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The Next Three Releases From Stern Pinball...My Final Answer

Remember the television gameshow from the early 2000s that was hosted by Regis Philbin, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? In the show, contestants had to answer increasingly difficult trivia questions in exchange for increasingly large sums of money. Along the way, they could use a few "Lifelines" for help on questions that stumped them. To borrow some vernacular from the show, over the past couple of weeks I have sort of "phoned a friend" aka spoken with a lot of people in the hobby about what's next.


This post is specifically about Stern Pinball, but I will have a couple more about other manufacturers in the near future. Over the past couple of weeks, I've written a few articles here talking about a 70th Anniversary Godzilla machine and a Metallica Remake with various educated guesses about what they will be like and when we will see them. I think that I am ready for my "Final Answer" on Stern Pinball's upcoming game releases. During the remainder of 2024 we will see the following from Stern:


  1. In July (as hinted at on The Pinball Show Podcast) Stern will release a 70th Anniversary Godzilla Premium pinball machine with a new Black and White art package that contains pops of color, along the lines of Elvira's House of Horrors Blood Red Kiss Edition. Around the same time as this new machine launches, Stern will release a new code update for Godzilla for all owners, which will include among other things an update to the game's Final Wizard mode.

  2. This Fall, around the time of the Chicago Pinball Expo Stern will reveal the long-rumored (I believe that it was first mentioned by Kaneda's Pinball Podcast many months ago) remake of its popular 2013 game Metallica. There's been a lot of talk in the hobby about how different a new Metallica might be. Would it be an entirely new game or a straight Vault with few changes? From what I'm hearing, the new Metallica will be a Premium model that has the exact same layout as the previous one. Of course, the game will be updated with an LCD screen instead of a dot matrix display. I still don't know what sort of assets will be on said screen though. The game will also have Insider Connected (sweet, new achievements to shoot for). While the Metallica playfield will be basically the same, there will likely be some cosmetic changes to the Snake and to Sparky. The talk for a long time has been that John Borg is working on Metallica and that it will be Stern's first game on its new, more powerful "Spike 3" system.

  3. Game number three will launch at the very end of 2024, or possibly the very beginning of 2025, much like Stern did with its JAWS release. Now I did not personally see this, but the chatter during the recent Stern Factory tour was that someone saw a bin of parts that showed the code name for a game called "Rodeo" (much like how John Wick's Code Name was "Waffles"). I strongly believe that Rodeo is a theme that was initially mentioned in a thread on Pinside earlier this year, X-Men '97. Given how Jack Danger was running around hiding things while we were on the factory tour, I suspect that he is the X-Men '97 designer. For a while I thought that Stern's next cornerstone game would be the also long-rumored title Pokemon, but the talk amongst various people is that while that game is coming it will be at least after X-Men and possibly further down the line than that.


I don't want to take credit for all of these rumors when at least two of the three of them originated elsewhere, so I sourced them whenever possible. For this article, I was more of an aggregator of all of the information that's floating around out there. I've been conditioned to sift through tons of information and separate the wheat from the chaff so to speak in my real job, so that's sort of what I've done here.


Remember these are all educated guesses based upon a ton of conversations that I've had and reading that I've done on various social media pages and forums. I reserve the right to be wrong, though I think that this info is pretty good :).


It looks like I'm going to have to re-up my Disney Plus subscription and watch me some X-Men before the end of the year. What are your thoughts on the upcoming games, if this is what they are? If you have heard any different rumors, do tell! This stuff is fun to talk about.



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9 Comments


XM97 sounds like the next possible game of interest! Funds are safe for the summer.

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I'd be interested in an X-Men '97 for a used Venom Pro price.

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Replying to

Or a used Venom Pro at a '97 price

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I really wish Stern would make Jonny Quest. Many modes and playfield toys to use


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Dare I say X-men ‘97 will have a DANGER room?


Day one buy if it’s Jack and this title.

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I can’t wait for X-Men ‘97. Might have to break my rule of no more NIB.

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JeffS
JeffS
May 27
Replying to

How do you feel about Stern’s X-men from 2008? I liked how jam packed it was and it is an early Borg design.

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