Back in June the warning went out from Farsight Studios that their digital pinball platform, Pinball Arcade, would lose all classic pinball tables under the Williams and Bally family at the end of that month, so anyone looking to buy beloved tables such as Theater of Magic, Twilight Zone, Taxi, or any of the others today on the Pinball Arcade platform are out of luck. On the other hand, things are looking up on the Pinball FX3 platform from Zen Studios as it's been announced that Zen has acquired the license for the Williams and Bally tables.
Marking Zen's first foray into offering tables based on real physical titles rather than original digital creations, the company plans to launch table packs for the Sony PlayStation 4, Microsoft Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Mac soon and has already made four tables available on Steam as part of a free beta test. Fish Tales, Junk Yard, Medieval Madness, and The Getaway: High Speed II are up first with four more tables to follow before the end of the year. Zen has prepared a full FAQ regarding then new tables. Here's a piece of it:
Has there been any change to the physics for the Williams tables, or are they in line with Zen’s current physics offerings?
We have invested a lot of time and energy adjusting the physics simulation for the Williams tables, so they play true to form – it feels like real pinball. Early feedback suggests physics are spot on; however, we certainly welcome your own feedback as well. We think the ball moves and handles extremely accurately to the real thing, including accurate ball spin and “tricks” as well.
Will this game be very simulation heavy, or will there be options to have something like in Zen, where you can have score numbers popping up, etc.?
All Williams tables can be played with or without normal Pinball FX3 extras, such as score pops and in-game notification, allowing the table to be played in its purest form.
This is a huge deal and I'm extremely excited to see what Zen can do with these tables. I own all of the tables currently available on the PS4 versions of Pinball FX3 and Pinball Arcade, and while the latter offers a lot of value, the former has the better overall experience. Bringing great tables like Fish Tales and, hopefully, some personal licensed favorites like Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Addams Family into the FX3 experience with tournaments, bonus modes, and replay-enhancing challenges is a wonderful match. We'll have more on this news in the upcoming Episode 271 of the Power Button podcast.