Data East played a significant part in pinball machine innovations. It created the dot matrix display (DMD), which showcased player scores, active modes, and other animations. You can find this feature in games like Checkpoint and Maverick. The organization also built upon the pinball’s stereo sound quality.
After purchasing high-level licenses to create popular-themed pinball machines during the 1990s, Data East struggled financially. It experienced a slump in sales and ended up selling its pinball division to Sega in 1996.
By the time it sold, Data East had an impressive 25% of the industry’s market share. Plus, it was the second-largest pinball company globally. In 1999, Sega gave up its purchased pinball assets to Gary Stern.
Subsequently, he created the Stern pinball company.