Pinball FX (4) is EPIC Exclusive and Unreal Engine

trash80

New member
Dec 14, 2018
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Pinball FX as answered by Mel on Episode 3.

None of your FX3 table purchases will carry over to the new Pinball FX on any platform.
Exclusive to EPIC store for one year. (I think it may stay an Epic store exclusive, or at least we may have Epic store DLC exclusives in the future)
Using the Unreal Engine. (Will they support anything above 60hz? Or will they be developing with the Switch in mind.)
All Original Zen tables will be "remastered" and include Pro-style physics.
Walking Dead and Portal will not be coming over to the new Pinball FX.
Pinball FX3 DLC purchases will continue to be available on each of the current platforms.
No new tables for Pinball FX3.
New Pinball FX will NOT support VR.

So what does everyone think?

Next Zen original pack? Could it be... I don't know, maybe, Fortnite?
Will they "lessen the blow" of rebuying tables by having a subscription and/or freemium model?
 
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FunktionJCB

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Oct 9, 2018
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Considering what they did with their other games, it was sadly expected.
I mean, I was a beta tester of their game Operencia on Steam, and after all the trailers asking people to wishlist the game on Steam, and a beta test done on the platform, they... released exclusively (for a year) on the EGS at the last minute.
Regrettably, customer convenience and the existing pinball community on Steam doesn't mean much to Zen.

Oh well, you know what? Their loss. ;)
I'll play something else, and spend my money on something else.
I'm in my 40's, my time is limited, and I honestly don't feel the need to rush to support crappy companies, and jumping through hoops just to play the latest shiny new thing.

More and more, I find myself enjoying the time I spend playing Zaccaria Pinball (ever since I started using a 144hz monitor, I love the way the game plays at higher frame rates, it mostly feels like "real" pinball).
And besides the original tables, the Remake and Deluxe tables they've been releasing have been quite fun.
More people should give the game a try. It really has come a long way (at least on PC), from its unpolished, humble beginning.

And, I still have all the tables on Pinball Arcade, which I still enjoy playing (despite that game lacking some of the "flash" and pretty menus found on Pinball Fx), so I own plenty of digital pinball content to keep me busy.
 

Narc0lep5y

Member
Feb 21, 2015
311
0
Pinball FX as answered by Mel.

None of your FX3 table purchases will carry over to the new Pinball FX on any platform.
Exclusive to EPIC store for one year. (I think it may stay an Epic store exclusive, or at least we may have Epic store DLC exclusives in the future)
Using the Unreal Engine.
All Original Zen tables will be "remastered" and include Pro-style physics.
Walking Dead and Portal will not be coming over to the new Pinball FX.
Pinball FX3 DLC purchases will continue to be available on each platform.
No new tables for Pinball FX3.
New Pinball FX will NOT support VR.

So what does everyone think?

Next Zen original pack? Could it be... I don't know, maybe, Fortnite?
Will they "lessen the blow" of rebuying tables by having a subscription and/or freemium model?

Solid No.

The Epic store is terrible. 40% owned by TenCent. A terrible interface, poor shopping experience, no gift card support, especially when they've already been hacked make it a net negative user experience. I wont buy anything on Epic and this isn't convincing me otherwise. Happy to take all their free giveaways but wont give them a credit card.

Don't you love that we get both an Xbox and a PS5 version without platform exclusivity but PC, the most open platform, has the least amount of purchase options?
Zen is OK paying Sony and Microsoft their "cut" to get on those platforms, but Steam is too restrictive? I could turn this into an economics of games publishing discussion from my former job experience but I can safely say that Steam is not charging anything outrageously more for their platform and Epic is just undercutting them with an inferior product.

Edit: Unreal Engine probably adds some pressure from Epic to put it on store or some additional incentives. I understand the move more from Zen’s perspective for the engine but still hate the move as a consumer. End edit.

But personal PC store front preferences aside, this move doesn't really make sense for the product either. Steam has the higher user base. Epic charges less to the publisher so Zen has made a conscious decision to go with selling to a smaller user base at a greater profit rather than targeting the largest possible user base. But if Pinball Royale is (conceivably) multiplayer and if, like other Royale games, it requires enough players playing at the same time to be a usable feature then they are undercutting their own product by keeping it restricted to one platform. Does Pinball Royale matter as a selling feature if no one is playing it? Sure, there could be cross platform multiplayer, but don't ALL users want the most people playing? Aren't you just as upset as a PS5 owner if you cant get Royale games because the PC user base isn't there either?

BTW 3 "shows" now and now new Bally/Williams/other re-creation tables announced. We've essentially gotten one new table announced this whole time and it's the collectable star wars VR table. 3 years ago i was all over team Zen and FX2/3. I can safely say the honeymoon is over.
 
