Perhaps the biggest topic NOT being discussed on PINSIDE right now is Bacardi Pinball by Heighway. Bacardi is the largest privately held drink company in the world with over $5B in annual sales. Thats 50x more than the entire pinball industry combined. And this company, this BILLION dollar company, comes to HEIGHWAY of all people (after reportedly being let down by a bigger, more established company) and agrees to their price. Thus, in 4 months time 251 games were designed, built, boxed and shipped by Heighway.
What kind of influx of cash can 250 game paid up front give a company of less than 20 employees? Well for starters they just upped the size of their facility to 40k+sqft which is 3X larger than before.
This is proof that if their is money, there is a way. They went from not even having a design to having 250 games shipped in 4 months flat. This is even more impressive when you consider that this is actually Heighways first ever mass manufactured title.
As for the game itself little is known about it except that it exists. We were told that PINBALL NEWS has information but it is on EMBARGO for 1-3 months until the games are revealed to the public, presumably in bars as a part of a global marketing initiative. 2/3 of the 251 games are said to be coming to the United States.
While the game is likely a stripped down basic marketing tool of a machine, its still beyond impressive that a company like Bacardi would choose a company like Heighway in the first place, and that they could meet the order from design to shipment in a matter of months.
In my opinion, this is one of the most interesting topics not being discussed on pinside at the moment.