New Arcades 2018: Japan Update; Babylon Park (Israel); Save Point (MD); Starcade (NJ); Prince Arcades (IL); & More

Shaggy December 28, 2018 2
New Arcades 2018: Japan Update; Babylon Park (Israel); Save Point (MD); Starcade (NJ); Prince Arcades (IL); & More

Welcome to the last new arcade locations post of 2018. This year has been marked by strong growth in the amusement sector, thanks to favorable economic circumstances and a great pool of games to choose from spanning the course of almost five decades.

Here are links to several of the “new locations” posts that we’ve run this year, in case you were needing additional data:

 

 

One notable trend this year has been the growth of FECs – (Family Entertainment Centers). These are large facilities that tend to house a variety of attractions into one location/building, arcades included among other items. While Japan doesn’t really use the term, I’ll use it here in place of “giant game center,” although I suppose we could start the trend of calling them GGCs – just for Japan.

Catching Up On Japan

Most of our focus has been on locations opening their doors in North America and Europe, but I try and stay apprised of locations in Japan and other parts of Asia. Given that such location opening news is not celebrated internationally (it’s always local focused), it is easy to over look anything that isn’t close by; I only have the benefit of many of you readers sending me news (which I truly appreciate, thank you!)

In going all the way back to August, I’ve compiled research from across various Japanese web pages and social media accounts to give you an update on the new locations I have encountered from the land of the Rising Sun.

Keep in mind – there are various reports of locations closing that I’ve come across (one example of a Round 1 that closed in November) so it’s a little bit of a mixed bag as to the situation there. That said, openings far outnumber the closings. But since negative news tends to become hyper-amplified by the clickbaiter crowd, I would rather focus on the good out there.  Part of the issue as well is that us westerners generally don’t understand the nuances and the challenges of the Japanese market (just as one example, most people have no idea that many games sold in Japan come with strings attached of a forced revenue share – that means every coin or card swipe on a machine gets split with the manufacturer, meaning it becomes very difficult for a small arcade to turn a profit and keep the doors open. Sometimes you even have to buy a machine and it still has a revenue share). That’s one of many challenges business owners have to face – there is a whole slew of them, but we’re not here to discuss that, as I could lecture about it all day. As such, you’ll noticed that all of the new places mentioned below are done by big corporations and not independent small businesses. Quite a few are opening this month.

Tatio Station Shinjuku

I’ll simply provide links to the store website or opening announcement as opposed to listing out all of the games. Suffice it to say, there is growth among locations in Japan, which means more games in the pipeline for everyone.

It’s certainly possible that a location was missed; suffice it to say, there has been some good growth, especially for Taito.

Babylon Park (Three Locations; Israel)

(Thanks to Nadav for the tip)

Keeping to the themes of international locations and catching up on locations that opened up earlier in the year, we head over to Israel to see what has been going on there. Reader Nadav sent us a message on Facebook to discuss the expansion of Israel’s largest FEC chain, Babylon Park. Two of the branches opened up earlier this year in Kfar Saba (G Kfar Saba mall) and Umm Al-Fahm (SEVEN mall); the third in Netanya should be open by now, although the webpage for it still says “coming soon” (Nadav said it was opening this month).

For the Kfar Saba branch, which opened on the 31st of May, some of the video games list includes: FnF Super Bikes, Justice League Heroes United, Pump It Up Prime 2, Sonic and Sega All Stars Racing arcade (Twin),
Time Crisis 4, X Games Snowboarder (Single), The Hobbit pinball and more. The Umm Al-Fahm Branch Opened on the 20th August and only Cruis’n Blast & Super Bikes 2 were mentioned. Here’s a video of the Kfar Saba location:

Save Point Arcade Now Open (Westminster, MD)

Now for a location in the States. This one just opened a few weeks ago, and has a heavy emphasis on rhythm games such as: Dance Dance Revolution, Jubeat, Neon FM, & Pop ‘n Music; they have pinball machines such as Ghostbusters, Space Station, & Terminator 2 and plenty more. Here’s a video posted to the arcade’s Facebook page:

Starcade Atlantic City Retro Arcade Opens In NJ

As often happens, this info came along right after I click ‘Publish.’ Thanks to Arcade Hunters for mentioning this one. If you’re in Atlantic City, NJ and hit up the Showboat casino, you can find a new retrocade experience at their newly opened Starcade venue. This includes great and beloved classics such as Centipede, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Gyruss, Joust, Millipede, Ms. Pac-man, Space Invaders, TRON and much more, particularly in pinball. They even have a console room and a “Bring Your Own Beer” policy. Read more about them here.

Iowa City Pizza Ranch Expands Their Arcade Operations

In the last locations post, we mentioned the opening of a location called the Pizza Ranch in Nebraska. Now there is news that another Pizza Ranch location has re-opened their doors, this time in Iowa City, IA. They have added 19 games, which you can read about here.

Round1USA Opens New Locations in IL & NE

Round1USA continues their expansion, opening another location in IL and a new one in NE. Here is the IL location; announcement of the NE branch is here.

https://twitter.com/Round1USA/status/1075544259044958209

Prince Arcades Officially Opens

This is a location that was also mentioned last time, but we didn’t have a list of the games or look at the location yet to provide more details. They did open their doors this past weekend, giving everyone a look at the facility, providing a full games list and bringing a lot of people together for some arcade goodness (always good to see in photos…or in person). Some of that gaming goodness includes a variety of uncommon titles mixed with common ones, such as: Battletoads, Burgertime, Carnevil, Elevator Action 2, Frenzy, Frogger, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Haunted Castle, Karate Champ, Mission Craft, Mr. Do!, NARC, Sarge, Space Zap, Starblade, Super Contra, TRON, War: Final Assault and more. They also had some star power on-hand, with Doc Mack (Galloping Ghost) and Jeffery Lee(Q*Bert designer) on hand for the festivities. You can see much more on Facebook, here.

That’s all I have have found for now, which is the last look at new locations for 2018. See you at the arcade next year!


2 Comments »

  1. Nadav Salomon December 28, 2018 at 8:57 am - Reply

    The Babylon Park branch in Netanya has opened. I’ll update when I know the games in there

  2. skyjumpertrampolinepark March 13, 2019 at 4:22 pm - Reply

    This place is real fun and has amazing games to play. Real enjoy is here. I am gonna visit here once.

Leave A Response »

%d bloggers like this: