NEON FM Innovates With New Smartphone-to-Arcade Crossplay

arcadehero March 12, 2015 2

While I’ve heard the sentiment before that smartphones would mean the final doom for the arcade industry (just like services like Xbox 360 Live was supposed to mean the same thing), that dire prediction has not been the case. If anything, we’ve received more videmption content that has earned pretty well on locations.

But the usage of smartphone apps in the arcade has been fairly low. Raw Thrills and Sega have both offered QR code scanning for high scores; in some areas like Japan you can pay for credits with your phone (which is something that will also be available soon with the Big Buck HD app) but that is where it has ended.  I’ve mused before that smartphones could be used with arcades to do so much more (I can’t find the post now but we had some discussion about it) – player profiles, location trackers, high score alerts, manipulating attract modes, options adjustments, adding content to an active game (like bonus targets), unlockable Augmented Reality content  or even cross-play.

We finally have some of that coming our way but not from one of the big companies. Indie developer Unit-E Global (that is the parent company of Unit-E Technologies that their mobile releases will occur under) has announced linking between the arcade version of their rhythm game NEON FM and the new smartphone versions of the game which will be available for Android and iOS “this Spring”. At IAAPA2014 I already witnessed how you could use your smartphone on the game to log in and adjust certain settings, so they already had some level of integration available. But cross-platform play is certainly a new angle on what can be done; This app will mark be the most significant usage of mobile hardware in the arcade that I am aware of. Below are a couple of videos showing it in action along with the press release that gives us all of the current details.

What are your thoughts on this level of mobile/arcade integration?



Indie Studio Unit-e Global Develops Technology to Link Arcades and Mobile Devices

By Eric Yockey
March 11, 2015

Baltimore, MD – In an industry first, Neon FM arcade players will be able to compete in real time against opponents anywhere in the world, on any compatible device. “You can, while in line [at the arcade] and waiting to play, just join in and play the person right there in front of you,” explains Unit-e engineer Charles Lohr.


VIDEO: Neon FM Arcade & Mobile Integration

VIDEO: Neon FM Android, iPhone, Arcade Multiplayer

Neon FM is available in arcades in the US and abroad, and is coming to iPhone, iPad, and Android this Spring. In addition to online multiplayer between devices, the company has also developed a patent-pending QR code login system that allows players to save scores, change settings, and remotely control the machine.


VIDEO: Neon FM QR Code Login System

Notes to editors


Neon FM™ is an American 5-panel hand-based music game featuring music from popular independent artists (Virtual Riot, Tristam, Pegboard Nerds, Freezepop, etc.) and independent music labels (Monstercat, Rightsify, Abora Recordings, etc.). The game is currently available in arcades and is coming to mobile platforms this Spring.

For pictures, video, and more information on Neon FM and the project’s history, visit
A press kit with promotional media and logos is available here.


Unit-e Global, L.C., parent company of Unit-e Technologies, L.C. is a technology development studio designed to create unique experiences by integrating blockbuster software with novel hardware solutions.

For more information on the company, visit


Eric Yockey, MBA
CEO, Unit-e Global, L.C.
1414 Shoemaker Rd.
Baltimore, MD 21209
Office: (858) 84-UNITE
Office: (858) 848-6483


  1. blakehess11 March 12, 2015 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I think this is a really cool feature to have and it makes me glad to see Neon FM trying so hard to be innovative in arcades. Sadly I expect it to also hardly be used at all by players. Rhythm games are really niche these days, especially if it’s not played with a dance pad or guitar. Hardcore fans will love this, but I wonder how many hardcore players something like Neon FM have managed to get, as it seems that other Western arcade rhythm games such as ReRave have really struggled to do well.

    I really wish there were somewhere around me I could play the game at, or that we’d get one at the arcade I work at. As a huge fan of rhythm games, it looks like a ton of fun.

    • arcadehero March 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm - Reply

      That is certainly possible that the feature will be ignored , which comes down to a failure of marketing by various levels in the industry. Fortunately the manufacturer is promoting the ability with more than a PR but those videos but it will take the operators (and some help by distributors wouldn’t hurt) to push the knowledge to players.

      To be honest though, all hand-controlled rhythm games have struggled as I’m sure you know.For all the hype DJ Max Technika generated when it came out, I believe they didn’t even crack 50 unit sales. If ReRave’s current location map is accurate for all units, they haven’t topped 50 locations yet either. I don’t know where NEON FM is yet but either way, it is an uphill battle. From owning ReRave, I’ve noticed that the “music gamer community” doesn’t really get behind it so it has had to build up its own unique player base, which takes a long time to do (I also wish they would restore 2 player as that is something that players at my location demand but I guess it isn’t sought after in other locations). Perhaps the cross-integration of apps can bring those players into a location, at least I hope so. ReRave Plus is supposed to offer that integration at some point, I guess we’ll see once it finally hits Android.

Leave A Response »

%d bloggers like this: