Welcome to the first day of June, and another dive into the wonderful world of arcade news. Here are some quick items for you to look over this weekend.
Betson Settles Legal Dispute With Arizona Over Key Master Machines
If you’re into arcades at all, then you’ve very likely come across or played the merchandiser game known as Key Master. Developed by Komuse and Sega, this game became the next Stacker several years ago in terms of popularity & earnings for the category all over the world. As any popular machine goes however, it’s bound to attract some negative attention, especially for games offering high-end merchandise for the mere price of a $1 (if you win).
Long story short, the state of Arizona took action against Key Master after en employee at a vending company lodged a complaint; but what surprised me about this was that they went after the distributor (Betson in this case) and not the manufacturer. This whole thing has been going through the legal system for six years now, where the case was finally settled with Betson paying out $1 million, while not proclaiming any guilt. More details on this can be found at azcentral, while Replay Magazine has a statement from Betson.
The case focused on the auto-percentage payout; this is also the source for the Fair Play Pledge that the AAMA issued back in May 2017 to help manufacturers try and get ahead of other potential lawsuits. Auto-percentaging has always been a tricky business since each state (and often separate counties and/or cities within those states) have different rules/laws/regulations in dealing with certain games where chance is a part of the game. Will this affect Key Masters in other states? I would imagine so, although it could take some time. Will it affect other changes in merchandiser games? Probably depends on the game. As far as I am aware, other recent merchandisers tend to proclaim that they are “100% skill,” including the Prize Locker, Key Master 2 & others. Some games also have specific modes for certain states that do not allow percentaging already (claw machines being one place that has already gone through this). I suppose this also puts a dent in that whole “HOW TO WIN!!!!!!” Key Master videos that have been popular on YouTube. 😛 What do you think about it?
DDR A20 Becomes A Round 1 USA Exclusive
Fans of DDR are certainly rejoicing if they have a Round 1 USA location near them, as the company has secured Konami’s 20th anniversary celebration of the phenomenon at their various locations around the country. A small fry arcade like mine can’t get their hands on this without going through the expensive importation process, but where they are also saying it’s “exclusive,” it might be even more difficult to get than usual.
— Round1 USA (@Round1USA) May 29, 2019
Our friend Dustin Wilcox of Wilcox Arcade also has some thoughts on this.
Stern Begins Production On Color Premium Models of The Munsters
I guess not everyone was pleased with Stern’s decision to make the Premium version of The Munsters in black & white, so they are fulfilling demand of creating color playfields. Granted, you get the exact same playfield in color already if you nab the more expensive LE version, but I liked the concept of doing it all in B&W like the original TV show. You can see a few pics of the color production here; and here is a video I posted this week showing the B&W Premium that was at Amusement Expo back in March.
Oh and speaking of Stern, they’ve posted a code update for Black Knight Sword of Rage; our friends at Arcade Hunters have the scoop on how it plays here.
VR ZONE Portal US To Announce Next Pop-Up Location Next Week
After a stint in Washington D.C., Bandai Namco Amusements is taking their unique take on VR amusements on the road to set up at a new location. Where it will be is only going to be known this coming week, with VR acolytes guessing at cities like LA, Dallas, Chicago, New York and others. The primary title of interest that these locations offer is Mario Kart VR, although I would note that if you do attend a VR Zone location that you’ll find some other interesting and fun VR games to play as well.
Next week the announcement is coming! Our next location is being set up and will be ready to go in June. pic.twitter.com/tvGR3HvsFi
— VR ZONE Portal US (@VRZONEPortalUS) May 31, 2019
AAMA Holding FEC Connect – Miami Event At Xtreme Action Park This Month
Here’s something sent to me by one of our advertisers, PrimeTime Amusements, regarding an AAMA-organized educational event that will be taking place in a couple of weeks at the impressive Xtreme Action Park in Ft. Lauderdale. Called FEC Connect, this looks to bring together amusement professionals for both seminars and networking. Read more about it here.
Akka Arrh Footage
You might recall the controversy surrounding the release of an unfinished Atari prototype to MAME back in April…well here’s the game being played on the emulator from the Old Classic Retro Gaming channel:
Lumberjack Redemption Game (Wahlap)
Here’s a clever EM variation of the wood chopping concept that had been popular in video games not long ago with the likes of TimberMan and Choppy Wood:
That’s all I could gather for now, see you next week, and here’s to an awesome June!