Kickstart This: ‘Pinball Arcade: Doctor Who’

FarSight Studios — the people who’ve been working on the acclaimed Pinball Arcade series for a while now — has already run various Kickstarters aiming to help preserve the dying world of pinball, such as their recent success with the legendary Addams Family. The money they’ve asked for isn’t for the cost of making the pain-staking recreations themselves, no — for the pinball aficionados at FarSight Studios — that part of the process is a pure labor of love. While it might have been easy for Williams to spend tens of thousands securing multiple licenses for just one Pinball machine, when they’d then go on to guzzle quarters the world over, matters are far different for FarSight Studios.

The Doctor Who pinball table — released by Williams/Bally back in 1992, and designed by the legendary Barry Oursler (whom also made Pinbot) — was a game famous for both its fast game play, and constantly changing deep set of rule dynamics. At the beginning of each round players would have to choose one of the — at that time — seven doctors available to represent them, and each would radically change the rules for that ball. Perhaps even more impressive — however — was the table’s rather unique “Time Expander” feature, wherein portions of the playing field would actually rise up to temporarily change the game’s dynamics on the fly!


While it’s probably obvious that Farsight Studios would need to both license the likeness of various actors from William Hartnell all the way up to Sylvester McCoy, alongside the basic Doctor Who license from BBC, things are actually a bit more complex than that. Although I won’t fully cover it here, any Doctor Who fan who’s studied their material is already painfully aware of how the BBC doesn’t actually own the rights to numerous iconic designs vitally important to the Doctor Who mythos (such as K-9, for instance). The end result of all this is that the combined licenses needed to revive this table would cost FarSight Studios a whopping combined $72,000, a steep price tag which really complicates their desire to preserve the Doctor Who pinball game for everyone.

Thus FarSight Studios has turned to Kickstarter once more, however — keeping stringently true to their word — they’re applying all overage from Addams Family towards helping to pay for the licenses needed for Doctor Who. As a result of these previous donations, FarSight Studios’ newest Doctor Who fundraiser is only seeking to secure the — rather oddly specific — amount of just $54,364 (of which over $23k has already been pledged). That said — despite the fact things are currently looking up — there are less than sixteen days remaining on the clock, meaning much work still needs to be done in order to ensure that the Daleks once more proclaim “Exterminate” at pinball-lovers everywhere.

Currently a donation of just $7 is all that’s required to secure a launch day copy for any platform of your choosing — via the Pinball Arcade application — including even iOS! Meanwhile — for those extra dedicated to Pinball preservation — additional rewards include: listing in the game’s credits, operator-mode features, access to the Pinball Arcade tournament, discounted extra copies, plus various other rewards. That said, those interested should make sure that their donations have been properly chipped in — before February 13th rolls around — or else the infamous Master just might put an end to FarSight Studios’ plans.