(H/T to ECM for the tip)
This week marked the beginning of Pinball Expo 2013. Beyond offering a place for a lot of machines to come together, it also is an opportunity for a lot of people involved in creating new pinball machines and related-products to discuss their current and upcoming projects.
Earlier this morning I got a phone call about a remake of the popular Medieval Madness pinball game but admittedly I was caught off guard by it as I had not even heard the rumors about it. Pinballnews.com has the best run-down of the expo I have found so far and about 3/4ths the way down on this page, you can find the MM announcement, right after The Matrix pinball project. This is being done by Planetary Pinball, Churchill Cabinet Company and Chicago Gaming Company and apparently while they only announced that 1000 units would be produced, interest may have gone well beyond that. Here are the brochures for the MM remake that have been plastered all over various pinball websites today:
The pre-order requires a deposit of $1000 and you can place that online here. The reaction to this seems mostly positive – the high number of pre-orders are apparently very good so that shows interest but then a few are upset over what this will do to pre-existing Medieval Madness values and a few others not happy about remakes in general.
The Pinballnews link above has all the dirty details on the other things that have been announced at the expo but let me summarize here in case you don’t have the time to read through all of that:
-ColorDMD, which has been creating new color displays for older pinball games that only had a monochromatic screen was there and announced that they are looking to add support for “Stern/Sega/Data East’s Whitestar and SAM systems” by the middle of next year.
-Despite missing the target launch of this Summer, Heighway Pinball is still working hard at bringing Full Throttle pinball to the scene. Manufacturing will be happening in North and South America and the art package has changed for the game as well.
-Jersey Jack Pinball discussed a little bit about the upcoming game The Hobbit which is due for launch next year. They are holding back on unveiling features for this one compared to how much they revealed about The Wizard of Oz. Partially due to licensing agreements but also I imagine in part to protect their ideas and cement them as firsts. One new feature mentioned is an underground tunnel that splits in two.
-P3 was there to discuss their progress. Here is a refresher on them. They essentially reintroduced the concept and showed how the modular design works in practice. The system has been made to address various issues that are a part of pinball these days, a big one being the lack of innovation in pinball. Essentially the vision boils down to providing something as close to the flexibility of virtual pinball while using real playfields.
-John Podadiuk is one designer unafraid of tackling new ideas in the pinball arena and at the expo he discussed a sort of prequel game to Theater of Magic that is called Magic Girl. The game is set in the same conceptual universe as ToM but will employ various new ideas and not just an LCD backbox. It would really be neat to see some of his recent games get a wider release, MG included.
So far I haven’t found videos from the event yet but here is a video showing 16-min of a different event that also had a bunch of pinball games to be found called the Play Expo 2013: