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Stern Pinball: The Truth About Guns; Hunger Games Pinball; Cabinet Redesign; Are DMD Vaults Happening?; New Designer Coming

Updated: 5 days ago

Fresh on the heels of Stern Pinball’s gameplay debut of John Wick pinball, Joel Engleberth with Flip N Out Pinball’s YouTube channel just dropped an absolutely amazing interview with Stern’s EVP / Chief Creative Officer George Gomez.


this interview was jam packed with great information.


Right off the bat George addressed the whole controversy surrounding the lack of guns shown in the art for John Wick. The choice not to include guns in the art on the game was not a political stance by Stern.


Every licensed John Wick toy that’s out today that has a gun has disclaimers on it that says must be over 18 or whatever. The John Wick graphic novels and video games have mature audience ratings.


Since pinball machines are going into commercial locations and don’t have ratings they are classified for all ages. The rightsholder to the John Wick movies, Lionsgate imposed restrictions that none of the static art on the game can show guns. People don’t see the video assets until they’ve made a conscious choice to play the pinball machine. Therefore, guns are allowed in the video assets. Also, some of the individual actors from the films who had to be licensed individually did not want to be depicted in anything outside the film with guns.


Now that the elephant in the room has been discussed, let’s get into all of the other amazing tidbits from the interview, appropriately in bullet point form 😂


  • Stern Pinball started making a Hunger Games pinball machine but the licensor was so restrictive that Stern decided to walk away from development. 😮


  • John Wick has a “super cool” topper that’s already developed.


  • Stern Pinball will sell OEM speaker light kits for Premium and Pro models like in the Limited Edition models, but without the cutouts. They will eventually be available on Jaws and John Wick. All LE games going forward will have speaker lights from the factory.


  • A cabinet redesign is coming from Stern along with Spike 3 as part of its platform refresh.


  • Given all of the flack that they’ve been given about Venom, Stern was surprised that Insider Connected data shows that it’s one of the highest earning games out right now. Stranger Things is another standout earner.


  • Stern is working hard to shorten the distance between game launches and accessory launches. The goal is to eventually have them very close together.


  • Of the most requested vault games by consumers, Lord of the Rings is the toughest one for Stern to make because it is three generations of hardware ago - Whitestar. Also, that license would have to be renegotiated from scratch. Ghostbusters is “maybe doable.” TRON is also “maybe doable.” George said that he and a lot of other people at Stern would really love to do a TRON Vault. Maybe Spike 3 will give them the power to do it. To me, it sounds like the most likely old game to be vaulted.


  • Raymond Davidson is going to get a shot at being a lead game designer soon.


Below are embedded videos of the interview and the first John Wick gameplay stream for your viewing pleasure.





2,438 views12 comments

12 Comments


Brad Severin
Brad Severin
4 days ago

Sometimes the choice is hard. Make Venom that doesn't sell, or LOTR that will sell

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Paul Dakessian
Paul Dakessian
4 days ago

What do we think the stern cabinet redesign is going to be?

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Paul Dakessian
Paul Dakessian
3 days ago
Replying to

Thanks!

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Manoj Mohan
Manoj Mohan
5 days ago

Please tron please!

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Hunger Games became WWE

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Jason
Jason
5 days ago
Replying to

Interesting. I did not know that.

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Walt Wood
Walt Wood
6 days ago

If Stern can walk away from hunger games they should've walked away from john wick also and gone back to the idea board, plenty of themes out there

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