Pinball FX (latest iteration of Zen Pinball in 2023) is finally out for real. And it's...confusing.

As an isolated switch version emigrant, I never could get into the game much because of the lack of any competitors.

separate friends and leaderboards list. gaaah

yeah, having a lot of score to shoot for definitely increases the fun factor

Let me just add my disappointment. I was a huge fan of this series. For FX3, I bought all the new tables because I was so pleased they let me import the old ones from FX2. Xbox is my preferred platform, but I also bought some-to-quite-a-few tables on Steam and Switch too.

I’d like the new tables, but I’m do annoyed at repurchasing existing ones that I’m out. Heck, I’d have been fine if they old imported non-licensed tables; that’d at least be something!

I can’t picture paying $100/year. Like, I’d probably end up paying that much for tables (were I sticking around), but definitely not as a sub service. Just no.

Also, I did try the free table on Xbox. It was…fine, sort of. It didn’t make me think it was a huge upgrade and, worse still, it played sluggishly on XSX. That was disappointing but not super surprising as Zen’s Xbox proficiency has always been a bit shaky.

So yeah, I’m annoyed and disappointed. Also not alone based on the Xbox store reviews as of a couple days ago.

The old tables in the new one, are they remakes, or do they just want you to buy them again?

There are so many better ways of doing this. If they wanted money for the update, they could just make an upgrade option for old customers.

I’d pay 15-20 bucks to jump into a new engine, I would still be buying new tables, and I would think that would satisfy everyone.

It feels pretty terrible to lose a great game like this :/

Thanks for that.

Xbox store has it at 2 stars. Zen is responding to 80% of the reviews with the same boilerplate response that they are sorry you are disappointed, they are providing your feedback to the team, and they will try to address your concerns. Not that effective, in my opinion.

It’s coming to Steam April 13th.

I know Zen Studios had some sort of announcement video about this which I haven’t watched. And I’m not entirely what to make of the wording in the press release.

But does anyone know how or even whether this will integrate with the tables I’ve been playing on Steam for several years now?

Does everything get transported into a new “game”? Will all my tables and scores be preserved? Or is this just a complete reboot? Will the cool new tables – alas, Bride of Pinbot! – be available in my old ecosystem of unlockables and experience points and customized player ID tags? Or do I have to play them in the context of this awkward new free-to-play front end? I’m concerned this whole thing amounts to Zen Studios expecting their Steam players to re-buy the 100 or so tables they’ve been playing.

Can I import my previous tables from Pinball FX3 to Pinball FX?
No. But there’s a good reason for this: For the new Pinball FX, every single table in our library has been remastered, updated, and optimized in Unreal Engine to deliver the best pinball experience going forward. This process required considerable effort that, had that effort not taken place, would have left all classic tables already released behind forever. They would not have been able to make the jump to Pinball FX at all due to using an entirely different, more advanced engine.

As we have switched from offering content sales from the Pinball FX in-game store to regional storefronts, we are not able to plan sales on our own schedule. Offering content discounts now relies on participation in curated sales events with PlayStation and Xbox, which takes extra lead time and coordination.

As such, we are not able to offer Legacy Content discounts at launch, but rather at some point in the near future once curated sales are secured. We plan to offer 33% discounts on all legacy content as soon as possible.

Oh boy, 33% off things I already own. Be still my heart.

Oof.5

We can still play all our owned tables in the previous version. I guess I’m not too upset. It’d be nice to have everything move under one roof, but it’s not exactly free and painless for them to give everyone updated remastered versions in the latest iteration. I’m a bit more sympathetic.

Man, Links (the golf game) used to let you import any old courses into the next new iteration of the game. I recall some of the older ones didn’t import so well into the later versions of the base game–they were playable, but the old art assets no longer matched the scale and resolution of the game–but still, I had a huge collection by the time that game sunset. I can understand why Zen can’t afford to have that kind of backwards support, but at the same time, I think it’s a particular detriment to releasing full-on sequels to a product of this kind. I actually think a subscription service is a good model for what they do. But then I think they really have to maintain backwards compatibiltity/updating of tables and features long-term. I hope that’s their plan.

Actually, starting around Links LS, there were somewhat updated 2D assets to make the old courses look less bad and those would be installed after having made sure you owned the CD.

Links rocked.

I am fine with paying a modest surcharge to compensate people for updates to content I already own that took real time and effort from them (not me arbiting what took effort, just that’s why I don’t mind paying a bit). 33% off isn’t a modest surcharge, it’s “the price I would start considering buying brand new content for the first time”.

But yeah, I just won’t move to the new version.

It comes down to the price for me. 33% of what?

I enjoy some of the old tables so much that I’m okay with paying a fee for a new lick of paint, and I will probably be building my collection sale by sale anyway, but I think it’s fair to say that their whole strategy surrounding this release has been a mess.

It’s something they’d probably want to be a little more careful with.

They wiped the hiscores of all Pinball FX2 tables around 2 years in the release because they found people were using tilts or something.

They have long stopped being any careful or sensitive, to me.

From what I gather some of the legacy tables haven’t even been remastered (although they’ve managed to communicate absolutely nothing about it) but the port still costs more than the original, and they haven’t wrapped their heads around setting up the discount for legacy owners.

Even if they had, 33% off identical legacy tables at the same price is still a bad feeling, so yeah, that’s really sloppy and unattractive.

I haven’t dug in yet, but people are saying it’s poorly optimized as well. If only they’d done an early access to iron out the kinks /evil

That’s a fair judgement, but I try to distinguish between what’s dumb (by accident) and what’s evil (on purpose). I don’t know the details, but that sounds like dumbness to me.

I fully assume that any online leaderboard has been tampered with in some way, but if they thought it was that important, they should’ve just nuked the top 5% or whatever seemed realistic.

I get why anyone with a legitimate score would be pissed either way though.

Now released on PC:

I don’t know if this is a regional thing, but everything is more expensive than FX3 was.

Discounts for previous table owners:

Ah, so I see now how this works. Pinball FX3 on Steam, which is what I’ve been playing for at least a couple of years now, is completely abandoned. No new tables, and furthermore none of the tables from the free-to-play version that’s been on Epic for the last year, and not even any of the remastered tables available in Zen’s newest release. Pinball FX3 players get bupkis. It’s dead. It’s over. They’re done with it.

Instead, Pinball FX3 players can buy into Zen’s new free-to-play rebooted Pinball FX With No Number Anymore. And for $381.07…

…we can buy all the tables, which are comprised of about 80% tables we’ve been playing in Pinball FX3, and 20% new tables which are unavailable in Pinball FX3. But if we don’t want to rebuy tables, we can instead pay a monthly fee to have access to all of them so long as our subscription is in effect. 12 months best value!

It’s been real, Zen. For a while, you guys were golden to me. I’m sorry to see you go down that route, because I won’t be following.