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A huge thanks to Chris Friebus, the host of the weekly BlahCade Pinball Podcast.
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Guest Post: Speculation on What Happened with the Williams Bally Digital License
by Chris Friebus


The following is an essay steeped with heavy speculation. I am not an investigative journalist, you are not going to find source notes or hard evidence. This is simply my perspective as someone who has followed with great interest the digital pinball scene for over 6 years, piecing together all the bits of knowledge I have collected in that time. That being said, I think I’ve hit close to the mark. Enjoy!

Speculation on What Happened with the Williams Bally Digital License

Although it was a probably only a minor blip among traditional pinball fans, for those that follow digital pinball the announcement in April of 2018 that FarSight, makers of The Pinball Arcade, had lost the license to Williams and Bally tables was huge. After much hand wringing and wondering about why Scientific Games chose not to renew the license with FarSight, the answer is now clear and quite honestly rather exciting; Zen Studios has acquired the worldwide digital rights to the WMS license for their FX3 platform.
Before diving into the details of Zen’s future with the license, let’s look at a little history and a ton of speculation on my part. When FarSight first had licenses for Williams (for their Pinball Hall of Fame collection) and then Bally tables (for The Pinball Arcade), Scientific Games was not part of the equation. FarSight typically had the ability to make around 20 titles in 2 years