Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive

1. Design of the Game

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive ? Pinball game design is quite complicated.

In fact, designers of pinball machines are paid a lot of money to come up with games that are going to keep people entertained.

When you look at all that is going on inside a pinball machine, you can see how much work went in on the part of the design.

In order to make one pinball machine stand out from another, this design work is very important.

Designers spend quite a bit of time studying what people like.

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive

They also have to understand what materials they can use and how to incorporate them into the machine.

Pinball game design is going to be a little like songwriting or engineering.

Your mind has to be creative enough to explore different types of possibilities and see new avenues.If you don’t have an artistic type quality or skill, you will not be able to design pinball machines.

Since this is such a complicated process, the designers often make quite a bit of money.

The designers need to understand how the CNC machines will rout holes as well as other aspects of the game.

This process takes a long time as it is complicated, and it can be costly as well.

The next time you go to play pinball, try to take a look at the game with a different perspective.

You may be surprised by how intricate the design of the machine is.

2. License

A pinball machine can no longer just be created and wheeled into the local arcade.

Pinball is a much more complicated business than this.

All pinball machines that are manufactured today are licensed.

To get licensing on a pinball machine takes time and money.

The process is more complicated than we are going to get into, but licensing deals require a lot of moving parts.

Some of these including negotiating, legal advice, and more.

These things all cost money and, therefore, will end up costing you more when you purchase a pinball machine.

These license agreements can sometimes end up costing you more when you go to play pinball as well.

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive

Licensing helps to make sure the design of the pinball machine is both fair and appealing.

The machine will have to fall in line with the agreements set out in the licensing deal.

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3. Artists

Just as we mentioned looking at the pinball machine to see the design, you should also take a look at the art.

The art inside a pinball machine is quite unique.

Artists have to create art that matches the theme of the game and also tells a story.

There is always a story going on during a pinball game, and if you remove the art from the machine, it will not be the same.

Artists who work on pinball machines are very talented.

They will have to consult with designers and make sure everything is going to match perfectly with the design and theme of the game.

There will likely be quite a few adjustments to get the art perfect for the pinball machine board.

Once the board is complete, there are other areas which typically need some art or graphic design.

You have probably noticed that pinball cabinets also have a lot of art design on them as well.

With all the artwork that is added to pinball machines, the price tends to increase quite a bit.

4. Circuit Boards

A circuit board works very much like a computer.

The circuit board is what allows the game to work and tells it what to do.

Just as it is essential to have a great design, it is also extremely important to have a high quality and functioning circuit board.

A circuit board holds many different components, and because of that, they will be expensive.

The major cost in the circuit board, however, is the design.

A circuit board will work for many different titles, and then they will be revised.

If you are purchasing a used pinball machine, you must check on the condition of the circuit board.

These are generally made with high-quality materials, but you will need something that will last for years to come.

This is essentially what makes your pinball machine function.

When there are problems with the circuit board, pinball machine repair gets quite expensive.

Therefore, not only is the initial purchase price high for a pinball machine, the cost will stay high when things need to be fixed.

5. Pinball Machine Cabinets

A pinball machine is placed in a cabinet that is very easily recognizable.

Most people could draw a pinball machine cabinet if they were asked.

These are iconic looking cabinets that have been in arcades for decades.

The pinball machine cabinets are large boxes.

They are built to make sure players have a good view of the game they are playing.

Pinball machine cabinets need to be sturdy and able to stand up to plenty of use in an arcade situation as well.

The pinball machine cabinets cost money to make.

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive

Since they need to be durable, lots of reinforcement is used, and they are also quite large.

The amount of material needed to keep the pinball machine in great condition is another factor that is going to add to the cost.

Of course, a pinball machine without the cabinet is not going to do you much good.

Therefore, the necessity of the cabinet will, yet again, increase pricing.

6. Wiring

If you took all the wires out of your pinball machine (which we don’t suggest doing), you would be amazed by all that goes on inside.

Pinball machine wiring is quite complicated.

This isn’t to say that you need to be an electrician to wire this game, but you do need to have an excellent understanding of what is involved.

You may be surprised that when constructing a pinball machine, miles of wire are used.

The people who wire pinball machines have to understand the overall design and have to know how the circuit board is designed.

This is a highly specialized skill and will, therefore, be quite a bit expensive.

Wiring is important for long term durability as well.

If your wiring is not done right, over time, there could be short circuits or loose wires which cause problems in the game’s useability.

The wiring may seem simple for some things, but the wiring concept is quite complicated when it comes to pinball machines.

The more complicated things get, the more expensive they get at the same time.

7. Assembly

Pinball machines do not come assembled.

If you think you may be adding a pinball machine to your home, be prepared to pay for some assembly.

These machines are large, they are complicated, and they need to be shipped very carefully.

If you want to purchase a pinball machine, it will need to be delivered and assembled in your home.

As you know, this is going to require that you pay the labor for the assembly.

Of course, labor is one of the most expensive parts of any product we purchase.

Most of the time, you are going to need more than one laborer to get a pinball machine set up and ready to go in your home.

Most companies will send two or three people to complete this project.

With all of the work it takes to get the pinball machine ready to the point of being able to be sold, the last thing they want is for something to happen during the final installation.

There is an additional assembly that will happen at a warehouse before the pinball machine gets to your home.

Usually, by the time it gets to your house, it will be the game and the cabinet, and those two pieces will need to be combined onsite.

However, you will have, at this point, paid for the assembly at the facility as well.

Overall, labor and assembly are going to add to the cost of a pinball machine.

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive

8. Project Management

As we mentioned, there are many factors to this pinball machine business.

You’ve seen that there are circuit boards, licensing deals, artists, and installers involved.

In a perfect world, all of these people could work on their projects and then deliver them all on time.

This is not realistic.

There needs to be an industrial engineer who oversees the entire project.

They will work to make sure all of the different parts are going to come together.

The industrial engineer will also look at what works and what doesn’t work from one design to the next.

Making sure that the pinball machines stay on top of trends and keep people interested is the nature of the business.

Without this, people would not play pinball anymore.

When you think about all of the hands that need to be involved in this massive pinball creation process, you can see why the prices add up.

It is hard to cut any of these people out because this is what makes pinball machines so great.

9. Marketing

Whether you are playing pinball in an arcade or looking to purchase one for your home, there is going to be some level of marketing that takes place.

Marketing costs are expensive, and they tend to add up quickly.

Pinball manufacturers do not have any choice when it comes to marketing pinball machines.

They will need to make sure the word gets out about their product if they want to see it sold.

Pinball machine marketing is unique.

This is not a purchase most people think to make on any given day.

Since this is not usually a necessity, pinball machine manufacturers need to find unique ways to get to customers.

Anytime marketing has to be unique or complicated, it will very likely be more expensive as well.

The cost to obtain a customer when it comes to a pinball machine will be very high.

This cost is called the customer acquisition cost.

Of course, if the marketing efforts are successful, pinball companies will make quite a bit of profit, but they cannot always guarantee that the marketing will work.

10. Weight

Last but certainly not least on our list of why pinball machines are so expensive is the weight of the machine.

Pinball machines are very heavy.

They weigh several hundred pounds and are going to need quite a few people to move them.

This is going to add to the shipping costs as well as the labor and assembly costs.

With a machine that is heavy like this, you will need a laborer who is strong and capable.

All of these reasons are going to add to the overall cost you pay for a pinball machine.

Why Are Pinball Machines So Expensive