Tilt! Old-school pinball is no longer old-school


ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (AP) — The old-school arcade game of pinball is resurging in popularity.

The International Flipper Pinball Association says interest has skyrocketed over the last decade or so, with the number of pinball players and competitions growing worldwide.

The IFPA says there have been nearly 4,500 pinball competitions worldwide in 2017, with more than 55,000 players. That compares to 500 players in 50 competitions in 2006.

Chicago-area pinball maker Stern Pinball is also feeling the change. Spokesman Zach Sharpe says revenue this year is up 30 percent from 2016, and 2016 was up 40 percent over 2015.

Sharpe says besides competitions, interest in pinball has been boosted by smartphone applications that locate pinball machines as well as video pinball and arcade bars.