Posted tagged ‘business’

Lazer Planet opening late September in Dexter, MI

August 27, 2010

Gary and Joe Ouillette of Lazer Planet. Via AnnArbor.com

Newsfeed 910 via

It’s been a long time since I have played lazer tag but I am pretty sure that you can still expect to see an arcade as a part of any LT facility out there. It certainly helps pass the time when are sitting around waiting for the next available game to arrive, which in some cases can be hours. If you live in or near Dexter, MI USA then you have a new lazer tag and arcade experience to look forward to as a new company called Lazer Planet will be opening its doors at the end of September. Unfortunately there are no details on what line-up of arcade titles you will find there except for “an array of ticket-redemption video games” but they will feature a modern lazer tag setup by LaZer Runner, a Canadian company that has developed a system that uses “actual laser beams”, as opposed to the standard IR lasers that are used in other setups. This page on the LaZer Runner site gives a rundown as to why IR lasers are generally terrible to use, and how their system differs in not only the lasers used but also with the addition of fiber-optics used in the vests and RF communication. Having worked in a lazer tag facility myself, I understand the many deficiencies most lazer tag equipment carries with it, so it sounds like LaZer Runner has it all figured out. Which is nothing but good news for customers of Lazer Planet.

Speaking of laser products, I wonder if LP will consider adding a Lazer Frenzy game to the facility as well.

More details on the upcoming Lazer Planet can be found here at AnnArbor.com

UPDATE: One laser tag operator e-mailed me to say that “Lazer Runner is the bane of the laser tag industry”. Here’s the other side of the story (and I don’t mean this to reflect poorly on Lazer Planet at all) below

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Pentavision and Pipeline Games merge to become Pentavision Global

August 26, 2010

Photo of the merger being finalized via CoinOpToday

A short time ago I noticed that the Pipeline Games website was completely down and it seemed to be staying that way. That didn’t bode well for the brand new company who had brought some quirky games to Amusement Expo earlier this year. The disappearance of the website has been solved today however as another amusement company based in South Korea, Pentavision, announced that they and Pipeline Games have merged to create a new company called Pentavision Global.

If you are not familiar with Pentavision, they are the company who has given us the DJ Max Technika series but not much else beyond that particular game and it’s sequels. Pipeline doesn’t have a huge roster of content either – there was a novelty video product called The Grip Strength at Amusement Expo, bowling game and a mini-crane machine which will be released soon. With the merger, it is mentioned that the new PG will focus on “in‐house product development and strategic licensing of coin operated amusement games” but we will have to wait and see what those will be beyond the upcoming DJ Max Technika 2 (which was announced for a December release today BTW). This should guarantee that anything that Pentavision does will be making it’s way to the US as the Pipeline offices will be converted over to the US arm of Pentavision Global. We’re not sure where that leaves PM Studios, who have been taking care of DJMT in the US previously and whether they will continue to work with Pentavision on that.

Either way we hope that the merger will lead to more innovative games hitting the arcade market in the near future, so good luck to the new Pentavision in that endeavor.

More info: Press release @ CoinOpToday.com

Pentavision website

Parent company of Intencity posts strong earnings

August 16, 2010

Newsfeed 902 via

For those unfamiliar with Intencity, it’s the amusement wing of Village Roadshow, an entertainment company based in Australia that deals with theme parks, cinema centers, music, DVDs and more. From the looks of it, Intencity is one place where players can find some of the latest arcade and redemption games and there are Intencity locations in all but two Australian territories. So what’s the big deal? Village Roadshow has posted solid profits, with a 17.7% jump in profits and the Intencity locations are a part of that good news. Unfortunately we don’t know how much they contribute to the company as it isn’t stated in the article but if it was a drag on VR that would have been mentioned.

Source: The Australian

Powersurge – an “arcade” in LA without any actual arcades

June 10, 2010

(Thanks to Andy for the tip!)

I have to apologize for missing this one, it was sent to me back on May 13th but I completely had overlooked it until now. In Los Angeles there is a business called PowerSurge – Video Fun and Fitness which sort of works like an arcade – you play games outside of home there – but it doesn’t have any arcade machines in sight. Instead, it’s all about console games, where customers pay for time on one of 38 screens, setup in a gallery-like setting. Customers can pick from games on either the Wii or Xbox 360 and to help set the place apart they have an 82″ or 154″ screen to play on. Looks like an interesting idea and the interior design looks sleek but I would still like to see some proper arcade machines in there.

