TWIP Exclusive Offer
For a limited time, Scorbit is offering TWIP readers a ONE YEAR standard subscription FOR FREE, with an annual commitment. Just use the coupon TWIP2020 on our website when directed while purchasing a Scorbitron – https://scorbit.io/scorbitron
Scorbit – Live Demo – Total Nuclear Annihilation
Scorbit works with Jersey Jack Pinball machines, starting with Guns N’ Roses – free of charge and doesn’t require any Scorbit hardware. Any wifi enabled machine will be able to connect to Scorbit like magic!
Interview with Ron Richards and Jay Adelson of Scorbit
TWIP: At its core, Scorbit connects pinball machines to the internet – can you explain your thoughts in creating this product and how you envisioned it impacting the hobby and how it has evolved?
As a mission, Scorbit wants to help drive more people to play pinball. It started from a conversation between the three of us around what we could do to expand the experience of playing beyond the machine itself, and how we could share such a visceral and engaging experience with others.
As tournament players, we saw how much friction there was with both score keeping as well as the sharing and streaming of the games.
As casual players, we recognized that despite pinball being a visual and beautiful experience, it tended to exist behind closed doors and in the backs of bars. We would often discover friends of ours who played or owned machines and we had no idea that they shared the love of this game.
It’s true, it started as a technical challenge: Could this be done with such a diversity of machines, from so many manufacturers and time periods, solid states, DMDs, LCDs… It evolved into something we believe can expand and grow the hobby; for players, manufacturers, and all of the businesses that support them.
TWIP: Can home collectors benefit from their machines being connected to the internet?
People love to play pinball with friends and family, and anything they can do to make that experience more engaging and fun is worth the investment. The player features we enable, such as automated scoring and leaderboards, game challenges, achievements, etc., all serve to get everyone playing the games more often and reaching for different goals.
We built Scorbit to enable not only the player features in the mobile app, but also another product called ScorbitVision, which allows a user to create visually stunning leaderboards and live scoreboards. Since we launched, we’ve been watching the creation of public and private slideshows of these boards as people have begun to share them with others. Just as fun, there are customers with game rooms who put these visualizations up on big screens or projectors, so other players can keep track of what’s going on in real-time and on the scoreboards and leaderboards specific to their friends.
We often have situations, particularly with more modern games or DMDs, that one player is playing and the other players’ scores are not displayed. This is problematic when you’re competing or streaming, as waiting for scores to display is frustrating. ScorbitVision and the Scorbit app allows users to see all the other scores, all the time.
Finally, we knew there was a vibrant and growing pinball livestream community before the pandemic hit, and now that people are spending more time at home, we’ve seen a surge in home pinball live-streams. ScorbitVision allows a streamer to integrate the real-time scoring automatically into their broadcasts, in a way that looks just as professional as an ESPN graphic.
TWIP: How can this product help improve tournaments and competitions?
Scorekeeping can often become a challenge for tournament organizers, from recruiting volunteers to having manual score entries affected by human error. As we’ve shown at tournaments like INDISC, the automated scoring and integration with tournament software can be a real relief to players and the tournament operators. We already have shown our integration with MatchPlay and DTM to be valuable, though we intend on improving those integrations over the next year.
More tournaments are also live-streamed now, so Scorbit delivers the real-time scores for the broadcasts, either to be integrated into custom software, or through the use of ScorbitVision.
Finally, we also know how frustrating it can be waiting for other players’ scores to display at a tournament. With Scorbit, you see all the players’ scores, all the time.
TWIP: Can you explain how operators can benefit from their machines being connected to the internet?
There are all types of operators; Some that own a few, some that own a few hundred. Some operators are near the machines and some are not. It’s important to consider their needs differently. For venue owners, like arcades, the player features, leaderboards, notifications and big visuals can increase engagement. We think these types of operators are more focused on those features, like scoreboards, leaderboards, and challenges, as well as score integrations. We also see a lot of requests for putting big screens up with scores and leaderboards to drive attention to the games and get more people playing. Venue owners may also be interested in some data and analytics in the future.
One thing we found in common between all types of operators who aren’t near their machines is they typically have limited knowledge of when their machines are offline at any given moment, and have no real-time sense of the popularity of their games and how they are earning until they visit a routed location. If a bartender shuts off a machine because of a stuck ball, and you don’t know until you physically go check the machine, and that’s real money lost.
This is Business 101: If you can improve the data, and generate insights from the data, you can optimize and increase revenue. Metrics and machine status monitoring has been the number one request from operators we’ve spoken to.
