Are Brick and Mortar Arcades Facing Extinction?

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by MajorDomo, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. Jerrin

    Jerrin [H]Lite

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    I totally agree. We once had two awesome arcades that I spent a fair amount of time in. They closed back in 87' and 88'.
     
  2. Ruoh

    Ruoh [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'm still pissed off that the Sony Metreon closed in SF. They used to (five years ago?) have an AWESOME arcade on the second floor.
     
  3. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ard as it Gets

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    On the whole the arcade scene in the US has been long dead...probably for nearly a decade. With the consoles being so strong and online play getting better by the day, there's no wonder arcades are dead.

    Very few new games are being made and the very few tend to be the large interactive variety with guns, dance pads, paddles, wheels, etc. so that they're not the same stuff everyone has in their living room. That's pretty much what's keeping Dave & Busters open.

    There are some kitchy retro arcades popping up and doing okay, though. Places that specialize in older/classic games and a bar or nightclub atmosphere. Like D&B, but without the same 20 broken games that have been there since 2002. There's probably not much room for more than 1 per major metro area, but the few I've stumbled upon seem to be doing okay.
     
  4. ballpoint

    ballpoint Gawd

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    Yeah the thing that kept arcades alive for the first few generations of consoles was the fact that the arcade experience was so differentiated. The graphics and sound were way better in arcades right up until around the time Dreamcast came out. By the time PS2 was out you couldn't see a difference and by the time PS3 came out it seemed to me like arcade games were actually way behind and were still using the same hardware from 1998-2002. I haven't been blown away by the graphics on an arcade game since... shit... Mortal Kombat?
     
  5. tesfaye

    tesfaye 2[H]4U

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    I can't say that I miss them. As a kid they served an awesome purpose, it was a place that I could go to play games that I couldn't play in the same way at home. Now the game quality is laughable compared to what's on the current gen systems and the pricing is insane. It's a dollar a game these days. Screw that.
     
  6. Rofl-Mic-Lofl

    Rofl-Mic-Lofl For Whom The Bell Trolls

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    Have arcade games advanced at all in the past 10 years? It's the same shitty California Rush or whatever those racing games are, Tekken/Mortal Kombat and crappy aim-at-the-screen Jurrasic Park game or what have you.

    The only thing worth going to an Arcade for is that hopefully they have an air-hockey table in some corner.
     
  7. Topaz

    Topaz Limp Gawd

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    They weren't dead already? :eek:
     
  8. gaspah

    gaspah 2[H]4U

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    What? they still exist now? kidding but seriously i only know of two in my city. i'm sure there'd be more but not too many more. the only games i can see as offering anything over the home experience are the motorcycle ones. everything else, cars, ddr... oh wait perhaps whack-a-mole, skilltester and the basketball/bowling prize games woo big loss! it'd be getting too expensive to operate too with way way less customers than the 80s early 90s. buying these expensive single-game arcade machines is just ludicrous. videogames used to be a novelty and was worth leaving your house to play better higher-powered games. now arcade games all look and play very dated compared to what home systems offer these days. why leave home for games older than the ones gathering dust at home? i remember the day the local arcade got street fighter 2 CHAMPION EDITION! wow how awesome you could play as the 4 final fighters! now talk about excitement! talk about a game that had people lining up from the moment i helped push it into place first thing in the morning till weeks later when there would be a slight chance you wouldn't have to wait your turn. single player? not a chance people pumped in a dollar every two or less minutes... what a racket! no games are pulling that kind of revenue anymore. snes market the end, playstation finished it off them xbox, ps2, x360 and ps3 all took turns raping its corpse!
     
  9. gaspah

    gaspah 2[H]4U

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    Games were still better in the arcades during the times of 8-bit Nintendo. Sure I'd spend forever playing Mario or whatever but still games were better in the arcades. Even with snes, the snes versions weren't quite the same as the arcade ones
     
  10. entropy13

    entropy13 Gawd

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    WTF man. At $1-2 I can play in a machine 3-6 times already.

    Some here still use tokens, but the more high-tech use "data cards" which you just load up at the counter and then swipe (Timezone) or tap (Powerstation) them.


    Agreed, consoles caught up. There are still some games you can't play on consoles though, or are quite different.

