Pinball Magazine publishes a monthly newsletter in which is summarized what the various pinball manufacturers have been working in the past month. To not miss out, subscribe to the Pinball Magazine Newsletter in the column on the right. On this page you’ll find links to the latest monthly summaries. Before the monthly newsletters such an overview could be found on this page and for archive purposes some of it is still there. Whenever possible there is a link to a detailed article or website. In some cases it may just be rumours… News will be reported in the month it was news. If a manufacturer is still working on a specific game the next month, it won’t be listed unless there is new news to report. Although we try to keep this page as up to date as possible, sometimes other things get in the way.
- Pinball Magazine’s August 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s July 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s June 2017 recap part 1
- Pinball Magazine’s June 2017 recap part 2
- Pinball Magazine’s May 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s April 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s March 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s February 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s January 2017 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s December 2016 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s November 2016 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s October 2016 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s September 2016 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s August 2016 recap
- Pinball Magazine’s June and July 2016 recap
Elder summaries (monthly news listed below):
- Stern Pinball: Latest games (and still being produced) are Metallica (2013), Star Trek (2013), Game of Thrones, Spider-Man Vault Edition and Ghost Busters (designed by John Trudeau). Stern are currently also assembling the remake of Medieval Madness for Planetary Pinball (see below). March 10th 2016 Ghost Busters was (finally) officially announced as Stern’s newest game after being rumored for months. The game has artwork by ZombiYeti, who is featured in Pinball Magazine No. 3. Rumored (and absolutely unconfirmed) upcoming titles are Star Wars, Aerosmith and Iron Maiden (for 2017, a licensing agency mentioned that the license had been picked up by a pinball company). April 19th Stern announced there will be a new Whizbang (Dennis Nordman and Greg Freres) game coming out in 2017. In June Farsight Studios and Stern Pinball announced the Stern Pinball Arcade, a Virtual Reality game that will include Data East, Sega and Stern games from the past and present.
- Jersey Jack Pinball: The Wizard Of Oz (2013) and the 75th Anniversary Edition of that same game are still being manufactured, while The Hobbit has seen some delays in making it to the production line. After displaying a prototype of The Hobbit at Pinball Expo 2014, the less than positive feedback on the playfield art resulted in a new playfield art package, as well as some re-designed elements in the layout. JJP’s 3rd game will be designed by famed pinball designer Pat Lawlor with artwork by artist John Youssi. David Thiel has been announced as JJP’s sound and music designer. In August the company announced three outside parties invested in the company, to secure production of upcoming titles.
- Spooky Pinball is manufacturing Rob Zombie’s Spookshow International. At it’s reveiling in December 2015 it turned out that the game is developed on the earlier designed Pinball Zombies from the Grave playfield. The game features ten classic Rob Zombie tracks, custom speech by Rob Zombie, artwork by Alex Horley, toys by Matt from Back Alley Creations and a multicolor display. The game sold out rapidly as production is limited to 300 units. Spooky is also working on a Domino’s Pizza pinball machine, which is exclusively developed for Domino’s Pizza locations as a commisioned game. Over 50 games have been pre-ordered. The design of the game goes in collaboration with Domino’s. Spooky will not be retailing this game. Those interested in one will probably have to buy one from a Domino’s location, or Domino Corporate.
- Dutch Pinball: After upgrading The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot with new rules and a full color dot matix display (with the best animations in pinball ever!), the company is now developing The Big Lebowski. Two prototypes were revealed in September 2014 in The Netherlands, followed by three playable prototypes that were shown at Pinball Expo 2014. Of all the new manufacturers, The Big Lebowski has made the biggest impact: a strike! The game’s production is scheduled to start mid 2015. The game can currently no longer be pre-ordered, but once production is up and running new orders will be accepted.
- Day One Pinball is a new manufacturer that has been producing its first game, Scoregasm Master. This is a flipperless bagatelle game based on PAMCO’s 1934 Contact Master, which was originally designed by Harry Williams. Scoregasm Master has artwork by John Youssi. Production of the game is limited to 30 units. For more info visit the Day One Pinball website and their blog.
- Planetary Pinball announced in 2013 a remake of Medieval Madness, a popular Williams game from 1997, in a limited edition as well as a standard version. The game is being manufactured at the Stern Pinball factory. There has been much speculation about what the next title to be remade will be, but so far nothing has been officially confirmed.
- Multimorphic is developing Lexy Lightspeed – Galaxy Girl and Cosmic Cart Racing on its innovative P3 platform that features a huge LCD monitor as part of the playfield. Lexy Lightspeed, a Dennis Nordman design, was displayed at Pinball Expo 2014 and looked very impressive and promising. Multimorphic is also manufacturing pinball hard- and software which is used by other boutique manufacturers as well.
