There is a lot of talk about Pinball making a comeback. It seems everywhere people are playing pinball right? Many people wish to see their choice of gaming come back and kick those video games in the ass. Because after all, pinball is more real right? Wrong. There is a surge in interest not a comeback. They are two very different things.
I walked around Texas Pinball Festival looking for games to play and see a lot of young people but not a huge amount. It’s a collectors hobby which is fine by me. I prefer that not every douche in town own one and the price be driven through the roof. I mean it is a little ridiculous that Medieval Madness is $15,000. Don’t worry though the bubble will burst, it always has and it always will. Pinball may gain some popularity but it’s day is over and will stay as a collector hobby just as arcade machines. Sure it will surge and wane but that happens with anything.
So why can’t there be a huge comeback? Well pinball machines don’t fit into our society. In 2012 there 190 million next-gen consoles in homes and the new consoles are geared around social media which further entrenches video games into the lives of all the younger generations. More and more games are downloaded and eventually Gamestop will be out of the “fucking you out of money” business. There is no way pinball can compete with 190 million consoles. Sure they are selling more but that does not mean it will explode into popular culture again. 70% of Stern’s machine go to hobbyist and collectors. Not many average users. The games are just too expensive. A new Stern game will run you $5000 dollars. Think about that. One single game is $5000. With the youth of today so used to throw away culture they would be bored in three days.
My question is this. Why do you want a comeback? You’re best kept secret will be out and then every Tom, Dick, and Harry will be a pinball wizard. The pinball community has its own world that is already alive and breathing. Like the arcade world it is full of all kinds of colorful characters. Do you really want your hobby commercialized and have people that have no interest trying to make money off of it? I sure hope not because I don’t.