Opinion: Sterns Stranger Things UV Approach Sets Another Dangerous Precedent In Pinball

J

James

Stranger Things Pinball UV Light Kit
Pinball machines new in box are getting more and more expensive, yet some would argue that the feature packed days of the WPC era are long gone. Add-ons have now taken another step to extract every last penny.

Continue reading...
 

James

Site Supporter
Dec 29, 2017
3,194
1,722
113
Norwich
Why do so many of your posts go to an external site ?
This is an RSS feed to this site, it’s a completely separate account to do just that.


As I said to someone else, opinions are like assholes, everyone has got them. However, you buy LE’s, if you’d be happy to have bought one and then have to pay extra for this, then from that perspective your point has validity. Many many others don’t agree.

it won’t affect me, I’ll probably never have the money for a NIB and I play in the pro market anyway so am used to not getting the full feature matrix.

People can do what they want with the cash they earn.

Does this mean you shouldnt buy a shaker motor? A colordmd? Mirror blades?
100%,and that was never in doubt. The precedent that has been set here was manufacturers putting in a feature that is unlock-able at a later point. How long before that is a fundamental strategy? So you buy your £6k+ game and then to get wizard mode 2 and this side mode it’s £25. That’s fundamental to the game because if I play a tournament game, location game etc it’s how the game should play. We already have the pro prem difference (BK3K, IMDN , GOT etc) how many variances could we see for the next one and at what cost does it take for a fully loaded game?
 

M4carp

Site Supporter
Jan 12, 2019
1,229
1,014
113
Pembrokeshire
Alias
David
People with money to burn will not notice the extra cost so it doesn’t matter to them, company’s know this and will try to squeeze as much as they can.
Even some people who can’t really afford to will pay the extra because they really want it.
Its life so take it or leave it, whatever you do try to have fun.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pick Holder

mark9

Site Supporter
Sep 7, 2013
2,609
1,039
113
47
Lincoln, Uk
Alias
Mark Craven
Chicago Gaming did this with the colour display for the Medieval Madness remake, you had to buy a chip to unlock the colour upgrade.
 

stumblor

Registered
Sep 16, 2018
1,186
1,169
113
London · Davey Price
Alias
Davey Price
"I say hurl. If you blow chunks and she comes back, she's yours. If you spew and she bolts, then it was never meant to be."

- Wayne Campbell, Wayne's World
 

PeteB

Site Supporter
Jun 28, 2014
1,343
784
113
Sunderland
It'll continue as long as gullable suckers are willing to throw money at Stern. Unfortunately it won't last long anyway.

What I see of younger millenials getting into pinball and starting their collections, there's still more interest in 90's DMD's because of the throwback to their childhood. They aren't the ones buying crap NIB from Stern. So as the older generation die out or sell off their collections, there'll be fewer and fewer people buying this tiered NIB stuff.

It's already happening. The reason why Stern is doing this is because sales numbers are dropping and it's an attempt to mop up every penny they can before the whole thing falls off a cliff. It's also obvious they're going for licenses now which appeal to younger people.

The writing is on the wall.
 

Wayne J

Site Supporter
Jul 22, 2011
1,276
1,331
113
46
Walsall
Alias
WWJ
It'll continue as long as gullable suckers are willing to throw money at Stern. Unfortunately it won't last long anyway.

What I see of younger millenials getting into pinball and starting their collections, there's still more interest in 90's DMD's because of the throwback to their childhood. They aren't the ones buying crap NIB from Stern. So as the older generation die out or sell off their collections, there'll be fewer and fewer people buying this tiered NIB stuff.

It's already happening. The reason why Stern is doing this is because sales numbers are dropping and it's an attempt to mop up every penny they can before the whole thing falls off a cliff. It's also obvious they're going for licenses now which appeal to younger people.

The writing is on the wall.
What age qualifies as a 'younger millenial'?
I went to Uni in the 90s - that's pushing 30 years ago.
DMDs had only just started to come out (1991 - T2 ?) and they're mainly the games I remember (BoP and F14 being the only 2 non DMD games that come back to me).

I'd suggest the reason younger, newer people into the hobby are buying the 90s games is cost, not nostalgia, or that they're better games.

A NIB Stern, JJP or Spooky certainly isn't cheap, but the build quality is no worse than (and I would suggest better) older DMD games. The ones that still exist have almost universally been refurbished by owners - it is this that makes them 'more reliable'. It's a bit like Trigger's Broom 😁

The fact that even the slightest problems are now posted on every social media platform you can think of highlights these problems more - they're not more prevalent.
 
  • Like
Reactions: CHRIS B PINBALLS

andy

Site Supporter
Jul 21, 2011
548
213
43
Bristol
The reason why Stern is doing this is because sales numbers are dropping
What information are you basing that on, does anyone have any reliable production figures for Stern games over recent years?

If sales figures are dropping, constantly trying to charge more for less doesn't seem the perfect business model, would’t they be trying to increase demand instead?
 

