We’re almost done with October, but before the floodgates open about the latest games that you’ll find in arcades next year, let’s take a fresh look at the newest venues that are opening their doors around the world with this edition of Location Watch. Now sporting this snazzy new banner for these particular posts:
Sega Prize Zone (Norwich, UK)
Sega’s UK operation continues to expand their mini-FEC brand of arcades that go by the name of Prize Zone, this time in Norwich (Eastern UK). Per this tweet, the game selection consists primarily of redemption and carnival style content (Sega distributes ICE product in the EU region, which is why they are so heavily represented), with a little video to be found – the only one I noticed is the Deluxe version of Target Bravo: Operation GHOST.
#5 For Scene 75 (Columbus, OH)
The opening of mega FECs hasn’t let up, as massive investments placed last year or prior are coming to fruition. The latest giant entertainment facility to open their doors, with an arcade among many other amusements, is another location for Scene 75. We’ve mentioned this company in the past, as they were one of the few FECs I had heard of to grab some pretty substantial attractions, like the Valkyrie simulator.
For the new location, it’s touting one of the largest venue sizes in the country (possibly the biggest) with 225,000 sq. ft. of space to work with. That allows them to have a substantial arcade with at least 230 games (and probably room to grow), then the standard bevy of attractions including go-karts, dining options (including a banquet hall), bumper cars, escape rooms, a laser maze, and so on. Being in Ohio, land of the roller coasters, they also sport an indoor roller coaster and a 36-foot-tall drop tower. Their official website is here; Via Replay Magazine and Columbus underground.
Bartari (Scranton, PA)
Going the bar route and playing on the “Atari” name, Bartari opened their doors back on the 21st to bring some alcohol-infused classic gaming to the Scranton area. The game mix also follows the typical bar/arcade formula – video games are from the 70’s-00’s (Arkanoid, Asteroids, Crazy Taxi, Defender, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Knights of the Round, Mario Bros., OutRun, Phoenix, Silent Scope EX, Tempest, Track & Field & many more) while pinball can be fresh off the factory line (they’ve shown AC/DC, Baby Pac-Man, Harley Davidson and South Park; some others including Stargate, Judge Dredd and The Sopranos will be in once they’ve been repaired). Find them on Facebook here; Via Replay and WBRE.
Autobahn Indoor Speedway & Events (Jacksonville, FL)
This existing entertainment facility is adding a 50-game strong arcade to their current 80,000 sq. ft. building, expected to be completed by the end of the year. No details on the games that will be a part of that, but it’s probably your typical redemption-heavy mix with some new video games. Via Replay and Jacksonville Daily Record.
Level 1 Arcade Bar (Gilbert, AZ)
One location set to join the fray of arcade/bars out there is Level 1 in Gilbert. They plan on opening “late fall/early winter,” so I would guess December is their target date. There isn’t a lot of information on them at the moment, but they have a really nice website that lists out their games. It’s a list that reads like most arcades of this style, with big names like Centipede, Donkey Kong, Galaga and TRON, joined by a varied line-up of pinball machines. The video games come from the 80’s/90’s era, while the pins can be anything new or old. Looks like their newest pin is The Munsters, while the oldest would be The Addams Family. Check them out here or on Facebook.
Out here in Utah…All Star Lanes and Nickeltopia
I suppose I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the situation out in my neck of the woods with All Star Lanes. They’ve been quite busy over the past year (plus a few months) rebuilding a big chunk of the Valley Fair Mall into their new flagship location, with a grand opening set for Nov. 9th. I was never sure what to expect from their arcade side, but it’s shaping up as I expected. They have a large entrance through the mall’s food court, replete with large windows to make it easy to see all of the flashy games. It is a nice setup they have, and they’ve obviously spent a few million to get it all (arcade+building+other attractions) done. They’ve got some of the same games I do, but have plenty that I couldn’t afford if I wanted to grab them, a bunch of redemption games, two different VR setups (Hologate and Voxel), longer hours, alcohol+food and plenty of other attractions that draw people in with that fresh new corporate dazzle.
I’d be lying if I said that this isn’t stressing me out to the max, but I’ve got my Plan B (and C and D) in case business completely collapses at the mall here. While I’ve had a lot of people say it will be fine, 95% of my clientele is in the extremely casual category, and don’t really count as regulars. Most of my social media followers are out-of-state, so most deals or specials that I organize get little traction. The past week or so as the mall has ramped up on giving the bowling alley free advertising, and my business has already been suffering compared to the same time in previous years. That said, the “half glass full” view says that while things will be slow at first, it’ll balance out to being just fine. I’ll be finding out soon enough.
Before I forget, Nickel Arcades are very popular in Utah – I’m not sure how big they are elsewhere, but we have a big population of kids, so they seem to fit. A new nickel arcade by the name of Nickeltopia is soon going to open their doors in the northern Utah city of Ogden. There isn’t a lot of info on them yet, apart from this very basic website, but assuming they follow the same pattern as we see with the likes of Nickel Mania and Nickelcade, it will have a good number of classic video games, a sizable redemption section and party rooms. The website also mentions VR, bounce houses and food, so I am also guessing they must have access to some space, but I can’t find an address for them yet.
I’ll refrain from posting the tweets, since embeds are still having an issue.
It’s also worth noting that R1 is opening up their first location in China next year. It should be interesting to see how that works out, given that there are a lot of arcades in China, but it is difficult to find out much about them.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into new locations opening across Japan, be sure to look at this post. But, there’s more than that to keep you updated on!
Just Re-opened: Gehaku Arcade Game Museum (Kumagaya City) – I know that a number of readers will be interested in this one…perhaps it will blunt the closure of the Kawasaki Warehouse a little, as they have some pretty amazing stuff, including a Galaxian 3 Theater, a Namco Metal Hawk, and many more pieces of important arcade history:
That’s all I’ve gathered for now – if you find yourself anywhere near these locations, be sure to give them a hand by buying a card or tokens.