Posted tagged ‘Chuck E. Cheese’

FTC subpoenas Chuck E. Cheese again for marketing food to kids

September 2, 2010

Chuck E. Cheese is back in the news but this time it has nothing to do with how adults handle themselves at some CEC locations but with how the company does it marketing. The US Federal Trade Commission has sent subpoenas to 48 companies in regards to how they market to kids and once again the arcade/food chain Chuck E. Cheese is among those in their sights. At the moment there isn’t anything that can really be done to the companies in a legal manner but the FTC is trying as hard as it can to limit advertising to children, giving them “special protection” beyond the laws on the books that already prohibit advertising certain substances to them.  As a father of two young children I can understand the desire to limit the exposure of certain products to kids but I also understand concepts like educating your kids, talking to them and being able to say no if they want something bad for them. It’s really not that difficult. If my kid wanted to go to CEC where a “kid can be a kid” because of an ad he saw then I would have no problem with that as I have no problem with CEC. If some other parent has an issue then they have a choice to not take their kids there and go somewhere else. What a mind-grenade!

Here’s one of those ads that makes the suits at the FTC frown – I’d really like to know how any bureaucrat who finds this sort of stuff bad for kids expects CEC to stay in business by not marketing to their target market. It’s a business made for kids to have fun and have some pizza while doing it. Last I checked, neither pizza nor fun is illegal in the US and I fail to see anything taking advantage of children in any of CEC’s ads to warrant a subpoena – we’re not talking even in the same category as cigarettes or booze here.

Here’s one that’s been on PBS, as CEC sponsors PBS Kids on a regular basis. They have another ad like this(but I can’t find an example online) where it doesn’t even show food or arcades, just tells kids to get outside and play. Oh the humanity! /sarc

Source: Advertising Age

Morning round-up: Taito opens new store, UK chain Gamegrid liquidates, arcades as social hang-outs and Chuck E. Cheese launches a Nintendo DS game

April 21, 2010

News links via

Here are a couple of brief location related stories to chew on for today. I am going to take four different Stinger Report newsfeeds and combine them into one due to the brevity of each. That or I am being too laid back this morning to really break each story down.

First off, Taito is going to open five more stores in Japan. It’s great to see some solid growth there, especially considering the hubbub that store closures by various companies in Japan created a couple of years ago. You can see when and where they will be opening the new places here.

On the other side of the globe, UK company Gamegrid (which is not affiliated with my own company in any way, The Game Grid Arcade) is in the process of liquidating their holdings. They own 14 routes across the UK and France, several of which are located in airports according to the story. Three of the airport locations have been sold to new owners already and it probably won’t be long before they take care of others as well. I wish any of the airports I generally frequent would have arcades, that would be far more entertaining to go to than to sit there and watch some boring news channel. I usually like to read something but on the long layovers some coin-op entertainment would be nice. Anyways, you can read about the liquidation here @ intergameonline.com.

Here is something that is sort of arcade related: Chuck E. Cheese is bringing some of the redemption content they are well-known for to the video game world with Chuck E. Cheese’s Party Games for the Nintendo DS. These include the likes of Whack-A-Mole, Skeeball, those squirt gun games where you shoot the ducks, a Sprint-like racing game, a Space Invaders style game, a Beatmania style game and even a mini-game where you make your own virtual pizza. If we only had replicators that you could connect the DS to, that would be great. A parent brawling game is absent but I should lay off completely as I know they are doing what they can to curtail something that is sort of out of their control. You can read more about Chuck E. Cheese’s Party Games here @ Siliconera.

Here is an article going over one of the selling points to consumers for going to an arcade: the social gaming atmosphere. The writer interviews a couple of operators in British Columbia to discuss what it is about arcades that players can find appealing in a world full of easily accessible online games. It all comes down to how arcades foster people, whether they be friends or strangers to play against or with each other, while making a good point about the lack of co-op games in the arcade industry compared to competitive titles. At the moment I think it would be great if we saw more co-op games in the arcade again as right now such games are all the rage. It’s not just on Facebook but on other services as well, such as XBLA games. Some of my most popular games on my PC LAN involve co-op play. Original pioneers of co-op gaming can be found in arcades, such as games like Rip-Off, Gauntlet and a plethora of beat ‘em ups that came along in the 90’s but competitive games have always dominated the scene. We do have a couple of new games out there that focus on co-op: Tank! Tank! Tank! by Namco has a couple of co-op modes and light-gun shooters such as the upcoming Deadstorm Pirates and Let’s Go Island are also bringing that out. You can read the article here at TheSheaf.com

Oh boy: Woman sues Chuck E. Cheese for getting hit by a stray air hockey puck

February 20, 2010

Via

The other day I came across an article about some people who got into a fight at Chuck E. Cheese again, this time over a dispute at a vending machine. I decided not to post it because it isn’t anything new – we have covered the stupidity that some people display when they are at CEC before and it’s usually the same story.

But thanks to this news today, I had a reason to discuss the story above. At least the news today is something different, something that involves a lawsuit instead of a brawl. A woman who was hit on the head by a stray air hockey puck is suing Chuck E. Cheese’s – not the person who hit the puck too hard but the company who hosted the air hockey table. According to the news report, she is suing because she got hit in the head which then caused “a head injury and memory loss.” She claims that CEC is at fault because they didn’t setup adequate protection between the booth and the air hockey table. The puck in use was also claimed to be larger than the standard puck seen on air hockey tables, which would be unusual for a place like CEC to use on their tables – unless of course the person playing was using their own puck for some reason. Who knows if we will hear how this case turns out but what are your thoughts? CEC doesn’t have a comment yet so the news story only covers the woman’s side of it; Puck’s will only fly off a table when hit in a certain way – usually with too much force and at a certain angle. If the puck in this case was indeed a professional puck that is heavier than a standard puck then it would require even more effort to send flying off the table. I certainly don’t appreciate it when players get too violent with the game but my own air hockey table isn’t anywhere near where a person would be sitting down to eat. At least a lot of newer air hockey tables have barriers on the side to help prevent some pucks from flying off but those won’t stop all stray pucks either. I’d love to know how the tables are setup there and how close they are to the booths.