- Heighway Pinball has been developing Full Throttle, a motorbike racing themed game, for a few years now. Similar to Quetzal Pinball’s Captain Nemo, the playfield has a small LCD in the centre. After displaying the game at the UK Pinball Party 2014 and EAG 2015 the design team picked up on feedback, resulting in an improved game. Production of the first 20 games started in April 2015 and the first games were finished in June 2015.
During Pinball Expo 2014 founder Andrew Heighway announced the second game for Heighway Pinball: Alien. This game will be based on the 35-year-old movie and was originally to be designed by Dennis Nordman. However, Dennis only did the initial layout of the game and concepts for four toys before leaving the company early in December 2014. Two weeks later it was announced that pinball designer Barry Oursler had been added to the Heighway Pinball team. Alien was originally scheduled for April 2015, but has been delayed and is now to be revealed at the UK Pinball Party (held at Heighway Pinball’s factory in Wales) in August 2015.
- Homepin is developing Thunderbirds for 2015. The company is currently setting up a factory in China where the games will be manufactured. The game is slightly delayed but the goal is still to have the game ready by the end of 2015.
- Riot Pinball has been developing Wrath of Olympus for quite some time using the P-Roc system. Spooky Pinball has announced it will manufacture the game if there is demand for over one hundred units, a quota that apparently has not been met yet. The Riot Pinball website also shows a sketch of an Alice in Wonderland playfield design as being a work in progress.
- Quetzal: has been working for a few years on Captain Nemo, with a limited production of thirty units. This was the first game to have an LCD display mounted below the playfield. The first games have been delivered to their new owners in June 2015.
- Circus Maximus Games has announced that it is working on Python’s Pinball Circus, a rare and unique Python Anghelo design based on Midway’s The Pinball Circus from 1994. That game was never put into full production, and only two prototypes exist. While Python passed away in April 2014, it was his wish to see the game get a proper test run and be put into production. An incomplete prototype of the game was shown at Pinball Expo 2014. A more developed version was presented at the Southern Fried Gaming Expo 2015 show.
- Silver Castle Pinball: Another new startup company, based in The Netherlands like Dutch Pinball, it is planning to build a physical version of Pro Pinball’s Timeshock! In 1997 this game was one of four PC pinball simulations developed by Pro Pinball. At the Dutch Pinball Open 2014 a whitewood prototype was shown. The team has had some support from a well-known pinball designer – for now unnamed – who helped to improve the flow of the game. In June 2015 a new artwork package for the cabinet and backglass have was revealed.
- Whizbang is the company of Greg Freres and Dennis Nordman. Their Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons design is being manufactured by Stern Pinball, where Greg has a fulltime job as Art Director. Pinball designer Dennis Nordman, the other half of Whizbang, is currently also working on a new pinball design with Paul Reno. He prefers not to announce anything until things are finished.
- The Rebel Unit: On Pinside’s forum this company introduced itself and claims to be working on a design for a game called Wrath of Cthulhu, of which some cabinet photos have been released. It is understood that it will run on Multimorphic and proprietary boards.
Unfortunately there is also some negative news to report.
- Zidware (John Popadiuk) : Was working on Magic Girl (click title for the Magic Girl blog), but ran out of money to fund the production for the pre-sold games. Similar to the Skit-B situation (see below) things blew up on online pinball forums. Pre-order buyers were offered a possible solution by Pintasia, a company that licensed the rights to the Zidware designs to have them manufactured by another party. However, after putting a huge effort into showing a functional game at the 2015 NW Pinball & Arcade show, the game appeared to be far from complete.Less than a week after the show Pintasia announced that it would not be continuing with the project. John was also working on a Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland and a new Alice in Wonderland game, which are now very unlikely to be manufactured at all. While John is still trying to get his company back on track he’s also being sued for not delivering the pre-sold games.
- Skit B Pinball has been developing Predator for several years, resulting in at least one complete prototype. While it appears that there would have be no problem with doing a one-off game, doing a commercial production run of two hundred and fifty units would have required a license agreement, which was never discussed.
After the intervention of a group of worried pre-order buyers, the entire situation blew up online. Eventually some people managed to get their deposits refunded. At the moment it seems to be unlikely that Predator will be manufactured. It is unclear at the moment whether Skit-B will be able to develop the previously announced Experts of Dangerous game, which is based on characters from the Mythbusters TV show.
