The Latest American Pinball News & Factory Tour
After a quiet holiday weekend pinball and arcade news-wise, here's a great way to start off the week...Pintastic New England just uploaded the first video replay of their pinball seminar series to YouTube and it's a good one. In Eipsode 1, American Pinball's David Fix, Ryan McQuaid and Steve Bowden share all sorts of awesome information about the company, including the first ever video tour of the company's production facility. They seem like a great group of people and are super easy to root for.
- First up in the seminar is the video tour. It gives us an excellent behind the scenes look at American Pinball and its facilities.
- Both Legends of Valhalla and Oktoberfest are currently on the line at AP. Once the current run of Oktoberfests is complete, Houdini will go back into production and then Hot Wheels. I like how the company has the flexibility to not only produce multiple titles at the same time, but also is willing to revisit earlier games in their catalog.
- Even more impressive, in the next couple of weeks, American Pinball is installing a third assembly line.
- American Pinball is currently working using a 12-month development cycle, meaning that it's approximately one year from initial concept to production. The company currently has several games in various stages of development. American has not released a new game yet because David Fix believes that he owes it to customers who have purchased a Legends of Valhalla (LOV) Limited Edition machine to get them their games before rolling out anything new. Once that is done, the next game will be launched. The company should be done producing the LOV LEs in the next month to two months. Look for the next title after that.
- American Pinball is targeting the fall for the release of its next game. The company is planning on doing another "street launch" for the game, similar to what it did with the Legends of Valhalla where the game will be unveiled at several prominent arcades across the country for the public to play simultaneously. Interestingly, American Pinball does not charge the arcades that are selected for the street launch until six months after they have received their games and it has been earning on location.
- Barry Oursler finished development of a game that he was working on at Deeproot for American Pinball in only six months. American is Definitely producing that game soon, though it is not the company's next pinball machine. The normal royalty proceeds from that game will go to Barry's wife. That machine is rumored to be "Food Truck" but Barry was working on six games at Deeproot (in only three years) so it is possible that it is a different theme.
- As has been talked about numerous times, Ryan McQuaid - designer of the super popular homebrew pinball machine Sonic Spinball, is now working for American Pinball. It is also well known that another pinball company swooped in and scooped up the license for a Sonic the Hedgehog pinball from American Pinball so that they now cannot produce Ryan's game. In the seminar, David Fix stated he believes that neither Stern Pinball nor Jersey Jack Pinball have the license. With AP, Stern and JJP out of the mix, who has the Sonic license? In my personal opinion, stealing the Sonic license out from under American and Ryan was not cool and the move runs the risk of backfiring by generating considerable ill will.
A special tanks to my friend and Pintastic volunteer, Derek Karamanian, for giving me the heads up about the YouTube videos. Pintastic will post a new seminar video every Tuesday. Here's the upcoming lineup:
1) American Pinball Update and factory tour.
2) Scorbit update.
3) Jersey Jack Pinball Update
4) Roger Sharpe - What if WMS Pinball stayed intact?
5) Late Breaking News segments like Project Pinball update, Shipmypinball fuel surcharges, etc.
6) Kris Medina NYC League update with remembering Al Cihak.
7) Ryan Zlomek talking about Skill Shot Arcade and the future generation of pinball.
8) Podcasters panel.
9) Jim Patla fireside chat.
10) Modifying a Dual-Mode Add-A-Ball to use both modes.
11) Backbox Pinball Podcast seminar.
12) TNT Amusements talk about Pinball Mods.
13) Eric Stone - How to Play Pinball
14) Homebrew maker seminar.
Below are the American Pinball presentation and a bunch of cool screen captures from it. If you're interested in what the awesome Pintastic show is like, I've included a link to my write-up of the last one, held in December 2021. I unfortunately couldn't make the recent show because my youngest son had a lacrosse tournament that weekend (they won the championship :) ) and then I caught COVID and couldn't even attend that LOL. Hopefully I'll make the next one.
2021 Pintastic New England Game Room Show Wrap-Up: Vids, Pics & More