Ready for your weekend arcade newsbits? Here’s a rundown of some stories too short or lacking in enough substantial info to run a full post on.
First off, I don’t believe I shared this on the site yet but here is the most recent video from the Arcade Heroes Youtube channel. This is part of what I had hoped to air during E3 week back in June but after a delay in getting some upcoming game footage, I decided to split it into two videos. That was for the best as with the upcoming footage it was about 11 min long and it wasn’t complete yet, there is one game I am waiting on that should be a real treat. That video will be posted as soon as I have all of the clips in hand. I also will have a review of Star Trek Pinball up after Stern releases the new code update and one for Allied Tank Attack before too long now that it has received some updates as well.
Speaking of new games, the AAMA Gala was held this week and as usual some new products were shown off in a private meeting. Also fitting into the pattern, pictures of what was there is difficult to come by. Here is what I confirmed as being present, most of it is redemption-centric:
Here is a picture from the Gala that shows us a few things from the event – this is Greg Bacorn, CEO of Barron Games holding a bottle of their new proprietary “Puck Sweat” (which was developed as an alternative wax for their polycarbonate air hockey tables). He is standing next to one of those Martian Mania games mentioned above; the others include a kids basketball game, a kids whacker game and a kids’ air hockey table. They can be found in this Facebook album here. In the background you can catch a glimpse of Namco’s Lost Land Adventure and what appears to be a prize merchandiser that could be Sega’s new KeyMaster model…or just a modified KeyMaster for this event.
IAAPA will be the time for video arcades to shine in general and come to think of it, that is only three months away.
Jersey Jack Pinball is holding an Open House today at their factory. Free games, food and an official IFPA Tournament looks like it is bringing in the crowds.
In regards of Facebook albums, this week on the Arcade Heroes Facebook page you now can find over 100 direct screenshots from various arcade games. When I can get high quality, high resolution shots I use them but unfortunately there are several instances where the best a manufacturer has shared is a muddy thumbnail (*cough*CastleVania The Arcade Game*cough-hack*).
We don’t usually get into the “inside baseball” stuff about distributors, the companies operators tend to purchase their games from. Most of the time the news they share is about new hires or company sales that don’t really fit in with the news we try to run here but this story is from my neck of the woods and is a part of my arcade operation since I started in 2008. Specialty Coin Op has acquired Mountain Coin Machines and Mountain Coin is effectively out of business. The company followed the route of a traditional regional distributor, something that has become more antiquated with globalized trade. The writing was on the wall for a while for Mtn. Coin in various regards – their Salt Lake location was a short drive away for me and when I started my arcade, they are the distributor I worked with as they had a sales person that didn’t scoff at my idea of a video-only arcade. He was a big help in me getting started but he moved on and changes came along where they weren’t very competitive on prices you could find. Tech support was a mixed bag – sometimes it was excellent and fast, other times things just seemed to be forgotten. When I purchased an OutRun 2 and a couple of other used games, the office in WA state wasn’t very careful in packaging the unit and it was damaged in shipping. Damage happens but they simply weren’t smart about the way they packaged it, and it took a couple of weeks for it to be repaired. I wasn’t terribly satisfied with that experience. Earlier this year they did a fire sale on parts and one of their primary salespeople was picked up by Betson to open up a Betson West office, also not too far from me. With that it looked like the end was nigh and the omen was fulfilled soon enough. I’m not sure how many jobs are being lost as a result of this purchase, quite a few people were let go over the past year. It is too bad as it was nice to be able to find parts locally and check out a local showroom; I also made a few friends over there as a result of doing business with them. It is not a pleasant thing to report on a business closure but this market does not exist in a vacuum. If you can’t provide better value and price than your competitors, among other issues, this can be the ultimate result.
Finally, Name That Game #12! Last time I decided to do all shmups/scrolling shooters and went with four games. Only one comment was made on them and he got them all right, with one sorta-exception since I played a little trick. The answers:
#2: Tengai by Psikyo
#4: ASO: Armored Scrum Object by SNK. This is board swappable with the guess on the game, which was Alpha Mission.
For this week, back to an assortment of three random games for different time periods.