(Thanks to Stingray Travel for the tip)
On this story, let me start with some clarification since due to the companies involved, sometimes there is confusion. First, the company which recently changed their name to Bandai Namco Amusement America produces arcade games like Pac-Man Battle Royale and Mario Kart Arcade GP DX that we discuss on AH often. Then there is Namco Entertainment Inc., which has been known as Namco Cybertainment before, which operates locations and fills them with product. They aren’t the same company, just affiliated with one another.
With that out of the way, the latter company Namco Entertainment, has announced that they are opening a new gaming-themed restaurant at the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, IL. Due to open in time for the 2014 Christmas shopping season, it will bring a mixture of food, bowling and video arcade entertainment under one 40,000 sq. ft. roof. The space was formerly a Sears warehouse that is being converted to more of a retail space where 8 bowling lanes and an unspecified number of video games will find a home. The theme of the venue will focus on Pac-Man while the food will be “high-level fine dining”. There aren’t any better specifics yet but I’m sure we will hear more by the end of the year.
I’m not sure how many high-end gaming facilities this brings to IL, I know Dave & Busters is there, Round 1 USA will be there soon among others. It doesn’t seem like IL is a very easy place to claim that there are no arcades near you, that’s for sure!
[Source: Daily Herald]
Seems to me namco are doing the same thing as chucky cheese franchise. To me I think even though people claim to think arcades are dead even though they’re not they seem to forget that arcades have become merged with all out of home entertainment with bowling being an example. I guess in a way if some arcade games aren’t making enough money if the game has failed to gain an audience the company has the bowling alley profits to fall back on and used towards better games which is very unlikley since most games are sucessful due to being few games compared to that of the 80’s
I don’t want to sound negative but if arcade games aren’t making money and the company has to solely rely on bowling to cover the revenue then that’s a seriously flawed business model. That space occupied by arcade games will probably disappear and something else will replace it that actually makes money. There’s a high end fancy bowling alley that opened here about 7 years in Cupertino, CA (home of Apple Inc.). They had a decent size arcade with about 60 deluxe sized arcade games/redemption that were all current titles. The place was called Strike Lanes (there are other locations across the US) and it was totally state of the art. It wasn’t doing so well and was eventually sold to Bowlmore Lanes. The first thing the new company did was remove the arcade games. I believe the space now has pool tables and was turned into a lounge. What is interesting is that the entire bowling alley was previously a HUGE Tilt entertainment arcade.
That’s not what I meant by if arcades have bowling alleys to fall back on. I meant that if a game wasn’t pulling in the customers and was a flop (a new game on the market risking a new gap especially test site game) it would be able to rely on money made from bowling profits to recoup the money lost until they get some better games if it was to happen which I said WAS a rare occasion.
I can’t wait since I’m always supportive of new arcades/FECs. I’m wondering if this will be anything like the Pac-Man arcade that used to be in Florida. I never been there but from all the pictures I’ve seen it definitely wasn’t 40k sq ft in size. I’m hoping this concept takes off and they open other locations across the US. Come to think of it, Chicago had a Disney Quest many years ago that’s no longer around.
I do seem to recall that in Japan, Namco kind of did this already. I believe it was known as Italian Tomato, and it was more geared at the food part than anything.
Namco was the owner of the restaurant chain as far as I’m aware. Ad’s for the restaurant were featured in Ridge Racer.
The Barcades places are doing good But this is right next to gameworks. Just don’t dumb down to kids.
Also need to have GOOD working pinball games as well.