More coverage for ArcadeUFO in Texas

Shaggy September 17, 2008 9

We’ve discussed the opening of ArcadeUFO previously but it blows my mind how many blogs and other news sources I keep running into that are discussing it – so much so that it’s not worth my time to report every single one. But I figured I’d mention it one last time to congratulate the new company on the amount of news coverage they are getting, which is certainly helping bring in people to support them and hopefully they’ll be getting enough momentum from the get go to keep them running for a long time. Whether they expected this amount of coverage or not is unknown to me but it was good planning on their part to get a hold of some highly prized games such as Tekken 6 and Street Fighter IV – if anyone continues to think that fighters aren’t meaning anything to people then you need to think again.

[Via Wired]

There’s a little more on my mind about this though, hit the post break if you’re interested in my thoughts about the attention given to arcades by the media and how it is sometimes a bit lopsided or discuss it on the forums.

At the same time I’d like to think out loud about this situation and wonder why is it that ArcadeUFO is receiving all this attention as though they were the only new arcade to open in the US in years? I really do not mean to diminish them at all  – my criticism here is aiming at the media and not ArcadeUFO, my congratulations are sincere for them and I am happy that an arcade business is getting this attention. When I was at AMOA I ran into the general manager of a local FEC of mine, in fact they are only three blocks away from my arcade and in our conversation they were lamenting over the fact that a few more FECs are going to open soon in my state and I just naturally said “That’s great!” which they weren’t amused with but then I had to explain what I meant – while you might feel that it sucks to have more competition at the same time the more arcades out there = more games being made by developers since they have more to sell to.

But getting back to the point of the matter, I really don’t understand why ArcadeUFO is receiving this much attention when there have been several arcades to come along in the past year or so and AFAIK they have been discussed in very few places, namely here at AH and the Stinger Report since that’s what we do. For examples of other new arcades that have opened in the past little while check here, here, here, here and here. My best guess is that it’s because ArcadeUFO is a Japanese themed arcade (although they aren’t the only ones, check Tokyo Game Action,  Super Arcade or the aptly named Japan Arcade) and for some reason a lot of people seem to think that the only arcade games worth talking about are ones that come from Japan (if you could see our stats on what is popular or look around the net for current arcade news, you’ll notice that most news sources are mentioning that Arcana Heart 2 is coming to arcades from our AMOA coverage while ignoring the fact that we also showed several other games to come along from Raw Thrills’, GlobalVR, Incredible Technologies, and Sega). So if you open a new arcade then perhaps that is one theme to consider as it’s not a bad one but would I like to see some attention brought to arcades that are also giving love to games that come both from Japan and elsewhere? You bet. I think that the ultimate solution to get people to notice non-Japanese arcades is with the games of course but it is frustrating when we report about great new games made by a developer outside the US and the attention it gets pales in comparison to what you might see some obscure game that may never be released outside of Japan does. We do all we can here and it will help as developers release more high-quality games (it wouldn’t hurt if they put together something like a press kit with a demo disc of the game that includes some HD footage of it in action and the flyer for the game and send that to news sources which are at least somewhat interested in printing arcade news) so either way what it’s going to take is time and patience.


  1. Paul September 17, 2008 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    You guys need to post the arcade tour Press Start comic did with that Tokyo Game Action place. Good stuff.

  2. Smidget September 18, 2008 at 1:19 pm - Reply

    Well the main reason they’re getting attention is of course because of SF4 and T6. For me, the reason they’ve KEPT my attention and have me going back to the webstite from time to time is because of the article Kotaku did on them. It let me know the owners have a history and interest in the competitive fighting game scene and EVO. This is something of interest to me because I used to be involved in all that jazz. So, for me, its not the games so much as how they are (or will be) using them and their connection to the arcade gaming community.

    I think it would do well for the arcade scene and the industry for more spots to get press like this. If a new place opens or if they’re holding a big event (like a regional tourney), give em some coverage. It will help keep arcades fresh in peoples minds and could help the process of breaking down the wall between console and arcade gaming. I mean, they ARE video games and look at a gaming site like IGN that’s divided into 24 different heading sections, from all the consoles to TV, Babes, Movies, etc.. but not an arcade section? That’s where the problem is. Break down the wall between console and arcade gaming and the arcade scene will thrive once again. Younger people in America don’t know about whats going on in arcades because their daily online sources of video game news and monthly publications aren’t providing them with any info on it.

