This has been a slow month for news, although in part I’m sure there are items I have just overlooked as I’ve been busy handling many other things in life and business (and several snow storms). As we reach the end of 2013, here is a look back at some stories that involve the openings of new arcade locations during the year. With over 40 games making their way for sale, manufacturers didn’t design the games entirely with home use in mind.
These stories do not reflect 100% of the openings around the world within this year. It only reflects what I found out about. Sometimes operators have reached out to me. Sometimes I’ve gotten lucky reading about a new place on a forum/Twitter/Facebook. The rest can open and I might not find out about it for a few months – or perhaps a year or two. It certainly is easier when the venue gets a website or Facebook page open. But if they skip that part, it makes it difficult to find out more about.
Openings – Quite a few stories in this category this year.
The Sega Active Zone In Westfield Derby Shopping Centre, UK – It’s not a huge location but its a little arcade goodness nonetheless.
Closures – Why a place closes can be due to many factors, of which we usually do not hear about in any great detail. Businesses are complex creations to build and manage and with anything complex even what appears to be a small issue to bring the whole operation down. Most businesses on average are lucky if they make it a year. When an arcade closes, reading into it as though it means certain doom for all locations everywhere is ludicrous, as though every arcade everywhere is in the exact same situation, with the same laws, same customers/demographics, same management, same games, same local economy, etc. Either way, when an arcade closes, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the concept at large can’t work. You can sink $1 million into a location but if it is poorly managed/maintained then it will fail. And that is true of any type of business.
Here are a few places that unfortunately bit the dust this year, that I have heard of at least.
Sega Park Southampton – This is an example of a situation that was really out of the arcade’s control – the landlords went bankrupt in 2011 and after a while, everyone was closed down, including Sega Park.
Goodge Street Casino – Not exactly sure on this one, it was sudden as far as I know.
National Pinball Museum – Closed due to issues with rent and landlords
Sandy Hook Arcade – When this opened as a “healing place” for families, they also made the unusual announcement that it was a temporary endeavor. It closed this same year.
Rusty Quarters Retro Arcade – Couldn’t pay rent. RQ made some headlines as they had a few events where they asked for donations to help handle those expenses but donations can never take the place of solid revenue. The reviews were mostly positive but a few did seem to indicate an ongoing issue with the operating hours which can also damage a reputation quickly when it is a consistent problem.
Japan Arcade – I just found out about this one today, thanks to reader CD ageS for the tip. The famous Japan Arcade closed about a month ago and it’s not exactly known why – just chalked up in rumors about it being the typical situation that seems to close arcades down in SoCal – lease is up and the new one they wanted too much money for.
So that’s it for now. I’m sure there will be many more places that are working on opening their doors in the near future, we’ll just have to wait and see what they have in store for us!