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Re: If you opened an arcade...

Posted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 10:03 am
by crux
Alcohol is the focal point because arcades are a failing business model. Restaurants are dangerous as well. What's financially secure and pairs well with games? Alcohol.

Dave & Busters certainly serves alcohol. The trick to get around the regulations in some states is having two separate sections of the establishments; a bar/restaurant, and an arcade separate to the restaurant with separate admission. No alcohol is served in the arcade and no games are placed within the restaurant.

How likely that is to work with a bar, instead of a restaurant, will depend on the location. Different states have different regulations, but it's pretty clear that no states are likely to allow children in an arcade where alcohol is served, so there would have to be some amount of separation or the bar would have to be closed while children are admitted. This is all speculation; There are experts to consult for these types of questions.

In terms of games, I think there are a number of different approaches. One approach with older (80's) games, is to look for the games that aren't easily emulated in MAME. The games with spinners, trackballs, special controls, vector graphics (Tempest!), etc. Pac-Man can be played on a myriad of different systems, with arcade perfection, but when's the last time any of you have played an authentic game of Tron?

The most obvious approach is the more modern games that actually make it stateside, like racing games, light gun games, dancing games, etc. Get the crowd favorites. Multiplayer games are always a good choice as well.

A niche approach is to aim for newer Japanese releases. This is by far the most expensive route, as the machines aren't rented out stateside, and thus require a lot of money to purchase. Things like rhythm games need to be modern to outdate their console counterparts, and have restrictions such as e-Amuse which doesn't work in the states. They can draw a crowd, however, and some of the most consistent customers. Beatmania may be expensive and huge and loud, but that's what brings rhythm game fans to the arcade. Pop'n Music could even get away with older titles, since very few people have ASC controllers to use at home. I would travel a long way for a Jubeat machine.

The last approach I can think of is using the stock cabs to have a great diversity of games. Neo-Geo cabs are cheap and offer 4-in-1s and tons of great games. Import a row of candy cabs and it would be possible to make a shooter extravaganza, or import new beat 'em ups like Oriental Legend 2. Even older, classic shooters like Armed Police Batrider and Dangun Feveron can't be found on console.

Re: If you opened an arcade...

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:36 am
by Redline9
Octopod wrote:Almost all businesses pay rent.

Don't serve alcohol until after 5 or 6 or 7 PM. All ages up until the bar opens.

That's the business model of this place in Portland.

Hatta wrote:Maybe the solution is free play with a cover charge. Make extra money from concessions.

In Houston, there is an arcade game showroom/dealer that, two nights a month, opens its doors to the general public for a $15 cover charge with all 200+ machines in free play. It's called Pacman Fever Friday. The arcade showroom is in the same building as a bar, so there's that alcohol aspect as well. You enter through the bar to get to the games.

I've personally been to one of these "Pacman Fever Fridays" and I like the convenience of paying once and then not fumbling for quarters the rest of the night. And with unlimited "credits", you can do silly things like play all the way through Michael Jackson's Moonwalker without remorse.

Re: If you opened an arcade...

Posted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:56 am
I saw one of these trailers on the freeway, has gaming consoles, which are already in a lotta homes. A novel Lan party truck. Mame would be idea, though not legal for this retail "Astro Jump" route. Take the PCBs outta NEW Arcade Cabs and tie them into the air conditioned trailer environment. Now imagine Arcade trailer for rent at parties and events.


Re: If you opened an arcade...

Posted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:21 pm
by Bradtemple87
good beer and street fighter