Happy weekend everyone. Due to a press release, I’ve broken this post up between two tabs, otherwise the main post content is below.
Play Mechanix Turns 20 Years Old – On November 15th, one major arcade game developer will be celebrating 20 years in business, the well known Play Mechanix. Founded by George Petro in 1995, the company has become a major player in keeping the arcade business thriving in recent years including the Big Buck Hunter series, Terminator Salvation, Aliens Extermination & Armageddon, Kung Fu Panda Dojo Mojo, Angry Birds Arcade and many more. When they celebrate the anniversary on November 15th, that will be the same week they begin launching their latest title, MotoGP. Happy birthday Play Mechanix and thanks to everyone that has been a part of that and keeping the thrills coming to the arcades!
Since this post also has info on some other non-Play Mechanix related items, click on the tab above to see the press release that details more regarding the history of the company.
Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 In The US – (Thanks to Toby Nakhorn & JJ Kam for the tip) – Despite not receiving a lot of official love from Namco in the US, many fans keep the faith strong that the latest version of Maximum Tune racing game will make its way to our shores. As the tipsters suggested:
Maximum Tune 5 has come to the USA. There is a confirmed location at Anaheim, CA – Camelot Golfland. 4 Cabs + 1 Terminal running English version. Confirmed not a location test though which sucks, that means it might not be supported by Namco USA. Though maybe we might get surprised at IAAPA?
This picture is from that location but there is more – keep reading:
While the confirmation of a location test didn’t happen for CA, it apparently *is* on test at a Dave & Busters in Colorado. As this tweet indicated:
We are testing Midnight Maximum Tune 5 for the company! Come check out this great racer! @ Dave &… https://t.co/6dLrP6Aasf
— Dave&Busters Denver (@dandbdenver) November 4, 2015
So there you have it WMMT fans! Patience pays off!
Step Revolution Releases REVO, kiosk for out-of-home Android operation – Step Revolution has made a name for themselves in the mobile space thanks to the success of their ReRave and Dittobeat titles. But they did get their start with ReRave & ReRave Plus in the arcade industry and their latest project hearkens to that beginning. It is worth noting that not all locations require or can use a pay-for-play/coin-op unit – there are a variety of non-profits out there that prefer to have a non-coin solution which this is better for although Kyle Ward of SR did state that it is customizable and could be tailored for coin-op usage if need be, although that is something the software would need to be adjusted for. Here’s the promo video:
Arcadecraft – Quick Impressions: So this week I finally took Arcadecraft for a spin, a game on the PC that my brother had got for me on Steam months ago. Being that it simulates what I do every day in operating an arcade, it did interest me although I was a little worried about the way it might interpret operations. To my surprise, it is actually rather good and took into account various things that do happen in an arcade – angry customer beating on machines (which can damage them), repairing broken machines, dealing with power outages, being able to adjust pricing and difficulty for the games, managing layout, selling to collectors, games losing popularity when the console version of the game is released, etc. In a way it is like Theme Park but just for arcades. It can be a headache when costs skyrocket and you end up struggling and selling games off just to keep the doors open for a few more months so I didn’t figure out yet the key to getting around that. But overall it is a fun game.
Checking out ‘Musketball’ – This story is about 3 years old but it slipped under my radar this whole time. Apparently as a celebration of the bicentennial of the war of 1812, the Museum of Health Care in Ottawa, Canada commissioned an artist by the name of Howie Tsui to create a pinball machine for the event. His creation was this Musketball/Friendly Fire. Might not be suitable for the queasy 😛
Name That Game #64 – Now with more 64-bits of power! For last week’s answers, I am impressed that someone got the 3rd challenge question right as it was an old school EM game!
#1 – Evil Night by Konami
For this week:
Play Mechanix 20th Anniversary Press Release:
This month on Nov. 15th, Play Mechanix is celebrating their 20th anniversary!
HISTORY BREAK DOWN:
Play Mechanix was founded in 1995 by George Petro, a former game designer for Williams Electronics and Midway Games, a leading console game publisher. George and three a small group of others reestablished the video game department of Williams Electronics Midway in 1987. The eventual purchase of Bally/Midway games led to the renaming of the company to Midway.while Midway was part of Williams-Bally-Midway. While at Midway, George lead the development of many successful titles including Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Revolution X with Aerosmith, and NARC.
In 1996, Play Mechanix began a game design and development project for Midway. Under the development agreement, Midway manufactured and sold the game INVASION: The Abductors. Play Mechanix was responsible for all aspects of development including: i) game design ii) system design and programming iii) art, sound and cabinet graphic creation and iv) project management. Play Mechanix built a staff of veteran programmers and artists in order to create INVASION, completing development in the summer of 1999.
