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Upcoming documentary shows the rise and fall of Williams’ Pinball 2000

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The concept to combine a monitor with a pinball machine was the idea to save pinball at Williams. It was not enough.

Anyone who can consider themselves a pinball enthusiast is probably familiar with the Williams Pinball 2000 concept. It was an innovative way of combining a video monitor and computer graphics with a pinball machine. But, more than that, PB2K represented the last-ditch-effort of the best pinball company ever to try to save their floundering division from being cut.

Unfortunately, it was not enough.

With the decline in pinball machine sales and the meteoric performance of the new Williams (WMS) casino slot machine division, the company made the decision to kill the pinball side of the business because Wall Street felt that the slot division would never achieve it’s “expected, full value” as long as it was carrying the pinball group. Thus, with only a few PB2K machines designed and produced in limited quantities, the pinball group was made just an entry in the WMS history books (the one that effectively built the company is it is today).

Most of the ex-Williams pinball designers moved-over to the newly resurrected Stern Pinball to continue working on what they love, and today, Stern is the last pinball machine company left in business.

Anyway, this documentary looks to have lots of interviews and discussion with the people who worked at Williams explaining the situation which led to this outcome. The DVD is not available for purchase yet, but there is a video trailer to give you a glimpse at what to expect. I’d love to get an advance copy of this so that I could write a complete review to post!

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