With the Williams Pinball beta in full swing from Zen Studios, we speculate how the WMS license shenanigans evolved over time.

Jared Morgan
Sep 13, 2018 · 4 min read
Scientific Games and Licensing Negotiations

In this podcast, we’ll dive into some speculation about how the evolution of the Williams and Bally licence properties changed hands over time.

We’re also going to focus in on some evidence-backed timings that are critical in understanding how the changeover between Farsight and Zen may have happened.

Pinball FX3 Williams Pinball Beta

There’s also coverage of the FX3 Williams Pinball public beta to go through, including some opinions about how the DNA of the Alpha is being diluted in the Beta.

Also, a big welcome to all our new listeners. It’s great to have you along for the ride during this exciting time in digital pinball.

And now… on with the show

Williams Pinball Announcement Excitement

  • 02:52 — What are people saying about the Beta?
  • 05:40 — What about Digital Pinball Fans?
  • 06:40 — What is Pinball Players forum on steam
  • 07:40 — What is Pinside saying about it?
  • 09:18 — What about opinion after beta play?
  • 10:20 — How has Zen Studios been responding?
  • 10:50 — Is the public beta going in the right direction?

Concerns with Williams Pinball Tilt

  • 11:05 — Tilt is softer than the Alpha.
  • 12:08 — Twitchy nudgers driving tilt feedback.
  • 12:45 — Beta tilt settings no longer realistic.
  • 13:25 — Don’t draw tilt comparisons with Pinball Arcade.
  • 14:10 —Lively rubber feel sacrificed for post-passing.
  • 15:00 — Physics exploits already cracked.
  • 16:15 —Zen Studios Challenge: Define the Baseline

Stern Pinball Arcade Table Pack News

Pinball Arcade releases Whoa Nellie and Big Buck Hunter
  • 18:50 — TPA released Whoa Nellie and Big Buck Hunter
  • 20:00 — Innuendo in Whoa Nellie vs Scared Stiff. Stop insulting us.
  • 20:45 — Whoa Nellie table opinion.
  • 23:40 — Reels vs LCD on Whoa Nellie.
  • 25:20 — Is the time since announcement reflective of the quality?
  • 26:45 — Big Buck Hunter is looking better than Beta.
  • 29:00 — What can Farsight Studios do to differentiate themselves in the market?

WMS License Speculation Time

  • 33:00 — Lets look at the timeline
  • 34:40 — Pinball Hall of Fame Gottlieb Era
  • 36:05 — Pinball Hall of Fame Williams Collection Era and the Sharpes
  • 36:25 — Pinball Arcade Season 1 and 2
  • 37:45–2014 Pinball Arcade First Contract Renewal
  • 39:00 — Pinball Arcade Season 3 and Scientific Games
  • 40:12 — Zen Studios Sniffs Around
  • 40:45 — Zen Started doing Marvel and Zen FX2
  • 41:40–2016 Pinball Arcade Second Contract Renewal
  • 42:30 — Farsight bids for the whole WMS license.
  • 43:50 — Scientific Offers Considers Offering License to Zen Studios
  • 46:40 — January 2017: Twitter post about WMS tables.
WMS Tables in the Studio… Interesting…
  • 47:50 —Aug 2017: Zen Studios hints at licensing deal.
August 2017
September 2018
  • 48:45 — April 2018: Farsight Learns they lost the license
  • 49:33 — Was Zen Pinball FX3 built for WMS Deal?
  • 50:52 — Was it crucial to the Deal?
  • 52:00 — Was TPA Switch the reason the licence got taken away?
  • 54:40 — Our timeline is probably out.

Zen Studios Live Chat and Possible New License Guesses

  • 57:58 — Zen Facebook Live Chat about Williams Pinball
Facebook Live Williams Pinball Archived Video
  • 59:10 — Disco Dodgeball and Infinite Mini Golf Pinball?

Family Mode in Zen Studios

Innuendo is part of the DNA of pinball
  • 60:00 — Why Family Mode?
  • 61:40 — TPA was E10 and had no family mode.
  • 62:00 — Can we just put age verification into Zen?
  • 64:00 — Audiences have changed about content expectations.
  • 64:45 — Farsight has put Teen tables into E10 package. Why can’t Zen?

About the Hosts

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BlahCade Pinball

Podcast devoted to commercial digital pinball that occasionally veers wildly off-topic just because.

Jared Morgan

Written by

Tech Writer with a Product focus | Podcaster | Pinball enthusiast.

BlahCade Pinball

Podcast devoted to commercial digital pinball that occasionally veers wildly off-topic just because.

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