JAEPO 2019: Pinball In Japan; Bandai Namco Unveils Pac-Man Panic

arcadehero January 25, 2019 2

While Japanese industry has long embraced video games, pinball’s journey in the country has been a struggle. With JAEPO 2019, it looks like that might be about to turn around as Stern Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, Taito and Bandai Namco all roll out content to please both collectors and operators alike. Most media below comes from 4Gamer.net.

Stern Pinball

Gary Stern has taken a trip to Japan to showcase some of the latest titles his company produces. Found at the Hot Toys booth, Stern machines are being aimed at collectors who enjoy pop culture and unique devices. Games featured: The Beatles, Deadpool, Star Wars (Pro & Premium), Guardians of the Galaxy & Batman ’66. Japanese media have also noted how Stern Pinball used to be Data East then Sega Pinball for a time.

and from tweeter Onion Software, more of the booth:

Jersey Jack Pinball

Not to be left out, Jersey Jack Pinball also found a place at JAEPO, thanks to Bandai Namco Technica (the renamed amusement division there). They brought the Wizard of Oz, The Hobbit and Pirates of the Caribbean and with Bandai Namco put together this unique tool display from a JJP cabinet design:

Here’s the JJP games on booth as shown by tweeter Onion Software:

Super Panic Ball & Pac-Man Panic (Bandai Namco Technica)

Since we’re on the subject of Bandai Namco, the company has two “battle” or “versus” pinball games on hand – the aforementioned Super Panic Ball, and a related piece that I had a hunch would be created, Pac-Man Panic. These games pit players face-to-face and come down to multiball battles. If either one of these concepts heads West, I’d put my money on us seeing Pac-Man Panic here; I’m kind of surprised that they would even try the Super Panic Ball concept, as one expects Pac-Man to overshadow anything that is of a similar design.

Pac-Man Panic by Bandai Namco Technica

Space Invaders Pinball Jam (Taito)

Last but not least is one game that many of you were interested in when news broke about it a month ago, Space Invaders Pinball Jam. This title inaugurated the refreshed “battle pinball” trend, although Bandai Namco certainly was working on their own concepts at the same time. We’re still unsure if this will head West, but it seems like it would be a good fit for a company that is looking for concepts to sell over here. Here’s a tweet that shows the game being played:

Stay tuned for much more!


  1. Da Flex January 26, 2019 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    Thanks for the “Space Invaders Pinball Jam” video. Now we can see the game play, and it looks like keeping the balls inside is the major goal. This is more a Japanese type of game, fitting well into those “Pachinko hells”.

  2. arcades4ever January 27, 2019 at 9:40 am - Reply

    I have no doubt that Pacman panic will come overseas as well as space invaders because they are very popular games still to this day. seeing paceman panic reminds me of namcos big bang smash and pacman smash and Im guessing this is similar in that the pacman version will be for world wide release.

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