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IN 1998, COIN-OPERATED GAMES were in dire straits. Arcades were extinct, having long ceded their popularity to home video games. Yet pinball remained an experience you couldn't get at home. The pinball designers at Williams of Chicago, Illinois—the world's largest manufacturer of pinball—realized this; they knew that with a little rethinking, pinball could once again succeed.

In a short eighteen months, management planned to abandon pinball in favor of the booming video slot machine business...but not before granting their designers just one last shot at saving the game they loved. TILT: The Battle to Save Pinball is a documentary that tells the story of Pinball 2000, a clever attempt at resuscitating pinball that failed just at the moment a lot of people thought it might succeed.

The Pinball 2000 logo (Copyright WMS Industries, Inc.)

In 1980, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Soul of a New Machine created not just a literary sensation but also a new, corporate mythology: the story of a team of technical geniuses thrown together and challenged to come up with something new and amazing. The media replays the story time and again at the dawn of each new technology—think of all of the dot-com startup legends—but rarely do we hear the mythology retold through the lens of a technology at the end of its useful life, struggling to stay relevant. TILT changes that, showing the dedication of a group of individuals passionate about a product despite the fact that history—even their own company—is against them.

A fascinating story of technology and obsolescence, TILT manages to be many things: a tale of innovation, a business case study, a nostalgia trip, a story of personality and passion, of unlikely teamwork and cooperation in a workplace traditionally driven by ego. It's a tale of bold success dizzyingly followed by stunning failure.

Featuring interviews with legends of the pinball industry and captivating animation, TILT is a irresistible film for anyone interested not just in pinball, but in the march of technology and the corporate machinations that can sometimes make success all but impossible.

Click to discover more about the people appearing in TILT!