    Because the screens are bigger (unless you also have a 32" widescreen 16:9 LCD; older game machines are 23" 4:3 CRTs though), the controls are easier to use, you can play against people who doesn't need to go to your house to play with you, you get to personally interact with them.

    The "playing cards" I mentioned:
    http://i.imgur.com/Weny1.jpg

    An older "playing card" on the left (6 years old already? LOL) and a "game data card" for Maximum Tune 3DX+ on the right:
    http://i.imgur.com/ib2Mp.jpg
     
  11. Subweevil

    Subweevil n00b

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    Some of the best times growing up where in the arcade, too many fun games to name. I remember cutting a class in high school to finally play as Sagat on Street Fighter 2, someone tipped me off that Playland got the new version out. Those were the days, when you could talk smack face to face and not to some 6 year old internet warrior,lol.
     
  12. bioginist

    bioginist n00b

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    I've got some great memories of arcades, Consoles can't match the experience of people standing around playing against or even watching a good player. It's a whole different game when there's money on the line.

    Most of the arcades around me closed, and one that is relatively nearby doesn't keep up with machine repairs. For most games I'd play there (Street Fighter, Tekkan, Mortal Kombat) I end up just playing once until I realize that the joystick is stuck or the buttons don't work.

    I'd probably go there more, but it's not worth wasting my money to find out the game is broken.
     
  13. becand75

    becand75 Limp Gawd

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    There used to be a great arcade in my area. It was around for 20+ years. I had alot of good times as a kid there. They just closed up shop a couple months ago. So sad.
     
  14. wtiger

    wtiger [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yeah arcades have been dead since the mid to late 90's.
     
  15. deathhorse

    deathhorse [H]ard|Gawd

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    the only way there going to survive now is to be apart of something bigger. I live in Norcal we got a few arcades but most of it sell all you can eat pizza. Then slap some really expensive games in. Golfland Sunsplash is the best they also have pizza and lazer tag and miniature golf. On Saturdays you can pay a fee and play unlimited arcade games.

    https://tickets.golfland.com/mainstore.asp?vid=4
     
  16. Domingo

    Domingo [H]ard as it Gets

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    I think the first time the home systems were as strong as the arcade machines was with the PS1 and Saturn...at least more or less. The PS2 *definitely* was, as seen with the vastly improved look for Tekken Tag on the system compared to the arcade one.

    There's actually still a Tilt near me with a shitload of fighting games there, but the place has been completely dead the few times I've been in, and literally every machine has a price tag on it. Pretty tough to sell a Tekken 6 cabinet for something like 3 grand when I can play the game at home for $15. I give the place another year before it dumps everything to a wholesaler.
     
  17. wtiger

    wtiger [H]ard|Gawd

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    I should be more specific. Stand alone arcades have been dead since then. You can still find arcade sections in many theaters, bowling allies, etc. I kind of miss the old mega arcades though. I had a lot of fun going to them in the late 80's and early 90's, but I basically quite going about the same time I got my first Canopus 3d voodoo1 and started playing pc games and having lan parties.
     
  18. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    The only arcade I know of any more is the aforementioned Dave & Buster's. Which last time I went there, was pretty well cleaned out. Much of what was there was dated as hell, in poor condition and practically deserted. I didn't find any of the triple A arcade games like Street Fighter IV (at the time) or any of the newer ones I knew existed. The bar and front areas were packed, but the arcade was practically desolate.
     
  19. mps

    mps Limp Gawd

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    Guys, there are arcades still out there. I sit on the Board of Directors of The American Classic Arcade Museum (ACAM) located inside of the Funspot Family Entertainment Center Weirs Beach, NH. We are a reasonable driving distance north of Boston located on scenic Lake Winnipesauke.

    Between ACAM & our host facility at Funspot, we are the largest arcade in the world according to the Guinness Book of World Records...a distinction that was awarded in 2008. ACAM alone has over 300 classic arcade games & pinball currently on the floor and available for play occupying 8,000 square feet. The Funspot Family Entertainment Center adds more modern arcade titles, skee-ball, bowling, and other "midway" style attractions.

