Hey people, FcknDrrn here and Im here to ask the FGC some questions, I thought this would be the best place. Basically my brother, a couple friends, and I would really love to start a business and we were throwing some ideas around and the thought of opening a hobby shop/arcade/barcade seemed really interesting. So before I get sunned out for even thinking its a good idea, let me tell you guys what I do know and some things you guys can all help me out with. As to why i picked the UMvC3 boards to do this, its all about Mahvel and the game took me from an interest Iv had in fighting games to a true passion. I watch all the streams, follow the top and not so top players just like Sunday night football, and the UMvC3 boards here on SRK have always been extremely good to me and Im looking to give back to the FGC, for real, so thanks to anyone who ever answered anything Iv ever posted here.
Let me just briefly tell you why I would ever want to go into this risky business environment. I am currently a senior at the State University of New York at Albany about to start my last semester of my Environmental Science degree and to be honest I’m fucking terrified. I’m terrified of the job market, 50% of college graduates are unemployed so I sit here thinking about my future and it honestly sucks. Iv grown up reading comics and playing fighting games and video games in general, as I’m sure a lot of you here have as well and who wouldnt want to love what they do? Im not saying im not passionate about my degree but ill have that piece of paper forever, but right now I have a real opportunity to do something Iv dreamed about since the first steps I took in my local hobby shop. I currently have the support of my brothers who are real adults with real jobs and real families, that means they could be serious investors as well as full time owners but I refuse to let them down with a failed business.
Here’s what I know in no particular order:
Business is hard and arcades BLEED overhead costs. Iv seen it first hand, utilities, rent and labor adds up quickly and everyone underestimates them when thinking about running a business. I know that comic shops generally only turn around 35-55k in profit and thats not even close to what the profits would look like the first 1-2 years. I also know that comic sales are up around 15% since 2010 and things look good in the market. I also know that in terms of a hobby shop/arcade anyone can by an xbox, a game, and play online and never step foot in a store. People including myself can download every comic book ever printed for free. I also understand the golden mantra of starting any business: Location location location.
Aside from all this negative, there are things i know that make me think this could be an excellent idea. For one thing, rent is really low just about everywhere. Other costs I happen to be in a position to absorb, are website design and upkeep as well as IT in general. While going to school here i have met a few kids that play FGs like me and like me have absolutely no where to go besides the friends you already have. Sure at school there is a small group of kids that play magic, SSFIV, and whatever but theyre more into TCGs more than anything. Thats it. I live in the CAPITOL OF NY and I get that its not NYC but come on, there’s literally not one place I can get to on the bus where I can meet up with people everyday or every week to play in a small tournament or just run casuals. My real home is in north NJ where I used to play heroclix back in the day, magic, and vs system and I used to hang out, make friends, and compete every week and it was the BEST but they never did FGs. I also think that business models like the type that Next Level uses, a subscription base instead of the per play model of the 80s and 90s could be successful elsewhere. My idea is to combine some real arcade machines, a real comic shop, real FG tournaments, real magic/yugioh/warhammer merchandise and tournaments. This way combining revenue from multiple mediocre revenue streams could help cover profits and create a really awesome environment that people would love to compete, shop, and hang out at and give them reasons to get out of their houses, online gaming cant come close to competing in tournaments and being involved in the community. Lastly, I hope this isnt a dumb idea since every schmuck in the history of humanity has wanted to open a bar but I really think that adding a tasteful bar to the arcade machine section of the establishment could really help with the revenue bleed of your standard arcade or hobby shop and make this whole idea viable.
So I humbly ask you for your advice, FG Warriors. Id love to give back to community and its so disheartening that I cant find one place less than an hour from either of my homes in 2 separate states to compete or just immerse in the community. Is any of this worth doing, any “secret” money sinks I could miss in opening a business like this, am I just insane for even thinking this is a good idea? I just really need feedback, and in the meantime ill be crunching the numbers for starting this and keeping it going.
Ill be happy if anyone stays awake by the end of this post, if you did THANK YOU