FRISCO, TX — Launch the ball, mash the flippers and rack up a high score! The Texas Pinball Festival is wrapping up a huge weekend up in Frisco.
“We have 450 machines on the floor for play over the weekend,” said Paul McKinney, the organizer of the event. “We’re one of the largest pinball shows in the world. We probably had between five and seven thousand people come through the Pinball Festival over this weekend.”
And while it may seem like this is a trip back in time, the pinball machine is actually making a comeback.
“When we started in 2002 the industry was down to only one manufacturer of pinball machines left,” McKinney recalled.
But since then the industry has revived itself, adding more and more new companies every year.
“We just announced two new manufacturers of pinball machines at the show this year,” McKinney said. “Pinball is more than still alive.”
So what is it about this most retro of games that keeps bringing people back to it?
“The ball is wild,” said McKinney. “With a lot of video games you can memorize a pattern and play the game. Pinball is a physical game, you feel it, gravity plays a role and every shots a little different and even on their best day, the best player can have a bad ball and you might just beat ‘em.”
Well, it looks like no matter how many times it slips passed the flippers and goes down the hole, pinball will always have one extra ball to launch to keep the game alive.