Pinball FX Players Criticize The Game's Expensive Microtransactions And New Pricing Model

Fans of the arcade series feel that Zen Studios has really dropped the pinball with its latest game.


Zen Studios debuted its fourth pinball game this week--now going simply by Pinball FX--and revealed a new pricing structure that has drawn criticism from longtime fans of the series.

Whereas Pinball FX3 allowed players to import previously purchased tables from Pinball FX2 into their library, the latest game in the series will require its players to repurchase any of the 99 tables they had acquired.

Another point of contention with fans is the Pinball Pass, which costs the same as an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate monthly subscription--or Sony's second-highest tier of PlayStation Plus Premium--and provides access to "most" of the tables in the Pinball FX library, minus premium tables like the Indiana Jones setup.

Pinball FX will officially launch in Early Access on the Epic Games Store, where the base game will be free and will offer access to two free tables, which will change every day. Several game modes will be locked behind a paywall, and acquiring new tables will require either purchasing ticket bundles or subscribing to the Pinball Pass.

Prices will vary per table, depending on whether they've been recently added, licensed tables, or older original creations created by Zen Studios. As for how much each ticket bundle costs, pricing starts at $10 for 100 tickets and goes up to $100 for 1,00 tickets. As spotted by VGC, pricing for tables works out to the following amounts:

  • Zen original tables (legacy)--40 tickets
  • Zen original tables (new)--55 tickets
  • Zen licensed tables (legacy)--45 tickets
  • Zen licensed tables (new)--60 tickets

The exception to this pricing structure is the newly released Indiana Jones table, which costs $15--significantly more than the usual licensed table--and currently can't be bought with tickets. Fans have criticized the new pricing model, with one user on Reddit having calculated that the cost to purchase all of the tables that Pinball FX will launch--36 in total--would work out to 1,685 tickets or $150. It's worth noting that the launch week will have a 33% discount on legacy tables, which would drop the price to 1,226 tickets.

In comments on the Pinball FX Reddit and Zen's YouTube channel, fans have pointed out that the new ticket system is designed to make players spend more money than intended, the subscription service pricing is prohibitively expensive, and the inability to import previously purchased tables is seen as a dealbreaker for Pinball FX veterans.

"We know a lot of our players invested into previous pinball platforms, and some tables you may have been playing since 2007," Zen said in an official FAQ. "We are working on several ways to make it easier and more economical to access legacy tables in Pinball FX. We'll have more information on this soon."

Darryn Bonthuys on Google+

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