Production: 3,000 – 5000 units
Released: March, 1979
Comments from designer Steve Ritchie:
“Eugene Jarvis and I will consult on the quantity of Atari’s Superman Pinballs that were produced. I think it was 3,000, but Eugene might remember a different quantity. It might have as high as 5,000……
Eugene wrote all the sounds for Superman and one of his amazing programs that created some sounds by introducing bugs to the program. He later created G-wave, an incredible breakthrough at the time. Recording music and sound on silicon was not an option in 1977.
Eugene and I worked together on Superman for what seemed like years. It might have been 13 months or so. I stumbled through many whitewoods, but ultimately, it played nice for it’s time.
I brought my Echoplex (a guitar player’s tape loop mechanical echo chamber on the cheap) to work, and connected it to our Superman Prototype. The continuous background sound that emanated intrigued us.
Atari management refused to let us apply this fun discovery, which made the player feel more a part of the pinball game, and added progressive adrenaline to any pinball as the game progressed. Why didn’t management feel what we felt?
I left Atari to make pinball machines at Williams before Superman was manufactured, and applied the background sound concept to Flash, which was also the first game to use Flash Lamps, (that’s how they got their name) and a 3rd-flipper-repeatable loop shot. I was also a lot happier working at Williams, happiness being an important ingredient that enables a designer to create to his/her potential.”
SOURCE: Internet Pinball Database