I recently had a chance to speak with Antonio Ortuño of Quetzal Pinball, designer of Bitronic's first pinball machine Super Hoop. He has been helping the company rebuild after the recent fire, that I first reported here the other day. He was kind enough to provide us with an update on what happened, the company's rebuild status and even a sneak peek at what possibly will be Bitronic's second game.
Bitronic's Spanish factory is 9,000 square meters, broken down into five major sections. On August 4th, one of the laser machines in the printing section in the corner of the factory caught on fire. Almost everything inside the printing room burned or was damaged, but the firefighters arrived quickly enough to contain the fire. The Super Hoop playfields that were stored in the room next to the printing room did not burn, but they experienced major damage from ashes, high temperatures and the moisture caused by putting out the fire.
Bitronic has begun the process of rebuilding. The factory's roof has already been repaired and the rest of the factory has been cleaned several times. New machines have been purchased for the printing section and are currently in the process of being installed and configured.
The timeline for restarting Super Hoop production that I mentioned in my previous article was derived from speaking with distributors. This is straight from the horse's mouth. If possible Bitronic plans to restart cutting and printing Super Hoop Playfields next week. Bitronic hopes to begin building Super Hoop machines in ten days, but that timeline might be a little optimistic. The current plan is to ship the next batch of Super Hoop machines by the end of October. Of course to a large degree this timeline is dependent upon Bitronic's ability to get electronic components from suppliers, which like for most pinball manufacturers lately, has been difficult.
Once the current run of Super Hoop machines is complete, Bitronic's planned second pinball machine is Quetzal's really cool Tokyo Perfect Drift. They showed off this game several years ago and it was very well received. It will be very exciting to see it go into production. The timeline for the planned release of the second game has obviously been pushed way back by the fire, but it is still coming.
Below are several pictures of the Bitronic pinball rebuild in process from this weekend and a look at Tokyo Perfect Drift.