Frisco’s Texas Pinball Festival

COVID-19 has canceled the 2020 and 2021 festival but pinball gained pace as a lot of people bought pinball machines during the lockdown, making it possible for a successful comeback according to an Audacy article from March 26. They say, 

“The Texas Pinball Festival is back in Frisco this weekend after a two-year break. The event was canceled in 2020 and 2021 because of concerns about COVID-19.

“It was incredibly disappointing both times,” festival organizer Paul McKinney said. “We’re elated to be back.”

While pinball may not be as popular as it was in the 1960s and 1970s, McKinney said there has been a surge of interest in the past few years as people stuck at home looked for new entertainment options.

“They didn’t have a place to go, so they spent their money fixing up the house and building out game rooms,” he said. “There was already kind of a surge in people purchasing pinball machines for themselves back when COVID hit and things slowed down, but it actually kind of picked up during that time frame.”

The Dallas Observer was not late to the festival’s return as they tried the newest addition of games in several pinball machines and they weren’t disappointed with it. 

“Stern has been great at keeping the traditional pinball spinoffs of pop culture properties alive, especially when they were the last pinball game company in town. Back in the day, part of mainstream movies’ marketing budget included creating arcade video and pinball game spinoffs usually so movie theaters could stick them in the library to remind them of the movie’s release or (in the cases of movies The Shadow and Johnny Mnemonic) give them something fun to make up for releasing such a sucky film.

Multimorphic has come up with a novel design for the classic pinball game and the game industry’s rapidly evolving technology and capabilities. Some of the biggest challenges of collecting pinball games whether for an arcade or a private collection is the price and space they take up on the floor. If you want a classic machine, you can only get one game for thousands of dollars. If you want more, you either have to buy another one or get one of those video pinball machines that can house thousands of games, but they’re all on a flat, two-dimension screen.

This pinball maker from Wisconsin is becoming a classic contributor to the genre with its unique hook: producing horror themed games that aren’t afraid to be a little bloody or more mature. This year, Spooky Pinball showed off two new games with identical floor designs, but the themes are wildly different and both are a lot of fun to play.”

The festival not only featured new games and new machines but also invited celebrity guests and held tournaments.