Story dated September 19, 2006 .

The future of The Pinball Factory's first game on hold following the death of its subject.

The famous naturalist and TV presenter Steve Irwin died after a freak diving incident in the Great Barrier Reef off Australia's North-East coast.

Steve Irwin with his wife and daughter.
Picture courtesy Press Association/BBC

Irwin was struck by the barb from a stingray swimming nearby. The barb penetrated his chest and heart. Despite best efforts to resuscitate him, he died on his research vessel Croc 1 which was moored nearby in Batt Reef, off Port Douglas.

Steve had recorded voice clips and starred in the artwork for The Crocodile Hunter - Outback Adventure which was to be the first game released by Melbourne-based The Pinball Factory.

Owner Wayne Gillard said "We regret to inform the pinball community that Steve Irwin has died. Our Crocodile Hunter project is now on hold. We pass our thoughts onto Steve's family."

He told Pinball News how the game could still go ahead but with some modifications to the artwork - both the playfield and the cabinet/backglass - as well as the sounds.

He also said the intention would be for each game to include a donation to the Wildlife Warriors - the charity set up by Steve and his wife Terri to support the protection of injured, threatened or endangered wildlife.

No final decision about the game has been taken yet and Wayne told Pinball News:
"All the logistics have not been ironed out yet and won't be for a few months."


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