(Thanks to Aaron Auzins for the tip)
To celebrate the recent release of their latest pinball game, The Rolling Stones, Stern Pinball is teaming up with the International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA) to host launch parties in 9 different North American cities this next Friday, March 11th. In addition to getting a chance to play the game for free, each location will see a cash prize tournament that players can participate in. For a list of the cities, click here (Stern Blog link).Also, here is an example of the effort being made on Facebook to drive player participation to a location.
The multi-city launch party is a good idea, not just for pinball machines but for arcade games too. Since location tests are rarely used in the US to generate hype for a game (opposite of what they do in Japan), I think that companies holding consistent “launch” parties near a game’s release is the next best thing for accomplishing just that. Just tie it in with a Facebook campaign, offer some cash or other prizes at each location and as long as the game is good, that will help with the word-of-mouth efforts afterwards.
BTW- In other Stern pinball news, Steve Richie has rejoined the company. I wonder if he will be working on the rumored TRON Pinball or if he will be doing something else. I suppose we will find out soon enough but this news is even more interesting as it appears to be a way of Stern firing back at the recent announcements Jersey Jack Pinball has been making in regards to the addition of various individuals who have a history with pinball to their company. How nice it is to have some real competition in the pinball sector once again, isn’t it?