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Byte

New member
Nov 11, 2012
582
1
I don't have a PS5 yet (waiting for slightly improved hardware with twice the internal storage) but that would be the platform for me initially. PC can wait until the Steam release is ready. But that is also only if FX supports 4k and extended colour gamut/HDR (in the sense that the artwork is done in that way). We've all been spoiled by Farsight... we would all (few exceptions) be so happy to have even 4 tables sitting in the rec room. Just think about it that way. Enjoy the tables you have and give it some time.

I'm interested though in how the lighting works in the Unreal Engine. A bulb doesn't just snap on and snap off. It comes on, reaches full brightness, then slowly fades out. And not all the bulbs are exactly the same. Wonder if they can do that.
 

suffocater

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Apr 4, 2015
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So FX3 is finished, no more new tables and the next title will MAYBE come to Steam after a year? Well, I will put my money somewhere else.
 

FunktionJCB

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Oct 9, 2018
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So FX3 is finished, no more new tables and the next title will MAYBE come to Steam after a year? Well, I will put my money somewhere else.

That makes two. ;)

I wish someone would come along and make a competing pinball offering.
Even excluding the EGS-exclusivity, there's plenty of things that Zen did poorly with the classic tables they released.

FarSight sadly appears to be gone from the pinball game. Magic Pixel did a great job with Zaccaria Pinball, but not only is that brand lesser known compared to Williams, Bally, Gottlieb, Stern, (...), but also they don't have much else to do, since they pretty much converted all the tables (and have been doing remakes and deluxe "reimaginings" of existing ones).
If no one new comes along, I hope at least those two companies could consider collaborating. FarSight should consider partnering with Magic Pixel, and have the later update their game (customization, menus, ...), and maybe even tackle a new table or two, from the ones they still have rights to.
 

r0g3r

New member
Jul 2, 2012
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After buying all their tables twice and some 3 times, this move is a deal breaker for me. I won't buy any more of their stuff. It's very disappointing because digital pinball is my main hobby. I've been enjoying Zaccaria quite a lot, but it's not quite a replacement for the Bally/Williams tables that I adore so much.
 

FunktionJCB

New member
Oct 9, 2018
23
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After buying all their tables twice and some 3 times, this move is a deal breaker for me. I won't buy any more of their stuff.
Yeah. When they went from Pinball FX2 to FX3, like some people I experienced a problem where many tables would not show up as owned, so I had to re-buy a lot of stuff (some using some discount codes Zen provided, but others at full price).
So, it was a decent investment for me.

And when they launched the Williams tables, despite owning them on Pinball Arcade, I bought them all again.
The first Williams tables were released not much more than 2 years ago (and the last ones were released 5 months ago). And they seriously expect people to buy them yet again? And in the case of PC users, on a platform (EGS) that has plenty of problems, no community features, (...)? And, how long until they decide to make another game, and ask people to buy everything yet again?

It's a different genre, but Euro Truck Simulator 2 was released 9 years ago, continues to be supported, continues to receive expansions and DLCs (a big expansion is releasing any day now, and another is already announced).
And, it's not just content additions. The game just received an extensive visual update this week, with brand new lightning/weather effects.
Zen starts tackling classic pinball tables 2 years ago, and after an underwhelming job, abandons the game (with plenty of problems that were never fixed), and expect people to buy these tables yet again.

I've been enjoying Zaccaria quite a lot, but it's not quite a replacement for the Bally/Williams tables that I adore so much.
The table design of the Zaccaria tables is a bit more dated.
But, if you haven't checked the Remake tables, and the Deluxe tables, do try them. They play a lot more like Bally/Williams tables, especially the Deluxe tables.
The latest Deluxe table released (Combat Deluxe Pinball Table) is quite fun, and has an insanely catchy soundtrack, very 80's synth pop.

Here's a couple of gameplay videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Am7BufqIBM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N18UFIZWJdA
 
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Hinph

New member
Feb 29, 2012
230
0
After buying all their tables twice and some 3 times, this move is a deal breaker for me. I won't buy any more of their stuff. It's very disappointing because digital pinball is my main hobby. I've been enjoying Zaccaria quite a lot, but it's not quite a replacement for the Bally/Williams tables that I adore so much.

Well, just keep playing your Pinball FX3 tables you currently own and the only thing you’ll be missing out on is the slightly improved visuals and classic physics options. You don’t really need to repurchase them to keep enjoying them. Then from there you’d be buying the new tables that come out anyway. Kind of a pain to have to switch between apps when you want to play a certain table but oh well. As somebody who prefers VR pinball, it looks like I’m going to have to get plenty used to doing just that with all of the tables being in different apps. Is what it is.

Maybe down the line it will be worth it for you to upgrade a bundle at a time when they are 50% off for holiday sales and such. While I don’t particularly mind repurchasing tables since I’m switching platforms anyway, I still don’t intend to get them all day one and will be waiting for sales on a lot of them.