More info here.

Chuck E. Cheese posts profit jump in Q3 – How is your arcade doing?

October 31, 2009

cec

stinger

For the past little while, the only stories we have posted regarding Chuck E. Cheese have been negative stories, dealing with the wave of adults who get into fights with each other at their kids’ birthday parties. So it’s nice to see a positive story about the company popping up for a change, especially where they are posting a nice increase in profits for the 3rd quarter of 2009. With this story dropping it leads me to ask those of you out there who are running an arcade/FEC/route location – how did your business do last quarter (or how has it been doing for the past year)? I have heard from some operators recently that they have been having a good year, one even told me that they were having their best year ever. Personally the beginning of this year was pretty bad but after I moved locations last quarter we are seeing our best earnings yet but since we are in a different spot, it is difficult to pin it up against last year seeing how the new place naturally picks up more foot traffic by being inside of the mall.

If you would like to share how your arcade is doing, comment below or discuss it on the forums.

 

Games too Violent for NY Chuck.E.Cheese?

July 23, 2009

Chuck'e Cheese (Large)

A New York state Chuck.E.Cheese is in danger of losing it’s license for it’s games room after town officials raised concern over the type of games that can be played by youngsters.

Council Member Shelly Schratz said she was disturbed by several “action-packed shoot-and-kill games” that were accessible to children as young as 4.

“When I see 6-year-olds, 8-year-olds playing those games, when all the time we’re opening the paper and seeing those stories on youth violence, do we need those games to make money?” she said.

I have to say this has always been something that has interested me. Are arcade games rated by anybody? In general they are all pretty tame compared to many console games. For example you never see any graphic violence in arcade games. Usual an enemy is non-human (i.e. zombies or aliens) and if they are human and are shot, you don’t see  physical injuries on them when they are hit.

Games like these have been around for a while in arcades, but perhaps the increasing concern of kids playing violent console games has made people look at arcade games a little closer. Could we see these games being toned down, or perhaps enforced over 18’s areas in the future? What are your thoughts?

[Discuss on the Forum] [via Kotaku from Buffalo News]

Man assaults Chuck E. Cheese mascot, gets slapped with a fine

March 4, 2009
cec

Dumb people make Chuck E. Cheese sad

Those crazy, overprotective adults who keep on showing up at Chuck E. Cheese locations around the country are at it again and this time, a man who assaulted a CEC mascot has been fined for his misbehavior after he ripped the head off of the costume that the employee was in when he thought that the employee had pinned his son against a game. The employee said that he didn’t touch any of the children and only put his arms out to get through a crowd of wild kids who were trying to push him over.  Another witness backed up the employee’s story and the explosive parent gets a fine, escaping a six-month jail term.From the looks of it, the 11-year old kid made up the story after he bumped into the mascot and then went crying to his dad about who then went after the mascot.

Such are the joys of running a business at times, when you have to deal with crazy people who make events up to cover up their own bad behavior. At least with this story we finally see someone causing a ruckus at a CEC getting what’s coming to them.

[Via SouthCoastToday.com] [Discuss on the Forum]

Chuck E. Cheese – where adults can't learn to play nice

December 10, 2008

At the very first arcade that I worked at, they had a large area of redemption games and of course a redemption desk. For the most part things went smoothly there but on occasion we’d get the ‘pleasure’ of watching an adult throw a larger tantrum than any spoiled child we ever saw there. While the situation never broke out into an open fight,  it would make for a crappy work shift to see some spoiled adults act like complete jerks over some stupid redemption trinkets that they would forget about before the end of the day, either because some other kid got to a prize before their child did or something else along those lines.

That doesn’t compare to this news that was published in the Wall Street Journal of all places, about a Chuck E. Cheese’s in Wisconsin where the calls to the police outnumber any other eating establishment in the area. Police cechave already broken up 12 fights there since January 2007, with the largest fight involving 40 people during a child’s birthday party. While CEC calls the fights atypical occurances, the WSJ article discusses a few other locations where fights appear to be a regular occurance and this is causing pressure on CEC’s in certain cities to change their policies regarding a few things, in particular the serving of adult beverages.

Now this surprised me! It’s been a  long time since I’ve been to a CEC but I had no idea that they started serving beer and wine in an effort to make things “more comfortable for adults”. Seeing how CEC is billed primarily as a place for kids, I can’t imagine why they ever thought that this was a good idea. The WSJ article talks about how emotions run pretty high at these sort of places where people take their kids to celebrate birthdays and naturally parents want to make sure that everything is perfect for their child but when you have several parents expecting to make the same thing happen for their child, there are going to be conflicts. Throwing in a little booze isn’t going to help soften the impact and I wouldn’t think that they would want to create a place that turns into a bar where you can take your kids. Now only 70% of CEC’s serve alcohol and from the article CEC says that they are working to deter these types of incidents since they know that it’s not good for business. We’ll have to wait and see how it works out and I do hope that they can work it out for the best, I’d hate to hear about some child being seriously hurt in one of these altercations.

[WSJ article on Chuck E. Cheese's Trouble] [ Thanks to Jared Reas of Escapist Magazine for pointing this out [Discuss on the Forum]


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