Welcome to this week’s newsbytes, where we distill some pieces of arcade news into one post for your reading or viewing pleasure.
Ironsights – Twitch Produced Mini-Documentary On Big Buck Champ Sara Erlandson
Play Mechanix and game streaming service Twitch have been shared a cozy partnership for a couple of years thanks to the eSports nature of Big Buck Hunter and the World Championships that they hold every year. Now, Twitch has produced a mini-documentary that showcases the journey of Big Buck Champion Sara Erlandson called Ironsights. I’ll embed the trailer below; click here if you want to watch the whole thing (Content warning: language). Congrats Sara!
Dave & Busters Gets Pirates Fever
With Disney gearing up for another Pirates of the Caribbean movie this May, arcade chain Dave & Busters is jumping in on the action with a promotion of pirate-themed games. You can play certain games for free at their locations from ICE’s Treasure Quest redemption game to Bandai Namco’s Deadstorm Pirates SE. Most interesting about this is an actual Pirates of the Caribbean game that is currently available at D&B locations for a limited time – a PotC themed version of Disney Crossy Road by Adrenaline Amusements. I saw Disney Crossy Road at Amusement Expo 2017 but this PotC version is confirmed to be just for D&B. Units will be converted back to Disney Crossy Road once the promo period is over (although I wouldn’t be surprised if a location or two keeps the unique theme). Here’s a commercial to promote it:
Midwest Gaming Classic In Full Swing
It’s that time of year for the Midwest Gaming Classic, which started yesterday and goes into tomorrow. I’m hearing some interesting rumors about changes at Jersey Jack Pinball and a “new Asteroids clone arcade game” called Cosmotrons. Not sure of the full details on that one yet but here’s a picture thanks to Sean of All Castle Games:
ColorDMD Pinball Updates: Safe Cracker; Junkyard and Tales From The Crypt
It has been a little while since we shared an update on pinball colorization but ColorDMD has been hard at work, colorizing old pins to give them a fresh life. I don’t see a trailer for Tales From The Crypt yet (which is available at the MGC event mentioned above) but here’s Safe Cracker and Junkyard:
How Video Stores Survive In The Netflix Age
At first, this article at Popzette may not seem to have any relevance to arcades but they are really hitting on the same idea. I imagine that most arcade fans of today are quite familiar with visiting the local video store to rent movies on tape as that was a part of the 80s & 90s culture experience. But the internet and particularly streaming video services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime made competing in the retail market space extremely challenging. Moreso than arcades vs. home entertainment devices as video stores still have you finding home entertainment outside the house just to bring it back. Arcades give you unique and social entertainment at the location but we still have to be creative to attract customers. For video stores, it’s about pushing human connections and massive film selection; for classic/retro arcades in particular, they need the same thing (human element + large selection of games). Read the full article at Lifezette.com – Why Brick-And-Mortar Video Stores Are Still Kicking
Betson Buys Specialty Coin
For some inside baseball industry news that mainly affects arcade operators out West, arcade distribution company Betson has purchased Specialty Coin. This comes only a few years after Specialty had bought up distributor Mountain Coin; both Specialty and Mountain serviced Western operators from Colorado to California with brick-and-mortar warehouses and service locations. That makes for interesting timing on the video store article above as one considers what a traditional distributor has to do to survive in an age where online distributors have become standard. I’ve done business with both companies and generally had good experiences but to be honest I appreciate the benefits of having some friendly competition so we can shop around with local outfits.
Sorry, I don’t have a link for this news at the moment – it’s one of those things being shared on industry newsletters as opposed to blogs/pages.
Arcade To Console Ports
I haven’t come across any “new” ports of old arcade games to old game consoles so here’s a couple of videos from some ‘back in the day’ ports