- If you think this is all, guess again. These are just projects that have been publicly announced (or leaked). There are several other projects being worked on below the radar, which will be added once they have been publicly announced.
Stern Pinball and Farsight Studios announced the Stern Pinball Arcade, a new Virtual Reality simulator that will have Data East, Sega and Stern pinball games. The app is different than Farsight Studios’ Pinball Arcade app. First titles announced are Star Trek, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Starship Troopers and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
Dutch Pinball have started the production of The Big Lebowski at the ARA facility in Aalten, The Netherlands. Production isn’t at full speed yet, but despite that the first games have already been delivered to their cusomers. Prior to initiating the production Dutch Pinball built five sample production games of which some are currently operated on test locations thoughoput The Netherlands. These games will help to see how the game earns and which issue may arise on location. While the software is still being tweaked, the game appears to be quite complete and a lot of fun to play.
Spooky Pinball reveiled their Domino’s Spectacular Pinball Adventure game at a Domino’s Pizza conference in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday June 19th. The game’s playfield reminds of the layout of Spooky’s first pinball machine America’s Most Haunted, but with several changes and completely new artwork. The game was received very well at the convention. Production will start in August. In the mean time the game will be develloped and finetuned further. In an interview Spooky Pinball founder Charlie Emery also mentioned that the company’s next game will be another collaboration with Ben Heck and production is likely to go up to 500 units.
Speaking of production: while Stern Pinball may be “the longest running pinball manufacturer in the world” it appears their production facility hasn’t been very productive lately. At first it seemed like the demand for Ghostbusters was so overwhelming that orders were delayed, but apparently there’s more to it. Rumor has it that Stern is looking into parting with their main cabinet and playfield supplier and taking up the production of these parts inhouse. In the mean time more and more reports are coming in of ghosting problems on recently produced games such as Spiderman Vault Edition, Game of Thrones and Ghostbusters. Ghosting means that air gets between a playfield insert and the playfield’s clearcoat, resulting in a grey area that usually expands over time. With Stern mainly selling to home users, it’s understandable that these private collectors don’t want any ghosting inserts on their $6,000 – $8,000 toys. Stern has not addressed any of the issues it’s facing in public, but that may just be a matter of time.
Stern Pinball also made a soft announcement of The Pabst Can Crusher to appear at Comicon in San Diego, CA. There has not been an official announcement of the game, other than Stern’s Facebook showing the flyer for their Comicon booth, although playfield and backglass art images have appeared on the Pinside since then. At the show Stern will be sharing a booth with Nuclear Blast Records, JSR Merchandising and KVH Toys. Based on the cabinet shape and backglass and playfield images The Pabst Can Crusher looks to be a retheme of Stern’s Whoa Nellie Big Juicy Melons game with new artwork by Dirty Donny. At this point it is unknown what the reasoning is behind this retheme. Rumors have it that the game could be rethemed to get rid of an overstock of Whoa Nellie parts. That game was controverisal due to it pricing and some didn’t appreciate the art package on it. It will be interesting to see at what pricing point The Pabst Can Crusher will be advertised.
Stern Pinball announced that they will manufacture another game from the Whizbang design team in 2017. Whizbang is formed by graphic artist Greg Freres, currently also working as Art Director for Stern, and pinball designer Dennis Nordman. Both are featured in an in-depth cover story in Pinball Magazine No. 2.
At the French Flip Expo show an Olympic Goblin prototype was revealed. The game has an intentional basic layout which reminds of 1970s Gottlieb games. This original themed game is designed by Christian Petit, who is also a distributor in France for Game Castle. Christian has plans to manufacture the game once the design is completed with his company Phenix Pinball.
After months of speculationand “leaks” Stern Pinball finally announced Ghostbusters, designed by John Trudeau. Available in Pro, Premium and LE versions all versions of the game look action packed. The artwork is done by ZombiYeti, who is featured in Pinball Magazine No. 3. The game will debut at Amusement Expo in Las Vegas, Enada in Rimini, Italy, and Texas Pinball Festival in Frisco, TX.
Stern Pinball announced Spider-Man Vault Edition on January 5th. This game has the same layout of Stern’s 2007 Spider-Man game, which was themed around the Spider-Man movie trilogy. The new Vault Edition is themed with Marvel comicbook images, making the game look more timeless. While the game is still running on the same hardware system as it was originally released on (while Stern introduced a new system in the mean time), there have been updates in the game code, display animations, music and voice calls to match the new artwork. The software is however not reverse compatible with the game from 2007. The 2007 Spider-Man game has a track record of being a good earning game for operators and is favored by pinball enthusiasts as well. Click here for Stern Pinball’s press release and photos of Spider-Man Vault Edition.
