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Author Topic: The Slow Death of the Arcade  (Read 1898 times)
D-Rider
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« on: June 10, 2008, 03:11:54 PM »

I just read a fairly interesting article about it.  I'll be honest, I thought arcades had died out a decade ago. :P  I swear, I think the last coin-op game I played was Mortal Kombat 2.
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« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2008, 03:27:42 PM »

I too thought arcades died decades ago, till the DDR craze.  In any case, some good points are touched upon.  One being that arcades are not "the" place where the youth hang out.  Home consoles have offerings superior to arcades.  With any given Tekken game, guaranteed the home console version is superior to the arcade version, especially re: features.  So kids would rather play Tekken at a friend's house than an arcade.  

So why even try to focus arcades on the youth market at all?  Some people said in the article that it's adults and families who frequent pizza arcades.  It's the casual gamers looking for a hint of nostalgia who'll play a couple rounds of joust, say "that was fun" and call it a day.  The fervent "gotta keep playing/ get to the next level" is the realm of home video games now.  

The one thing that I think cannot be replicated from any arcade is the pinball machine.  I mean, there's a certain physicality to playing it, tilting it a certain way, that a video game cannot capture.  But that's the old fogey in my talking.  

Reconfiguring the arcade to fit a different sort of clientele may not be such a bad idea.  Heck, if I were at a restaurant I wouldn't mind blowing a few quarters in an attached arcade while waiting for my food.  Probably keep the screaming kids busy too so they aren't running around like hooligans.
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2008, 04:55:43 PM »

I think arcades need to be addressed a wholly different way than they're doing it now. The old model used to be that the arcade could provide you with more interactive cabinets and high-poly/high-res sprite games that the home consoles would only get months later, and usually at a lower quality. The Saturn era more or less changed all that, and then by the time the Dreamcast came out, arcade-perfect conversion was no longer an issue.

I know Playdium has managed to survive by offering things like more interactive cabinet designs and catering to birthday parties, but the pricing structure is balls. Others like my local Lovegetty have survived by creating monthly tournaments with cash prizes, and maintaining a Tokyo-style arcade setup with head-to-head fighters and such.

One of the reasons arcade cabinets suffer so much negligence is because there's no casual arcade gamer culture anymore. That culture has either been rerouted to places like Lovegetty, which cater specifically to the lifestyle, or exists with online consoles where it's drastically changed faces.

The Wii is one giant nail in the arcade coffin though. Now that there's a prominent home console that can provide motion-sensitive feedback, a lot of the arcade gimmicks suddenly seem unnecessary. You can, after all, transform the Wiimote into just about any big gun, steering wheel, or other device you want.

The simple matter is that places like Playdium and Lovegetty have a pretty good model working for 'em. It won't last forever, but it can be built upon. Arcades could be made into more upscale social scenes, where gamers can congregate and play together. One key implement could be things like local wireless for DS and PSP competitions -- not truly an arcade feature, but it /would/ give people a reason to come together in one place and frequent a business. Add to that things like a bubble tea bar and you've got a pretty decent reason for people to come.

Transform it from a cabinet alley to a gamer lounge. Provide a bit of Tokyo-style head to head, and that's really all you need.
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008, 04:58:57 PM »

The last arcade game I played...  Was Virtual Cop or Ted Nugent's Let's Kill Wildlife.
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« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2008, 05:01:38 PM »

Is this link from 10 years ago?

They should get rid of One vs One arcades and make new 2-6 player co-op ones.
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« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2008, 09:10:04 AM »

I go to Dave & Busters fairly often, and they're always busy.  They seem to have a pretty successful model - restaurant + bar + arcade.  They focus mostly on games you couldn't have at home, like big two-player light-gun games, racing games with like 8 cars, stuff where you earn tickets...  As has been said, it's a different model, and that's probably what it'll take.
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2008, 12:45:07 AM »

I still go to the Arcades every now and then, and I always see quite afew people there, playing more modern arcade games. There are the hardouts playing Tekken, many people playing the rail-shooters and the racing and DDR games are quite popular. So what I'm saying is, they're still popular...just not as popular as Donkey Kong and Pac-Man were back in the 80's.
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« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2008, 07:33:12 AM »

Quote from: "Hidoshi"
Transform it from a cabinet alley to a gamer lounge. Provide a bit of Tokyo-style head to head, and that's really all you need.


Mark hit the nail on the head; domestic arcades fail for one main reason: atmosphere.  Many arcades back home (at least where I come from) are targeted towards the younger crowd and have laser tag, putt-putt golf, and other "kids' stuff."  Most teenage-to-young-adult gamers don't want to hang out in that kind of an atmosphere.
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« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2008, 11:23:05 AM »

Quote from: "Shiguma"
Quote from: "Hidoshi"
Transform it from a cabinet alley to a gamer lounge. Provide a bit of Tokyo-style head to head, and that's really all you need.


Mark hit the nail on the head; domestic arcades fail for one main reason: atmosphere.  Many arcades back home (at least where I come from) are targeted towards the younger crowd and have laser tag, putt-putt golf, and other "kids' stuff."  Most teenage-to-young-adult gamers don't want to hang out in that kind of an atmosphere.



Dude... Laser Tag is for everyone.....
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« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2008, 03:39:13 PM »

I personally dislike Laser Tag. I find it a very cheap, kitschy form of entertainment, especially when I've experienced paintball. If you want a cheap alternative to paintball, then there's airsoft or waterguns. Laser tag is both less accurate than either, and a heck of a lot more annoying.[/quote]
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« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2008, 08:37:18 PM »

Laser Tag is more about the atmosphere, really.
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« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2008, 10:38:28 AM »

I love laser tag!  I've even gone with the folks from work a time or two.  Best "team building exercise" I've ever done, and no one came away with welts (which I think of as an advantage over paintball).
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