Speculation as to what to expect in 2019

Happy New Year GIF by Matthew Butler

Before we dive into our 2019 predictions, lets check out how we did with our 2018 predictions last January!  Here is our prediction article for 2018.  We were pretty close on most manufacturers except for Jersey Jack Pinball (way off!).

Ready to speculate for 2019??  Ok here we go!

Stern Pinball

First lets take a look at the recent titles of the last couple years from Stern:

In 2017:

  • Aerosmith was announced in January
  • AC/DC Vault Edition was announced in mid-May
  • Star Wars was announced at the end of May
  • Guardians of the Galaxy was announced at the end of October

In 2018:

  • AC/DC Luci Vault Edition was announced in January
  • Supreme Pinball was announced in February
  • Iron Maiden was revealed in April
  • Deadpool revealed in August
  • Beatles was revealed at the end of October
  • Primus Pinball was revealed at the end of November

So what do we expect in 2019?  We can expect at least three new cornerstone titles from Stern, plus likely a new Ka-Pow title and possibly a Vault Edition.  Obviously we know The Munsters is coming.  We know Steve Ritchie is working on a game.  We know Elvira 3 has been waiting for a coder.  We know Christopher Franchi is working a multiple pinball projects.

But what titles will we see?  Stern has done a good job of shutting down some of their leaks, so we don’t have as good of guesses this year as we’ve had in previous years.  After The Munsters, other rumors are Black Knight 3000 designed by Steve Ritchie, Elvira 3 designed by Dennis Nordman and coded by…Lyman Sheats?  Superman 1978, Beetlejuice, and Godzilla are all on the radar as well.  TWIP is also guessing there is at least one BIG license that has not made it to our TWIP “rumors list” yet, that we may see released in 2019.  And what is Brian Eddy working on??

Jersey Jack Pinball

Jersey Jack did not reveal any pinball machines in 2018, and the previous two years they had revealed a machine at Expo in October.  In 2016 it was Dialed In!, in 2017 it was Pirates of the Caribbean.  Their next two titles are rumored to be Willy Wonka and Toy Story, with Guns n’ Roses also on the radar.  Jersey Jack has stated repeatedly that they plan to close the time significantly between when they reveal a machine and when it is shipped to customers.  Pirates of the Caribbean has seen long delays between reveal and shipping.  These delay times in shipping have likely allowed other machines that are in development to be quite far along.

Willy Wonka is rumored to be a standard body, designed by Pat Lawlor, with a goal of a reveal at the Texas Pinball Festival in March.  The next Toy Story movie comes out June 20th, 2019.  We’ve heard that after the movie comes out, they have a goal to release Toy Story as close to that date as they can.

Recently, Jack Guarnieri shared on the Special When Lit Holiday Podcast Episode “…2019 will bring more than one game from Jersey Jack Pinball.”  Will Jersey Jack be able to overcome any manufacturing hurdles and reveal and ship two HUGE licenses in 2019?

Chicago Gaming Company

Last year Chicago Gaming had planned to announce game #3 (Monster Bash Remake) at the Texas Pinball Festival in March, but it wasn’t announced until October.  Similar to Jersey Jack Pinball, the delays for Chicago Gaming Company may have allowed them to move other machines in development a ways down the road to ready them for manufacturing.  They have also teased several games that may be remade at some point, including Cactus Canyon, Big Bang Bar, Theatre of Magic, and more.

TWIP is going to predict we will see TWO games revealed from Chicago Gaming Company in 2019.  First Cactus Canyon, and then…Theatre of Magic (?) late in the year.

Spooky Pinball

Spooky announced Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle at the Texas Pinball Festival in March.  Between Total Nuclear Annihilation and ACNC, Spooky manufacturing has been quite busy in 2018 and have their hands full for 2019 as they switch to producing more Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castles.  We know Scott Danesi is working on game #2, which Charlie Emery recently commented on Special When Lit that he predicts “[Scott’s] second game – will be better than his first“.  Is Danesi’s next game going to be next for Spooky Pinball, and will it be revealed in 2019?  Our guess is…yes and yes.

American Pinball

American Pinball will be busy in 2019 manufacturing and shipping Oktoberfest Pinball, which was revealed at Expo last fall.  They’ve been silent on their third title, although they have teased on Facebook that they may be ready to give some hints.  American also shared they will be in a new home in 2019, with a larger manufacturing facility and a line they can dedicate to contract manufacturing.

Interestingly, on the Special When Lit Pinball Podcast, Nirmal Vasani, Sales And Marketing Specialist at American Pinball, predicted: In 2019 American Pinball is going to double our work force and our throughput, and maintain the excellent production quality we’ve been known for.

The timing of reveal for their third machine will likely be based on Oktoberfest sales and the success of the contract manufacturing line.  It will be an interesting year for American Pinball!

deeproot Pinball

deeproot Pinball may be the most intriguing company of 2019.  Big expectations but no production so far and a lot of doubt in the industry.  Will we see a pinball machine from deeproot Pinball in 2019?  TWIP predicts yes, multiple machines, and the machines released and deeproot will make a huge impact on the pinball industry.

Multimorphic (P3)

Multimorphic’s P3 started shipping in 2017 with Lexy Lightspeed – Escape From Earth, along with Cannon Lagoon, ROCs, Barnyard, and Lexy Lightspeed – Secret Agent Showdown.  Then last year they came out with Cosmic Cart Racing.  Recently on the Special When Lit Pinball Podcast, Gerry Stellenberg, the founder of Multimorphic shared: “I predict that in 2019, we’ll see at least one and maybe two more full custom p-roc based pinball games going into mass production.  It is going to be a fantastic year for the evolution of pinball.” Looking forward to seeing more on this platform in 2019.

Homepin

Homepin is shipping Thunderbirds currently, and has teased their second title a bit, which is supposed to be geared towards the Chinese market.  We should learn more about their second title in 2019.

Circus Maximus

Circus Maximus is working on a Kingpin remake, with Python’s Pinball Circus following.  They’ve been fairly quiet on this title, but is it possible they are working with a certain Chicago-area company to mass produce the Kingpins?  We should hear more soon!

Dutch Pinball

Even if they win their lawsuit against ARA, how do they build the rest of The Big Lebowskis without a significant capital injection?

Pinball Brothers

Rumored to have several machines partially developed including a Queen license, this company has been quiet since the fall of Heighway Pinball.  Will we hear from them in 2019?


Are we too optimistic for 2019?  Let us know your thoughts at thisweekinpinball@gmail.com!



5 Questions

Will companies get past manufacturing delays and manufacturing challenges in 2019?

What impact will the looming recession have on the pinball industry?  Will we see consolidation or mergers?

Can contract manufacturing (see: American Pinball) take off?

Can pinball be successful in new markets (new countries, lower prices, different segments of the population) in 2019?

Will online connectivity be a game changer in 2019?

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