Archive for the ‘Arcade business’ category

Tokyo Game Action closes

February 10, 2009

bigtgaIt’s always sad to see an arcade closing, but this one is particularly heartbreaking. Tokyo Game Action of Wichendon, MA has been forced to shut down with immediate effect, with a liquidation sale to be held in May in order to secure as much cash for the creditors as possible. The arcade opened in 2003, but has had problems operating for roughly two months due to constant flooding, causing a massive shortfall of income while bills have been mounting.

The worst part of all this is that it has happened to a genuinely nice team trying very hard to offer a great experience to players. The arcade was an archetype for modern amusement operations – it was community driven, willing to buy new games and experiment with different payment models, and offered a range of services beyond arcade games, such as a bowling alley and unique food service serving Japanese and American dishes.

Keep an eye on the Tokyo Game Action website for details of the liquidation sale, as maximum revenue is required to help keep a roof over the heads of the team (sadly, this is no exaggeration). We at Arcade Heroes wish you guys the best of luck in the future.

[Tokyo Game Action][Discuss on the Forum]

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]

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]

Amusement industry bucking the slowdown trend…in India

January 23, 2009

stinger11

As we know, many different parts of the the world are experiencing an economic slowdown and when this happens, it’s natural for many kinsd of industries to be hit hard. We’ve been hearing of layoffs and closures of many businesses, even in the game world (in fact we have some news on a couple of amusement related businesses in Japan closing which I’ll post later). But historically, entertainment, especially out-of-home entertainment is known to do all right or good during recessions as people look for an escape. Such is the case in India right now, where there is a slowdown occurring in that country too but the amusement industry there is bucking the trend and continuing to grow at a rate of 10% -15%. One interesting note made in the article we’re gleaning this information from is that the sector began to market aggressively and that is definitely paying off.

It does make me wonder about how the amusement industry as a whole is doing in the US and Europe right now – from my small business perspective, things at my arcade have remained steady after December was one of our best months yet and I haven’t been able to really market at all since November as my hands are tied with the forced move which can occur any day now. While I have had a few regulars stop coming frequently due to economic circumstances in their personal lives, I have also gained new customers who come just about every day. Either way, I don’t see my arcade as being a casualty of the recession anytime soon, and when I pick up BlazBlue and Guitar Hero along with the new location, I think that we will continue to grow. I hope that the same can be said for other arcades around the country as well as this year unfolds.

[Via The Economic Times] [Discuss on the Forum]

Paul's Billiards and Arcade opens in Ocean City, MD

January 21, 2009

pauls

stinger11

A small new arcade has opened in Ocean City Maryland and even though it is still relatively small (with 2 pool tables and 19 arcade games total, which includes redemption and pinball) it has already gained a following with the locals. They even have an unofficial mascot, with a dog named Ralph and patrons are requesting more games, including a Nintendo Wii setup.

We wish the best of luck to the success of Paul and his new small business, it’s always good to see new arcades opening up because it has the effect that I have talked about before – the more arcades that are out there, the more customers arcade makers have to sell to, which sales should translate into more development and in turn more enjoyment for players who get more games.

[Info and pic via Delmarvanow.com] [Discuss on the Forum]

Paul’s Billiards and Arcade opens in Ocean City, MD

January 21, 2009

pauls

stinger11

A small new arcade has opened in Ocean City Maryland and even though it is still relatively small (with 2 pool tables and 19 arcade games total, which includes redemption and pinball) it has already gained a following with the locals. They even have an unofficial mascot, with a dog named Ralph and patrons are requesting more games, including a Nintendo Wii setup.

We wish the best of luck to the success of Paul and his new small business, it’s always good to see new arcades opening up because it has the effect that I have talked about before – the more arcades that are out there, the more customers arcade makers have to sell to, which sales should translate into more development and in turn more enjoyment for players who get more games.

[Info and pic via Delmarvanow.com] [Discuss on the Forum]

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]


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