Article: "When the arcades lost their fire"

Shaggy February 14, 2009 2


One great thing about arcades are the memories they create. I think that all of us has a story or two from times we spent at the arcade ‘back in the day’ and the article we’ll be linking to in that post discusses that very thing – how arcades used to be what the industry and players revolved around and the great games that we would see all the time and how consoles played into dragging arcades down, etc. Overall it’s a nice article but it’s unfortunate that it doesn’t really mention the existing arcade industry. I understand that this is common these days as journalists seem to accept the notion that the industry is dead, despite the fact that there are still thousands of locations out there that call themselves an arcade, there are still places where you can go to rub shoulders with other people who share your interests in video gaming and that new arcade titles are still coming out in nearly every month of the year.

Sure it isn’t like 1982 anymore – seeing lines of people waiting to get into an arcade to play the latest game is not an occurence we see anymore although I always wonder if it has to be that way or not. One thing that has not changed is that the¬†games themselves are the key to bringing players into the arcade – the operator has the responsibility of picking the games (if they can afford it) as well as maintaining them. But it certainly helps when we get games to choose from that people want to play.

Anyways, enough of my ranting, here’s the the link

[The Guardian: When The Arcades Lost Their Fire”] [Discuss on the Forums]


  1. neil brimelow February 14, 2009 at 6:00 am - Reply

    From 1960 to 1995 there was a lot of innovation in the entire arcade industry. The reason why the arcades died, was that in part the novelty of video games had worn off, but more importantly, the arcade manufacturers started dumbing down their hardware and software so the arcade to home conversions were easier and that there was no longer that ‘great divide’ between the arcade game and the home version.

    This tactic helped the game companies make money on the home market, but they killed the arcade market. The allure of the arcade was to get that experience you could NOT get at home.

    The arcade market is, in my opinion, poised for a comeback. “Off the shelf” hardware has gotten so powerful, that it really is not necessary to engineer entire boards anymore specifically. A game with better than “Crysis” level graphics could easily be done with today’s computer hardware. The problem is coming up with something good in the software department.

  2. onichi February 16, 2009 at 6:05 am - Reply

    Hi neil,

    What you forget is there is hardware available with Crysis level graphics. However, to do that type of game requires top flite engineers and hundreds of artists. This type of budget is far out of reach for many of today’s arcade software companies. Now granted a shortened version of this type of game could be done for the arcade market. But again the amount of technical expertise to pull off this type of game is mind boggling. So engineers of that caliber are not cheap.

Leave A Response »

%d bloggers like this: