Pinball Arcade - Bally/Williams tables no longer available after June 30th

This one is more than a bit niche, but is sad news for anyone who is a fan of pinball and the virtual pinball scene.

Pinball Arcade Fans Forum thread

For those not in the know, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version:

Farsight, the developer of the Pinball Arcade series of virtual pinball games, previously had a licensing agreement with the company that owns the rights to the old Bally and Williams pinball tables. The company that owns the license has opted to not renew their agreement with Farsight, and as such the virtual tables that were previously available in the game will no longer be for sale after June 30th.

It sucks, because this was one of the only legal ways to play virtual copies of those games.


Colour me SAD!:weary::sob::worried:


can’t help but notice it sure as sht also was a pretty expensive way if wanting to get them legally…
34€-45€ for 10 tables/“skins” x 7 packs… 238-315€ for the “full” experience (of all tables/“skins”)… yowza… seems like a pretty penny for a game…
i’m guessing it’s not for someone like me that’s fine with 3D Pinball etc (on windows), or alike :grimacing:

but on principle i find licenses (in their current form), to be bs… and should go the way of the dodo, or get seriously modernized…
so many good things gets “lost” because of that bureaucratic capitalistic anticonsumer crap :triumph:




Yeah, as pinball games go, the users were definitely paying a premium for authentic recreations of classic tables. That being said, they were almost exactly that - they had the table layouts, the game logic, the sound clips and graphics (except for Addams Family, the licensing for that was a mess), and physics-wise they played almost exactly like the real thing.

The thing was, Farsight knew they had the community by the short-and-curlies when it came to actual licensed recreations. The only other way to play most of them was to go get a copy of PinMAME and Visual Pinball, and then bootleg the ROMs for the games and pair them up with the fan-created tables. It wasn’t pretty, so fans of pinball (like myself) were paying for the convenience of not having to jump through those hoops. Now? Now we don’t even have * that * option, so I guess it’s time to dust off ye olde torrent client…


Well you COULD always spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and years of your life to find and buy all the actual cabinets! Then buy the company that owns the licenses/IPs and make them rebuild tables that no longer exist at all.

There’s never an excuse to pirate things you know, that’s stealing from all the hardworking people who created these pinball tables 30-50 years ago!


Thanks for the heads up. This DOES affect me. Now to decide if I should go on an insane pinball purchasing spree on my mobile version. Or maybe the PC version? Don’t know yet.


I’d stick with whatever platform you already have it on. If you have it on multiples then I’d go with the one you play on the most. From the sound of it they’re still going to have Stern tables, and Stern Pinball Arcade will still be a thing, just no more Bally/WMS. I’m trying to decide if my wallet can handle the $90 hit it would take me to get the three packs I’m missing, because I hate buying individual tables for games like this.


I don’t play it, but I’d stick to the PC version solely for the likely prioritized updates and the back up via Steam.
At least games on google play get abandoned often enough…dunno about the IOS counterparts.


This happens fairly often with licensed games/DLC. The owners of the licenses use the downtime as a renegotiation tactic for royalty fees and percentages.

It has happened every 2 years like clockwork for Deadpool the video game, barely negotiating its re-release a week before its first standalone movie got released 2 Februaries ago. The video game pre-dates the movies by several years, still an excellent romp through an immature goldmine of pop culture references, 4th wall breaks, and ludicrous action and violence (still T for Teen I think?).

TL;DR - your licensed pinball tables will be back, unless the physical owner partners with another video game developer in which case you’ll have to switch games if you don’t already own them but want to buy.


you’re forgetting (in that very example even, tho “maybe” it gets back again), that sometimes games don’t come back -especially if a license transfers to a new maker, (since those “first” games are still copyrighted)
can’t speak for how it would work with pinball, but since it’s sorta an “identical” thing going on with the tables, it could very well be that another creator wouldn’t be able to reproduce without already infringing on Farsight’s Pinball Arcade
^pure speculation (since making a deadpool 2 would be “easy”/different in that sense for a new dev even if activis lost the license for their first deadpool game)


Sadly, that’s unlikely, unless they find themselves in dire straits for cash flow. The current license owner is more interested in making slot machines and other gaming devices than new pinball tables. On top of that, the rights to the old tables and their sounds/graphics are a morass of legal red tape, due to the heavy licensing of other properties and having to deal with those license owners in the process. That’s part of why it took them so long to get the Star Trek TNG table out, and why they had to change the graphics and sounds in Addams Family (due to Raul Julia’s estate forbidding the re-use of his likeness). The more hands that are in the cookie jar, the less profitable it is for the overall license holder, so while it is effectively them leaving money on the (pinball) table, it’s not worth it to deal with the legal side of things.


@techparadox Hmm… Good point. Noted.

@anon74641759 I can backup the game on my phone. And the Google Play version seems updated just as often as Steam. Never really felt like it was behind on content. In fact, the Google Play version celebrated its Anniversary (two years ago) by unlocking Tales of the Arabian Nights for free for everyone.

Except uh… It’s a Williams machine. So… What happens now? But yeah, I’ll see which one I enjoy playing on more, and then more or less flip a coin and see if I want to splurge for virtual pinball. Followed by hours of crying on my empty bank account.

Thanks for the advice both of you!