While the Spider-Man Vault Edition still features a dotmatrix display, Stern’s marketing director Jody Dankberg announced in an interview that the game after Spider-Man will have an LCD display. [Update: Right after the interview was published it was edited and the announcement of the LCD display being in the next game was removed. See note at the bottom of the interview] That next game rumored to be Ghostbusters, which should be officially announced in February or March.
Spooky Pinball reveiled the artwork and finished playfield design for Rob Zombie Spookshow International. The game is a continuation of their previously shelved Pinball Zombies from Beyond the Grave design with a few modifications. The artpackage by Alex Horley has been very well received by the pinball community. The RZSI game is limited to 300 units while over 700 people showed interest in buying the game. The first 300 on the list have been contacted by email to secure their game now that they can see what they will be buying. Spooky Pinball is also building a new factory in Benton, WI in order to expand their production capacity.
Spooky Pinball confirmed they are working on a Domino’s Pizza-themed pinball machine for Domino’s Pizza locations. The game could be ordered by locations through Domino’s headquarters. On the day the game was announced over 50 games were ordered. The design of the playfield will be done in collaboration with Domino’s. It will be a full feature game. Spooky is not the retailer of this game, so anyone interested in one will probably have to order it through Domino’s HQ.
Dutch Pinball showed up with five early production samples of The Big Lebowski pinball machine at the Dutch Pinball Expo. None of them played flawless. The plan was to have the games played as much as possible to see how they would hold up, in order to spot areas that needed special attention during production. As a result the company announced to go back to the drawingboard to finetune certain elements of the game. They hope to start production of the game prior to Christmas 2015. The games at the show also featured less speech and alternative music than in earlier versions of the game due to licensing restrictions.
Stern Pinball announced their next title on September 4th: Game of Thrones. This is Steve Ritchie’s long awaited new game since Star Trek. The game was announced in an exclusive teaser video on The Wallstreet Journal. Usually Stern announces their games one month ahead of the beginning of production.
Jersey Jack Pinball announced a significant investment led by ThinkLAB Ventures, the family office of Time 100 honoree and Reader’s Digest’s “America’s Best Boss” Leonard Abess, and joined by Tudor Investment Corp Managing Director Andrew Paul and Playboy CEO Scott Flanders. Jersey Jack Pinball Founder and CEO Jack Guarnieri commented, “With this capital infusion we can now take our company to the next level. Our goal is to consistently deliver the finest games in the industry and the best game experience for our players.”
Silver Castle Pinball, who have been working on a real version of the PC pinball table Timeshock!, have revealed a new artwork package for the cabinet and backglass of the game. Check out the details on Pinball News.
Spooky Pinball announced their second game: Rob Zombie’s Spookhouse International, which will feature 10 classic Rob Zombie tracks, custom speech by Rob Zombie, artwork by Alex Horley and toys by Matt from Back Alley Creations. Software will be donce by David Fawcett.
Zidware / John Popadiuk : Was working on Magic Girl (click title for the Magic Girl blog), but ran out of money to fund the production for the pre-sold games. Pre-order buyers have been offered a solution by Pintasia, who licensed the rights to the Zidware designs to have them manufactured by another party. However, after putting much effort in to show a functional game at the 2015 NW Pinball & Arcade show the game appeared to be far from complete. Less than a week after the show Pintasia announced to not continue the project. John was also working on a Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland and a new Alice in Wonderland game, which are now very unlikely to be manufactured at all.
Stern Pinball have finally confirmed that KISS will be their next title. This title is slightly controversial as pinball designer John Popadiuk of Zidware had shown a great looking KISS-themed mockup /prototype at the Midwest Gaming Classic show (see April 2014, below). Rumor has it that Stern employees were all over the impressive looking game that weekend. Less than two months later John Popadiuk received notification from his lawyers that Stern had secured the license, although Stern never publicly confirmed they did (while obviously they did). Back then Stern employees commented that they never announced the game and that John Popadiuk could never produce the game and as such would not be able to get the license either.
Regardless of the history of how the game became to be, Stern is going full blast on KISS‘s promotion. They outsourced their social media marketing resulting in a much more prominent and interesting presence on Facebook, as well as hundreds new ‘likes’ on their Facebook-page. Once the 600 Limited Editions were sold to distributors (so you may still be able to find one somewhere) additional assecories such as sidetrims and a topper were announced on Facebook and other channels. Stern have also released a code update for The Walking Dead.
