Quoted from lowepg:
I'd suggest any voting is provisional until a company has shipped more than ONE title.
JJP is obviously the most successful so far, but WOZ was plagued by delays and issues (mostly referring to the light boards, every pin has some form of gremlins, that was just a big one, and of course the shipping was slow), I think we're all waiting to see how it goes with Hobbit. Will it get built faster, have less physical problems etc. Jack is still surrounded by rumors, be nice to see those vanish because they were proving their success. If Hobbit gets on the line and ships well, and Lawlor's game is announced as a "buy it, we're ready to build" thing they'll be in a really good position. Even the haters will have to admit it. JJP obviously has high tech stuff, and lots of really solid animations on that big LCD, Keefer on code (best asset they have?), it's modern pinball. My only real ding to anything would be they're pretty pricey, you're firmly Stern LE and above territory if you buy from them. Plenty of collectors can play ball at that price range, but there are a lot of people who simply can't/won't pay that much for a pin.
Heighway is obviously a company I'm biased towards, so let's not pretend I'm neutral here. For the record, I'm not an employee, just a contractor on Alien, but obviously I count as a serious insider here. But I'll try and stick to facts: Andrew has a proper factory, and has shipped a finished and successful project (Bacardi) and his first game is on the line right now, probably going to be shipping within a few weeks. LCD screen(s), RGB LEDs, etc. Again, modern pinball. But competing more in the Stern price range, not quite as expensive. Not the Pros, but firmly against the Premiums. I think we're all waiting for Alien though. That's sure how I felt even before I got involved. Full Throttle could be a sleeper hit, but Alien is what generated the excitement. I feel great about it of course, but show and prove, that's all that counts!
In my mind those are the two "serious" players. And I say that really only because they both have real factories of their own. They both have the potential to ship units in real scale. They could really compete against Stern if they get some momentum. Would I like to see Alien sell more units than Hobbit? Sure! But I wish JJP nothing but success, I'm first and foremost a fan of pinball in general. Just to make sure that's clear.
Spooky is awesome. No drama, just get it done. Built an original themed pin from scratch, and earned every sale they got. I'm excited about their next release, I'm predicting right now that it's going to sell out orders of magnitude faster than AMH. They're not competing in the Stern Pro range either, but solidly against the Premiums too. I think it's a reasonable place to be, hard to beat Stern's Pro price these days. They have one big weakness though, and that's the lack of a factory. If Spooky #2 sells out fast it could be a wait to get your game if they don't build up capacity.
Multimorphic is doing perhaps the most wild and interesting thing in pinball out of everyone. The P3 is very ambitious and very different (and very expensive). I don't think any of us really know what's going to happen there. I think out of everyone there's the most "wait and see factor" here. Just too early to call anything, they need to finish a game, and sell everyone on the concept.
PPS is a funny one. Because Rick is really not building anything himself, and doesn't have a factory, but he has powerful licenses and tools to get things done in partnerships. We don't really know what's coming after MMr, which I think we have to call a success now. I have some little insight into possible future stuff, and it's pretty interesting, and might be full of surprises. I'd say a big wait and see, but lots of potential. To me what will be the most interesting is seeing how/if they branch out from pure remakes, so there are new ideas coming out of that camp too. Only so far you can advance pinball with just things from the past. Also to be seen, and it's a big one: prices. Lots and lots of potential for lower priced games, but we have to see.
With Dutch Pinball I'm personally counting TBL as game one. Bride 2.0 is pretty cool, but it's not a full pin, and it's not finished. Very neat idea, looking forward to playing (and hearing) it more. But TBL is the first real big one. Apparently it's on track, but we don't know, communication isn't so great. And it's a damn pricey game too, especially if you didn't pre-order. Can they make it a success, and then ship a second title with less drama and a lower price point? They don't own a factory, but maybe their rent-a-factory model will be enough.