There’s not really another professional digital pinball developer around to go to from here, but Visual and Future Pinball are a really good option too since you have a PC.
 

zmcvay

Member
Sep 19, 2014
351
1
I'm not completely surprised, but unless there's a good deal on a bundle I suppose I'll just slowly migrate favorite tables over.

Re: Epic and Credit Cards, I won't give them one either, but the few purchases I've made on their store have all been via PayPal transfers.

Edit: And you can also play purchased Epic Store games via GOG Galaxy 2, so you don't even need to use their launcher.
 
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Scared Stiff

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May 18, 2019
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My thoughts? In a nutshell Zen is screwing over some of their most loyal customers and making switches that no one ever really asked for. It’s the single most anti-customer thing I have seen in my whole life and I am completely disgusted by it and Zen in general.

On one hand Mel admits their were mistakes made in the past. But then he runs off a laundry list of things that are mistakes now. It’s like the company has learned NOTHING. Although considering he begged people to stick with them it does imply some sort of awareness that they aren’t handling this right. But then why do it? Companies that are doing things right don’t have to beg their customers to stay with them.

My take away from all of this is it was a cost-saving move so they don’t have to maintain their own engine anymore while casually disregarding their player-base. There wasn’t much content last year. There won’t be any for Steam users this year, and thanks to their exclusivity deal with Epic, an ADDITIONAL year without content after that. Expecting people to either switch stores, or go without much content for THREE full years seems a bit unreasonable to me. Actually no...it’s beyond the pale and outrageous. On top of that they rub salt in the wound and tell everyone to buy everything again for a change that people didn’t even ask for. It’s insulting. And they didn’t even mention mobile, so what’s going on with that? I’ve seen tons of people say they are abandoning Zen now so this seems like a very risky move on Zen’s part.

First rule of business: Don’t piss your customers off. A lesson stunningly lost on Zen. I really don’t get it.
 
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Narc0lep5y

Member
Feb 21, 2015
311
0
I'm not completely surprised, but unless there's a good deal on a bundle I suppose I'll just slowly migrate favorite tables over.

Re: Epic and Credit Cards, I won't give them one either, but the few purchases I've made on their store have all been via PayPal transfers.

Edit: And you can also play purchased Epic Store games via GOG Galaxy 2, so you don't even need to use their launcher.

The Galaxy thing is cool. Thanks for the tip on Paypal too. Doesn't change my view on EGS exclusivity but good to know the option is there.
 

r0g3r

New member
Jul 2, 2012
6
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Well, just keep playing your Pinball FX3 tables you currently own and the only thing you’ll be missing out on is the slightly improved visuals and classic physics options. You don’t really need to repurchase them to keep enjoying them. Then from there you’d be buying the new tables that come out anyway. Kind of a pain to have to switch between apps when you want to play a certain table but oh well. As somebody who prefers VR pinball, it looks like I’m going to have to get plenty used to doing just that with all of the tables being in different apps. Is what it is.

Maybe down the line it will be worth it for you to upgrade a bundle at a time when they are 50% off for holiday sales and such. While I don’t particularly mind repurchasing tables since I’m switching platforms anyway, I still don’t intend to get them all day one and will be waiting for sales on a lot of them.

There’s not really another professional digital pinball developer around to go to from here, but Visual and Future Pinball are a really good option too since you have a PC.

Yeah, I have visual pinball. I play on a vertical monitor, so it works well for me. I'm just not going to support Zen Studios anymore. I have hundreds of dollars into FX3 and they are abandoning the platform after just a few years. If I could bring my existing 99 tables forward on at least one of the platforms I own them on, I'd stay in it, but having the tables divided between a dead ecosystem and a new ecosystem just ain't gonna work for me. I felt like it was a real snub to their most loyal customers for them to even say that in their video. I've also bought some of these tables 3 and 4 times since I also have all the content for FX2 VR, and some tables on Nintendo Switch for playing with my daughter. I'm just not going to buy the same ones over again...also, I don't buy stuff on the Epic store.
 

r0g3r

New member
Jul 2, 2012
6
0
Yeah. When they went from Pinball FX2 to FX3, like some people I experienced a problem where many tables would not show up as owned, so I had to re-buy a lot of stuff (some using some discount codes Zen provided, but others at full price).
So, it was a decent investment for me.

And when they launched the Williams tables, despite owning them on Pinball Arcade, I bought them all again.
The first Williams tables were released not much more than 2 years ago (and the last ones were released 5 months ago). And they seriously expect people to buy them yet again? And in the case of PC users, on a platform (EGS) that has plenty of problems, no community features, (...)? And, how long until they decide to make another game, and ask people to buy everything yet again?

