NEWS AND MEDIA : Venture Media Discusses Jersey Jack Pinball’s Games the Hobbit and WOZ

Jersey Jack’s pinball wizards dissect the state of their beloved games


The pinball industry has been riding a steady incline for the last five years, and one of the two manufacturers pushing it forward is a shop out of New Jersey.

The company is Jersey Jack Pinball, and in a discussion I had earlier with the founder “Jersey Jack” Guarnieri, we covered the ride of this unique genre of play and the ways they are innovating pinball, specifically in relation to its two games,The Wizard of Oz and The Hobbit.

Jack Guarnieri may have started Jersey Jack Pinball, and subsequently jump-started competition in the pinball industry, but he’s primarily a businessman. In the end, pinball is about great play experiences, and great play experiences are born from talented development teams. So, after my discussion with Guarnieri, I talked to two members of Jersey Jack Pinball’s development team: Jean-Paul de Win, the lead artist on The Hobbit, and the legendary pinball rules designer and coder, Keith Johnson.

Where Jean-Paul de Win is still a relatively new name to pinball, Keith Johnson is practically a household name among silver-ball enthusiasts. Johnson has handled the rules in extremely popular epic, long-form style games like The Lord of the Rings and The Simpsons Pinball Party. Both games are unique to the pinball world in that their rules are designed to be long journeys. This is the complete opposite philosophy of most other famous pinball designers, like saySteve Ritchie, who concentrate on quick and fast experiences.

I got a chance to talk with the team just as manufacturing and shipping of the first run of their latest game, The Hobbit, is in full swing.


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