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Stern Pinball’s Sales Have Grown 15-20% Annually Since 2008

Updated: May 17, 2023

The business publication The Economist published an article about pinball earlier this week that I've been curious about for days. Alas, the article was for registered users only. Fortunately for us, I just remembered that I actually used to subscribe to The Economist (don't knock it until you try it. It's interesting for business stuff) so I logged in to see what they had to say about our beloved hobby.


The most interesting part to me was the following statement from Stern Pinball's Zach Sharpe:


Sales of new machines have risen by 15-20% every year since 2008, says Zach Sharpe, of Stern Pinball, which after WMS closed became the last remaining major maker. "We have not looked back," he says. Next year the firm is moving to a new factory, twice the size of its current one, in the north-west suburbs of Chicago.


That's some pretty serious growth.


Zach's brother, IFPA President Josh Sharpe, went on to add that the number of IFPA-sanctioned pinball tournaments has quadrupled since 2014 to 8,300 in 2022.


Beyond that, the article is pretty short and doesn't contain many other statistics, but those two sure are interesting. Below is a link to the article for anyone who's interested:


Pinball is booming in America, thanks to nostalgia and canny marketing


A generations-old game makes a comeback




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