    If you have ever been to PAX-East and seen the classic arcade held there each year, then you have seen just a small taste of what the facility has to offer as ACAM provides that arcade exhibit for PAX.

    Our facility is a true museum of arcade gaming, and we are the first 501c3 non-profit facility dedicated to preserving these games.

    Here is a photo of just one room of games.

    [​IMG]

    ACAM was recently showcased in an article in Edge Magazine (August, 2011). ACAM was named one of the “33 shrines every sports fan should visit” by ESPN: The Magazine in 2010. ACAM has been repeatedly singled out as the “Mecca” of arcade gaming by almost a dozen news outlets & gaming media such as MSNBC, Yahoo! and Joystiq.

    I invite everyone to check it out.

    Mike Stulir
    Board of Directors
    The American Classic Arcade Museum
    http://www.classicarcademuseum.org
     
  20. entropy13

    entropy13 Gawd

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    You should be even more specific. It's only in the United States, as far as you can tell.

    As far as I can tell, arcades are still doing well over here (although they're almost always found in a mall). But then again there are a lot of malls here, thus a lot of arcades...and a lot of people go to malls, and 2 of the biggest malls in the whole world are here, and are usually full of people on weekends.
     
  21. vortican

    vortican Limp Gawd

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    That's awesome! I'm glad there is an organization dedicated to preserving these games. I would hope arcades are able to evolve and keep the experience that made them fun and profitable while better serving the public.

    The heydey of arcades is now gone but that doesn't mean they have to die out completely. Once in a while, everyone who grew up salivating at the chance to visit an arcade every week wants to play Galaga or Dragon's Lair. It just isn't the same playing games like these at home, and 80s nostalgia is very big now.

    There's an arcade in a mall near my home which is empty most of the time, I suspect because they only have new-ish games and half of them don't work.
     
  22. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Old arcade games are fine. But I want to play some of the newer games in the arcade. I know they still have arcade versions of some of the newer games in other countries. But in the US, the arcade business is toast out of nostalgic museums and facilities like the one mentioned above.
     
  23. Azhar

    Azhar Fixing stupid since 1972

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    For a few years now I've always seen empty arcades at malls and standalone arcades, but arcades at large pizza places and recreation centers are still running quite strong.
     
  24. Stone Cold

    Stone Cold [H]ard|Gawd

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    There are still arcades (as some have pointed out). There are a couple in my town, plus a number of locations with mini-arcades (e.g. movie theaters).

    Home consoles are not responsible for the fall of the arcade. It's just that for the last 20 years, new arcade games stink. There're not half as fun as the classic arcade games, in spite of having technology 20 years more advanced.
     
  25. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Given that I don't see arcade games in arcades that are newer than 10 years old, I don't think that's true at all. It is consoles that killed the arcade. Plain and simple.
     
  26. entropy13

    entropy13 Gawd

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    Not really. They "coexist" so to speak. A mall nearby for example, 4th floor has the arcades (which a lot of people go to), while on the 3rd there's a place that lets you rent a PS3 or Xbox360 for 0.72 cents (converted, it's 30php) per hour per player (which a lot of people go to too; sometimes they go to both in a day).
     
  27. Serpent

    Serpent 2[H]4U

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    Arcade can't be alone anymore, they need to be paired up with other things... like food. Dave and Buster for instance. If they also do tournaments I think that would help gather an audience.
     
  28. GotNoRice

    GotNoRice [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, once you own a console and get to play the games you want for as long as you want to, having to put a coin into a machine for a few minutes of gameplay doesn't seem quite so awesome. That's why I stopped going to arcades in the early 90's.
     
  29. LeninGHOLA

    LeninGHOLA Vladimir Hayt

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    Consoles could be considered "coin operated" too.
     
  30. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ard as it Gets

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    Yep. These days you just pay for various types of DLC and features for your console. You get nickeled and dimed for $10 or whatever for XBOX Live, etc. You pay with your debit / credit card or you pay with Microsoft points. Which again come from actual money you pay somewhere.
     
  31. FrEaKy

    FrEaKy [H] Movie and TV Show Review Guy

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    I still have an arcade in Jacksonville that I hit up once in a great while, has a DDRx2, Time Cop I think it is, the one with the guns, and the polaris games. All are fun and really what a "new gen" arcade are really suppost to have.

