Story dated December 29, 2004

2004 was another interesting year for pinball with some good news, some great news and some sad news.

The year began with Stern making more Lord Of The Rings games followed by Pat Lawlor's 2004 offering - Ripley's Believe It Or Not!

Ripley's didn't sell as well as hoped causing particular problems for Stern's non-US distributors where the license was virtually unknown.

Things improved slightly in September when Steve Ritchie's Elvis game came out showing how The King of Rock and Roll could still draw the crowds after all these years.

Through all these games Pinball News added more and more detail to our new game reports with audio and video clips to supplement the detailed reviews culminating in our Elvis review with over 20MB of information about the game.

As we reach the end of 2004, the next game on the horizon is The Sopranos, based on the HBO series about a Mafia family and their lives as shown in this recent Stern press release.

2004 started with the return of Pinformer, the UK's database of pinball locations which has now grown to 323 entries.

That was followed within a week by the launch of an internet petition to Gary Stern to bring back Brian Eddy to design more games. Sadly, that one has yet to bear fruit and if Brian's comments at Pinball Expo were anything to go by, it's highly unlikely to.

Pinball suddenly became cool again in the media and featured in a number of TV adverts such as this Ford spot and a Hands On programme on the History Channel.

In the UK, the sad and untimely death of Pinball Paradise owner Robert Thomson brought a flurry of activity to the Borden warehouse where two auctions brought pinball enthusiasts from across the country.

Further tragedy struck the Pennsylvania home of PAPA when Hurricane Ivan brought floods that wiped out over 200 pinball games. For a while PAPA 8 in 2005 was in serious doubt but the good news is the show is set for mid-to-late August 2005 with more than 172 machines.

But perhaps the biggest news of the year concerned potential new games for 2005.

In Melbourne, Australia Wayne Gillard is hard at work producing his first production game while still finding time to produce a custom game about saving water. His new game is still on track for production in the first half of 2005.

Meanwhile in the US, Incredible Technologies unveiled their first video pinball game as a serious rival to the mechanical version. So far reaction has been mixed and it's not clear whether the game will ever reach production.

Another game hoping to roll onto the production line in 2005 is Gene Cunningham's new run of Big Bang Bars. If it is successful, the plan is to re-run Capcom's other unreleased game Kingpin next.

Pinball shows continued to flourish with the return of PAPA and a new show for the UK joining the regular shows around the world. Pinball News continues to have the definitive diary for pinball shows with many 2005 events already confirmed.

For the first time we visited the Pinball Extravaganza, the Allentown Pinball Wizards Convention and the White Rose Gameroom Show to add to our regular show coverage and expanded our Pinball Expo coverage with more video, more audio and our biggest ever report from the show.

The year came to a close with the sad news of the death of industry veteran Ed Krynski, designer of over 200 games.

So ends another year in pinball. There's lots to look forward to in 2005 and if course Pinball News will be there to report on it all.

The very best wishes for a happy new year from the Pinball News team.


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