How do you prefer to pay for your arcade experience? Coins? Magnetic strip cards? RFID tags or some other e-money service? We ran a poll on this long ago and while we didn’t get as large as a response as more recent polls, results from that indicated that most people preferred using good old coins in some form. Still, times change and with that evolution can come changes in the way we pay for arcade games. Konami is looking to do that with a new online e-money service in Japan that they are calling “Paseli” which is short for “Pay Smart Enjoy Life”. According to the English news page provided by Konami here is how it works:
Arcades have always been strictly coin-op businesses where customers must constantly feed money into a machine in order to keep playing. KONAMI developed its PASELI e-money service with an eye to overcoming the limits that this cash-based system imposes on both arcade operators and players alike. Now ready for full-scale implementation, this innovative service that enhances playability as well as pricing is sure to breathe new life into the arcade industry.
Taking the arcade experience to new heights, PASELI enables arcade operators to offer the kind of gameplay and price structures that go far beyond the limits of ordinary coin-op systems. Unlike traditional systems, nothing is set in stone with PASELI, operators can set flexible rates based on playing time, etc. to make it easier and more enjoyable for customers than ever before.
Players can use PASELI to buy items as they’re playing a game as well as customize characters to make the whole arcade experience more fun than ever. Gamers can also use PASELI to participate in special stages or tournaments where they can explore new and exciting facets of various games.
It sounds like a method by which you can create an account via their e-Amusement service and then buy a certain number of e-money there, then the operator will set how much is charged by the game per hour or per play and of course it can be used for microtransactions (which have been tried in the industry in the past, long before the idea really came up in the console world, see Double Dragon 3).
I personally don’t see much of a problem with microtransactions as long as the idea isn’t abused. They really didn’t go the route of actual microtransactions on the console side of things (as in charging 5¢ or 10¢ for something) but from my understanding MA’s work really well on Facebook and people pay out the nose for such things. Could Paseli lead to a coin-op version of Farmville? Who knows but I would like to see this system in action. Chances are we won’t be seeing it in the US anytime soon since e-Amusement never took off here (for my friends across the pond, remind me if eAmuse is in place in Europe currently or not) but maybe Konami will take a crack at it again. A couple of Japanese titles are already setup to use Paseli, Quiz Magic Academy 7 and Mahjong Fight Club Garyotensei, with other Konami titles making use of it in the future such as the upcoming DDR X2 which comes out in June or Metal Gear Arcade and Road Fighters 3D which come out sometime later this year.