Archive for January 19, 2009

A tale of two cities

January 19, 2009

It’s another one of those days, as contrasting stories emerge about the health of arcade gaming. Badness abounds as New Orleans CityBusiness is reporting that the original Fun Arcade in New Orleans is closing down after 37 years, leaving no traditional arcades in the area. The owner, 69 year old Jack Boasberg, blames the rise of game consoles and proclaims that “The traditional arcades will go the same way that drive-ins went“. Interestingly, the site of the second Fun Arcade (which closed in 2003) now hosts a LAN centre. The owner, 27 year old Michael Wagner, highlights an important problem with the expectations of those who would visit arcades: “When they make a new machine and it costs the arcade $20,000, people expect to pay a quarter to play it […]

Elsewhere in the USA, Dallas Morning News has interviewed Brian Ashcraft, regular Kotaku contributor and author of the book Arcade Mania: The Turbo-Charged World of Japan’s Game Centers. While the introduction to the interview is less than positive about the American arcade scene, Ashcraft provides some interesting insights into the differences between US arcade culture and Japanese arcade culture. It’s well worth a read for anyone looking to learn a little more about what is undoubtedly the arcade capital of the world.

[Home video games force arcades to pull the plug] [Dallas native chronicles Japan’s vibrant arcade culture in book] [Discuss on the Forums]

The Arcade Heroes GOTY 2008 winners were…

January 19, 2009

sfivarc batman1

Before we start to get hit with all the news out of ATEI I figured it would be good to ‘finalize’ the results of our GOTY 2008 polls. The polls remain open but I think that we already have our winners, so in case you haven’t gone back a few pages to check the results, here they are.

For the arcades, it was not surprising who won this one – Street Fighter IV. As a runner-up came Sega Rally 3, and behind that was the fighter BlazBlue. It should be interesting to see what will be the big hit for 2009 but we’ll only know in about a year.

For pinball, the selection was far smaller but the poll still garnered a decent number of votes and the winner of that one would be Batman. The runner-up to that would be Indiana Jones (which I thought would win).

So congrats to the teams of people that put these games together, you pleased the players, which in turn pleases everyone else down the line.

[Discuss on the Forums]

The Battle For California

January 19, 2009

(Photo credit: James Glover II, Ventura County Star)

For those who say that arcades have died off because they can’t match competing online with people you don’t see or have never met, I don’t think they have participated in a big battleforcaliarcade competition before. Granted it helps if an arcade tries competitions (and I think that arcades have suffered for not doing competitions) but for those that do and for those people who participate in these battles, it’s obvious that competing live is far better than online and what better way to do this than with arcade titles made just for competing.

A big arcade competition has taken place at the Dejin Arcade in the Simi Valley in California, the first California Regionals Arcade Fighting Game Tournament or we’ll call it the CRAFGT for now. The event featured several fan favorites, from Super Street Fighter II Turbo (the original and the new HD version), Street Fighter 3, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Capcom Vs SNK 2, and even BlazBlue and Street FIghter IV. At the even they held the “Battle For California”, a competition between NoCal and SoCal players competed for the “bragging rights of California”. That was a great idea and this all brought out the players, not just from all over California but from other states as well, with one player coming from as far as NY to compete.

For more info check out the article below

[Gamers fill Simi arcade to do battle – Ventura County Star] [Discuss on the Forum]