(Thanks to Nik Thorpe of Retro Gamer Magazine and formerly a writer of Arcade Heroes for sending this my way)
This morning I was sent a video on Facebook that is another in the series of “arcades are dead” videos that pop-up from time to time. It’s actually not as bad as some efforts I’ve seen in the past where the makers try so hard to be intellectual but they end up showing how absolutely ignorant they are about the subject. One of my favorites had to be the one where the game wonk stated “How do you do a sports game in the arcade?” (yes, really). I’ve rarely found one of these videos to make a solid, logical argument because if they were to research the subject they would find that it doesn’t match up with the assertions they confidently throw out there. But the visuals and the sound are nice, too bad they have to be wasted like this.
I was not going to post it since hits are the important thing with online videos but I may as well so you can see where my reaction is coming from this time, a video called “Arcade Oratory”. Get those Kleenexes out, it’s a reeeal heartbreaker:
Or not. Again, nothing here is a good argument to make unless your audience is oblivious to the truth of the market. I’m glad this is really short, as an hour of the imagery of the abandoned facilities would have given him way too much rope to hang himself with. I have to wonder – what are this guys credentials to make such claims? He’s been to Japan but so have a lot of other people. He grew up in NJ, so have a lot of other people. I can say the same for having a video camera and editing software. But like all of these videos, it’s practically a wonder that they get so many things wrong. They all assume that the downturn around 1999-2003 was the end, not that it was a temporary thing like any other market. I may as well go film myself looking sad in an abandoned 1930’s speakeasy while claiming that the US economy had a good run through the 20s but after that it should be written off, end of history. He doesn’t bother to search out locations that are open, doesn’t mention any manufacturers that are still in business and making money off of NEW game sales, doesn’t show any new games(all of which would ruin the narrative and cause some cognitive dissonance issues), he does drop a mention about places only focusing on redemption but even that isn’t 100% accurate. Many Chuck E Cheeses will have a few video-only games, I took my daughter to one not long ago for a birthday and they had Dead Heat, Mario Kart Arcade GP2, Deadstorm Pirates & Terminator Salvation. Thus the core argument of this “oratory” simply amounts to “a few arcades I have known growing up are out of business so the arcade as a whole is dead”. Don’t tell him that some Gamestops have closed before, we might have a crisis on our hands. What do you think Captain Sisko?
So why bother to even respond? Well unfortunately this line is repeated enough and people believe it. Arcades are my livelihood, I’ve turned it into a career that provides the means to feed and clothe my family, so I feel the compulsion to defend the industry against these false and ignorant notions. This post is serving up as a response to show what is happening in arcades today. Just the stories ran on this site should be sufficient but since they are not, let’s beat the naysayers over the head of pictures of some non-abandoned arcades from right now in 2014. I posted on Twitter and Facebook a couple of pictures that I took this afternoon from my own arcade in Utah and received some other pictures from some of you that read the site showing similar situations.
As you can see, the arcades of 2014 are so dead, they are packed with customers.
If you work at/own an arcade and have pics like these below, please send them in and I will add them to this post!
Taken at 12:33PM on 6/17/14. Tuesdays aren’t always known for being a bustling business day but I have had a constant stream of customers coming in and out through the day so far. Saturdays and Sundays of course are quite a bit busier and I’ve had instances of every game being played before (I have around 50 games, zero ticket redemption)
Here is Galloping Ghost today, taken on 6/17/14 an hour after they opened at 2PM. ” 44 people in the door already” according to owner Doc Mack
From Arcade Hunters, they took this picture at Modern Pinball in New York City this past Saturday
Also from Arcade Hunters, the Barcade in New York City this past Saturday. As Nick stated with the photo: “Another packed house at @barcadenewyork Saturday. Yep, arcades are dead”
This one was taken by Toby Nakhorn, a manager at Las Vegas Soho in the UK. It was from a Bishi Bashi tournament held at the venue in April, you can see people playing games in the background that are not a part of the event. Obviously all of these people are obsessed with playing games in a place that doesn’t exist…or something. The illogic hurts my brain :
Also from the Las Vegas Soho in London, UK, a picture taken today, 6/18/14. As Toby states, “Here in London our arcade is busy day in, day out =]”
I am of course happy to add any other photos that any of you happen to have so this post can serve up a helping of humble pie to the next naysayer that thinks that they are making a clever “historical viewpoint” video. As I have pointed out many times, manufacturers of new games wouldn’t be making them if they didn’t think it would be profitable for them. That is the main reason people create businesses, to make money and companies like Raw Thrills, Sega Amusements, Bandai Namco Amusements, Incredible Technologies, Adrenaline Amusements, InJoy Motion, Barron Games, UNIS, GlobalVR, ICE, Baytek, LAI Games, Benchmark Games,Stern Pinball, Jersey Jack Pinball, IGS, Wahlap and various others have all been around for quite a while doing just that.
And once again, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve mentioned this but the internet has the resources to find that arcade location near you: