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Pinball Arcade is losing rights to Bally and Williams tables (1 Viewer)

Steve Y

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Public Service Announcement for pinball fans:

As of June 30th, 2018, Farsight, the developer of the digital pinball simulation Pinball Arcade, will lose the rights to its Bally and Williams tables and will no longer offer them for purchase via their Pinball Arcade platform. The tables going away are:

The Addams Family, Attack from Mars, Banzai Run, Black Knight, Black Knight 2000, Black Rose, Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Cactus Canyon, Centaur, The Champion Pub, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Cyclone, Diner, Doctor Who, Dr. Dude & HIs Excellent Ray, Earthshaker, Eight Ball Deluxe, Elvira and the Party Monsters, F-14 Tomcat, Fathom, Fireball, Firepower, Firepower II, Fish Tales, Fun House, The Getaway: High Speed 2, Gorgar, High Speed, Hurricane, Indianapolis 500, Jack Bot, Judge Dredd, Junk Yard, The Machine: Bride of PinBot, Medieval Madness, Monster Bash, No Fear: Dangerous Sports, No Good Gofers, Paragon, The Party Zone, PinBot, Red and Ted’s Road Show, Safe Cracker, Elvira: Scared Stiff, Sorcerer, Space Shuttle, Spanish Eyes, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Swords Of Fury, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Taxi, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Theatre of Magic, Twilight Zone, White Water, Whirlwind, WHO Dunnit, Wild Card, World Champion Soccer, and Xenon.

So basically all the best tables. People who already own them will still be able to play them, and they say development on these tables will continue. I, for one, think Farsight's development has been clumsy at best, negligent at worse, but they have a true love for pinball, and Pinball Arcade is still the best way to play these classic tables digitally.

I had a heck of a time purchasing these tables on console due to the confusing/buggy nature of how the DLC is named, offered, and applied. Be careful if you decide to purchase. Right now there are 7 "seasons," with each season containing a bundle of around 10 tables. The Bally/Williams tables listed above are scattered across all seasons. Unless you're only interested in a few, buying in season bundles (not to be confused with "packs") is probably the most efficient way to pick them all up. Seasons are $30 each, or $40 for "Pro" versions that let you access operator menus.
 

Ruz-El

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I can't imagine they will survive without those licenses, but who knows? Support is spotty at best. I broke down and bought the seasons I was missing since it was clear (they stated on Facebook) that there would be no sales as they are not allowed to offer sales due to their agreement with Bally/Williams.

Supposedly Season 8 will mostly be tables from the Stern Arcade that they put out separate. I never purchased those so, I wonder if they will be free transfers to those who have?
 

John Dirk

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If I saw a real world pinball machine I would probably stop and look. If it were of the Williams variety [amazing back in the day] I might even drop some quarters. Oh the memories.
 

Bryan^H

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Gorgar, and Eight Ball Deluxe are my two favorite pinball games. This is terrible news, and I'm not sure how Farsight lost the rights. It looks like I will be getting a new IPad(my 5 year old model wont last forever, and that is what I have Pinball Arcade installed on) , and buying all the tables for my PS4 before they are gone. No way I'm going to lose the option to play these.

Will the leaderboards for the tables disappear too?
 

Steve Y

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Supposedly Season 8 will mostly be tables from the Stern Arcade that they put out separate. I never purchased those so, I wonder if they will be free transfers to those who have?

I wouldn't count on it. I couldn't even transfer my tables from my old iPad to my new one. Unlike Zen Pinball, another series of original (and and fantastical) tables, Farsight doesn't have the technology or the inclination (or both) to restore or transfer purchases. They always just make you buy them again.

Will the leaderboards for the tables disappear too?

Farsight maintains that they will continue development of these tables for people that own them, so I would assume that the leaderboards will remain intact, but their track record on this is spotty (at best).

The PS4 versions of these tables are really quite good, though. They don't have the slowdown or some of the more egregious lighting glitches plaguing earlier incarnations. While I can't endorse paying around $300 for the complete set, pinball maniacs like me don't really have any other options except going to the local Pinball Museum or waiting for the California Extreme expo to come around again.
 

Bryan^H

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While I can't endorse paying around $300 for the complete set, pinball maniacs like me don't really have any other options except going to the local Pinball Museum or waiting for the California Extreme expo to come around again.

I don't know If I'm going to re-purchase all of them. I know which ones I love, and those I don't care for. Being a completionsist doesn't make sense at this point.

My favorites of all time:

1. Eight Ball Deluxe

2. Gorgar

3. Taxi

4. Fathom

5. High Speed

6. Phantom Of The Opera

7. Dracula

8. Cactus Jack's

9. Cactus Canyon

10. Black Rose

By the way Steve, thanks for the information. This might have slipped right by me until it was too late had I not seen your thread:thumbs-up-smiley:
 

Ruz-El

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Another thing, curious how this will effect tournaments after June 30? I don't typically compete in them since I'm pretty terrible at all the tables, but its a big draw for some. Would they include the discontinued tables? It would make sense not too so as not to isolate new players.

It's a real mess.
 

Steve Y

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It's a real mess.

I suspect Farsight, which is full of hardworking, dedicated pinball fanatics, got too ambitious and took on too many development platforms. On top of that, they created a user interface, account system, and DLC model that is... less than ideal. Zen Studios' Pinball FX series, by contrast, allowed users to transfer their tables from PS3 to PS4 at no cost, and from FX2 to FX3 at no cost (on PC or console). Although Zen lost the rights to some IPs in the transition, they handled it more gracefully.

It's remarkable Farsight were able to negotiate the rights they did, like using Arnold's voice in Terminator 2: Judgement Day (which required a separate negotiation from the franchise rights, with help from a Kickstarter campaign). They also handled the Christopher Lloyd debacle for Addams Family with great class. Considering the uphill struggle of development, it's kind of a miracle these tables exist at all.

On a light note, here are my top 5 tables from this set:
  • Medieval Madness (great comedy in this one, and loaded with features)
  • The Addams Family (all-time classic)
  • Fun House (creepy and unforgettable)
  • The Machine: Bride of PinBot (like Ms. Pac-Man, it's better than the original)
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation (has all the cast voices, feels like Star Trek!)
 

Gary Seven

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Too bad.. I thought they did a pretty good job on the ball physics compared to that other company. I played many of those digitized tables back in the day... even a few of the old ones with the analog spinner scores. A friend of mine had the STNG table some 20 years ago.
 

Brian Kidd

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That is, indeed, too bad. Although their tables were on the pricey side, they were usually top-notch recreations of the tables I remember from my youth. It felt like real pinball, unlike the Pinball FX tables. Many of them are fun, don't get me wrong, but I'm always aware that the tables would never work in the real world. That was what was so amazing about pinball machines at their height. They are incredibly difficult to design to be both entertaining and fair enough that you don't want to smash the glass. Some of the tables in the early-90's were mechanical marvels.
 

Ruz-El

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That is, indeed, too bad. Although their tables were on the pricey side, they were usually top-notch recreations of the tables I remember from my youth. It felt like real pinball, unlike the Pinball FX tables. Many of them are fun, don't get me wrong, but I'm always aware that the tables would never work in the real world. That was what was so amazing about pinball machines at their height. They are incredibly difficult to design to be both entertaining and fair enough that you don't want to smash the glass. Some of the tables in the early-90's were mechanical marvels.

I agree with you on the Zen/Pinball FX tables, it's why I never got into them. They feel more like arcade games than pinball, if that makes sense. Who knows if they will pick up the williams license. Their tables always feel squashed, it would be weird to play a williams table like that.
 

Bryan^H

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I have always been a fan of the early "solid state" machines(I still want Sea Witch) but some of the 90's machines are amazing.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Actually, now that you mention it, that Atari one does sound familiar!
 

BobO'Link

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Video Pinball was my first.


I had that one too. Spent hours playing it. I think I still have it - but haven't looked at the 2600 in quite a few years...
This one, David's Midnight Magic was the gold standard for years :)


And this one for my Atari 800... Good stuff! I had a composite monitor and had to recable it to see color on that and "Pinball Construction" as they used artifacting to get colors out of the set.
 
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