Welcome to the last weekend of July. This week has given us some new game announcements with Raw Thrills’ Batmobile and Namco/Nintendo’s Mario Kart Arcade GP DX. There was some arcade news at the San Diego Comic-Con but we’re waiting on a little more information on that first. Here are a few other stories that are piling up in the inbox to share.
Here in two weeks, the AAMA Gala will be held in Lisle, IL. We’re not 100% sure what will be there at this moment but chances are Batmobile and Transformers Human Alliance will be there. This week there was an amusement trade show in São Paulo, Brazil called SALEX 2013. I’m still waiting to see if there is any significant news; so far I know that Sega, UNIS, InJoy and Barron Games were represented. They seemed to be represented by one distributor there, Altantida (which has an incredibly sparse website). Here are a few pictures from various Facebook pages sharing what was there to be seen. This news site in Portuguese says that the show was a positive success.
In this first pic you can see (starting from the right going to the left): Dream Raiders (Sega); Fun Fair Bash (UNIS); GRID 42″ (Sega); Waterpark Splash (UNIS); After Dark (UNIS) and Power Boat V2.0 SDX (InJoy Motion). Shared on InJoy Motion’s Facebook page.
InJoy Motion’s new tank game, Allied Tank Attack was there marking the first appearance of the game ion the Western Hemisphere. It is the first game confirmed to be coming to IAAPA 2013 in Orlando, FL this November.
From the UNIS FB page, their mechanical shooting game Cowboy Shootout next to InJoy Motion’s new Project X-Pher 4D
This was posted to the Barron Games International FB page, Anna Bacorn of Barron is in the center, apologies to the rest as their names we not shared but I believe they are the Atlantida team. For those unaware, Barron Games has mainly focused on air hockey tables but they have been dabbling with redemption and video products too; they have the X-Putt golfing game and they have teamed up with InJoy Motion to start selling some of their titles in the US. Behind them some Sega product including Virtua Tennis 4 upright and one of the new InJoy Motion AIR series games.
So far I haven’t been able to find anything else about Salex so that will have to be it for now unless something significant pops-up.
Among those new products seen at SALEX was Fun Fair Bash by UNIS. It is part of a new “carnival series” that they are pushing for new entries into the redemption space. Fun Fair Bash is a videmption title and involves throwing colored balls at the video screen. They also sent along a press release which you can download here if interested (.DOC file).
Speaking of press releases, I also received something from Namco about Pac-Man Headphones. These have been on display at some tradeshows and at the Vegas show my wife was one of those asking if they could be purchased. Well, now they can, purchasing directly from Namco America. I imagine that arcade locations could buy a bunch of these and re-sell them, although I imagine they will often be found inside of prize merchandizing machines. Of course if you work for Namco then they are company issued, which is always a perk 😉 UPDATE: The headphones are $20, you can order them here: http://issuu.com/namcoprize/docs/nai_product_catalogue
I mentioned this last week but Rob Howard of Rob Howard Music has launched a new chiptune album, Pitch to Pixel Vol. 2. He kindly gave me a chance to listen to the new album and for anyone that is a fan of 16-bit era music this should fit into your music collection nicely. Admittedly I do not listen to a lot of “chiptune” genre music but what struck me about the songs was that anyone of them sounds like it could have been put onto a cart of a Sega Genesis or even be found in the soundtracks of certain arcade games of the era. You can check out the album here.
Last but not least in case anyone is wondering how the big guns in the location part of the industry are doing, Chuck E. Cheese’s Q1 sales sees an increase of 1.6%.;Dave & Buster’s sees 1.8% growth. CEC is a much larger span of stores but this isn’t terrible news for either company as they keep the steady growth going. I’m not sure how other arcades are doing out there right now but my own store has seen sales growth this year, the boost coming primarily from the opening of a new cutting edge movie theater just a few stores away from where I am at combined with a location visible from one of their entrances. Hopefully things are going well for the rest of you operators out there – there’s been a lot of news of big budget movie flops and occasional news of disappointing home video game console sales numbers (WiiU not performing on the level of its predecessor; some talk about only 27% of Ouya customers actually buying a game but “free-to-play” is a big part of that model so I don’t count that as very surprising). We’re in the entertainment business too although we are usually more affected by a single negative story than other parts of the entertainment business currently are.