The weather is starting to warm up in my locale, hopefully it is in yours if you happen to be in a cold region but either way don’t forget to support a local arcade no matter what the temperature is like.
When I was looking for a location to put my arcade into back in 2007, I looked a quite a few places but had a hard time finding one that didn’t want to lock me into some crazy lease for 10 years. And that was when the economy didn’t suck. When it comes to opening up an arcade of your own, there is the mantra “location, location, location” but the idea behind that isn’t just finding a place with the right traffic but the right lease terms as well. Unfortunately what might be available at the time isn’t always the most prime but if they get you locked into something for a few years and business isn’t turning out like you had expected, it means trouble. Heck in my own arcade I’m in my third location in about five years and only now have things really started picking up to what I had imagined it being like back when all I had was a plan. It’s sad to say but the trouble with a location and the lease appears to be the case with the Rusty Quarters Retro Arcade & Museum in Minneapolis, MN. We have mentioned them a few times here. To help them get through a slump in business (it depends on the location but often times winter is a slower period for arcades in general; in my own experience once the weather gets nicer there is usually a noticeable drop) they are currently running a donation drive on indiegogo.com to raise funds to help them with their high lease rent. They are taking donations from $5-$1000 and if you would like, click here for more details on how to help them out.
Also in some news we had mentioned before on the site, ArcadeUFO in Austin, TX has under gone a remodel during the slow season but they finally have their doors open once again. From Twitter, a look at how busy it was from @CurbsideJones. It’s always a great sight to see a packed arcade 🙂
In terms of new games, here is some footage of Namco’s upcoming Mario Kart Arcade GP DX game. Still no word on the international release for this one yet but where it will be out in Japan this Summer, I’m sure they will see how it goes there first to move onto world conquering and all of that.
Also as a reminder, the disc release of Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph happens tomorrow in the US. I’m not sure about internationally. It was given an early digital release a week or two ago but in case you still like having a physical copy you will be able to get it on DVD or Blu-Ray in less than 24 hours so the scenes with games can be paused and picked apart for the goodies inside (like we have done on the site before).
Anyone thinking of donating to this arcade should do their research first, starting with this thread, from May last year: http://forums.arcade-museum.com/showthread.php?t=235306
Sadly, sometimes the problem with an arcade is the guy running it. I hate to see an arcade close, and disagree with several KLOV posters on the profitability of classics (they can be a great draw, so if you run your books and business right, your bottom line can be good, even if the individual game quarter drop isn’t. Remember that most classic arcades were either in a mall or bar/pizza place, and the stand-alone arcade that many lament the death of was a temporary blip in a LONG history), but this particular arcade hasn’t got a prayer.
Geez, I wish you never posted that link. I read through about 10 pages before I finally gave up. There were plenty of good suggestions but the fact is that the owner(s) are broke and can’t pay the rent. I don’t mean to sound harsh but there really isn’t any way to sugar coat this. They have a bad business plan and a bad business model. As much as I am a fan of nostaglia and old arcade games, there are so many flaws with their business. The biggest problem I see is that they are using an 80s business model and applying it to modern day without taking into consideration of inflation and cost of doing business. It’s like me saying I love 50s diners with a soda fountain so I plan on opening one up and charging $1 for a burger, fries and Coke. That’s exactly what they are doing with their current line up of games.
The gameplay looks pretty much the same as the first two Mario Kart arcade games. I was really excited when the first one was announced but was really disappointed when I finally played it. The problem is how they don’t have the random power up items and only 3 of them are available for each race. In the home version, some of the power ups are very unbalanced and can move you from last place to first place so it uses a point system. The winner is determined over a combined score in 4 different courses in one cup. In the arcade you can only race 1 course at a time for one credit so it would have been impossible to have all the power ups available in one race. In my opinion this pretty much takes the fun out of the arcade game.