Story dated 27th April 2000

An Illinois pinball collector of 27 years is preparing to bring a new pinball game to the coin-op market this summer from a newly formed company, Illinois Pinball Inc.

Gene Cunningham of Cunningham Enterprises in Bloomington, Ill., is working with experienced pinball designers and programmers to complete Pinball Pool.

Cunningham began his pinball odyssey 27 years ago when he purchased a pinball game being rotated out of his skating facility, Skate 'N' Place. One game led to another and today Cunningham has 1,200 pinball games, along with a jukebox and antique slot machines housed in two separate buildings on his property.

His main business is real estate and construction, but pinball occupies a special place in his heart. Cunningham sought to purchase the pinball division from Williams Electronics when it exited the market, but the company elected not to sell.

Cunningham has obtained the rights to the Alvin G. game Mystery Castle and six pinballs by Capcom (Airborne, Breakshot, Flipper Football, Pinball Magic, and the prototypes Big Bang Bar and Kingpin).

Cunningham also has the rights to reproduce Capcom pinball parts and owns Capcom's pinball parts business which was previously believed to have been sold to Mike Pacak.

It is rumoured that Cunningham is working with former Williams game designer Pat Lawlor on his new game. Lawlor has recently formed his own design company (see other news story) within the games industry.

The rumour is given additional credence by the fact that the Illinois Pinball site is registered to one Patrick Lawlor and is on the same ISP as Pat Lawlor Design's web site. Make of that what you will.


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