    There was a place up in Presque Isle, ME that used to have an arcade and a lan-zone in the mall. Was kinda cool walking by the windows seeing 16 peeps sitting in the lan-zone playing CS.
     
  32. Azhar

    Azhar Fixing stupid since 1972

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    I still disagree. The reason console killed mainstream arcades in malls is because obviously consoles don't require you to deposit coins all the time when trying again or when your time is up, but as I said, recreation centers and large pizza places (think Celebration Station or Chucky Cheese or Dave and Buster), it's still going strong because it doesn't cater to the console crowd. They cater to the party crowd. Birthday parties for example.
     
  33. Outamyhead

    Outamyhead [H]ardness Supreme

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    The one back in Ipswich is more a slot machine/card game place now, When I went back in '92-'94 they had Mortal Kombat series, Golden Axe 3, Killer Instinct, Neo Geo was stacked full of games as well.

    Fond memories of that place, always remember surprising the guy playing SFII (don't remember the specific version) using Guile Spam sonic booming, and I beat him using the shadow throw.
     
  34. Raalle

    Raalle [H]Lite

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    I miss the days when arcades were everywhere--and when there were 50+ arcade games (and pinball) to choose from. It was a great way to kill an afternoon (or a lunch hour when I started working).
     
  35. piscian18

    piscian18 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I was toronto recently and dropped in a "Pacific Mall". It's a 100% asian mall so of course they had a giant arcade with tons of newer games. It's a culture thing. Same reason we have shitty public transportation here. Everyone's a shut-in and scared of other people.

    Then again there was that kid in china who got stabbed in the head for trollin a counter-strike cafe. It's safer on console :)
     
  36. RocketFast321

    RocketFast321 Gawd

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    I like the way Dave and Buster has a table by each machine. I don't want to spill my crown and sprit on some little kid. The one in ALT had me from the start when i saw 3or4 ferrari F355 games linked up. The good ones with 3 screens. Only thing that was missing was good old atari's "race drivin'
     
  37. eon

    eon 2[H]4U

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    good riddance. I used to enjoy those games where you shoot your gun at the screen but I will not miss all those shady quarter eating games that had cheap gimmicks to kill you off for as fast as possible so you have to feed in more quarters or move out the way so the next fool can get ripped off.
     
  38. dr.stevil

    dr.stevil [H]ardForum Junkie

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    same... but most of the games all suck. It's still fun on a date or happy hour.


    For the most part, arcades are already dead.
     
  39. Manaknight

    Manaknight [H]ardness Supreme

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    I miss the shit out of arcades. I still hunt them down in my area when we can...especially ones that aren't something shitty like dave and busters (anyone who was into arcades knows what i mean...its games for people to get drunk to, not an actual arcade).

    that said, i dont think it was consoles or the internet or anything else that hurts the arcade so badly in america.

    Simply stated I think its the problem of not adapting with the time, at both an industrial level and a facility level.

    I would give anything for a moderately up to date arcade that served as a hangout for geek culture, like a dave and buster's that is NOT geared toward the brah and bar crowd. It needs to become a social experience again. I genuinely miss going to arcades to play fighting games to the point that you actually had cred and rankings at arcades (the capcom vs series was my addiction personally). Just like so many friends dumping money into games like gauntlet legends, tmnt arcade, x-men, the vs driving games like initial d etc, those 4 player at the same console experience. This is something that in our current console cycle isn't really well covered, as the focus has shifted to online play. This is understandable, but a weekly outing with friends to a social experience style arcade that is designed to mesh with the current home technology would do well i think. just get off the bar + arcade or pure retro kick and i think its heading in the right direction.

    other things that would be worth noting for potential arcades is studying ways to keep costs down in power saving strategies, as well as i think arcades are one of the places that could certainly benefit from things like solar panels. Also get the damn cost per game back under control.

    I just think the image needs adjusted and updated for an american market, and pushed to the right crowd.
     
  40. Tawnos

    Tawnos 2[H]4U

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    That place was a blast. We played asteroids, some pinball, and had beer. It was pretty surprising when we tried going in and the bouncer asked for IDs (had no idea it was a bouncer or that it was 21+, just saw that it was an arcade).