During 1998, the company developed the video slot machine INDIGO SWING that was manufactured and sold by International Game Technology (IGT), the world’s largest manufacturer of traditional and video slot machines. In 1999, Play Mechanix completed a second video slot machine which was based on the popular TV show I DREAM of JEANNIE. Since 1998, the company designed and developed 8 video slot machine games sold by leading manufactures such as IGT, Sigma Game and Konami Gaming.
In 1999, the company began designing an original coin-operated video game – Big Buck Hunter. Play Mechanix partnered with Incredible Technologies, developers of the popular coin-op video game Golden Tee Fore!, for manufacturing, sales and marketing. Big Buck Hunter was released into the marketplace in January 2001.
Due to the success of the original game, Big Buck Hunter: Shooter’s Challenge was released in March 2002 as an upgrade to Big Buck Hunter. Shooter’s Challenge improved the game by allowing players to shoot up to 3 bucks per stand. In May 2002, both Big Buck Hunter: Shooter’s Challenge and Big Buck Hunter were #1 and #2 respectively on Replay magazine’s industry chart.
Big Buck Hunter II: Sportsman’s Paradise was released in June of 2002 and incorporated the enhancements in Shooter’s Challenge, as well as adding new regions and online features. It was also the first Big Buck game to feature tournaments online.
2006 saw Play Mechanix partner-up with Raw Thrills, developers of coin-op hits The Fast and The Furious Series, Guitar Hero Arcade, H2O Overdrive, and Target: Terror, as well as with Betson Enterprises, one of the industry’s leading distributors to assist in the development,
manufacturing and sale of Big Buck Hunter Pro. This new game featured more compelling backgrounds, and an all-new two-player element known in the game as “Shootout”. Shootout allows two players to compete in head-to-head, real-time competition. Big Buck Hunter Pro also expanded the original game to 5 all-new, high-definition 3-D modeled animals to hunt: Whitetail Deer, Elk, Prong Horn Antelope, and now Moose and Big Horn Sheep. Hunting treks are nowhere then organized by species and not by region. Big Buck Hunter Pro also included 15 new bonus rounds and a gameplay option of playing “Bonus-Only”. Big Buck Hunter Pro geared up for tournament play through the system known as CoinUp. The new tournament system brought a new level of excitement to players everywhere with on-line competitions, local contests, and all of the original features you are used to and much more.
After the success of Big Buck Hunter Pro, Play Mechanix and Raw Thrills saw it in their best interests to combine talent, and Play Mechanix became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Raw Thrills, Inc.
The Big Buck Hunter series later saw the release of Big Buck Safari, Big Buck Hunter Open Season, and Big Buck Hunter World which combines Open Season and Safari. The series has won numerous awards, including Play Meter’s Operator’s Choice Award in 2007 and 2009, received outstanding attention in the media, and continues to thrive as some of the top games in the industry.
In 2009 and 2010, Big Buck Hunter became widely available outside bars and arcades with the release of Big Buck Hunter Plug N Play, Big Buck Hunter Wii, and the Big Buck Hunter iPhone Application.
In 2011, the highly anticipated Deal or No Deal-Deluxe was released as well as Ice Age: Ice Breakers. In the same year, Play Mechanix was awarded Play Meter’s Operator’s Choice Award for Terminator Salvation.
In 2012, Play Mechanix released the latest version of the world’s favorite hunting game, Big Buck HD. Big Buck HD is the first arcade with high quality HD graphics. Big Buck HD was also developed with an online feature, allowing players to compete against and compare STATs to players around the world and easily obtain new downloadable content.
The popularity and success of Big Buck Hunter and online competition led to the creation of a Big Buck World Championship taking place in big cities like Chicago, New York City, and Minnesota, involving over $70,000 in annual prizes. As of 2014, there have been eight world championships with tournaments for both Big Buck Hunter Pro, Big Buck Safari, and Big Buck HD. The championships have gained considerable attention in the media, especially with the participation of X-Games medalist and Nitro Circus star Travis Pastrana(pictured below) and a record breaking 0ver 200,000 views on Twitch TV in 2015. Also, Stern Pinball released a Big Buck Hunter Pro Pinball game in 2010.
In 2013, Big Buck HD machines were updated with the release of Duck Dynasty Premium Content as the industry first downloadable content for Big Buck HD, an arcade machine. Big Buck HD was also awarded the Play Meter Operator’s Choice Award in 2012 and 2014.
2014 brought even more success with the release of Aliens Armageddon, Barrel of Monkeys, and Kungfu Panda: Dojo Mojo.
2015 has been jam packed with the highly anticipated release of Big Buck HD WILD and In Case of Zombies: Doe of the Dead Premium Downloadable Content. Big Buck HD WILD delivered the Majestic Irish Elk and three all new bonus games to all online machines. There will be consistent new animals and bonus games released in 2016 and 2017 to keep players challenged and engaged. High stakes tournaments and The Super Marksman Award were also introduced, giving players more opportunities to play for cold hard cash!