there to easy to be dinted by the ball itself.
Maybe less movie release machines and spend the money towards better material and playfield graphics etc.
Lcd colour screen insead of the old dmd.
Keep up the great work and hope to see you for another 30 years plus!
One last 'kick at the kitty' for stern. Advertisement would just be a waste, you could advertise the S*** out of stern pinball and maybe you might get 100 more sales. 75% of machines they sell go to us pinheads and collectors. How about some innovation, and not knock-off license type of games, since that's all you make. It's last call Stern!
Until someone convinces Gary Stern to give up on the coin-op market (which doesn't exist, for all practical purposes) and start focusing on the home collector market (which is the only market left for pinball), there is no way Stern Pinball can survive.
Glad to hear that someone is trying to keep pinball alive.
Me as a collector, it would be better if not mass produced pinballs hit the market but limtited nrs.Limited nrs keep the price steady.
Also titles as CSI,24,NBA,Batman are not themes we want to see Sales nrs prove this i believe.
Perhaps themes such as a :60,70,80ths game would be better? Most people into Pinball are older age, new generation is more into x-box games
|Three Sterns and going:
First of all I own 3 Stern machines, a TSPP a LOTR and a SM and they are great games. Im glad that Stern is still making games and I hope to see some great new games in the future. I do have a few gripes about the company and the process. 1 Keep Gary Stern out of the pinball designing process. The most successful games he has put out are the ones where he has been kept out of the design process and the designers have been left alone. 2 Get rid of the photoshopped playfields. 3 Use higher quality components including cab art. 4 Hire back your designers especially Steve Ritchie and Dennis Nordmann. You cant build pins without good designers.5 Complete the software before you ship the pins out.
That is Great news to hear that others will support the arcade industry specially Pinball manufacturing. I agree with many of the ideas and thoughts that others are commenting on this site. What I would like to see with the pinball industry is as follows, some maybe duplicates of others.
1. As stated before LCD or Plasma color displays would be nice. What would be better would be to replace the whole back glass and DMD with a thin low cost LED panel like a TV screen without the tuner. You will have one whole screen to display the video and score plus the pinball s theme when not being played. Even better the whole Back glass entertainment panel could be used to play music as a jukebox, or show promos, show the news, or other important establishment information. This would compete with today's video game market graphics.
2. Have companies support layaway financing for new pinballs
3. Let people input their thoughts for new themes and or wants and if you choose their idea they will get a free pinball when produced.
4. Allow people to offer their ideas for new toys for a playfield or new mechanisms or designs they create, If their ideas are used they will get a new Pinball once produced.
5. Allow other retail companies besides SEARS to be distributors of their pinballs.
6. To save money, Stern can produce pinball kits allowing consumers to build their own pinball machine. The consumer will be able to assemble a pinball they buy from stern or distributors. This will lower the cost to produce the pinballs. It will allow families to assemble their own machine, with the exception of the pinball wire loom which still must be produced by Stern; the rest of the pinball can be put together saving thousands off the cost.
7. Have Blank kits for consumers or pinball fans to make there own designs, once they have finalized their plans have Stern review and help the consumer process their design with help from their preferred manufactures.
8. I have more ideas but I am tired now give your feedback.
One thing is for sure: the less Gary Stern is involved, the better products get. As long as Gary is in charge, nothing will change. There is a coin-up market, but they're fed up with Stern pinballs due to lack of innovation, low earnings and high costs to maintain them.
I don't want to criticize Jody, but the survey being held is almost a joke. It will be hard to set a new course based on the incoming results, although it does show more interest in selling games to home-users (which is new for Stern).
Wow the youtube channel idea was a good one - like 5+ years ago. Unless Stern gets with the times they deserve whatever happens to them. Using marketing strategies from 1970 isn't working and hasn't worked for almost 20 years. I seems it's about time they step it up and try something new. What that means for the product, who knows. Hopefully it pans out.
Anything regarding someone investing in pinball is great news. I do hope though they do not cheapen the production value any more than it is becoming though. Crap plastic parts and unfinished code is a hurting the industry. If people have to repair a machine every week, they wont make money. I wish I had a crud load of money and invest myself.
good luck Gary, the gotten passionate ones for pinball of Brazil we are here in twisted this yes is the good news.