Zidware / John Popadiuk did send out a letter to people who pre-ordered the Magic Girl, Retro Atomic Zombie Adventureland and/or Alice in Wonderland games about the company running out of money to fund the production of the games. Note this does not mean that Zidware is bankrupt, or out of money, but funding a production requires enough money to order all the parts to manufacture the games. A new third party, Pintasia, is willing to license the designs of these games and handle manufacturing (with an experienced manufacturer). Those who pre-ordered have received a proposal, which is heavily discussed on various pinball forums.
A new manufacturer has been announced: Day One Pinball, operating from Huntley, IL and run by Terry de Zwarte (Pinball Life). Their first game is called Scoregasm Master and is a remake of PAMCO’s 1934 Contact Master, the second game designed by Harry Williams. Note that this is a flipperless bagatelle game. Production will be limited to 30 units. The games will be available at several pinball shows as well with some distributors this month. For more info on the game and it’s background check out the Day One Pinball website and their blog.
Spooky Pinball sold the last available games of the limited run of 150 units of America’s Most Haunted during the Midwest Gaming Classics show. Congratulations!
Heighway Pinball have announced to have started manufacturing a first batch of 20 units of Full Throttle. They also announced to be hosting the annual UK Pinball Party at a new location: the Heighway Pinball factory in Wales (United Kingdom). This year’s event dates are August 21-23. Their second game, Alien, has seen some delays, partly due to licensing, and is scheduled to be presented at this year’s UK Pinball Party as well.
Stern Pinball announced immediate availability of WhizBang’s Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons. The making of the original 4 prototypes of this game was already featured in Pinball Magazine No. 2 as part of the Dennis Nordman cover story.
Dutch Pinball seem to have sorted out the licensing issues that weren’t solved. They also announced they will take pre-orders for The Big Lebowski until March 31st 2015. Once production has started games can be ordered as well, but currently it is not known at what pricepoint.
Stern Pinball presented Wrestlemania, designed by John Trudeau, at CES. For the first time Stern actually managed to keep an upcoming title a secret and they surprised many with this theme. On a positive note: John Trudeau has mentioned in a recent Pinball Magazine interview that there was great collaboration with the licensor (WWE), which hopefully will result in very well integrated original voice callouts, music and such.
While not yet officially announced it seems Stern Pinball have rehired programmer Dwight Sullivan. Dwight’s Linkedin profile reports a new position as Senior Game Developer at Stern Pinball. This means Dwight is back at Stern as he worked there from 2000 – 2008, working on titles such as Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean and 11 others. Dwight also programmed pinball machines at Bally / Williams in the ’90s.
Heighway Pinball have shown photos of their new cabinet design on Facebook. Compared to the prototype the shape of the panels in the bottom cabinet is different and the lower cabinet is now an inch less wide than with the prototype cabinets.
Pinball designer Dennis Nordman announced he ended his relation with Heighway Pinball and that he will not continue on the developement of Alien. Dennis did the initial playfield drawing and created concepts for 4 playfield toys, but the game will now be further developed without him working on it. According to Dennis’ statement he could not approve of the the announced production date of April 2015.
Two weeks after Dennis left pinball designer Barry Oursler has been announced as the newest member of the Heighway Pinball team.
Former pinball designer Barry Oursler thinks he has another design in him and would like to make a comeback at pinball design. In order to do so Barry started a fundraiser campaign that should help him acquire all the required tools to start designing his new game using modern techniques and software. Barry is currently not under contract with any manufacturer, but that may change once he is able to show of his new design(s). Earlier in 2014 Barry Oursler did a successful fundraiser to cover his medical bills.
Riot Pinball have been working on Wrath of Olympus for quite some time as a P-Roc based game with an original theme. A prototype game in various stages of development has been shown at various shows in 2013 and 2014. If there is demand for at least 100 games Spooky Pinball will manufacture these. The production run will be limited to 250 units.
The Rebel Unit: On Pinside’s forum this company introduced themselves and claim to be working on a Wrath of Cthulhu pinball design. It is supposed to run on board by Multimorphic and some of their own. After Pinball Expo 2014 the first cabinet photos have been released.
Stern Pinball have announced to be manufacturing Whizbang’s Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons in the spring of 2015. There is no pricing info available yet, but Stern have opened up a special email account where those interested can inquire more info and/or show their interest.
Jersey Jack Pinball announced a special Smaug Gold Edition of The Hobbit, which can only be ordered until december 31st 2014.
Heighway Pinball announced Alien as their second game, which will be based on the 35 year old movie and its sequel Aliens. The game will be designed by Dennis Nordman.
