Rumour: London's Funland under threat?

HeavyElectricity June 20, 2008 8

This one is an interesting piece of rumour, but back in January Ripley’s Believe It or Not! announced its intention to open a new museum in London’s Trocadero this August, occupying around 25,000 square feet over five levels of the building. The arcade Funland currently operates on three levels of the building itself, and it is currently unknown if Ripley’s has leased some of the space currently occupied by Funland. However, there is the possibility that Ripley’s could use the currently vacant space formerly used by the Vue cinema.

It must be stressed that nothing has been confirmed at present, and it would certainly be odd practice for the arcade to buy in expensive Sega Rally 3 cabinets if it is scheduled to close or downsize (note: the game is actually on test with a view to purchase at present). We’ll bring you more on this as we get it.

[Ripley’s press release] [Discuss on the Forum]


  1. editor June 20, 2008 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    Troc – buy – Sega Rally 3!!!

    Think you have your wires corssed – Troc never buys!!!

  2. HeavyElectricity June 20, 2008 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Ah, thanks for pointing that out – wasn’t quite sure on that point.

  3. editor June 20, 2008 at 11:00 pm - Reply

    The Sega game is on test – towards buying. I was just unhappy it wasrun on such a high game price!

  4. Old School J June 20, 2008 at 11:31 pm - Reply

    Played Sega Rally 3 this week and yes the real downer is the outrageous price set at £2 a play. Lovely cabinet though and a fantastic game all round. Interesting to hear it is on test with a view to purchasing. Surely the high price will be off putting to most players as whilst I was there for about an hour on Wednesday afternoon only one other person tried the game.

    With regards to the threat to Funland, first heard a report just over a year ago about a company wanting to convert the Trocadero into a large hotel. If Funland goes the only other large arcade in London will be Namco Station at Westminster which is approximately about a quarter the size of Funland, the location is a bit too out of the way and known to be more of a tourist hot spot. It also does not get the latest games as quickly as Funland and oddly enough it does not even have Tekken 6, a Namco product and the premiere fighting game at Funland at the moment.

  5. editor June 21, 2008 at 12:01 am - Reply

    Did you see the extensive London site report we did in the Stinger on arcades?

    I love that Namco dose not even want to run its own game in its own facility – remembering we had the Tekken 5 playoff in the bar. Now Namco forgets that Tekken was ever popular!

    On Sega Rally 3, source says that gam on high price to use as excuse not to buy!

  6. Old School J June 21, 2008 at 1:22 am - Reply

    It is sad and shocking to hear the high pricing on Sega Rally 3 might be a deliberate ploy to put off a purchase. For all the efforts put into producing such quality titles with state of the art cabinets it now seems like some of the locations such as Funland are trying to sound an untimely death knell for the industry. How can the game producers win? Whilst it is available I will play and support games such as Sega Rally 3 because although a console version exists, the arcade product is the full package and the cabinet design cannot not be truly mimicked at home. However £2 a play is steep and it will simply mean I play a little less.

    And as you say, with Namco not even willing to support Tekken 6, one has to question why they would spend millions on R&D for a successful franchise and then not even give it international exposure and support. On the one hand they seem to have already conceded that consoles and PCs have won whilst on the other they fail to understand that with the right timing and advertising for the arcade release thus building anticipation for a prospective home release, exclusive arcade content to differentiate it from the console port and good pricing for a kit and full cabinet specification, they could actually produce many a winner as Tekken 6 could and would be on a world wide stage.

  7. editor June 21, 2008 at 1:53 am - Reply

    All valid points Old School.

    I think the situation is that the bloated industry can not get past the greed of its current structure. What we will now see is player supported (or even operated) projects. Such as the BeMania stuff in the UK, the Troc team in London or the French arcade player project.

    The players taking control away from the greed and complacency of operators.

  8. Old School J June 21, 2008 at 11:49 am - Reply

    I think you are absolutely right, it will be left to the players to take some degree of control of this situation and show the powers that be how it should be done because they are all about greed and profits and not willing to evolve with the times.

    All credit to the teams that you mention who have taken the initiative and support their player base. Perhaps in the future some of them might even set up their own establishments, as the French have done recently, which cater for the player and bring forward ideas such as marketing, advertising tournaments, and exclusive games.

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