You can visit the PowerSurge’s site here.

Powersurge – an "arcade" in LA without any actual arcades

June 10, 2010

(Thanks to Andy for the tip!)

I have to apologize for missing this one, it was sent to me back on May 13th but I completely had overlooked it until now. In Los Angeles there is a business called PowerSurge – Video Fun and Fitness which sort of works like an arcade – you play games outside of home there – but it doesn’t have any arcade machines in sight. Instead, it’s all about console games, where customers pay for time on one of 38 screens, setup in a gallery-like setting. Customers can pick from games on either the Wii or Xbox 360 and to help set the place apart they have an 82″ or 154″ screen to play on. Looks like an interesting idea and the interior design looks sleek but I would still like to see some proper arcade machines in there.

You can visit the PowerSurge’s site here.

State budget woes takes aim at coin-op devices in Oklahoma

June 8, 2010

Stinger Newsfeed 822

While I have been out of the news loop I am normally accustomed to for the past couple of weeks, one thing I have still heard of is the continued troubles around the world involving debt and states/countries having spent an awful lot of money they never had in the first place. Some may blame it on the lousy economy as a reason for shortfalls but I don’t buy it when I read about the many and usually absurd pet projects a state can spend money on. This leads us to Oklahoma, whose budget woes has lead them to a new target for gouging – coin-operated machines. The way it works is in licensing the machines in the state so they can be operated legally. Many places do this – sometimes it’s a state, sometimes it’s a city. Where I live it is city based, which actually led me to pick where I wanted to do business as going to a city where they charge a yearly fee per machine means that it is more expensive to do business there. Even if the city which does this might lead to better sales for certain demographic reasons, higher costs also means much higher risk for new start-ups.

Getting back to Oklahoma, they require decals on every coin-op machine on a location which needs to be renewed yearly. Under the new law, new decals would go up in price by 300% and using the business in the story as an example, Cactus Jack’s, their costs on licensing alone would go up from $17,500 a year to $52,500. Obviously the lawmakers look at that and think that it’s an easy cash cow as though the increase they are passing will not result in either a business dramatically reducing the number of machines they have on location or in shutting down altogether (which then leads to decreased revenues in the area where they were sought for in the first place). If you think of a route operation (where the business owner places machines in a small area in a grocery store, mall, etc) they have to not only cover costs of the product which needs to be restocked often, they have to cover some rent on the space used, electricity, and maintainence, they also will have higher costs on this end, which will force the price to be raised, which can easily lead to lower sales. Where many landlords already require a certain amount to be made to maintain the machines in a location, the new law already has many small business owners looking at closing up shop.

Watch the video on the linked page to get the full rundown. One part that really gets me is where the journalist asked the senator who came up with this law why a 300% increase and he had no answer (i.e. it probably just sounded like a good number, why bother actually doing any research or taking any thought into the negative effects here?).

Via KFOR News

Dave and Busters Ownership Changes hands in $570 million deal; new D&B opens in Roseville, CA

May 3, 2010

Via

One of the more recognized business chains to feature coin-op games is changing hands, as the Oak Hill Capital Partners has announced that they will buy the company for $570 millionUSD. From the press release it sounds like this is happening as a way to help the company expand further in North America and beyond, in fact they just opened a new location in Roseville California today, bringing the total number of D&B locations to 57 in the US.

In lieu of the Gameworks closure recently, D&B is a perfect example of how an arcade-type location can not just survive but grow even during harsh economic climates.

UPDATE: The Roseville grand opening was a success with a report already out there that crowds gathered at the new location. Management estimated that more than 200 people were already there in the morning and that the overall reaction from customers was positive. While I haven’t seen a list posted of all the game content that they have there, we know they have two Blazing Angels and two Artic Thunders (pictured), a Big Buck Hunter or Safari, DDR, Guitar Hero, Space Invaders and Centipede. [Via Rosevillept.com]

[Press release here]

Gameworks restructuring plan means seven locations will close, some may reopen in the future

March 30, 2010

Via

It’s never a good day when we have to report about arcade locations closing – we always prefer times like last week where we reported on several new places opening around the US. But the reality of business is that venues open and close all the time and when times are tough, large chains generally aren’t exempt from the conditions either.