Stern Pinball have shipped the first Pro models of The Walking Dead, which ended up on industry trade shows and pinball collector shows. Pinball Magazine had the first extensive video footage of the game, including Gary Stern playing two quick games at a trade show in Amsterdam. In the mean time others have recorded improved videos which give a better impression on how the game flips. Software was still in a very early stage.
Dutch Pinball revealed two non-playable prototypes of The Big Lebowski at a special reveal party in Utrecht – The Netherlands. See our report from the party. At Pinball Expo, in October, the games should be playable.
Stern Pinball announced The Walking Dead as their next title. They are also running an improved LED run of AC/DC Pro. Besides LEDs instead of regular light bulbs, the game will also have a swinging bell toy and the new metal/wooden backbox with new decaled speaker panel. Apparently the AC/DC license is about to expire in December 2014, so Stern will be cranking out some more units of this very successful game while they still can.
The Rebel Unit: On Pinside’s forum this company introduced themselves and claim to be working on a pinball design. It is supposed to run on board by Multimorphic and some of their own. No details of their first game have been provided, so time will tell whether this is a legit new company, or not.
Silver Castle Pinball: another new startup company planning to build a physical version of Pro Pinball’s Timeshock. In 1997 this game was one of four PC pinball simulations developed by Pro Pinball.
While still manufacturing 50 years of Mustang, Stern Pinball announced they will be re-running some of their elder titles. The first title announced is Iron Man. More titles, most likely of games that are popular in demand by collectors, are likely to follow. Stern will also be assembling Planetary Pinball‘s remake of Medieval Madness. It is unknown whether these reruns are done because of lack of demand for Mustang, or to buy the Stern design teams more time to develop a new hardware system and future games. The company also announced to be moving to a larger factory, probably in 2015.
Jersey Jack Pinball have released the artwork for the playfield of The Hobbit. Interestingly this artwork is not from Jeff Bush, but by Jean-Paul de Win, JJP’s LCD artist for both The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit. The left upper flipper has been replaced with a slingshot type of kicker, similar to Spooky Pinball’s Pinball Zombies from beyond the Grave. Sound designer David Thiel has been announced as being hired for The Hobbit and future games.
Dutch Pinball have released a video in which the purpose of the lower playfield is revealed: a one-lane bowling lane with 10 automated bowling pins at the end. The video also shows the layout of the game, although some parts have still been marked with a “?”.
Planetary Pinball have bought the assest of the bankrupt Illinois Pinball Inc, owned by Gene Cunningham. This may include the rights to the CapCom pinball catalogue, but this has not been confirmed. There is a lot of speculation going on whether or not PPM will rerun Big Bang Bar and/or Kingpin. Pinball designer Mark Ritchie mentioned at the NW Pinball & Arcade Show that he has several ideas to improve his Kingpin design from 1996. PPM have indicated their focus currently is to produce the rerun of Medieval Madness and possibly other Bally/Williams titles. Their current hardware is also not capable of emulating the CapCom hardware, although that could only be a matter of time.
Circus Maximus Games announced at the Southern Fried Pinball Show to be working on The Pinball Circus, a rare and unique Python Anghelo design that was never put into production. It was Python’s wish to see the game get a proper test run and production and Python actively participated in achieving this before he passed away in April of 2014.
Vonnie D Pinball: New company that are working on Gremlins Pinball. They are trying to raise $ 100,000.00 within 30 days from June 25th to finance this project using Kickstarter, which is where you will find more info as well. In case they succees former pinball designer Barry Oursler may become part of the team to improve the game’s design.
Spooky Pinball showed, quite unexpected, a working prototype with artwork of their Pinball Zombies from Beyond the Grave game at the Midwest Gaming Classic show in Wisconsin. The layout and gameplay turned out to be sifferent and surprisingly fun. The also showed the final version of Ben Heck’s America’s Most Haunted game with new artwork.
At the same show John Popadiuk (Zidware) showed an impressive looking Kiss prototype game. Apparently John built this prototype with a friend around Christmas last year for a friend who is suffering from terminal cancer. This mockup game was built to show the band what such a game would look like. Besides a great artwork package the game also features an LCD at the back of the playfield with full color animations. It is unclear whether John can/will develop the game any further.
Update: This mockup game was built to show KISS what such a game would look like. However, while officially unconfirmed it appeared that right after MGC Stern Pinball persued the KISS-license and managed to secure it in June 2014. John was told not to develop his game any further. Stern Pinball announced their KISS pinball machine on May 6th, 2015.
Stern Pinball came with two announcement the first week of December. The first announcement was a new Premium model for AC/DC named Luci. The game features new artwork on the cabinet, backglass and miniplayfield. The rest of the playfield is unchanged from the previous Premium models.
