Which Diversions Generate Dollars – Best-Earning Coin-op Machines and Video Games

y Carimé Lane

When it comes to coin operated machines, Vic Morrow, owner at Coin Op Toys in Waterford, Mich., said photo booths do very well. In addition, he indicated that claw crane machines and Keymasters still produce very well.
These machines are perennial favorites because they’re like a playing the lottery, just with smaller prizes.

Owner Vic Morrow of Coin Op Toys photographed with pinball machines. Best-earning video games include Space Invaders Frenzy, Super Bikes3 and Injustice, Morrow said.

“Anytime a kid has a chance to walk away with a prize in their hand, they feel like they have accomplished something. They, along with adults, enjoy the thrill of that possibility,” Morrow commented.
Best-earning video games are Space Invaders Frenzy, Super Bikes 3, and Injustice. These are great two-player interactive games to play head-to-head against your friends, Morrow said.      

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau playing Super Chexx Hockey, which is popular in Canada, at House of Targ in Ottawa ON, where he booked a private party. The location is the flagship for Ottawa Pinball and Amusements.

To organize a well-played arcade, you’ll want to pay attention to the latest trends, and hottest items to put in your crane and merchandising machines, explained Morrow. This means if there is a big movie coming out like the Minions, Marvel, and so on, you should “capitalize on that excitement and put those items in your cranes.” The same thing applies to your merchandisers, explained Morrow. “If there is a trend like that’s hot and selling on Amazon, or your Best Buy store, go with it and capitalize on that item,” Morrow said.
Onesource Amusements is a family owned and operated arcade business serving the State of Texas since 2008. They’ve partnered with locations across the country like Holiday Inn, Sports & Social, Live!, and so on.

Jay Scanland and Amanda Scanland-Scholl of Onesource Amusements, photographed at the IAAPA Expo in November, 2021. The company’s best-earning video game is Jurassic Park.

The boxer game is the best-earning coin-op machine because it’s a fast game, said Owner Jay Scanland.
Their best-earning video game is Jurassic Park. The reason it’s such a big hit is that it’s an interactive game where two people can play at the same time.
Scanland recommended changing your arcade frequently so it always appears new when people come to visit.
At Little Shop of Games in Lutz, Fla., Owner Marshall Dickson said pinball machines, especially their Stranger Things, Led Zeppelin and Rush machines are the best-earning coin-op machines. According to Dickson, the Stranger Things game has a UV lighting feature that plays heavily into the game. The Led Zeppelin and Rush machines attract players with lighting that extends down the cabinets.
They use Stern Pinball’s Insider Connected platform, an online interactive system where players can track their scores and compete in tournaments. They have an LCD screen set up so players can track their progress.

Owner Josh MacKay and his wife Veronique Shinder of Ottawa Pinball and Amusements in Quebec, Canada, photographed with a truck. MacKay recommended paying close attention to a location’s atmosphere, decor and theme, as well as its geographic location and history, when setting up an arcade.

“[Patrons] come back and try to beat each other,” expressed Dickson. “They’re pretty competitive about it.”
In terms of video games, they get best results from their Ninja Turtles and NBA Jam games. Dickson said they’re popular because they encourage group play and contain a feature where others can jump in and join in on the game.
In terms of arcade organization, Dickson suggested putting the changer in view of the entry. For instance, if you manage an arcade in a brewery, when patrons see the changer as they enter, they’ll immediately understand which activities your establishment offers and that there’s a fee involved. In addition, when the arcade is set up this way, the games become a lure for the bar.
According to Dickson, you also want to light the room well to keep glare off the pinball machines. In Stern pinball machines, you can set the machine to reduce back box glare. This dims the back box for a more optimal player experience.

General Manager Steve Nadeau of Coin Op Toys in Waterford, Mich., working with a pinball machine. Photo booths, claw machines and Keymasters earn well for the company, according to the owner.

According to Dickson, you should also group a solid line of new titles and keep them together. That way, a group can play together, even when the game itself is for one player only.
Josh MacKay, owner of Ottawa Pinball and Amusements, reported their best earning machines to be the recent Stern Pinball releases, specifically Stranger Things and Godzilla. According to MacKay, their performance can be attributed due to both the popularity of the Netflix series for the former, and the movie legacy of the latter.
“More importantly,” expressed MacKay, “The design of both titles incorporate a playfield and rule-set that’s easy to learn and difficult to master, making them great games for experts as well as first time players.
Video game performance can vary a lot from location to location, explained MacKay. However, the best earning games are usually the linkable driving ones in both family-oriented locations and age of majority pub-style locations.

Photographed at AEI Expo in March, 2022, was Owner Jay Scanland and daughter and Marketing and CX Manager Amanda Scanland-Scholl, of Onesource Amusements in Grand Prairie, Texas. The boxer game is the company’s best earning coin-op machine, Scanland said.

“Linkable machines allow your full group to play together, and those experiences are usually the most popular,” MacKay said.
And because Ottawa Pinball is located in Canada, Super Chexx Hockey is another fan favorite.
When it comes to arranging your arcade, don’t match your game selection to the location’s demographics alone, said MacKay. Also pay close attention to the location’s atmosphere, decor and theme, as well as its geographic location and history.
“When the games fit the location thematically, they become synonymous with that location’s experience, rather than a random selection of games,” commented MacKay.

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