Sorry about the slow week again…I do have a big update on an indie game that we covered recently, but am waiting for one last piece of important info before going to wire on that one. Otherwise, it’s been pretty quiet on the arcade front this week.
Ms. Pac-Man In Court
I thought about making this a full post as it was the only other piece of arcade related news this week apart form Battle Bowling, but I guess here is as good a place as any. At the beginning of the week, Bandai Namco sued AtGames (creators of various classic game console emulator’s you’ve probably seen in stores like many of the Atari Flashback iterations, some of the Sega Genesis iterations) for infringing on the Ms. Pac-Man IP. Then later this week, AtGames issued a press release stating that they acquired the rights to Ms. Pac-man from General Computing Corporation (GCC). Turns out that it’s a little more nuanced than that; Namco owns the copyright to the character and game, but GCC held the rights to royalties for use of MPM, due to them creating the character as a Pac-Man hack back in 1982, and getting a pretty sweet/rare legal setup with rights to the royalties. AtGames bought those rights from GCC(before the lawsuit was filed), but Namco is alleging that AtGames has infringed on the IP. It also didn’t help AtGames that Walgreens also filed suit against the company this week too.
Overall, the rights to MPM have long been a little bit of a mess, which is why you’ve not really seen the IP show up very often, since Namco would have to pay GCC royalties. I’m sure they are chomping at the bit to get those rights from AtGames, but it’ll probably be a court fight that will take some time to iron out.
Mario & Sonic At The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games Arcade Ad Spotted At IAAPA Europe
(Thanks to Jdevy for noticing this one) One thing I should repent on is not following up on some leads from IAAPA Europe and the AAMA Gala for some news, but it seems like everyone was wanting to keep things low-key, for whatever reason. Still, things tend to leak out, such as this photo posted on ICE’s Facebook page that just so happens to show a banner ad for the upcoming Mario & Sonic Olympics Arcade game that was on test in Japan this past June. Now I have not been able to confirm if the game shown below was the new 2020 version, as the cabinet is from the 2016 model (compare the two: 2016 models had the Mario logo on the left, as the cabinet shown below does; 2020 models do not and the marquee is different). Now, it could be that the EU/US version of the cabinet will be different than the Japanese one, or Sega decided to throw the 2020 computer into a 2016 cabinet just for this show. It’s hard to tell due to the distance and the blur from the pic, but at least the banner ad on the left is definitely promoting the 2020 release(as the symbol in the clouds is showing the Tokyo 2020 Olympics logo), so it’s safe to say that it’s one of the new video games that we can expect to see at IAAPA 2019.
House of the Dead 1 & 2 Remasters Headed To Consoles
While some titles from House of the Dead series has appeared on home consoles before, nothing of the sort has taken place on the current generation of game consoles – until now. Sega fans appear to be eagerly anticipating the remake/remaster of HOTD 1 & 2, and will be bringing them to current gen consoles (probably the Nintendo Switch by what I see, not sure about the PS4/XB1). Fortunately, both games are well past their earnings prime in arcades, so it shouldn’t affect any ops out there still running a cab.
This does bring an interesting idea to the forefront that reader Jdevy mentioned to me in a chat – what about remakes in arcades? i.e., getting House of the Dead 1 & 2 remade versions released in a single upright arcade cabinet. I do like the thought, and we have had that happen in the instance of Daytona Championship USA; TMNT was practically a remake of Turtles in Time; the Fast ‘N Furious series a remake of the Cruis’n series. So it can work, it just depends on the game. What remake/remaster would you love to see show up in modern arcades?
I should have done this last week when the new Rambo movie launched, but kind of forgot about it (I haven’t seen the new one yet…haven’t really had time for movies over the past couple of months). But since a new entry in that series is now in theaters, let’s take a moment to remember when Sega launched Rambo back in 2008. They produced a few different cabinet designs for it, two of which (one of the deluxe and the only standard model they did) are in this shaky cam video below. Sorry about the sound and shake on this one…I was still a cameranoob when filmed 😛 What did you think of it?
The First Controversial Game: Gotcha
We’ve discussed Atari’s Gotcha before, and this week, blogger Tony Temple takes a deeper dive into the first controversial video game to ever land on the market (as well as the first one that used true RGB color; and the first maze game). Check it out!
Pinball Code Updates: Dialed In! & Ghostbusters
Two pinball machines received code updates this week: 1.73 for Dialed In! by Jersey Jack Pinball and 1.16 for Ghostbusters by Stern Pinball. Of the two, Ghostbusters had the most significant number of changes (although it might still need a follow-up bug fix; I have both games and updated them. We had someone playing GB in two player mode, where it reset the game in the middle of play, but I only have seen that happen once). In case you have the machines, make sure to keep them up-to-date!
New Opening For Arcade Heroes Videos
Yeah, it’s a slow news cycle when this is what I’ve got. 😛 I’ve been experimenting with the features of my video editing software and finally got around to the collage creator. The other openings have been…meh (I liked the space one, although I get it, it doesn’t really fit with what we do), so I think that this works out best. Thanks to everyone who provided feedback on this via social media; the first version can be found here.
That’s all I’ve managed to throw together for tonight; if you need some arcade music, then check out this track from Bandai Namco’s Mario Kart Arcade GP DX. have a great weekend and here’s hoping next week will be a little busier for arcade news!