The Once and Future Arcade

I want to talk about something slightly bigger than just winning at SF today, but something I suspect is of interest to all of us anyway- the status and future of arcades. I was inspired by the remarkably shoddy discussion of same that I had the misfortune to read on Gamespot. Whats most depressing is that this simplistic, lazy, and ultimately worthless piece was the product of a combined effort by the entire editorial staff of one of the popular sites in the gaming world. [editor’s note: Gamespot’s original story can be found at,12059,2686662,00.html] Is this really the best that can be done? Is the current state of thinking about arcades really this pathetic? No wonder theyre in trouble.

Thats what we agree on: arcades arent doing nearly as well as they once were. The further question is “why?”. Heres where the gamespot think-tank and I part ways. Their claim (re-iterated by essentially all of the authors) is that arcades “cant compete” because their games used to be technologically superior to home systems, but arent anymore. In a nutshell, theyre claiming that people arent willing to pay for what they can get “for free” at home (well ignore for the moment that the cost of a newish console + games is hardly “free”). A lot of arcade-goers have noticed the same thing, and have probably been satisfied by the same explanation. Should you be? My claim is: “no”.

In fact, I think this is a terrible answer. By “terrible” I dont mean simply wrong- instead I mean that its incomplete, lazy, and totally unilluminating. Its an answer that no one who actually cares about the question should be happy with. While its obvious that the development of consoles has affected the arcade industry, its hardly the whole story- or even particularly important. When you look at this from a business perspective (which is the whole point- the failure of arcades is a business phenomenon), ask yourself- does this line of reasoning (“why pay when I can get it at home for free?”), in itself, explain the failure of the business? Since neither Gamespot nor anyone else of whom Im aware offer anything else, they apparently think it does.

Blaming consoles because “they let you play the same thing for free!” goes wrong in at least two serious ways. First, it doesnt explain why the same thing doesnt seem to affect other industries of which EXACTLY the same thing is true. Take for instance the absolute explosion of coffee houses over the last few years. Gamespot reasoning: “Cant people get coffee at home? Virtually everyone has a coffee machine- and theyre cheap, too. Sure, the coffee houses have fancy machines with lots of chrome- but thats essentially just a gimmick, right? Its still coffee. And 3$ a cup?! Who do these coffee places think theyre kidding? No thanks- I think Ill just stay here and drink my perfectly-good coffee in the comfort of my own home!”. Seems “logical” enough, right? So coffee houses then too are doomed? And what about of our precious pubs and taverns! What will become of these community pillars if (as liquor transportation technology continues to advance) were someday able to transport beer into our own homes? Will they be reduced to nostalgic memories as well? The Gamespot editors (and anyone else who wants to single out consoles) owe us an explanation of why these (and MANY other) industries are somehow immune to the problem. The second way merely blaming consoles goes wrong is this: It doesnt explain the history of the arcade business. If youll recall, arcades were in an even more serious recession around 1991, only to be saved almost single-handedly by Street Fighter 2, and the successive wave of fighting games. Despite major advances, consoles of the time were a far cry from real arcade machines. So arcades seem subject to disaster quite apart from home systems co-opting their product. The lack of enthusiasm was coming from somewhere else.

Next: The complaint that the modern arcade is filled with “gimmicky” games with specialized cabinets/interfaces? ALL the old favorites the editorial staff reminisce so fondly about were “guilty” of EXACTLY the same thing theyre criticizing in modern games. From Defenders insane controls, to Trons annoying “dial+trigger stick” all the way up to the six buttons (! remember when that used to be a lot?) on Street Fighter 2 and beyond, arcade games have ALWAYS had specialized, frequently non-interchangable controls, which could often not be replicated at home (much less the games themselves). Suggesting that games today are degenerate merely for committing the same “crime” is- what?- you know the answer by now- thats right!- its dumb. Its thoughtless. Its lazy because it ignores history. Simply crying “gimmick!” as a criticism is ridiculous.

