Archive for January 2009

Play Meter Magazine’s 2008 State of the Industry report

January 27, 2009

playcoverEvery year since 1976, the amusement trade industry magazine Play Meter gathers information from operators and others in the industry to put together a State of the Industry Report. When I was researching every aspect I could about arcades when I was putting together my business plan, these came in handy. Play Meter has released their report for 2008 and along with it a bunch of interesting and useful stats on the industry such as the fact that they have 5,000 arcades on record for the US, which is up from 2007. That flies in the face of the constant “arcades are totally dead in the US” talk I see fairly often. That doesn’t include the 3,000 FECs or 168,000 street locations. Thet average weekly gross for dedicated arcade games is up quite a bit too – from $88 avg. per week to $213 – the highest in the past five years. Although even with the higher stats in certain areas, it looks like some of the operators quoted in the margins are pretty pessimistic (but 91% of them think they’ll still be in business in the next five years) but I have noticed that they almost always seem to be. Not all of us are morbidly pessimitic though, there certainly are challenges we have to face but I think that 2009 is a prime year for all of us to turn any bad situations around or at least make the most out of what we have got.

Hit the link below to check the report out

[Play Meter Magazine’s State of the Industry Report 2008] [Discuss on the Forum]

Advertisements

Decorate with these DIY Arcades, pinball and vending machines

January 27, 2009

arcadediykits

stinger11

Many moons ago we posted about some DIY paper arcade cabinets where someone created a template for you to print out and assuming you had a nice printer, you could then create your own little arcade. Well J & C studios has taken it a step further in creating some kits that anyone can use to make their own tiny arcade machines. Laser-cut out of styrene, they are tabbed to fit together easily and come with stickers for the artwork. They can even be illuminated internally and they aren’t expensive either. In addition to the arcades, they also have pinball machines and even vending machines that you can use to build your own mini mock-arcade for fun.

[J&C Studios DIY kits] [Discuss on the Forum]

Construction photos for the Sega Republic at the Dubai Mall

January 26, 2009

segarepub

stinger11

I don’t recall how long ago it was that we heard that Sega was building some sort of amusement park in Dubai but either way one of the people involved in the construction of said amusement park has begun posting pictures of the construction progress on a forum for theme parks. Called the Sega Republic, it looks like it will be pretty cool when it’s all said and done but I don’t envy the guy who has to put this all together and make it work, it looks like it’s a bit of a headache. There will be roller coaster rides and a drop tower and much more (I believe there will be something like Gameworks there too) so when it’s all said and done in a few years, it should be another fun place to visit if you go to Dubai.

For the full set, click here (the Theme Park Review Forums). Pictures posted by forum user “Dubaidave”.

Nanotech Entertainment to release Xtreme Rally Racing at ATEI and IGX

January 25, 2009

gview

stinger11

(click on the images to enlarge)

Nanotech Entertainment has revealed a new coin-op arcade racing title that they are releasing at ATEI and the “alternate show” IGX and it is AFAIK, their second video game to the arcade market if you count their virtual pinball unit called MultiPin but their first “arcade” style game. Called Xtreme Rally Racing, they are definently taking shot at Sega Rally 3 (even their flyer says “Absolutely the best racing game in the world” where Sega used the word “Probably…”), and they have a few options in the game to help it stand out on it’s own.

Perhaps the most interesting feature they mention in the press release is what they call the “Xtreme Off-Road feature” where you can “Race Head-to-Head against other players and the gview2computer to checkpoints while driving anywhere on the map with no present course”. While they did recreate some real courses, the addition of the going anywhere element should prove to be fun, especially where you don’t see that very often in arcade titles.

Xtreme Rally Racing also provides head-to-head online racing so you can compete with anyone in the world via the internet. That is another feature we haven’t seen much of in arcade racers although it has been done before with games like a tournament edition of SF Rush 2049 where it proved to be successful.

From the shots on the flyer the game looks very impressive with highly detailed cars, HD resolutions and even HDR lighting.If it holds at a steady and high frame rate, it should be a sight to behold at arcades.