It's a different genre, but Euro Truck Simulator 2 was released 9 years ago, continues to be supported, continues to receive expansions and DLCs (a big expansion is releasing any day now, and another is already announced).
And, it's not just content additions. The game just received an extensive visual update this week, with brand new lightning/weather effects.
Zen starts tackling classic pinball tables 2 years ago, and after an underwhelming job, abandons the game (with plenty of problems that were never fixed), and expect people to buy these tables yet again.


The table design of the Zaccaria tables is a bit more dated.
But, if you haven't checked the Remake tables, and the Deluxe tables, do try them. They play a lot more like Bally/Williams tables, especially the Deluxe tables.
The latest Deluxe table released (Combat Deluxe Pinball Table) is quite fun, and has an insanely catchy soundtrack, very 80's synth pop.

Here's a couple of gameplay videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Am7BufqIBM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N18UFIZWJdA

Yeah, I also own every single Pinball Arcade table, so all but one or two of the FX3 versions were tables I'd already bought on that platform (not to mention the Williams Collection that preceded Pinball Arcade).

I have a lot of the Zaccaria stuff, including some of the remakes and deluxe tables. Working on completing the collection. Cool that their bundles factor in what you already own... getting close to just plunking down for the platinum pack. The tables might not be as good as Williams, but I enjoy the way they setup the game with the achievement hunting and the leader board divisions for all the modes...keeps me hooked. I've actually been playing it more than FX3 lately. I wish they (Magic Pixel) had the Williams/Bally license.
 
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francis247uk

New member
Jul 7, 2012
474
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Shame for Steam users, must be a business decision - they need to turn a profit so I don't think the Epic Store decision would have been made lightly, must have weighed up all the options before they made a decision.

With regards to tables carrying over - disappointed but not surprised, they need to turn a profit so doing loads of work for free cannot make sense in the long run, digital pinball is a niche market after all, glad it's still being worked on at all to be honest.

Ultimately I want the best experience, so if I have to pay and buy some of my favourite tables again, so be it.

The mobile experience of Williams pinball was inferior to me then Pinball FX3, much preferred Farsights mobile business model in that regard, so hope they change that for a future product.

Know it's not exactly the same, but how many of us have bought the same film on video, then dvd, then blu ray etc, it's a little like that I guess
 

Hinph

New member
Feb 29, 2012
230
0
[MENTION=820]francis247uk[/MENTION]

I’m with you. I’m thrilled that digital pinball is still being developed at such high quality by a professional studio and I’m happy to pay the price to support the company that is bringing us this content. It’s really not all that expensive for how much entertainment I get out of these tables and even less so if I wait for sales on some of the packs... I don’t really feel like I need every single table on day one.

Sure, I didn’t hear everything I wanted to hear yesterday either (mostly in regards to VR support) but I still feel generally positive about Zen and the new Pinball FX.
 

crazyflipperfingers

New member
Apr 8, 2012
221
0
Looks like it's time for me to go into digital pinball hibernation for (over) a year while I wait for Steam support. I will not be repurchasing any Zen originals. They're just not anywhere near as good as the "real" Williams machines and I couldn't care less about stupid animated character models hopping around the screen. I'm very interested in VR and have enjoyed the VR in Pinball FX2 (even though it is Zen originals), so it's disappointing that it seems we'll have to double dip if we want to play on that platform. I think Zen has done a great job with the Williams license, and I'm sure they will continue to do so, but I am not going to be forced into accepting Epic games because of it and I'm not excited about opening up my wallet again to get all the Williams releases even though I'm sure I will do so at some point.
 

AcadDude

Member
Jul 8, 2018
80
0
I will follow them to Epic. I look at it like my entertainment budget. So like a lemming to the flame...Here I go!
 

trash80

New member
Dec 14, 2018
471
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I will follow them to Epic. I look at it like my entertainment budget. So like a lemming to the flame...Here I go!

I have no problem with the Epic Games Store, nor how Epic is securing exclusives. You know, Valve did the same thing when they were starting out and there was a similar hate for them in the beginning. I doubt that I will buy the remastered originals (even if they are practically free) as I don't think the Pro physics are going to make any of those tables any more engaging than they currently are (Plus the rulesets are not really written for Pro style physics). The main reason we wanted the WMS physics on the originals in FX3 was to have a standard set of physics across the collection, but with how they handled the various iterations of physics on just the WMS tables, it became obvious that Zen had no clue how to manage the playability of their library of tables without a "great reset." Sad thing is, I'm going to guess we will continue to see physics creep and iteration anomalies with each successive DLC pack on the new Pinball FX and in a couple of years we will be right back to where we are currently with the state of the game.

I bet many of the people currently saying they will never buy a table on the EGS will change their mind when the upcoming WMS tables are announced.

I'm interested to see the fallout from the new required hardware specs, and I think there is going to be a huge percentage of current pincab builds that will be rendered obsolete with the use of Unreal Engine.
 
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