01 June, 2018

The sky is falling

The sky is falling, or winter is coming or any other cliché you happen to favour. If you are following my blog (well, even if you are not following it but you are interested in digital pinball) you are certainly aware of the major disaster awaiting us: Pinball Arcade is going to lose two thirds of its tables (and, to my eyes, the really interesting ones) after the licensing contract with Bally/Williams expires. 

I have been following people's reactions on the web. Most interesting were the ones I read in the comments to the podcast linked to by my friend Marco in the previous post of mine. People started talking about pirating. This is easier said than done. Most probably the ones who are big mouthing do not know much about pirating apps. Perhaps this is easier on Windows but as far as the Mac is concerned pirating is barely an option. I looked around and it seems that there is a cracked version of Pinball Arcade although it does nor even contain all of season 6. Pirating on iOS is a no-no thing, unless you have a jailbroken device. Unfortunately for potential pirates, jailbreaking is moribund and there is no much hope in this direction. (I happen to have a friend of mine with an old iPad, jailbroken in iOS8. I convinced him to load Pinball Arcade and some tables. Well, it turns out that if one uses iFunBox one can have access to the folder where the tables are stored and make a backup of them. This would be OK for one's peace of mind but not for much else).

So, what can one do waiting for the cataclysm? I think that the only way to do this is to download all the tables one owns before June 30th. Then refrain from any further updates which may erase the tables. In fact FarSight should offer a new version of Pinball Arcade  which would not interfere with the previous one after the deadline. But, given their previous record, one can only dream. 


  1. It's much worse with Steam, as it's impossible to prevent it from updating it's games as it does so in the background every time you start it up. My Apple version only has up to season 3, because I couldn't buy season packs before thewy were completed, I switched to Steam. I only found out about this a few days ago.. very late, in fact.
    I'd like to know if if anyone has a problem buying these games before the deadline, as well.
    I've already lost all my pc tables due to a hard drive crash, a fairly new HD in fact, so this is going from bad to worse.

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  3. Well, Vasili, I have good news for you, sort of.. Looks as though ski isn't falling, at least not yet. According to Farsight, in their app information on the Mac, if you've bought it before the 30th, it's yours forever. No wiping it off your device. They're even going to keep making app updates for the games.. plus, they're still going to keep making tables. I'm thinking this an opportune time for them to contact Fujita-san and ask about porting the no longer functional Littlewing tables to TPA.. I would LOVE to se that happen, and Yoshi (that's his name I believe - correct me if I'm wrong!) could certainly use the extra income from licencing them out. y'think?
    On an aside, I tried to buy a season 2 table pack for Steam, and strangely enough, that was the only one I could NOT buy. Not indiividual tables, nor the season pack itself. I recalled I had S2 installed on my Apple store version, so I booted it up, and tried to see if I could buy any tables inside of it. No go, though I shouldn't have been surprised. That's OK though, it only has S2 pack on it, and the Steam one has everything but.
    However, Vasili, the point of this comment is that you can breath easy as you're not going to lose any of your already purchased games.
    Um.. I don't know exactly how it would go if you have any games from.. ahem.. other sources - you just might want to replace those with updateable ones..
    Regards, Vasil, and I hope you do get to read this before the 30th!
    ... Doc