Stern Pinball talks Stranger Things and the future & past of pinball games

We caught up to Stern Pinball to talk about the state of pinball development past, present, and future, and the new Netflix Stranger Things pinball machine.


Stern Pinball is a household name when it comes to the pinball game. Founded in 1977 to offer both pinball and video arcades titles such as Berzerk (under the company Stern Electronics), Stern has been around for a long, long time and stuck to the pinball industry where other companies abandoned it. As such, they’ve become one of the only major pinball developers and distributers left and certainly one of, if not the most prominent in the industry, still creating machines now like the recently revealed Netflix Stranger Things pinball machine.

We caught up to Stern Pinball President Gary Stern and Global Ambassador Jack Danger to talk about their latest Stranger Things machine, their dedication to the pinball scene, and what they believe lies in the future of the industry. As should be expected of people who have become the most famous groups in pinball, there’s a lot of conversation to be had about where the industry is and where it’s headed, as well as lessons learned from sticking to the industry even through the decline of the arcade era and into its current resurgence in the bar arcade boom. You can check out the video in its entirety below.

To the question of how to keep pinball relevant in the current era, Jack Danger mentions the use of Twitch as a great view to show younger players who might not have access to arcades what pinball is about. Danger often streams on the DeadFlip Twitch channel to both show off new Stern products and invite newcomers to see what pinball and the latest machines are about.

“Twitch is very approachable by anyone of any age,” Danger explained. “Right now a lot of [pinball] games are in bar arcades and home collections, and kids obviously can’t go into bars. They have to turn to watching someone play it so that when they do find a tournament they can compete in, they’ve taken those nuggets that I’ve spouted out on my show, and can translate that into information they can blow these games up on.”

Be sure to watch the full video above for more on Stern Pinball, how the company licenses and develops new machines, and what you can expect out of the future of Stern Pinball. The Stranger Things pinball machine is available to order in Pro edition with Limited and Premium editions on the way soon.

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Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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