Happy Easter weekend everyone, it’s time for Newsbytes.
Chuck E. Cheeses Being The “Biggest Birthday Ever” Events As They Mark 40 Years
Earlier this week I saw an ad on TV for Chuck E. Cheeses as they begin their celebrations to mark 40 years in business. Founded by Nolan Bushnell of Atari fame in May 1977, they are currently the largest chain of arcade stores in the world with over 500 locations in operation; they also had purchased Peter Piper Pizza back in 2014 to increase their reach.
To celebrate, they are offering 40 free tickets to children when you purchase $5 worth of food until May 19th; on the 19th “Join us [at] (8:40 pm EST / 5:40 pm PST) for a free slice of cake for all children (while supplies last), and to break the Guinness World Record for most people using party blowers simultaneously.” A few more details on the big birthday bash for CEC can be found here; Happy birthday CEC!
The Walking Dead Launch Party At Logan Arcade
This is a little odd given that the game was released back in January but the arcade business doesn’t usually operate on specific dates. Raw Thrills and Play Mechanix are holding a launch party for their latest shooting arcade game The Walking Dead at the Logan Arcade in Chicago, IL this coming Thursday. The party starts at 7pm where two TWD machines will be available to play for free through the night until close. Click here for more details.
BTW – Speaking of Play Mechanix I heard at Amusement Expo that they have something “big and very cool” in the works for 2018 but there was no information apart from it being something that FECs will really enjoy. I imagine that rules out Big Buck since that is more of a bar game but I imagine it will involve a big license of some kind. We’ll just have to wait and see…
How Do Videogame Arcades Survive?
This article by AH contributor Toby Nakhorn gets into the demographics of the arcade business as he delves into what allows video arcades to survive in the world of 2017. Toby manages the Las Vegas Soho in London and is using data from there to build his case for the article.
Numbers will vary from location to location as well as between regions but it is certainly heavy on males vs. females. I’ve not been able to do a demographic break down of people that actually walk into the arcade but just from my front desk at the moment I see seven guys of varied ages between teenage and adult playing games and two teenage girls taking Cruis’n for a spin. I know on our video channel demographics it is always something like 80% male, 20% female.
Granted, if arcades are going to thrive into the coming decades, it will need to continue to bring new, younger players in. That is why “kid-tainment” type products have seen growth in recent years and we’ve seen the required skill for standard video games decrease in a bid to appeal to more age groups. That’s an area where redemption has it easy since most games only require a button press and lasts for 10 seconds or less. It’s a niche that places like Chuck E. Cheeses and others have carved out pretty well.
Pinball FX2 Championship Edition Update w/ Star Wars Pinball
Back at IAAPA 2016 I came across a booth for Zen Studios, creators of the Pinball FX virtual pinball tables that are generally found on consoles. They introduced the Championship Edition for both home and commercial use, which features their software in a real pinball cabinet. We haven’t heard much about the CE since but 904PinballZine went to the Star Wars Celebration 2017 event in Orlando, FL and did an interview with Steven Hopper of Zen to get more info on that but mainly on the new special Star Wars model that they have created. Check it out here – the video does seem to have an odd ‘underwater’ stretch effect throughout however:
Tales From The Crypt ColorDMD Teaser
Speaking of pinball, ColorDMD launched a trailer to showcase their 57th colorized pinball title, Tales From The Crypt:
NEON FM Launches Mobile Version
As promised when the arcade version was first launched, now users can play the mobile version of the game while they wait to play the arcade – or just play it on the go:
Nex Machina Arcade Development Still Humming Along
As the developer Housemarque has hinted at with this tweet. Last I asked about it with Raw Thrills, there are some changed that will be made to the cabinet but it still seems to be on track for some location testing. Just not sure where and when yet:
— Housemarque (@Housemarque) April 14, 2017
Arcade Music Of The Week – Tyrant (Dariusburst Another Chronicle)
I couldn’t find any new ports of an arcade game to an old console this week so let’s do arcade music instead to fill the time. From the Dariusburst Another Chronicle soundtrack (Zuntata), it’s Tyrant:
Let’s end this week’s newsbytes with some more Darius love:
— Elixir (@shmups) April 10, 2017