A non-ridiculous criticism would be that these “gimmicky” games are also BAD games. Unfortunately for the Gamespot team, however, many games that have specialized interfaces are still good (obviously SOME suck, but the percentage of gimmicky games that suck seems roughly similar to the percentage of more standard, you-could-play-this-on-a-pad-at-home games that suck (re: most, but not all)). Some are even better than good. Dance Dance Revolution, for instance, is a truly excellent game. Its fun, extremely interactive, challenging, addictive, competitive (or cooperative!), and even healthy, boasting a huge following despite a US “release” so limited that it scarcely deserves the name. Its also the #1 money-maker in most of the arcades that its made it to. These “gimmicky” games arent using the interface as a substitute for an interesting game- the interface is an integral part of the game itself. Ignoring this and dismissing them as “gimmicks” is just more laziness- maybe okay for Senator Lieberman and co., but unacceptable from gaming “professionals”.

A lot of explanations for the decline of arcades simply overlook the very obvious. Remember back to the heyday of arcades… Remember who ran them? Almost universally, they seemed to be run by remarkably unpleasant troll-like men, who (apart from their overwhelming greed) were distinguished primarily by the fact that they didnt like games, and they didnt like the people who played them. A lot of them came from the vending machines business, and most of them seemed like they wished theyd never left. Their new arcade “businesses” typically consisted of renting a dank hole someplace, often in shady neighborhoods, and then just cramming the games in there. Voila! Instant money. Some arcades noticed that they could continue to rake in the cash without even doing things like bothering to repair obviously broken machines (the vast majority of arcade employees are completely incapable of even the simplest of repairs). Better still, they could be openly hostile to their customers! Should it really be such a surprise to see a lot of “businesses” like this fail? Especially when you consider that as their clientele ages, they become less interested in being openly and needlessly abused? Can you imagine a restaurant with the same kind of service? Should we blame its failure on advances in refrigerators and improved home-cooking? Please. A lot of arcades fail because theyre badly run by non-geniuses out for a quick buck, who neither like nor remotely understand their product. Duh.

Contrast this with, for instance, Southern Hills Golf Lands operator, John Bailon. He runs a premier arcade with a steady business, home to some of the greatest players in the country. He does such shocking things as (gasp!) talking to the players. He finds out what games appeal to them, then gets those games. He performs routine maintenance on games, sometimes replacing parts even before theyve broken (standard operating procedure just about anywhere else, but unheard of in arcades). He also runs simple promotions like tournaments, that encourage people to come in a little more than they might otherwise. And hes a success. Maybe people in LA just dont know about consoles or something, right?

Arcades have also completely failed to promote themselves. In “the good ole days”, it seemed as though the games needed no advertisement. They were so irresistible that people would go anywhere to play them. This is no longer true, but arcades continue to act as if it were. Theres been essentially NO effort at promotion whatsoever, despite their diminishing profits. To this day, about the most advanced marketing technique you see from an arcade has been some kind of pathetic “special” deal on tokens. Even today, sickeningly enough, tournament organizers in some locations actually have to hunt for arcades even willing to host them. Operators are so resistant to the idea of change, much less doing ANY extra work, that theyre happy to pass on the chance to generate easily 10x their ordinary business. I mean, think about it- you see ads for EVERYTHING. But do you ever see ads for arcades? I havent. Ever. For that matter, do you see ads for arcade games? Nope. The only people who see those, are the arcade operators themselves. Apparently Capcom/Namco/Konami, etc, seem to think that once theyve sold the machines to the arcades, their job is done. In one (very short-sighted) sense, this is true. However, in a market as crowded as the one today, you cant simply expect a game to sell itself. The companies seem to realize this as far as console games are concerned (even where the “console game” is an EXACT PORT of the arcade version), yet nothing seems to be spent on their arcade counterparts. Apparently that job falls to the operator alone, and the operators simply arent doing it.

