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Executive Meddling: Pinball
It takes a lot of balls to meddle in the affairs of pinball table designers.
  • This is the reason why Williams Electronics' closed its pinball division and exited Arcade Games entirely. The company entered the gambling and video lottery markets in 1991, and the profitability of that division soon overwhelmed all other decisions by company executives. In 1998, even though the arcade Video Game division was still doing well, unsatisfied shareholders pressured Williams to spin off the arcade division as Midway Games. The pinball business fared even worse; even though the company just finished the groundbreaking new "Pinball 2000" platform, executives rushed the release of Star Wars Episode I, then forced the closure of the pinball division merely because the game broke even.
  • Sega Pinball's South Park table was originally designed with a Video Mode — a "Carpet Munching Race" where Stan competed against Cartman to see who could munch carpet faster and impress Ms. Ellen as the bigger Lesbian. It was disabled soon after the game's release at the insistence of Comedy Central.
  • According to designer John Trudeau, the Judge Dredd game was supposed to store locked pinballs in a ring rotating around Deadworld, then use a magnetic arm to release them at the start of multiball. Unfortunately, Williams' German distributor refused to carry the game due to fears that the mechanism would fail. The game was therefore redesigned so the first two locks are registered, and the third/last ball gets diverted to Deadworld at the start of multiball, although the Deadworld ring was still manufactured and sold online.
  • Discussed by Slash about the Guns N' Roses pinball, who said he took his design proposals to Data East over the larger Williams Electronics to avoid this trope.

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