Rob zombie

Site Supporter
Nov 30, 2018
283
239
43
Manchester
Let's get one thing straight. Bally Williams etc did not go out of business because they packed too many features into their games and it became unsustainable. They went out of business because video games arrived on the scene. No fault of their own. They were at their peak. And then a meteorite hit.
 

PeteB

Site Supporter
Jun 28, 2014
1,343
784
113
Sunderland
What age qualifies as a 'younger millenial'?
I went to Uni in the 90s - that's pushing 30 years ago.
Born between 1981 to 1996 are millenials. I'm a child of 1984 so at 35 I'm closer to the older portion. I know some guys in the mid to late 20's bracket who are just starting to build up their pinball collections and aren't interested in new Sterns. Not because of cost. It's all about the 90's nostalgia for them.

If you went to Uni in the early 90's then I suppose that makes you Generation X (born 1965 to 1980). We are the last 2 groups in the market for pinballs because Baby Boomers are aging out, and Generation Z (born 1997 to 2010) have no interest in pinball whatsoever. They've only ever used digital devices since the day they were born and no memory of pins out in the wild.


Let's get one thing straight. Bally Williams etc did not go out of business because they packed too many features into their games and it became unsustainable. They went out of business because video games arrived on the scene. No fault of their own. They were at their peak. And then a meteorite hit.
You could argue they didn't even go out of business, just decided to stop making them becuase slot machine were more profitable. :(
 

DRD

Site Supporter
Oct 26, 2014
4,015
2,797
113
Newark
IMHO a major factor in the death of pinball was the Playstation.

PS1 was a complete game-changer and meant that arcade quality games were available to home users for the first time.
 

Neil McRae

Site Supporter
Jun 5, 2016
8,161
5,249
113
Surrey
playpinball.uk
Alias
Neil McRae
Born between 1981 to 1996 are millenials. I'm a child of 1984 so at 35 I'm closer to the older portion. I know some guys in the mid to late 20's bracket who are just starting to build up their pinball collections and aren't interested in new Sterns. Not because of cost. It's all about the 90's nostalgia for them.

If you went to Uni in the early 90's then I suppose that makes you Generation X (born 1965 to 1980). We are the last 2 groups in the market for pinballs because Baby Boomers are aging out, and Generation Z (born 1997 to 2010) have no interest in pinball whatsoever. They've only ever used digital devices since the day they were born and no memory of pins out in the wild.

You could argue they didn't even go out of business, just decided to stop making them becuase slot machine were more profitable. :(
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN WELCOME TO "MAKE UP ANY S.HITE YOU LIKE!" starring PeteB as head of all things bull****!

PeteB when did you see anyone buy a pinball machine? I see families taking dozens and dozens of Stern's home with them at all the shows I goto in
the US.

Get out of your cave and go to some meets. Loads of folks in the teens and twenties playing pinball, the worlds biggest tournament 1000 players sold out in blink of an eye, about 30% of the folks there are under 30 and that's increasing. At flip out about 20% of our league are people under thirty and a good few under 25.

Ray Day - world number one -> 27 years old
Escher Lefhoff world number seven -> 16 years old
Colin Urban 8th, -> 17 years old
Aleksander Kaczmarczyk 15th -> 16 years old
Zachary Parks 223rd -> 17 years old


The bottom four above , all under 18 were in the final of the Chicago Flip Expo tournament knocking out all the old ****ers on what games? all sterns.... a bunch of them in the final for the Open World Championship...

BW had lost $17M in its last three years of operation and in the last month of operations it losing was $1M a month, they sensibly stopped making games before it killed them.
 
  • Haha
Reactions: philpalmer

Neil McRae

Site Supporter
Jun 5, 2016
8,161
5,249
113
Surrey
playpinball.uk
Alias
Neil McRae
Let's get one thing straight. Bally Williams etc did not go out of business because they packed too many features into their games and it became unsustainable. They went out of business because video games arrived on the scene. No fault of their own. They were at their peak. And then a meteorite hit.
LOL

They made HUGE games PACKED full of stuff that NOBODY wanted to play.

Stern saved their company (and probably the whole of pinball) because they made games with less stuff in them that NOBODY wanted to play.
 

DRD

Site Supporter
Oct 26, 2014
4,015
2,797
113
Newark
PS1 was released around 1994, but took a while to gain market share. Proper Williams pinball died in about 1998 with Monster Bash.
 

Neil McRae

Site Supporter
Jun 5, 2016
8,161
5,249
113
Surrey
playpinball.uk
Alias
Neil McRae
the year Monster Bash was released Williams lost about $10M; they sold 3,361of them. They pulled the plug on Cactus Canyon mid way though production.

Sony sold 5M PS1s in 1997.

and PS 1 was end of 1994 in Japan and 95 in EU/US
 
Last edited:

Rob zombie

Site Supporter
Nov 30, 2018
283
239
43
Manchester
LOL

They made HUGE games PACKED full of stuff that NOBODY wanted to play.

Stern saved their company (and probably the whole of pinball) because they made games with less stuff in them that NOBODY wanted to play.
Nobody even got to see those later machines on location (in this country at least). I certainly never did. After Addams Family it was pretty much over.
 
  • Like
Reactions: James