July 02

Italy’s Pinball Legacy Is Finally Playable on Steam : Motherboard


If you’ve played a pinball machine, you’ve likely played a Williams machine like Addams Family, Pin*Bot, or Funhouse. If it looks like a new machine, it was probably a Stern, which made, AC/DC, Iron Man, or Lord of the Rings pinball tables. Heck, you might’ve encountered something made by Bally, Sega, or Gottlieb in your time. If you live in North America, where most pinball machines have been manufactured and played, it’s unlikely you’ve bumped into something from Zaccaria, despite the Italian company thriving for over a decade and creating nearly fifty tables. If you’ve desired a more intercontinental experience of a silver ball getting smacked into targets a hundred times a minute, a massive collection of digitally recreated games is now available through Steam.

At its peak, Zaccaria was the third-largest manufacturer of pinball machines in the world, pacing behind Bally and Williams, but has remained largely obscure. The company was founded in 1974 by Bolognese brothers Marino, Franco and Natale Zaccaria. Marino was a bar owner who found that his patrons couldn’t get enough pinball action, eventually asking his brothers to drop out of school to help him with his businesses. A recession that plagued Italy in the late-’60s through the ’70s made importing big honkin’ American machines extremely costly. The brothers resorted to refurbishing their current machines with different art to pass them off as new, a suggestion made by psychedelic artist Lorenzo Rimondini, who would become one of the Zaccaria’s closest collaborator.

Read the entire article here :

Thanks to Motherboard and Zach Kotzer for the article.