The early success of videogames seems to have bred some incredibly bad industry habits in arcade operators. The initial arcade craze was powered by games that people played compulsively, against the computer. For the most part, these tended to be relatively simple. It wasnt graphics that made these games popular- it was a more basic cleverness behind them. This, however, plays directly into the hands of consoles. If you want to obsess over some puzzle game, you dont need anyone else around to do it, and you also dont need a very sophisticated piece of hardware. This is part of what I suspect was behind the initial decline in arcade revenues, and should have been a lesson learned. Competition (in fighters like SF2) revived the industry, because you couldnt get that by yourself, or even at home (and you still cant, with at least a lot of popular titles- theres still no national network in place in the US, internet speeds simply arent good enough for a lot of games, and all of this still omits the face-to-face factor, which can be a lot of the fun). However, success again spawned a still larger number of games, and constant imitation of successful titles. Both of these things make sustained, focused competition that saved the arcades difficult to maintain. With everyone taking a small slice of the player base, theres less people to push things to the next level on any particular game. With a market as crowded as todays, operators can hope for that lucrative intense competition in two ways. They can wait until a game comes along thats so magical, so involving, that people everywhere cant stay away. Good luck on that front. The other way is with some damn promotion. Does anyone remember Capcoms “Saturday Night Slammasters”? Probably not. It was a strange wrestling game/fighter hybrid, featuring none of wrestlings actual celebrities, and while moderately interesting, was nothing to get very excited about. What was something to get excited about was the fact that Capcom sponsored a national tournament for the game, which brought players out in droves. Without question, the cost for the entire promotion was less than the cost of a few simple print ads, yet it drove the players in many areas into a complete frenzy over an otherwise unexceptional game (the success of the national Tekken Tag tournament was another more recent example). There seems to be absolutely no reason the same thing cant work again, and especially because no one else is doing it.

Gameworks and Co. have succeeded not simply because they have games you just cant play at home (“gimmick” games)- they succeed because they create an exciting environment where people can be together, and enjoy themselves. Quite apart from the games, just take a look at the place: its nice. Its comfortable. Its not dangerous. Theres a reasonably competent, courteous staff. People can be around each other, and the games. Whats most amazing about Gameworks is that it has succeeded even WITHOUT even being particularly concerned about catering to the historical core gaming demographic of teens and guys in their early 20s. Instead, they targeting instead older adults and their kids, creating a new market. They seem to have realized the very obvious fact that people like going out to interesting places, to be around (physically) other people, and to interact. Theyre willing to use almost anything as an excuse to do so. Games happen to be one such excuse- and apparently a good one (thats part of why fighting games were the smash they were- youre beating someone down directly- not judged by something as inert and impersonal as a score, but by outwitting the person themselves. Its not “which of us is better able to beat this simplistic CPU?”, but “which of us is able to beat the other person one on one, directly?”. Scoring doesnt matter- the game doesnt even record your margin of victory- flawless victory or down and dirty- a win was a win). The experience of the game itself is, for a lot of an arcades patrons, pretty secondary. Before I became a Street Fighter addict, I liked to go to the arcade just because it was the arcade. It was fun. Sure, all my favorites were there, but it was the magic of the place at large, and the people there that were a major draw. The editors tip-toe around this point, but cant seem to zero in on the obvious. Whether theyre remembering the old social aspect of arcades, or discussing the mystery of people still paying 10$ a ticket to see a movie when you could rent it on DVD, they still manage to brilliantly overlook the simple fact that people like going out to be near other people (its bizarre, but true- despite all the annoyances that come with seeing a movie in public, its still a lot of fun, and a more profitable as a business than ever). Arcades are an ideal venue to capitalize on this fact.

