Stern Is Upgrading Pinball Machines To Attract Repeat Players

By Anthony K

The Covid-19 pandemic hit everyone, but some companies felt it more than others. Movie theaters and arcades were some of the first to take a financial hit when lockdowns started and people were socially distancing from one another. The latter was already struggling to make ends meet, and now that companies are trying to return to normal, they’re trying to make up for the lost time. But how do sparsely visited arcades get customers?

Stern is rolling out an upgrade to machines all across the country to entice players to keep coming back. Stern is introducing a pinball improvement that will identify unique players, keep track of their performance, and honor their accomplishments in an effort to entice pinball gamers back to their neighborhood hangouts.

Image courtesy of Gilmanshin/Shutterstock

The new Insider Connected feature won’t be accessible for every Stern pinball machine ever made because some of them are decades old and don’t have the modern technology needed to handle the metrics and player engagement.

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Therefore, Insider Connected will only be available on Stern 7’s more current Spike 2 LCD games, equipped with a big color screen where players can view profiles and other data. Naturally, persuading pinball players to return to arcades is not difficult. The challenge might be attracting new players.

With the help of the Insider Connected service, serious pinball gamers can keep track of the machines they’ve played, their high scores at each table, and even how much time they’ve spent trying to beat their old records.

Image courtesy of Stern Pinball

Stern’s gold coins will be used as in-game reward currency thanks to the Insider Connected program. Local operators activate and define the value of the tokens, which players can exchange for rewards such as free food from the arcade’s concessions.

It might take a few months before the Insider Connected service is accessible on your local pinball machine, given the difficulties even large electronic manufacturers face in providing consumer products.