One last thing before we get to the press release – with this we can effectively put Nanotech into the realm of an arcade developer in the US – before this was held by only three companies (as far as their parent companies residing in the US and not Japan) so with a fourth, it does show an expansion in the market. More game companies = more games for arcades and for players.

We will have more information on this game as well as on others over the next few days with out ATEI coverage so stay tuned. It is strange however that the press release does not mention a booth to see it at or any distribution info.

For more info, hit the post break below. You can also visit Nanotech’s website or discuss this on our forums. We have also added the game to our Master Release Game List for 2009.

UPDATE: It looks like Xtreme Rally Racing may be based upon a game called Xpand Rally Xtreme. How much the games differ in terms of both gameplay and graphics remains to be seen (although from the still shots on the flyer, it looks like the graphics haven’t changed much – we’ll have to see if they’ve bumped up the framerate) but so you have an idea of what Xtreme Rally Racing may look and play like, we’ve embedded the video after the break.

(more…)

A look back at the H2Overdrive that wasn't

January 24, 2009

h2o_3_640w

(This image is the PS2 game that never was, NOT a beta of the upcoming arcade title)

stinger11  

As you might know, H2Overdrive was a name for a cancelled PS2 title that was set to appear back in 2001 but for whatever reason it never came to be. It should be noted that while the new H2Overdrive by Raw Thrills’ is not based upon this cancelled game, the PS2 version was looking at Hydro Thunder for its inspiration. And this also didn’t have anything to do with the never-released sequel to Hydro Thunder by Midway.

[H2Overdrive PS2 game @ IGN] [Discuss on the Forum]

A look back at the H2Overdrive that wasn’t

January 24, 2009

h2o_3_640w

(This image is the PS2 game that never was, NOT a beta of the upcoming arcade title)

stinger11  

As you might know, H2Overdrive was a name for a cancelled PS2 title that was set to appear back in 2001 but for whatever reason it never came to be. It should be noted that while the new H2Overdrive by Raw Thrills’ is not based upon this cancelled game, the PS2 version was looking at Hydro Thunder for its inspiration. And this also didn’t have anything to do with the never-released sequel to Hydro Thunder by Midway.

[H2Overdrive PS2 game @ IGN] [Discuss on the Forum]

Videos and more screens of H2Overdrive hit the net

January 24, 2009

1uph2o

(Image via 1up.com) (Thanks to everyone that sent this in!)

The floodgates have opened up on Raw Thrills’ new game H2Overdrive and the news continues to be good about the Hydro Thunder’s spiritual successor. Gamevideos.com has some videos on this now (I’ve been wondering when arcade companies would use resources like that or Gametrailers to really promote their games) and it looks awesome. Also, 1up.com has a preview of the game overall with more screens worth gawking at and a bit of info on how the game has come together along with the game itself and how it employs a leveling up system and a keypad so you can save your progress, etc. It seems like they have taken some of the better elements from the Tokyo Drift series and incorporated it into the Hydro Thunder formula to make one heck of a game.

I am quite happy to see an arcade title get this level of attention, as we all know it doesn’t happen often anymore that a coin-op arcade game generates this much excitement so hopefully this trend will continue into the future. You might recall that for Raw Thrills’ part that they have invested quite a bit of capital into new game development and I think that what we have seen over the past few months is just the tip of the iceberg.

BTW- It also has been revealed that this is the game that Specular Interactive has been working on for Raw Thrills. We mentioned them quite a while back when it was revealed that they were working on something for Raw Thrills’ but all we could do was guess at what it was and we obviously weren’t even close. Here’s hoping that they keep it up after H2Overdrive though!

Little update: I just remembered that there is another boat racing game that is supposed to come to arcades sometime this year called Power Boat by InJoy, which we saw last year at IAAPA. Looks like boat racing is back in style.

[1up.com H2Overdrive preview] [H2Overdrive on GameVideos.com]