The arcade as we once knew it is dead, but pinball is making a comeback–at least according to the companies who make the machines.
The BBC’s Paul Rubens reports:
Gary Stern, president of Stern Pinball – the only company that has been manufacturing pinball machines continuously over the last decade – confirms the trend.
“We’ve seen sales up by 30% in the last year, so there is absolutely a resurgence in interest,” he says.
Now Stern has competition from a few newcomers. Andrew Heighway, managing director for U.K.-based Heighway Pinball, says pinball smartphone apps and console games have sparked interest in the real thing.
The article notes that prices on used machines have shot up lately as well, and cites a U.K. pinball repair man who says business is booming.
I do wonder who’s buying the new machines. It’s not really a comeback unless pinball starts becoming a mainstay in bars and casual restaurants. As for home use, going from a $1 smartphone app to a $5,000 machine is a pretty big leap for most people. But even if pinball isn’t in the midst of a full-blown resurgence, “not in danger of extinction” is still good enough for me.