Busy day for some arcade news, all of the sudden. Thanks to Michael Louie for the tips on all of these news items, all involving new locations.
Round1USA Opens In Santa Ana, CA – Japanese owned Round 1 continues the expansion of their chain in the USA with the grand opening of a location in Santa Ana, CA. I have not come across the games list for that particular location but it should follow what other locations do – heavy focus on new titles, particularly hard to find ones from Japan (the Puente Hills location just added a Konami Sound Voltex). That opening just started a few hours ago so if you are in the area and need something to do for a Friday night, that is the place to be!
BTW – Their website shows more locations on the way soon, including San Jose, CA, Seattle, WA and Taunton, MA
Nightowl Toronto – A new bar/arcade venue in the Little Italy area of Toronto, Canada will soon be opening their doors. Called Nightowl Toronto, they have not revealed what games they will be carrying exactly, aside from “skeeball and basketball”. You can find their Facebook page here. / Blogto.com News article about them.
Emporium Bar Owners Looking At a San Fransisco Venue – The Emporium Arcade Bar has been mentioned on the site before as they have opened a couple of locations in the Chicago area. Now the owners are looking at the Harding Theater in San Fransisco, CA as a potential location for a 3rd location. The location has had a lot of trouble finding a tenant or a purpose so this isn’t set in stone yet but it is always a strong sign that something will happen when you have entrepreneurs with a proven business make the pitch. Read more here @ Hoodline.com
Fate of the UC Davis Arcades and Game Room – The Sacramentio Bee ran this article back in March about the games that were found at the UC DAvis gameroom. Unfortunately they have closed the game room down to renovate and are replacing the arcade games with console games, billiards and a few other items. The Bee article does mention one location I had covered on here not long ago, the Coin Op Game Room in Sacramento, which opened in May (their first location in San Diego has been open for a little while).
The article gets into arcades not making a living for the campus game room with fierce competition from phones and home consoles but between that and the video (embedded below), it doesn’t look like the room was doing much to keep up with the absolute latest releases to keep interest going. Ms. Pac-Man obviously isn’t going to pay those bills and a semi-recent Pump It Up generates less hype than the freshest one on the market. Granted, it is tough to cover the costs of constant updates but that is essential for pure video arcades to compete. The phones and consoles are always getting new content so it is a silly notion to not expect the same of an arcade game room. In fact, one of the glowing aspects of ‘Golden Age Arcades” was the fact that they were constantly updated. That still goes a long way towards enticing repeat business.