For the second game in a row, pre-announcement pictures of Stern Pinball’s latest release have leaked onto the internet before the company can officially launch their new title.
Jurassic Park was the first game to be shown in low-resolution images before Stern Pinball made their official announcement several days later. This time, it’s images of the third Elvira game in the series, Elvira: House of Horrors which have been posted in forums, fan sites and Facebook groups all over the world.
Stern had already begun promoting the game through a teaser video posted on their Facebook page.
Almost concurrently though, pictures of the cabinets of the Limited Edition and Premium models started appearing on pinball sites, YouTube and discussion groups. These were then followed by a playfield picture from the Limited Edition showing the game’s features, shots and playfield artwork.
Stern acted quickly, contacting site owners to request the pictures be removed, but only a limited number have complied making it quite simple even now for curious pinball fans to find the pictures and post their opinions of the game based purely on those pictures and their speculation about how it will operate.
Of course, it puts responsible websites such as Pinball News in a quandary. The pictures were taken without permission, apparently from an unpublished product page on the Stern Pinball website. This effectively makes them stolen property, published without the copyright holder’s permission before they were ready to be released. Stern have made it clear they do not wish them to be available yet.
On the other hand, the pictures are now so widespread that the genie is well-and-truly out of the bottle. Not everyone all around the world is going to comply with Stern’s wishes, even if they are made aware of them.
Also, Stern Pinball took a far more laissez-faire attitude to publication of the pre-release Jurassic Park pictures which were released but were intended for distributors only, so they have shown some acceptance of leaks as being part of the rough-and-tumble of pinball marketing. That’s without considering the conspiracy theory that Stern deliberately leak pictures to help build excitement and interest in the title ahead of the official announcement – a ploy which, if true, would only have a very limited life-span before everyone got wise to it.
But, it seems Stern have high hopes for Elvira: House of Horrors as a premium title and are going to great lengths to try to control how and when information is released.
So, if you’re wondering why we don’t have these pictures on the site, it’s because Pinball News has a policy of not publishing pictures against the known wishes of the copyright holder. (Stern Pinball have not, at the time of publishing, been in contact with us to request we don’t publish them.)
What do you think? Should we have published them? Have your say below.
The official announcement from Stern Pinball revealing all the details of the Elvira: House of Horrors models including feature sets, prices and availability is expected later this week, and you’ll be able to read all about it here.