The second announcement came in the form of a videoteaser and a press release announcing John Trudeau’s first design for Stern Pinball: 50 years of Ford Mustang. The game is expected early January 2014. The game after that is scheduled for April 2014 and will be designed by John Borg.
Spooky Pinball, who are working on Ben Heck designed America’s Most Haunted and Pinball Zombies from Beyond the Grave have shown new developmental artwork for America’s Most Haunted. The backglass artwork is still a work in progress. The artwork was changed after some negative feedback on the original artwork. Buyers of the game can decide which version they want at no extra cost. Collectors of limited games should also pay attention as AMH is announced as a 100 unit first run, with not a big chance for an additional run in 2014 or 2015.
In October a teaser campaign sort off announced a Big Lebowski pinball machine. The website for this campaign showed a pinball machine covered by a carpet and some bowling pins. The clock was counting down to December 27th. As it turns out Dutch Pinball is behind this project, which came as a surprise to many. Contrary to other new manufacturers Dutch Pinball already secured a team of 12 people and a facility to build the games. Based on what Dutch Pinball did when reprogramming The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot, the expectations for their Big Lebowski game are high.
Jersey Jack Pinball have announced a 75th Anniversary Limited Edition for their Wizard of Oz game. The game will be ‘limited’ to 1,500 units, has a red trim, instead of a green one, and features some additional toy sculptures. For a full feature listing see the game’s digital flyer.
During Pinball Expo Rick Bartlett from Planetary Pinball Services (PPS) announced he will be making a Limited Edition rerun of Williams’ Medieval Madness. The 1,000 units sold out in less than 3 hours and a standard edition was announced a few days later. The LE version may still be available at distributors of PPS. Check the PPS website for updates and details.
Another new pinball company announced their working on a game as well. During Pinball Expo a flyer was handed out by girls in bowling uniforms. The flyer did give some clues and a website address: Dudepinball.com. It is believed all clues point to The Big Lebowski movie. Currently the website shows a clock counting down to December 28th and people can subscribe to a newsletter.
Stern Pinball have (finally) announced their next game: Star Trek. The game is designed by Steve Ritchie and has artwork by Greg Freres. These two also did the previous Star Trek Next Generation pinball in 1993 for Williams. Stern’s Star Trek will be available in 3 versions: Pro, Premium and Limited Edition. However the LE version now counts 799 units, which makes is perhaps a little bit less limited than LE runs of other games that were under 500 units. Rumors say that Stern sold out their LE’s but that doesn’t mean that distributors have sold them out as well.
Heighway Pinball in the UK are still working on their prototype of Full Throttle. Graphic artist Doug Watson has been hired to create new art for the game, which was revealed at the annual UK Pinball Party this month. Heighway Pinball also announced that pinball designer Dennis Nordman has joined the team. Both Dennis and Doug will be working on a game together starting spring 2014. They have worked together before on Demolition Man.
Homepin in Australia have announced they will be producing their first pinball, which is scheduled for 2015. The theme for this game has also been announced: Thunderbirds are go. Homepin has a backbround in re-engineerd replacement pinball PCB’s. They’re also developing a LED replacement display for dotmatrix displays.
Stern Pinball finally officially announced Metallica as their next game to hit the production line. There are 4 different models to choose from: Limited Edition Master of Puppets (apparently sold out), two Premium models and a regular Pro version. The games feature artwork by Dirty Donny. Rumored to be the next game is still Star Trek, to be designed by Steve Ritchie and Greg Freres. Stern Pinball is also looking at Whizbang’s Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Melons game to possibly put into production as there seems to be demand.
Jersey Jack Pinball started shipping the first games of The Wizard Of Oz to collectors who ordered an Emerald Edition. With more boardsets arriving at his factory in New Jersey more games are likely to ship soon. Meanwhile the designteam is working on the second game: The Hobbit.
Other manufacturers are still working on games listed earlier and did report progress but no other news. A full listing of all companies working on pinball designs will be published in Pinball Magazine No. 2, due out in June 2013.
Ben Heck announced on Pinside.com he has designed a pinball machine called Ghost Squad and showed photos of a freshly cut whitewood as well as the artwork for the playfield. The name of the game may change as it is the same as a TV show. Pinsiders can suggest titles in the same forum topic. At the moment there are no details known about the size of the production run.