    Eh, starting to rant..haha

  3. Adam September 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    You can’t put a price on excitement.

    It’s easy to get excited about what ArcadeUFO is doing, not only because they have SFIV and Tekken 6, but also because of the story of how they came to be. It’s a story of the players seeing a need in their community and doing something about it. Everyone who plays games and longs for the glory days of arcades can resonate with this story. It’s giving hope to the US arcade community, and the people that go there know that the owners are one of them.

  4. Adam September 18, 2008 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    On a slightly different note, I’d love to see American arcade manufacturers succeed, but I’ve personally never played a Raw Thrills or Global VR game that I liked.

  5. Shaggy September 18, 2008 at 4:36 pm - Reply

    You both make great points – SFIV and T6 have a great effect on that and of course how they are using competitions to move forward. As I said before, what ArcadeUFO is doing is great but I’m being critical of the media since they are not willing to give something a chance that isn’t straight out of Japan. Whether you like games by other developers or not the fact is that there are a lot of fans of games like Golden Tee, the Big Buck series and even Drift, I see them come into the arcade all the time. But it could be more if more attention were given to developers outside of Japan – the Japanese focus makes people think that Japan is the *only* place where arcade stuff happens and that isn’t true – it’s strong in Europe, getting stronger in the US and elsewhere.

    I did contact IGN once about adding an arcade section to their line-up of things since they are happy to focus on stuff that isn’t even about games but I was ignored. When I wrote to GameInformer they at least published my letter (albeit heavily edited) and I have seen a slight increase in the mention of arcades but it’s still far off from real support.

  6. Shaggy September 18, 2008 at 4:43 pm - Reply

    I should mention again that part of the reason I thought of this is because most of the sites that linked to us for AMOA didn’t bother mentioning AMOA but just mentioned Arcana Heart 2 as though it was the only new game to come around.

  7. axabras September 21, 2008 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    So are you mad because your arcade isn’t getting as much coverage as Arcade UFO? Is that what it is?

  8. Shaggy September 22, 2008 at 2:38 pm - Reply

    Um no, are you incapable of comprehending what I wrote? I’m perfectly happy that ArcadeUFO is getting this attention and if they get more then that would be great. I could have ignored them completely but I haven’t because I think it’s great when any arcade opens even if it is not my own. If you would have taken the time to actually read and understand what I wrote, my comments are directed more towards media who has ignored several arcades that have opened over the past while, the only other one I have seen get close is Retro’s in Tennesse.

  9. Fernando September 28, 2008 at 9:31 pm - Reply

    Well, the way I see it, you gotta keep two things in mind concerning the video game media and Japanese arcade games. First, the whole video game ‘blogosphere’ or what have you is really an echo chamber of sorts. one blog will look at another and see that they already did the hard work of finding a story, so they’ll just repost most of that stuff while adding a snarky line or two at the end. The writers for these sites feel the constant pressure to do so because they’ll get paid by the post or by the number of clicks it’ll garner.

    Which leads to the second point, the sort of audience they write for was raised on and is nostalgic for those japanese games like Street Fighter 4 and Tekken 6. I’m sure any story with SF4 in the title would get a lot more hits than Golden Tee or Big Buck (side note: Big Buck? Wha? Like, deer hunter?) on those blogs. Who plays those games, thirty and forty somethings that hang out in bars? Those guys wouldn’t even read video game blogs or magazines, or at least that’s what I assume those blogs and magazines would assume.

    So the championing of Arcade UFO by Kotaku and Wired makes sense to them because it’s an easy story and it will bring in hits, which brings in ads, etc. Not to mention the folks behind Arcade UFO got themselves inside echo chamber by making their presence known in the fighting game community before they even opened. Heck, they even had a nice looking website to point people towards, more than can be said of most arcades. Word spread, and here we are.

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