Even apart from Gameworks, you can see that people still crave the interaction of the arcade experience. Case in point? This site. In many ways, its a forum for top and aspiring players to know about each other, and to have their own love for the game affirmed by the fact that there are others who take it (and play it) seriously. Everyone has a good time, but we work at these games. It fosters an environment of excellence, and since tournaments are the furnace that shape top play, thats what you get. All of the discussion, etc, culminates in major tournaments. And there are uncountably many more, and better attended tournaments this year than there have ever been since the height of SF2s popularity. When you factor in the incredible level of information-sharing and understanding of the games (movies, tactics, technical and strategy articles, etc.) now as compared to then, its never been better. What prompted this renaissance? Some mind-bogglingly great new game? Hardly. With the exception of MVC2, recent Capcom fighters have been relatively minor advances at best, or even literal steps backwards (CVS). Not the stuff that generates activity like weve seen this year. Its the experience of real tournament interaction and play itself thats exciting. Its so exciting to the true fans and players that theyre willing to go cross-country- even across oceans- to play each other. Directly. In the spirit of that OG arcade competition. And they have a great time doing it (as evidenced by the fact that virtually everyone who starts going to tournaments, KEEPS going to tournaments- theyre infectiously great).

The real greatness of this experience is precisely what sets me off when I see limp-wristed stuff like the Gamespot article. Though they obviously dont understand them, these guys at least seem to remember the magic (they all wax nostalgic about the good ole days- some even claim to still like arcades!). However, theyre precisely the ones whove abandoned it (one admits he hasnt even been to an arcade in years). Theyve turned away from arcades, preferring to stare into their own navels (er, consoles). Not only does this encourage the (in many ways undeserved) image of videogames as anti-social, it also actually puts another nail in the coffin of the arcades they claim to love. Theyre doing this by helping to perpetuate a cycle: Given the amount of coverage they get in the American gaming press (the Japanese press does not have this problem, their arcades and tournaments get plenty of attention, and (curiously?)- their arcades have always been far more popular), it seems safe to assume that no ones at the arcades anymore- theyre all home on consoles, screwing around with secret codes, etc. Since no ones at the arcade, theres no reason to go, and so on. The truth is, however, that there ARE people at these arcades- some of the best players in the world, in fact. But instead of investigating, the gaming press sees fit to jam their pages with the coolest new code for an alternate costume color, and the latest rumors about Overhyped Letdown IX, which will be in development for the next three years (“Tips and Tricks” being the notable exception, and their excellent arcade tournament section seems to grow every month). Is that really what loving games is all about? Its easy to understand how these guys could overlook the action. It gets a little easier when you dont leave home. At home, you see, you can avoid getting that whipping your feeble skills deserve. You can continue to believe youre good merely because you can “beat” a game (on max difficulty even!), or do a bunch of combos, or even unlock some special modes! It makes me sad that people so intimately involved with games as these editors could be so confused, and willfully oblivious to what truly playing is all about.

So do I mean then that increased publicity is the solution to all of the woes facing todays arcades? Hardly. But it IS a way for the Gamespot editors to stop contributing to the problem theyre complaining about, and to encourage the revival they claim to want. Simple-mindedness like “umm… consoles are just too good!” doesnt help anything- the pretty game may draw them in, but the atmosphere- the competition- is what can keep them coming back, and thats not available only via gimmicks, or games for kids and lightweights. Stick to your s33krit l33t c0d3z, boys

I can not think of a better response than

God Damn this is an excellent article. Every point, every line makes me want to put a gun to my head and pull the trigger because a thousand responses and considerations are unable to manifest completely. I wish this were a sword striking down the trash at Gamespot you have pointed out, just to see them wiped away.

If I were able to I would implement what I see as a way to revive the Arcade scene. Hopefully someone with the ability to do so, not some corporate swine (Although I am all about Capitalism, but I’m going to be communist for a moment), reads this. This is really not as brilliantly thought out as the above masterpiece but It is something I’ve considered.

To establish Arcades I believe one has to do it Strategically and as a Combination.