Australia based Homepin announced on the Aussie Pinball Forum to be working on a new LED dot matrix display (DMD), which can replace the orange high voltage DMD’s which are used in pinball machines since 1991. The Homepin LED DMD will not be orange, but white, which will allow game owners to mount a color filter of their choice in front of it so the display can match the main color of the game. E.g: green for Creature From The Black Lagoon, blue for White Water. The new display will have several technical advantages over other LED DMD’s and should be available mid to late 2013.
Spooky Pinball, known for heir monthly pinball podcasts, have announced in they february podcast they will start manufacturing pinball machines as a boutique, or BOOtique, shop. Owner Charly Emery has already some experience with manufacturing pinball playfields and cabinets as he was involved in the production of the cabinets and playfields for JJP’s Wizard of Oz. The first game will have a zombie theme. See Pinballnews for more detailed info.
While The Wizard Of Oz massproduction yet has to start, Jersey Jack Pinball already announced their second game: The Hobbit. Pre-orders are being taken for the Limited Edition of 1,500 units. See the JJP website for more details.
Stern Pinball also announced their new game: The Avengers. As with previous titles, the game will be available in a Pro version, as well as several Limited Editions. Rumored to be next are another music themed game (Metalica or KISS are mentioned most) and a new Star Trek game after that designed by Steve Ritchie and Greg Freres.
Multimorphic, the company that will produce pinball machines based on the P3 concept (using floating slingshots and flippers to allow a flatscreen to cover the lower part of the playfield), have brought in veteran pinball designer Dennis Nordman to design an original themed pinball design for them. The first P3 based games are being sold by pre-order now and should be ready a year from now. Those games should have two different upper playfield units (where all the mechanical ball action and devices are), resulting in two different playing games. Each upper playfield units will also have it’s own game rules. More info on the Multimorphic website, as well as on Pinballnews.
November 2012 (and elder news)
After a successful run of various ‘AC/DC‘ pinball machines, Stern Pinball is currently manufacturing their new model: ‘X-Men‘. As with previous games there are 4 different versions to choose from. Rumors going around also named Resident Evil, Men in Black 3, The Avengers and KISS or Metalicca as potential new titles. The Avengers is already advertised in trade magazines.
For the home-market Stern have developed Transformers The PIN.
Jersey Jack Pinball is about to start the production of their first game: The Wizard of Oz Emerald Edition. After the production of the limited edition, a slightly slimmed down ‘regular’ version of the same title will be taken in production, intended for the operator market.
Andrew Heighway has announced his first pinball design as Heighway Pinball, a new, british pinball manufacturer: Full Throttle. The game has a motorbike racing theme. It is intended for commercial exploitation and the first non-licensed themed pinball games in over 10 years. In August the whitewood was presented at the UK Pinball Party, although at that time the game had a different theme. Read all the details for this game at Pinballnews.
Gerry Stellenberg of Pinballcontrollers.com, and his crew, are known for their P-ROC circuit boards. They are working on a new pinball technology called P3, which includes an LCD screen as part of the playfield. In order to go commercial with this project a new company called Multimorphic is formed. Read all the details on Pinballnews.com.
Marsaplay is another Spanish manufacturer who released their New Canasta game last year. In Spain they sold over 500 units. At the moment they seem to be working on a new model. Marsaplay is also looking for distributors outside of Spain for their games.
John Popadiuk, designer of games like ‘World Cup Soccer‘, ‘Theatre of Magic‘ and ‘Tales of the Arabian nights‘, updates on Pinball Inventor about his activities and is working on (at least) 2 limited edition projects. The first announced project is a pinball machine called ‘Magic Girl‘ and will be produced in a limited quantity of 19 units. For the second project John is working with Ben Heckendorf for their ‘Ben Heck’s Zombie Adventureland‘, which will be a limited run of 99 (+ 25 special Cointaker Editions) games.
Pinball designer Dennis Nordman and artist Greg Freres have formed Whizbang Pinball. Their first project is called ‘Whoa Nellie! Big Juicy Lemons’ and is a redesigned electro mechanical pinball machine. Only 4 games have been build and sold.
There are rumours going around they may do a new Elvira ‘Mistress of the dark’ pinball machine. Whether that will be for Whizbang, or for Jersey Jack Pinball, is currently not known. In Spooky Pinball podcast 15.5 Elvira has mentioned she loves to do a new pinball but only wants to work with the team of Dennis and Greg. However, since Greg has recently accepted a artist/designer function at Stern it remains to be seen if there will be more Whizbang pinball machines.
Skit B Pinball are currently working on a Predator pinball machine. Their prototype game has been displayed at shows and a limited edition run of 250 units already sold out.
Retropinball have been re-making Gottlieb’s King of Diamonds pinball machine with updated electronics.