Pinball has had many up and downs through the years, but the current trend is undeniably upward.
How do we know? Figures have been released showing the number of pinball competitions taking place around the world as well as the numbers of people playing in those competitions. The growth is significant when you compare 2017’s figures with those of 11 years ago.
Pinball Competition Popularity
The number of competitions taking place each year worldwide has increased from just 50 in 2006 to 4,500 in 2017. The number of people taking part in those competitions has increased too, from 500 to over 55,000.
Other statistics indicate the growth might be even more than this. In fact, there are some stats that put the number of people taking part in pinball competitions across the world at over 100,000.
In the 00s when there were only a few hundred playing in competitions, pinball was in difficulty. Only one leading manufacturer remained in the world – Stern. While it had seen off its competition, it too was struggling to survive as consumer demands changed.
Two things then happened:
• New entrepreneurs and companies, most of them small, got into the pinball manufacturing industry; and,
• Smartphones rose in popularity
New companies offering high-quality pinball machines gave consumers more choice, but the main driver of the pinball resurgence is mobile devices, including smartphones.
The Smartphone Pinballing Era
Pinball enthusiasts are either discovering a love of pinball (if they are of a younger generation) or rediscovering their love of the game (if they are older). They are doing this through game apps that let them play virtual versions of pinball, but it goes further than this.
Pinball fans also have access to apps that help them find pinball machines and arcades to play in. They also get involved in the pinball community, take part in competitions, and more.
Of course, the pinball scene will never again look like it did in the 1970s before arcade video games started taking over. It is unlikely to look like the 1990s resurgence either. This was when pinball machines partially recovered from the 1980s dip as home gaming consoles prompted the decline of the video game arcade.
Instead, this new pinballing era will be fit for 2018 and beyond. The one thing that is for certain, however, is that pinball lives on.
You can join in the resurgence of pinball with your own machine, playing whenever you want. Check out the range we have available today.