2018 Pinball Preview and Predictions

2018 Pinball Preview and Predictions
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2018 Pinball Preview and Predictions
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2018 Pinball Preview and Predictions
Published on
January 4, 2018
Updated on
January 4, 2018
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What can we expect in 2018?

Do you know when the first pinball machine of 2017 was announced?  January 4th – exactly one year ago today!  It was Stern’s Aerosmith.  We got a sneak peak of it at Expo at the end of 2016, but the official pics were released by Stern on January 4th.  So we shouldn’t waste any time, lets get to our preview and predictions and a post that probably won’t age well!!

2018 appears to be shaping up to be another great year for pinball.  We should be seeing over 10 new pinball machines announced!  This Week in Pinball reached out to most of the manufacturers, but (not) surprisingly, none would share which titles they’re releasing and when they’ll be released.  Disappointing.  So we’re going to have to do all guess work!

Ready to speculate??  Ok here we go!

From Stern Pinball:

Let’s look at 2017:

What to expect in 2018?  We can probably expect three new titles from Stern, plus a new Ka-Pow title and maybe a Vault Edition – so TWIP will predict five new machines manufactured by Stern in 2018.  Which ones and when will they be announced?  Some current rumors are Deadpool, The Munsters, Iron Maiden, Pulp Fiction…  We know Keith Elwin is working on a game, as is Steve Ritchie.  **EDIT: Forgot to include the Elvira 3 pin, oops!  A new Elvira pin was confirmed last year at the Texas Pinball Festival.  There are rumors that it may be ready in 4Q of 2018, but Stern has been tight-lipped about the title since the announcement.

And what about the new Ka-Pow title?  Last year (or possibly the year before last), Ka-Pow created an online survey to ask which title people want to see.  While we do not have the results from that poll, the same poll was posted on Pinside called “What Game Do You Want Ka-Pow to Make?” and the results are as follows:

  • Willy Wonka (18%)
  • Something Else (18%)
  • The Munsters (17%)
  • The Beatles (10%)
  • A Christmas Story (6%)
  • Three Stooges (6%)
  • Young Frankenstein (5%)
  • The Beverly Hillbillies (2%)

There are rumors that Jersey Jack landed the Willy Wonka license, but who knows.  And from the poll, The Munsters may be the next Ka-Pow title, not a Stern title.  The Beatles possibly?  A Christmas Story?

What about a Vault Edition?  The top rumors on the next Vault Edition are probably Tron and The Walking Dead.

Timing wise, during the banquet at Expo last fall there was a pre-filmed video from Ka-Pow pinball and Joe Kaminkow.  During that video it was announced that the next Ka-Pow title would be announced at Expo 2018.  So we can plan on the Ka-Pow title at Expo in October.  As far as other reveals, we would guess that one game would be revealed before Texas Pinball Festival, one over the summer, one at Expo, and…one mixed in somewhere else (how’s that for a prediction?).

From Chicago Gaming/Planetary Pinball:

Chicago Gaming already announced game #3 will be revealed at the Texas Pinball Festival in March.  They also shared the following games would likely be remade at some point:

So which one to expect at TPF?  Hmmm…Big Bang Bar seems least likely.  Most rumors are saying either Monster Bash or Cactus Canyon – our guess is Monster Bash at this point.

From Jersey Jack Pinball:

The last two years, Jersey Jack has revealed a machine at Expo in October.  Two years ago it was Dialed In!, last year it was Pirates of the Caribbean.  Their next title is rumored to be Toy Story, so the natural prediction would be Toy Story announced at Expo.  But we’re going to go out on a limb here and say that their next title will be announced BEFORE Expo.

From Spooky Pinball:

Spooky has announced they plan to bring Alice Cooper’s Nightmare Castle to the Texas Pinball Festival in March.  (They’ll also be bringing a Total Nuclear Annihilation standard and a TnA in a butter cabinet.)  It would not be surprising to see some further ACNC teases from Spooky leading up to TPF.  Will we hear an announcement of their next title in 2018?  Between TnA and ACNC, it seems like Spooky manufacturing will be quite busy in 2018, but it wouldn’t surprise us to get some teasers of a future title.

From American Pinball:

American Pinball will be busy in 2018 shipping Houdini’s to customers.  During our interview with Joe Balcer, he mentioned a tentative plan to make a splash at Expo 2018 with their second title, which will be unlicensed.  The timing of the announcement for the second title will be dependent on sales of Houdini, so we will see.

From Heighway Pinball:

Heighway Pinball is a tough one to predict.  They are shipping Alien currently, and have announced that Barry Oursler is working on three new themes – two licensed and one unlicensed.  One of the licensed ones is rumored to be Queen, and was expected to be announced at Texas Pinball Festival in March.  But we’ll have to see if that actually happens.

From Multimorphic (P3):

Multimorphic’s P3 started shipping in 2017 with Lexy Lightspeed – Escape From Earth, along with Cannon Lagoon, ROCs, Barnyard, and Lexy Lightspeed – Secret Agent Showdown.  They will likely be busy in 2017 shipping more units and we hope to see many more videos and exposure of the P3 platform in 2018.

From Homepin:

Homepin has announced they plan to ship Thunderbirds in 2018 and that it will be the first of many titles, so we can probably expect some type of announcement of a second game sometime in 2018.

From Dutch Pinball:

They just need to build and ship The Big Lebowski!

From Circus Maximus:

Circus Maximus is working on Python’s Pinball Circus along with a second title, which is rumored to be a Kingpin remake.  Can we expect to see at least one of these two titles shown in 2018?  Prediction is…yes.

From deeproot Pinball:

deeproot Pinball made quite a splash into the pinball community, and now have a long road ahead to become a pinball manufacturer.  Will we hear more news about deeproot in 2018?  Prediction is yes.  Will we see a game reveal from deeproot Pinball in 2018?  Prediction is…no.