One other reason that Arcades succeed in Japan and Korea, etc. Is because those nations are much much smaller than the United States. The US is the 4th largest in the World. After Brazil nations with the capacity to have businesses such as an Arcade (1st World) should be compared to the actual States during land mass consideration. Population density is so spread out in America. After our 3 Metropolises (NY, Chicago, LA) No other city comes close to their population density. (Only 6 more reach a Million.) My point here is that with this much density there is market to serve it. That is why, at least in LA and NY and most likely others there still exist Arcades.

To Open an Arcade I feel that it can not strictly be an Arcade it has to be an Arcade that is part of something else. I do not feel it needs to be like Dave and Busters but something to that effect. Where I live, I am about 30 minutes away from a Place called Firkin and Kegler. It is this amazing Bowling alley, with a couple of bars, great food, and I believe a Club and restaurant on the second floor. It has a small yet superior Arcade room as well. A few places in the greater area have a couple of arcade machines but nothing special. Anyway-

If one were to open an Arcade they have to Combine it with other forms of entertainment that will promote interaction. I think the best is a PBA class bowling alley with a discotheque/& restaurant on a higher floor. And you have to build somewhere that is accessible that is also a place where there isn’t shit else to do. The best spots are Cities/Towns with military bases nearby. The reason is that you have a prime revenue source from easily a hundred+ 18-24 y.o. The families that are apart of the bases and civilian families that live in the cities. Military bases are a major reason why a City can/will prosper. First it is a demographic that will not face lay offs. Second it is a demographic that will always be in need of R&R. Cater to them with a business and not only will they appear but so will others that set up in the city. Obviously if this business were to be opened it would have to be by someone with the mindset as shown above but I truly think it could be done. If it isn’t near a military base place it near a newly developed commerce plaza. About 2 years ago this large development was placed not 8 miles from where I live. It has shopping, dining, and a theater. All it needs is some kind of attraction for all these asshole high schoolers and asshole collegiate fucks like myself to do. The area already intercepts all traffic to the Cinemas, Commerce Complexes, Clubs that are 20 and more miles away. It doesn’t have a dance floor so anyone with the capital to build one would see immediate return.

That is what I mean by Strategic placement of a Combination Arcade. That is what I think can bring the arcade back. It is true. If you build it they will come. It only takes one person to challenge another and hundreds will soon join in. It’s competition. The essential idea that separates America from the world. We were bred on winning. We can do this. And that is my elaboration on the genius above.

PS- I remember Saturday Night Slam Masters, well Slam Masters for the SNES. I liked it, but I was also a Punk Ass elementary schooler.

Well that’s a passionate post but I can’t help but feel it’s a bit without purpose. It criticizes the piece by gamespot (which I didn’t read), highlights problems at the core of the decline of the arcade and talks about consoles but it just doesn’t seem to do anything but that. I don’t go to arcades myself, I missed the hype around them and don’t find myself drawn to them in any special way so maybe I just don’t get it but this seems to be a piece to inform and that’s it. Maybe that’s all you wanted to do, I dunno it doesn’t seem that way but just talking about how arcades are dying isn’t gonna fix the problem. The people who wrote the article may well read this and have a think about how they could’ve presented what they wanted to say better or even if they could’ve written something completely different but I can’t see how if that article changed the situation for arcades would’ve.

I mean they point the finger at consoles and leave it at that, maybe that’s not good enough but you can’t deny that the industry’s shift to the home has happened and arcades have gotten the short end of the stick. I don’t know much about arcades outside of this post but maybe they were a decaying long before the console became the central focus of the games industry. But that has happened and arcades have become something to reminisce about rather than somewhere you go for a competitive gaming experience. Fighting games themselves haven’t even been performing as well as other genres in sales before you even mention arcades, I mean I don’t know the figures but from what I’ve seen at retail fighting games prices drop pretty damn fast, if they’ve dropped in popularity then what hope can there be for the hub at which they’re now pretty much central to? SFIV from what I’ve seen since it’s release has been an exception in comparison to the other fighting games released, I bought my copy in August at 2 under what I can now purchase T6 for (SF4 was 23).

