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What’s Next for American Pinball?

This week, I’ve been gazing into my crystal ball and writing about what I believe is coming up next for the various manufacturers in pinball. I’ve already done Stern and Jersey Jack. Today I’m going to talk about American Pinball.

I thought about not writing this one, because the last time I wrote about AP some people were pretty upset and certain podcasters almost encouraged them to sue me (thanks Final Round). However, I strongly believe everything I have said now and in the past to be true.

OK, so what’s going on at American? Despite the deep pockets of its parent company Aimtron, money seems to be getting very tight there. They’ve laid off a couple of employees recently as part of cutbacks.

Having said this, I think that things are looking up for AP IF they can get their next game ready by the fall AND it is well received by the public. Those are obviously big ifs.

AP is circling the wagons and has all hands on deck in an attempt to get several prototype copies of its next game, Cuphead - designed by Ryan McQuaid (first revealed by Kaneda’s Pinball Podcast), ready by the Chicago Pinball Expo in October.

Much like its former game Hot Wheels, to me AP is at its best when it has readymade assets for its games rather than having to use its small staff to create all of the video from scratch like they did on Barry O’s BBQ Challenge. Ryan McQuaid’s Sonic the Hedgehog homebrew game was beloved by the public and had a lot of cool shots in it. I'm hoping that the stars align for American on this one. Time will tell.

If Cuphead is well received, I’ve heard from multiple people that American has a real banger of a theme lined up next in the pipeline. I’ve been saying since July that I believe AP has the He-Man license secured and has already begun work on the game.

From what I can tell from reading people’s comments on-line and speaking with folks, Masters of the Universe (MOTU) is a super desired theme for pinball. If it is true that AP has this license, and it makes sense since Mattel owns the rights to Hot Wheels and MOTU, it would be a giant win for the company and in my humble opinion by far the best theme that they have made a game for yet.

So that’s the deal right now with AP as I understand it. What people don’t seem to get when they threaten me for writing what I believe to be the truth about American Pinball is I’m rooting for the company. I want them to be successful. People who read my site regularly know that I’ve been nicer to AP and given them more free publicity than probably anyone out there.

It’s always darkest before the storm. If AP can get their ducks in a row and have a cool game ready for Expo they can turn things around after what had to be disappointing sales for them of their last two releases BBQ Challenge and Galactic Tank Force.

I feel the need to add the following disclaimer here after what happened the last time I wrote about them…

“The information on this website is of a general and informative nature. Although this website has been compiled with the utmost care, no assurance can be given with regard to the accuracy or completeness of data and information provided on this website, or with regard to its suitability for any purpose, situation or use.  


The information on this website is intended for general information purposes. The author may not be held liable for any damages, losses or other consequences that may result from the use of information or data contained on this website.”

Here’s what I wrote back in July.

He-Man & the Masters of the Universe Pinball is Coming, but Not From Stern

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AP did OK with original IP like Houdini and Oktoberfest. But GTF was a love it or hate it title (more to the hate side, evidently) and they've really hit the skids with Barry O.

When they get a license though it seems to focus them and take away their worst impulses to make terrible dad-joke games.

Cuphead and He-Man are absolutely banger themes and I'm optimistic AP will do well with them as it did with Hot Wheels, a totally underrated game and terrifically fun to play.

That said, if AP blow Cuphead and/or He-Man, they're dead to me. I can forget Barry-O BBQ, but it would be hard to forgive messing up He-Man or an IP like Cuphead.


Maik Rog
Maik Rog
Jun 01

I Like API too. My HotWheels is in my oppinion one of the best Pins ever made. Only to own Stern Pinballs is boring for me. My next Pin can be GTC. Go API!


Hey man, you keep doing your thing brother. Some people don't like to hear the truth, and they'll do anything in their power to stop you- threaten you, hurl insults, threaten cancelation etc., I mean look at what they're trying to do with Trump now just because he's being honest they're trying to shut him down. Stay true brother, much love in pin and always stay positive and honest-

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