Quoted from Aurich:
Steve is a legend, a pinball god. I don't mean to disparage him at all, nothing he does or doesn't do will ever change that.
But I hope he does something different and surprises us compared to his recent games.
It feels like he's taken to heart his rep for king of flow and just keeps recycling his basic ideas now. AC/DC, Spider-Man, Star Trek, all good games, but kinda the same too. Same ideas, same fan layout, just remixed a bit. See the whole T2/AC/DC comparison.
GOT was a little different. But upper playfield not a huge success with people it seems.
Would love to see a little more of that Ritchie magic. Break out something he's been scheming on for a while. Surprise us.
I'm not sure how this is so different from other successful designers. Look at Borg for example. Awesome games but very similar to each other. It's a lot like music, each band/musician has a style and they stick to it with subtle changes. Same thing in pinball.
AC/DC fan layout, Metallica fan layout...which designer did it better? Ritchie with flow? Or Borg with toys? Apples vs oranges really.
3-flipper layout. Star Trek with speed and flow vs XMEN with tight but satisfying shots?
Point is; the shots lineup where they feel right per the designers preference, their staple so to speak. It's why it's so good that stern has so many designers now; Ritchie, Borg, Trudeau, and now Keith. So us players should be choosing the games we like based on the style of designer; Not the other way around.
I really wasn't a big Ritchie fan early in collecting. I liked clunkier games with more toys. Now as a better player, and long time hobbiest, I prefer action speed and flow. So I was more of a Gomez/Borg heavy fan but have now become a Ritchie heavy fan. Who knows what style I'll like in a year from now. These are the varieties and choices that make the hobby good - not tons of manufacturers, but different designs and integrations.
That all said, Insert matrix plays a key role in design engineering and I really hope we get something different from Ritchie in that dept. less ST & GOT style, and more AC/DC 'ish.