According to a press release issued today by Sega Gameworks, they are restructuring the company and as a result they will be closing locations in the following areas:

“Long Beach, CA; Columbus, OH; Detroit, MI; Minneapolis, MN; Indianapolis, IN; Tampa, FL; and Miami, FL. The company has introduced potential new tenants to mall ownership, in hopes that some locations may be reopened in the future.

I like to emphasize that last part to point out that there is hope for some of these locations, so hopefully something good comes of it. From what I have seen Gameworks locations generally have an excellent roster of games so as long as new ownership can maintain that, and perhaps improve upon any faults, the locations can become more profitable.  Their eight other locations will remain open, if you’d like to know what those are, check out the press release after the break.

UPDATE: Looks like they didn’t plan on how to handle pre-paid items such as game cards and parties in advance.

UPDATE #2: The location in Tampa, FL has already been picked up by a new owner, and they are taking the location into a more family-friendly direction (i.e. more redemption)

UPDATE#3: I am aware that Reuters posted an article today (Apr. 28th) where they made it sound like they entire operation is in liquidation. We are checking into this to find out if that is really the case or if it was just a poorly worded story that is actually talking about the news we initially posted about here.

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Karaoke store upgrades with an arcade

March 24, 2010

Seems like there is a little uptick in new location news coming around lately and while I’m not entirely sure why that is, either way it’s always a good thing. It’s certainly better than reading about an arcade closing it’s doors.

Today news of a new arcade site comes from the Times-Viriginian about a karaoke store called Sounds Galore that decided to add something new to improve it’s business – arcades. Neither the news article or the companies website really gets into what kind of arcade content was added except for a Pac-Man and a few pinball machines including one from the 70′s. They also added a “360 Live Room” for console gaming, a pool room and a new stage room to round out the entertainment options. So while the arcade may not be the primary aspect here, I think that this serves as a great example of how arcades can be added to many kinds of businesses to help improve revenues or entertainment options. I personally think that any business with a sizable waiting area could work, although you obviously can’t house any large games in these kinds of facilities (such as doctor’s offices where I remember Ed Logg saying in an interview once they knew of an Asteroids being put into a dentist’s office). Of course I think entry into places like this would require more games that take up a smaller footprint, and at the moment we don’t have many of those kinds of games being produced as we used to see so businesses will rely on older games to fill up the space due to both size and price.

You can read more about Sound Galore’s new gaming options by clicking the link and if you live in the area, go in and check it out!

[Sounds Galore Opens New Arcade - WPCVA.com] [Sounds Galore Website] [Discuss on the forums]

An arcade that sells it’s own brand of…soda pop?

March 23, 2010

When it comes to running any business, you always want to find a way to set yourself apart from the others who run a similar business. It makes sense to do so, attracting people with something the other guys don’t have. In the arcade business we usually are set apart by the variations in game line-up or other attractions, whether it’s big rides or combining food with other amusement ideas.

In the case of the Klassic Arcade in Gobles, MI, they have found something food related to help set their business apart – their very own line of soda pop. At the moment they have 130 varities of pop for sale, with one that stands out from the rest as it is their own. It’s called Klassic Root Beer, a soda made out of pure cane sugar that sports an arcade machine on the label. According to the story they are working on a kiwi pop and may also introduce a cream soda as they seek to expand further into that brand. The overall soda sales have proven popular enough at the arcade that it currently accounts for a third of the business.

Just as a brief update, the facebook page for the company says that the kiwi flavored soda is called “Frogger Revenge”. Nice!

He has a great classic arcade setup as well, with 60 different games to play from video to pinball. The newest game on their list is NBA Fastbreak pinball from ’97.  Players get unlimited play for $5 and of course you have the sodas to look forward to as well. It looks and sounds like a pretty cool place, you can see more via the links below. Of course if you are ever near or in the area, be sure to stop by and give them your support!

[Story @ Mlive.com] [Klassic Soda/Arcade website]


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