Stern needs to look at the old Williams Machines. Remember Fun House, how cool it was to have a talking dummy with eyes that moved, and with great game play.
The stern machines look like someone went to Toy R Us and bought a box of Lord of the Rings Action figures and then wire tied them to the playfield.
The stern graphics look like they used a bunch of small colored dots to make the machine side art. They are not solid nice rich colors. This is also the same if you look at the playfields. They just look like they cut corners everyplace they can.
Then there is the pinball games. Cool Stern is going to do a Shrek Pinball, oh wait this looks EXACTLY like Family Guy, oh wait it is. How many Nascar versions can we release by changing the backglass.
It's like they look around the warehouse and find an old box of parts and then figure out how to add that part into the game. Oh, hey guys I found these left over pop bumpers from Austin Powers, let's use them on our next pin. There seems to be no money spent on creating something new. How about a color display, instead of the dot matrix? I have to figure these have to be pretty close in cost now a days. But then you have to get someone to do new color graphics I guess and then we get into investing back into Stern.
I just an not wowed by a Stern machine like I use to be by almost every Williams machine. It's all the same, nothing innovative, nothing new.
The prices on a used Stern pinball vs a good classic Williams game are not even close. Look at Addam's Family which is how many years old now, and then look at a used auction price for World Poker Tour, Spiderman, Monolopy, etc.
I really wish Stern would turn around and take some risk and release something that I just had to have for one of my locations or for home.
This is great news! My pov is that for Stern to turn the tide they need to return to deeper rule sets and better titles. In other words, hire (re-hire) world class game designers...George Gomez, Pat Lawlor, the list goes on.
It would also be interesting to see the company develop some new stand alone titles/themes not based simply on the popular movie set.
At the end of the day, innovation will be a key success driver. Pick up the ball where Pinball 2000 left it :) and now with Nucore the future of this type of platform is limitless.
Great news of the investment in Stern from Dave Paterson and the focus on marketing. Stern are doing a lot right and making great games but it needs great marketing, not just for itself but for pinball the game.
I hope this news will be followed up by a pinball themed game. Why not use a production run to promote pinball rather than pool, basket ball or films etc. Every 5 years there should be a pinball themed game.
A Game Operator:
i believe going after the coin-op market is ultimately a dead end. that's not to say it will go away. they will always buy some. i have lost money on almost every pinball i was effectively forced into buying for a location. (which is the only way i will get one, these days, when i will lose the location if i don't buy one.) it is very rare to find a place where even a brand new pinball makes any significant money. it is even hard sometimes to get the real estate to try one out at a location. when a $3,500 pinball makes next to nothing and is high maintenence to boot, i'll buy anything else, before i'll get a pinball, and make a better return on my investment.
this is the primary reality of the coin op market, these days. and i enjoy pinball! maybe they have to be made in China, in order for them to be less expensive. what if that is the only hope for pinball? developing the home market is the key to pinball's future, just as home arcade systems have been what has secured the future of video games. however, they are too expensive for most people.
i love that idea someone had here about factory financing: that would be a huge success. i would be first in line for that.
Great! Hope everything works out.
I hope that stern realizes that if they turn around and change the philosophy from movie advertising to costumer orientated business they would improve the number of sales!! I am surprised that Twilight zone is still in the top 3 and has remained there for 17 years!!! (on the other hand 16000 units produced !!)
Another Game Operator:
When a Stern pinball from 2001 or 2002 earns the same amount of money (or more in my case) than one from 2010 why buy new when the industry is hurting? Pinball machines are made for locations hence the coin door. When people on location make a comment to me asking if they still make pinballs or thought they havent made pinballs since the 1990's its scary when the game they are playing was built a matter of weeks ago (WoF when it came out).
Pinball and home/portable gaming systems = dinosaurs and humans walking together....its a new concept and one is beating the other. No wonder my typewriter/phonograph/ record store is hurting, maybe these guys can bail me out. Who needs computers and iphones right ;)
Youtube isnt going to help the games make more money for the everyday pinball player at the bar. It will give the collector something to do online while they are in their hobby high frenzy.
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