I was just talking to a pinball friend about all the recent pinball failures - Skit B, Vonnie and JPop - and the challenges that that face the longevity prospects of JJP, Heighway, Dutch and Spooky. Stern is really the only pinball manufacturer pumping out 4 games a year, globally.
I know this is a morbid thought and (knock on wood) this doesn't happen for a very very long long time. What happens if Gary Stern kicks the bucket? Is there a succession plan? I never hear if one of his kids are "learning the ropes" to take over the family business. I know there is an investor element but I would expect Gary's family still owns a majority share. If he was gone would they sell out to investors, offer employee own option (Gomez, etc.), or would that be the end of Stern?
All joking aside, its a sobering thought. If no one in the Stern immediate family has the passion like Gary for pinball, what could happen to Stern - and pinball?