Interview with Josh Sharpe, Dutch Pinball, Code Updates, One of a Kind Twilight Zone


— What Else is Happening in Pinball —

Josh Sharpe Joins Pinball Profile

Josh Sharpe was on Pinball Profile with Jeff Teolis last week, and shared some insight into how manufacturing and timing of releases work at Raw Thrills.  This could also explain why we see some Stern pinball machines ship with code further along than other games:

PP: When they launched Iron Maiden with the teaser at the PAPA Circuit event, I said that’s the way its going to go from now on. You’re going to come out with a teaser, you’re going to come out immediately with Jack Danger and the Dead Flip stream, and you’re going to see the game and it is going to ship that week and it is almost full of code – I bet that is the new norm now for games.

Josh: Maybe. Remember, pinball is a manufacturing business, so everything is all great and on schedule – and we see this at Raw Thrills too – a game has to be on the line. Full stop. That is the business. If you can do reruns, awesome. If you can sell the current game, awesome. If there is no demand for anything in the catalog, guess what? Next game is up. It doesn’t matter where it is at in development. The good news is that Stern’s catalog right now is awesome. So they should hopefully be giving themselves enough runway for the upcoming games to be pretty fleshed out.

PP: I wonder what the fine line is as far as momentum – I know you can’t speak on behalf of Stern, but even for Raw Thrills. If you’ve got a hot hot game, you can’t make them as fast as the orders are going out, what do you do with production of the next game? Do you hold back as far as releasing it because you don’t want to kill that kind of buzz? I’m thinking of Iron Maiden, this is one of the hottest games in the last – say 10 years from everything I’ve heard. I’m sure the next game is going to be fantastic, but there is some momentum right now.

Josh: I am assuming Stern follows our logic. If you have a winner you can run with, just beat the hell out of it. Because what happens is, on the production side too, if you can setup and have those line workers building the same thing over and over again and not switching between games, the quality is way better. We’re seeing with our Halo game right now that just started two weeks ago…we pretty much shut down our factory for five weeks to build just Halo because the demand for it is so nuts, and it is 24/7, we’re not building any other product.

PP: Even if you have another one ready to go, if you have one ready to go, you wait?

Josh: We do. We have another game ready to go. It will come on the line whenever is necessary, but right now it is not necessary.

Listen to the full interview here!

Dutch Pinball Newsletter

Dutch Pinball released a newsletter update last week:

It is holiday time and our attorney is on holidays until end of August. He really deserves a good holiday since he wrote a very long and detailed reply to ARA (141 pages).

A week after sending this reply, the attorney of ARA called our attorney that ARA is willing to talk about an ‘out of court’ solution. We also are willing to talk and there will be a meeting between the attorneys after their holidays (on August 29th) to see if there’s a possible solution. Could this mean that we go back to ARA again as our Contract Manufacturer..? Could be… It’s too soon to tell… We don’t know yet but we will keep you informed when we know more.

In the last couple of weeks we also received some requests for refunds. The answer we now have to give is terrible but simple: we can’t. We are short on cash. We started selling playfields and other parts to be able to make some money to pay our attorney. Also: we didn’t pay any salary to ourselves since January 2018.

We know it sucks, but we want to ask you to be patient once more. There might be a solution on the horizon and the only thing you can do right now is cross your fingers and stick together. We, Barry and Jaap, still believe there will be a positive outcome to all of this. We won’t give up. We keep on doing everything we can to deliver this beautiful game to you!

Requesting refunds, suing, calling Roger, Xytech, ARA, whatever companies involved will only make things worse and will almost certainly result in bankruptcy and that would mean no money, no refunds, no games no nothing for anyone. The best thing you can do is to wait and trust us and our attorney.

We also received some questions about the license and if Roger Sharpe is still involved. Yes, Roger Sharpe is still involved, and yes, we still have the license.

Be assured that as soon as we have any news we can share we will send an update.

All of our very best,

Barry and Jaap

It is still difficult to see this working out but we hope the people who are owed machines or refunds will receive one or the other.

Happy 100th Birthday Wayne Neyens!

Wayne Neyens, famed Gottlieb pinball designer, celebrated his 100th birthday on July 29th!  To see Pinside’s list of 177 (!) pinball machines he has played a role in designing, click here.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY WAYNE!

The Mafia Public Reveal Announced

The Mafia pinball machine from Team Pinball will make its exclusive public reveal at UK Pinfest:

The UK Pinfest takes place August 25th and 26th – get more info here!

Code Code Code

Stern announced a bunch of code updates this week!  Check out the details:

  • Batman ’66 – version 0.93, includes two new minor villain modes, additional polish, enhancements and bug fixes (details!)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – version 1.03, includes bug fixes and system updates (details!)
  • Star Wars – version 1.05, includes system updates (details!)

Keep it coming Stern!

Expo Seminar

We’re happy to announce that This Week in Pinball and Straight Down the Middle: a pinball show will be teaming up to bring you an EPIC Expo Seminar!  What are we going to be doing?  Well you’ll just have to wait and see because we’re not sure yet, but we’re very excited to be hosting a seminar!

LAST CHANCE to sign up for July Giveaways!

Click here for a list of the giveaways!  There are TWO WAYS to enter:

1.    Consider making a monthly donation via the PayPal button below or Patreon, which you can find here.  You’ll automatically be entered each month you make a donation, and also get additional TWIPerks based on your giving level.  Your contribution will help support this website.

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2.    Donate nothing, and send an email to to let us know you want to be entered, and include your name, address (including city and state), and email address, and you’ll be entered for that month.  You’ll just have to send the email every month to be included.

See official rules here.

Letting this run one more week!  We’re going to break these down by age and sex, etc. which should be interesting to see which machines are popular among different demographics. As always we don’t use any of this info except for the purposes of this poll.

What is your favorite pinball machine?


 — VOTE HERE!! —

— Cool and Crazy Stuff —

Black and White Twilight Zone

This has been like five years in the making and is still going – check out this black and white Twilight Zone that Great American Pinball is creating!

(Join the Pinside discussion here!)

Pinball Beers

We’ve got some new pinball beers – check them out at Hackney Brewery!

(Ok, not sure if the Kapow one is supposed to be pinball related, but it sounds like it is so I’m including it!)

Happy Birthday Wayne Neyens!

— End of Post Bonus —

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