Alternative Pinball Reality from 1999

(Topic ID: 226847)

Alternative Pinball Reality from 1999


By FalconPunch

71 days ago



Topic Stats

  • 17 posts
  • 14 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 70 days ago by o-din
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders

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    #1 71 days ago

    So in October 1999, WMS Industries decided to close down the Pinball division.
    We all know the story. Pin2000 was a financial success, but it was not making as MUCH money as slot machines.

    Stern, who owned a smallish percentage of the market hired some of the talent and the rest is history.

    We interviewed Roger Sharpe last week, and just released the 2nd half of the interview today

    Episode - http://www.head2headpinball.com/2018/10/08/episode-63-roger-sharpe-tried-to-save-pinball-twice/
    Its about 1 hour and 24 minutes in if you want to skip to it.

    Roger said that he tried to buy Williams Pinball division when it was closing in 1999s.
    Here is a PARTIAL transcription, you can listen to it yourself to get some more context

    --------

    Roger: "I will share 2 things with you that may or may not have been ever revealed by me before. 1. I came really close to buying premier when they where going out of business. Got a group of folk behind me who where willing to fund it, and unfortunately looking at the balance sheet and everything else the termination was that there was no way in heck it was going to be a good investment, so we walked away from it.
    When Williams Bally shut down pinball. I absolutely approached them to see if i can buy the assets and take over the company. In that point in time there was not a desire to sell the company. If you look back historically at things, it was better to be done as a tax write off. Which is why Gene picked up bits and pieces as did Wayne. Unfortunately they didn't take my offer seriously. So I had 2 chances to potentially take over Pinball companies and effectively run them the way they could of and should of been run. But now I'm just to old to do any of those things!"

    Ryan: "How different do you think your life would been if Williams took your offer up and you where able to reserict the company"

    Roger: "Oh wow, Pinball would have been totally different, are you kidding? All the things that we have been talking about and that I have shared over the years, infrequently at best when people want to actually listen to me. I would have put more importantly my money where my mouth is. I would have done the things we have been talking about. I would have done outreach. I would have done new markets. I would have kept things out there and visible. Look, I will share with you that back in 1988. If you look at where the awareness" (there more here I haven't transcribed but its about how he made pinball more visable in the late 80s and early 90s)

    Martin: "Gary Stern went through the hard times, would you have wanted to go through the bad to get to the good?"

    Roger: "I don't think I would have ever bad. I think I would have built of the success that was already generated"

    ---------

    It really got me thinking about an alternative reality of Pinball. If Roger WAS able to buy Williams and retain most of the talent at Williams. We are talking Lyman, Gomez, JPOP, Keith Johnson etc.
    Where would we be now in pinball? How long do you think they would have stuck with Pin2000? Do you think they would have reverted back to normal cabs?
    What year do you think they would introduce LCDs? Do you think pinball would still be so license heavy?
    Would Data East/Stern have survived?

    Yes it's a theoretical Pinside thread, hypothesize away.

    #2 71 days ago

    would of, could of, should of...

    Roger seems to have a keen understanding of all things pinball and I wish we had seen that alternative universe.

    #3 71 days ago

    The only bad thing for people living in that alternate reality is that they don't have Metallica

    #4 71 days ago

    Had Bally/Williams continued making pinball there is no doubt Stern would have never been in business to make the games we know today.

    #5 71 days ago
    Quoted from Squeakman:

    Had Bally/Williams continued making pinball there is no doubt Stern would have never been in business to make the games we know today.

    I don't know about that.

    While Bally/Williams would be making mostly original and currently licensed themes, Stern would probably still be filling the niche they are today and have been for the last several years.

    #6 71 days ago

    Everytime I play Revenge from Mars, I get sad at the lost potential of that platform.
    Ive played the Wizard blocks whitewood too.. there would have been some amazing games and the development of 3D graphics and animation would be highly developed by now.

    #7 71 days ago
    Quoted from Squeakman:

    Had Bally/Williams continued making pinball there is no doubt Stern would have never been in business to make the games we know today.

    If Pinball2K would have continued, and been all they did which was the Plan Stern might have been fine. Pin2K might have been good for locations but we all hated it.

    #8 71 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    If Pinball2K would have continued, and been all they did which was the Plan Stern might have been fine. Pin2K might have been good for locations but we all hated it.

    Metallica 2k would have been sick. Ghostbusters too! I wish one of the niche manufacturers picked up the technology.

    #9 71 days ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    If Pinball2K would have continued, and been all they did which was the Plan Stern might have been fine. Pin2K might have been good for locations but we all hated it.

    Ugh. Right across from me in my living room are (what I consider to be) four of the best Stern games ever made. I’m trying to imagine those being 4 Pin2k machines. It just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe classic games, but not Pin2k.

    -4
    #10 70 days ago

    The way Roger talked he made it like he had actualy done all the things he said he wanted to to. A man patting himself on the back talking smack and saying how he would of done better then all the men who did what he wanted to do but never did is bullshit

    #11 70 days ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    The way Roger talked he made it like he had actualy done all the things he said he wanted to to. A man patting himself on the back talking smack and saying how he would of done better then all the men who did what he wanted to do but never did is bullshit

    Gary? You sound as if it is personal to you.

    #12 70 days ago
    Quoted from JY64:

    The way Roger talked he made it like he had actualy done all the things he said he wanted to to. A man patting himself on the back talking smack and saying how he would of done better then all the men who did what he wanted to do but never did is bullshit

    shortly put, Roger said he would have continued to be an ambassador to pinball and get the exposure out there, something that the pinball division at WMS at the time did not want to put the time/money into. we've all heard that WMS got out of pinball because it wasn't making as much money as slots did. i believe that Roger would have worked to keep pinball alive instead of shutting it down.

    #13 70 days ago
    Quoted from FatPanda:

    shortly put, Roger said he would have continued to be an ambassador to pinball and get the exposure out there, something that the pinball division at WMS at the time did not want to put the time/money into. we've all heard that WMS got out of pinball because it wasn't making as much money as slots did. i believe that Roger would have worked to keep pinball alive instead of shutting it down.

    Roger said there would have been no tough time in pinball if he ran it I call BS

    #14 70 days ago
    Quoted from DCFAN:

    Gary? You sound as if it is personal to you.

    Cockalorum you need to get a clue Gary is smart and does not go on Pinside sorry to say you cant say the same for Jack

    #15 70 days ago

    I think the logical progression of the Pin2000 platform would be something like the modern Multimorphic P3 system.

    #16 70 days ago

    Roger was great with licenses.

    Makes me wonder had he gotten the Williams pinball division, what games/licenses he'd be on working now ?

    LTG : )

    #17 70 days ago

    Imagine where we would have been if he hadn't saved pinball the first time.

    Of course out here in Ca. where I was we never heard of the guy or knew there was that problem anyway.

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