However, we believe there are even greater benefits by focusing on how to increase plays. If you get a notification telling you a friend beat your score on a game, you might be more inclined to go try to beat it. High score lists saved to a machine are limited to the best of the best. How about just you and your buddies, or your league? If you expand the connection between players virtually, you can entice people to casually compete. These social features, game challenges and achievements can increase plays.
As we roll into 2021 and people begin returning to public venues, we have a number of features planned that would decrease friction for players and bring them into the games more frequently. Stay tuned for that.
TWIP: What is the pricing for Scorbit for home collectors and operators?
We should start by saying that during this pandemic, we are offering operators in need of COVID relief special pricing. If you’re an operator we’re providing significant discounts. They should reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know their situation and we’ll work with them to help.
Also, for a limited time, we’re offering users a free year of our standard subscription with an annual commitment. Just use the coupon TWIP2020 on our website when directed while purchasing a Scorbitron.
Scorbit’s business depends on subscriptions to maintain the real-time service in the cloud. Pricing is flat rate for most users, and individual machines, when necessary, can be upgraded to pro to support commercial features. The hardware, when required, starts at $299.99 and that price goes down as you purchase more devices. Scorbitrons connect to our cloud service, which typically is a flat-rate for a set number of machines with all the scoring, social and ScorbitVision features you might want for a home or arcade.
The Standard plan packages start at $3.99/month or $40.70/year for one machine, $6.99/mo or $69.72/yr for up to 10 machines, $9.99/mo or $95.90/yr for up to 25 machines and then $19.99/mo or $191.90/yr for unlimited. During this promotion, all of these packages are free for one year.
Where business is open, Operators who are routing machines should ask us about upgrading specific machines to the Pro plan. This adds the operator/commercial features like remote management, metrics, machine status monitoring, and more exciting features are coming soon. We believe these features should increase the operator’s earnings and not be a burden.
TWIP: If a game crashes mid game like happened last year at the IFPA World Pinball Championships, could Scorbit help in that situation?
We do record all the score updates in real-time, so yes, we do have a moment-by-moment accurate record of the scores. Tournament operators could refer to those scores at the time of the crash and use them if they desire. Our intention is to work with these tournaments to figure out what sorts of reports or presentations are valuable in these situations, and it’s easy for us to deploy these features, so we look forward to the feedback.
TWIP: It sounds like CGC remakes and JJP games are not currently supported, is it possible that those could be supported in the future?
Anything is possible 😉 We are excited to announce that Jersey Jack Pinball is integrating Scorbit functionality into all their games, past and present, beginning with Guns N’ Roses and retroactively supporting all their previous titles enabled with their new WiFi capability. These Scorbit features are 100% free of charge along with the WiFi features and do not require ANY Scorbit hardware. To activate it, you enable JJP’s WiFi and use the Scorbit app to connect the machine to the Scorbit platform.
These features are not only for scores, but also for game modes, and will work with ScorbitVision, the Scorbit app, and all Scorbit player features. We plan on releasing many more features over time with JJP and are very excited for what this means for the future of the pinball community.
This is just the start. We’re also psyched to share that we’ve been working with Spooky Pinball and Scott Danesi, and now have released Scorbit functionality into Spooky games, beginning with Total Nuclear Annihilation. These games require a Scorbitron, and enjoy similar capability with live scoring, leaderboards, and app integration. We’ve been working super closely with Scott Danesi and this is serving as a great example of the potential of a machine with a Scorbitron inside it and data being displayed via ScorbitVision. Imagine not only seeing what Player #3’s score is, but how many reactors they’ve destroyed or other aspects of the game. It makes watching someone play a great game like TNA even more engaging.
We’ve made it very easy for pinball manufacturers to integrate with our platform, and are busy integrating others as well. As always, you should expect that Scorbit is working to support 100% of all legacy solid state, DMD, and LCD/modern games.
TWIP: What is the future for Scorbit – where do you see Scorbit in five years?
We want our company to be known for bringing happiness to people by exposing them to this incredible community. In five years, we want every pinball machine to be connected to Scorbit. We want to be more than a sustainable business that brings millions of new players to the hobby; We’re not in this to compete or dominate, we’re here to help everyone in the pinball community benefit. Our founders have already built many successful businesses in their careers, we’re not in this for any other reason than to benefit the pinball community. If you look at the businesses we’ve founded in the past, you’ll see that they share one thing in common: They were designed to enable other businesses to thrive and bring people together. The better our customers’ experience, the better the pinball industry does, the better we do.
Check out Scorbit at https://scorbit.io/