The Midwest Gaming Classic event has come and gone for 2019, with the show expanding their reach into a larger venue and bringing along more names to show off their goods. I did not attend; unfortunately this does tend to happen very close to Amusement Expo and while I’d love to jet around to every arcade expo there is, funds are limited. I have gathered info and reports from those who did attend however, so let’s see what went on.
By the reports of those who were there, the presence of video arcade games has dwindled from past MGC events, while pinball has expanded greatly. This was also demonstrated in good part by both Stern Pinball and Jersey Jack Pinball choosing to use this event to unveil their latest games, as opposed to using Amusement Expo to do so (reasoning behind this is likely that MGC is a collector focused event, and pinball sells a lot of machines to collectors). You also had extensive amounts of console, computer and board games to enjoy, likely meaning there was more to do than you could possibly attend to over a few days. There were also some fun after parties that went on too…
Absurd ending to a really Fun Day! The MGC "After-Party" featured an unexpected Bonus Game that went into the wee small hours… #rampage #arcades #videogames #retro #retrogaming #generalchaos #genesis pic.twitter.com/vb5oLDVfiQ
— Brian F Colin (@BrianFColin) April 15, 2019
The first bit of news we got out of the event came from Jersey Jack, as they unveiled Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. We’ve spoken about that already, and many who went to the event have shared pictures and video of it online. MGC does hand out awards to the different products that appear, and Jersey Jack was proud to have this game earn the “New Game of the Year” award. Congrats! Here’s a pic snapped by Flynn’s Arcade that shows just how eager people were to check it out:
Not to be missed was the first public appearance of the recently announced Black Knight: Sword of Rage by Stern Pinball. Stern reports that in combining with Marco Specialities, this was their largest trade show booth ever, spanning about 6,000 sq. ft. in size. This allowed them to also show off everything that they have in production right now, including The Munsters, Deadpool, The Beatles and more. Source.
Here’s a pic of Black Knight designer Steve Ritchie and arcade collector and fan Bill Dermody (operator of the Flynn’s Arcade page linked above) shaking hands over the game:
Also finding tons of interest and constant lines throughout the event was the American Pinball setup with Houdini and Oktoberfest pinball. Comments I’ve seen are also positive about how this one plays.
The event wasn’t all about pinball machines though, there were plenty of old school video games to play too. I am unsure if any brand new video from a big manufacturer was on hand (Raw Thrills staff was there, but I’ve not seen any photos of new equipment there), but there were some indie game makers that were busy finding new fans.
First was Arcadeaholics and their game Cosmotrons. They held a “Cosmolympics” event, hosted by Gar Nelson of the Garcade there in WI. Beyond seeing who would reign supreme as the universal champion of the Cosmotrons game, they brought along some arcade star power both promote the game and reward that champion. As you can see from this photo, Walter Day of high score/world records referee fame and Eugene Jarvis of game development (and present CEO of Raw Thrills) fame were there to present some special trophies to the winner of the tournament. That winner was Karl Gebhard, center in the photo below. You can find video on Facebook of the final match and award presentation by clicking here.
Next up is Galactic Battleground. This is an indie game that I only discovered recently thanks to their appearance at Amusement Expo 2019 a few weeks ago. Just like everything else I’ve seen from MGC, it looks like they had a busy, busy booth:
Game Consoles Arcadeified
After publishing this post, I came across these photos on Facebook of some custom-made arcade cabs that house home consoles. Click to enlarge; source.
Overall, it looks like it was a really fun event. I haven’t been able to come across anything else of interest from MGC, so if you are aware of something missed, comment below or on the forums!