The New York Times is running a story about Stern Pinball Inc., which they say is the last pinball factory left worldwide
. The story describes working there as a "game geek's fantasy job." The company president, Gary Stern, acknowledges the lack of demand, but he plans on sticking around. He also expects the industry to rebound within the next 10 years. We've previously discussed a slightly smaller
version of pinball.
"Corner shops, pubs, arcades and bowling alleys stopped stocking pinball machines. A younger audience turned to video games. Men of a certain age, said [Pinball Hall of Fame operator Tim Arnold], who is 52, became the reliable audience. ("Chicks," he announced, "don't get it.") And so for Mr. Stern, the pinball buyer is shifting. In the United States, Mr. Stern said, half of his new machines, which cost about $5,000 and are bought through distributors, now go directly into people's homes and not a corner arcade."