Your article is an interesting read and brings up some good points but I can’t help but feel it doesn’t do any better than gamespot’s in bringing about the revival of the arcade.

Just FYI, the original post is probably at least 5 years old. Probably more considering the games referenced.

Well doesn’t this just feel pointless.

I’d say the article retains most of its relevance over the years. I’d just add that more fighting games being online capable adds an additional challenge to arcades. I feel lots of people are intimidated by arcades based on how big the socal SF4 scene has grown since console has dropped, and how many people still insist on playing at console meetups at someones house as opposed to arcades.

so seth wasn’t working @ capcom at the time of writing? either way it was a nice read.

I also missed the arcade hype days and I find myself hunting for any little street fighter tournaments around new jersey that i can attend. There isn’t a single place that has sf4 available to be played casually around here, only during tournaments.

I really can’t imagine arcades making a return. They were fitting for a time, when home gaming was pretty expensive (no doubt it still is) and ALL THE GAMES WERE ABOUT THE POINTS (thus competition) rather than the stories/gameplay. Imagine if God of War was an arcade game, and you’re like 75% through it, and comes along some buster who tells you how it ends and hands you a sheet with the exact attack patterns to beat the rest of it. You’d feel pretty bummed out, right? I mean, he basically killed your drive to play it by spoiling the story, and taking away the challenge.

I think the reason console/computer gaming is so successful these days is because of how successful arcades were in the past. People wanted to NEVER HAVE TO GO ANYWHERE to play awesome games. The dream of the arcade became Waking up, flopping out of bed, walking two steps to turn the system on, then sitting back on the bed with controller in hand ready to play. That’s how devout our society has become to gaming. Sure it’s an extreme, but it’s also a reality.

The only thing that could bring people back to arcades is that desire to compete. But not a lot of people are about that, and a lot of games aren’t even about competition or a challenge. Challenging to a degree, but not a type of challenge where others could do it better than you based on skill alone. Think RPGs. It’s mostly about getting a formula right. From there, not much mental strain is required. No timing-crucial moments in turn-based RPGs. In fact, in most RPGs I’ve played, if you don’t win by a certain point with your group in a boss battle, you’re most likely doing it wrong and going to lose.

While it might be nice to think arcades will make a comeback, I think they just served to pave the road for home gaming. Online play is the new arcade. and the only way it’ll reinvigorate the arcade/competitive spirit, is by removing any trace of lag. I hope THAT DAY will come, because I can’t find any competition where I live.

AWESOME article! I’m actually planning on opening an arcade some time soon after I get my degree in electronics, and this was a very encouraging article to read =)

I hope my love for the gaming community and support for competition will help my arcade in growing large, instead of just shooting at the barrel hoping for a quick buck.
I think that’s why the arcades at California are doing well, because they were started by people who have a love for the community they are serving.

I own 3 cabinets now after wanting a machine for my entire youth. Arcades (for the most part) in Western PA have mainly died out. Sad that I’ll probably never see a sf4 machine in person.

I think convenience is the real killer of arcades, and people as a whole tend to patronize the easier option which involves not leaving home. Add in costs of repairs, machine space, maintenance etc…

Didn’t read all this. I stopped soon after the coffee house analogy. It’s a poor analogy to use.

