Zen Studios’ Pinball FX2 is more of a platform than a game. Similarly to what Harmonix accomplished with the Rock Band franchise last generation, Pinball FX2 has managed to curate an extremely long tail of relevance through constant DLC releases. Where the plastic instrument franchise has its enormous library of music DLC, Pinball FX2 has seen a plethora of new tables released as downloadable content.
The most recent of these is last week’s Balls of Glory, which features tables themed after Family Guy, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers and Archer. The Archer table in particular has garnered much buzz, and its journey to release dates all the way back to 2012.
Speaking with Engagdet, Zen Studios VP of Publishing Mel Kirk explained that his studio keeps “a top-secret whiteboard that we use to scribble down names, shows, movies and crazy ideas of things that we’d love to do.” Archer, FX’s satirical spy cartoon, made it onto the whiteboard at one point, but it likely would never have made it from whiteboard scribbles to Xbox release if not for Twitter.
Archer Production Designer and Art Director Neal Holman caught wind of some tweets around the idea and noted that he’d love to see his show get a table but that the decision was up to FX. Zen responded by asking him to run the idea up the chain, which he did.
“The Twitter community had an enormous impact on getting the Archer table greenlit from an idea and into production,” recalled Kirk. “Seeing the fan response and seeing the story get picked up in the media inspired a lot of confidence in us that an Archer table would be well-received. The team at [Archer creator] Floyd County were very supportive, pushing the story up the chain at FX and Fox in an almost grassroots kind of way, up to the executive level, prompting serious consideration for a team-up. Ultimately, this led to, as Sterling himself would say, ‘Idiots doing idiot things, because they’re idiots,’ paving the way for the Balls of Glory pack which also includes Family Guy, American Dad and Bob’s Burgers.”