1st, his argument about consoles not being “free”, is technically correct. The point missed though is that most people that will go play a game at an arcade also already have a console at the house. So in a sense it is “free”. 99.9% of people won’t buy a console just to play a fighting game. They have one for the myriad of other games they play. So after the games initial purchase price, it is “free”. No waiting in line, no fighting token machines to get pockets full of coins, no barrage of jingles, jangles, and gunshots from other games, etc…

2nd, the whole coffee shop thing fails. Yes you can have coffee at home. But unless you’ve spent a ton of time and money, you can’t get the same thing you can at a coffee shop. Who goes to a coffee shop and just orders a black cup of coffee with cream and sugar like at home? Very few. For games at home vs arcade, all you need is a console and a disk to get the same game as the arcade. 10 seconds to change from one game to another. If your at home, you better have a wicked ass setup to be able to make the myriad of drinks you can get at a shop. Sure, some people go to a coffee house to “chill” and show off the book their reading or their new Macbook, but a majority go because you can get drinks there that you simply can’t make at home.

There are way too many differences in the two things for the analogy to stick.

Whatever, replace the coffee shop analogy with going to movies, or live music performances, or live sporting events.

Am I the only one that can’t view the apostrophes in the first post?

Same here, I just get question marks in Firefox. No clue what it is.

There is no real “myriad” of other games in terms of genre variety, and plenty of people already have consoles for just a few specific games. Secondly, most of that last sentence is what’s appealing about being at an arcade. Even when i was into it enough to import Tekken 2, i didn’t continue going to the arcade because i needed the exercise from the walk there, and indeed it was the arcades having a Tekken 2 machine that made me want to import the console version in the first place. You’re not paying attention to the core of the argument: arcades mattered and lived on all the other little atmospheric things that made them places one wanted to be.

A) stop saying “myriad”, dillhole
B) it’s neither difficult nor expensive to get a french press and some quality beans
C) making mochas, cappucinos, lattes, espressos etc. isn’t that hard either unless you’re trying to put forth the notion that StarBucks employees had to go to a vocational school to get a degree in coffeeology to operate diamond-encrusted machines.

PS expensive froofroo coffee houses have seen a decline. Turns out that most people can make this shit, and that it had more to do with a relative surplus of money in their pockets than anything else. Smaller, local coffeeshops also do most of their business by being places people want to be at for a while, so the comparison is still pretty good.

If an arcade were introduced as a social gaming environment that had ways to earn on the side I think it could thrive. Say you have space for like 10 popular games that people like to play competatively and socially. But then you have a restaurant and some PC’s with rentable time. Then a little shop that you sell new and used games in, do trade-ins etc. An arcade alone for the space it takes is just not an efficient business. The arcade machines should be cheap for people to play. It should be the draw to get people in to spend money on food, games, shirts and accessories related to gaming.

You’re right that its bad business that is making the industry fail, but the answer to it has been the answer all along. Arcades were already relatively shitty places that you put up with to play your favorite game. If someone wanted to bring together a gaming center that is also a place to hang out and grab some decent food, now you’d have an awesome place to spend an afternoon.

deleted, double post.

I just wish there were more arcade halls. TBH, I think they would make good money if the location was right. Like near places kids hang out frequently (near schools, city tourist spots).

I wonder what Seth’s opinion is on the ‘second arcade decline’,now with all this online bitching and console whoremongering.

Seth made some valid points. Especially about the salty employees that didn’t care. I recently went to a couple “arcades” at 2 different malls while I was shopping. Each arcade had an employee that matched to what Seth wrote. Also, the only 1 or 2 fighting games were in need of servicing, like the sticks’ tension had no tension at all, buttons were just crying to be replaced, the monitors were just horrible. And to further go on, it seemed like almost half of the other games were down. I left disappointed.

I do believe there is hope for the return of arcades, the owners in charge need to re-evaluate their business, and like what Seth wrote, maybe even start advertising. For example, Dave and Buster’s is an adult oriented ticket game arcade and bar. They have mostly shooting arcade games and ticket games while serving food and alcohol. They have a lot of advertising and from what I’ve witnessed with people I know, they drive some good business. I have never went to D&B as they don’t have fighting games, but if they did, I would start attending on a weekend basis.

So I think again, Seth made some great points other than the ones I’ve agreed with and I hope we can see a revival of the scene not just with the current coasts but nation wide.