Welcome to another Newsbytes, although this one is somewhat different from the norm. With a pandemic sweeping the globe, it’s presented an unprecedented challenge that wasn’t something that I think could have been easily prepared for. While you can follow news on the various health and economic impacts across the Internet, I’m going to focus on the arcade industry (for obvious reasons).
I think that the large companies will be able to weather the storm ok, but those who are small are going to need this to pass sooner rather than later to still be in business after it is over. Depending upon where an arcade is located can affect whether or not a closure is mandatory, since different states have been putting forth different measures. Utah has put restrictions on dine-in restaurants and gatherings like everyone else, although they have stopped short of ordering certain businesses to close completely. In my case, the mall was remaining open, but a 5.7 magnitude earthquake on Wednesday closed the mall down through this coming Monday (which also happened the day after I received Stranger Things Premium). Before that, business was down 60-70% as most people put into practice “social distancing,” thus also rendering some of the disinfecting measures I had been taking moot.
Here’s an aggregate collection of headlines related to the shutdown:
Some Arcades Get Around The Shutdown By Renting Out To Homes
John Salter’s Full Blast Arcade Permanently Closes
CoinUp Suspends Fees For March (Affecting Big Buck HD commercial units)
Big Movie Theater Chains (which often include arcades in their lobbies) Closed For 8-12 weeks
Firestone Financial Offering Relief Assistance (If you use someone other than FS, be sure to ask)
Miniboss Running Staff Relief Fund To Help Ride Out The Storm
Arcade Galactic (My arcade mentioned above in UT) Selling Apparel/Stickers/Branded Items To Help
Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Hitting Digital On March 31st
Temporary Location/Operations Closures: Dave & Busters / Andretti’s / Chuck E. Cheeses & PEter Piper Pizza / Attractions & Entertainment in Dubai / Various Manufacturers & Distributors / That includes Bay Tek
Expo/Event Cancellations or Postponements: Arcade Expo 6.0 / Texas Pinball Festival / Nightclub & Bar Show / Midwest Gaming Classic / GTI Asia Taipei Expo / Enada Primavera Spring / Zapcon 8 / Int’l Bowl Expo / E3
There is probably more news about this out there, but it’s a lot to sort through, so feel free to share others in the comments if missed here. Again, hopefully the measures taken aren’t overreactions, that the reports of anti-malaria drugs being effective are true, and that in addition to lives being saved, we’ll be able to get back to being ‘normal’ by the time summer rolls around.
More From Amusement Expo 2020
Earlier this week, I ran the Amusement Expo 2020 wrap-up, but I was unable to finish all of the videos in time to publish that. Here are the videos posted since then, which are only a few; I’m just about done with them all, with only one or two left to do.
I’ve also been posting the same videos to BitChute.
The Golden Tee 2019 World Championships
In case you missed the World Championship for Golden Tee, then the company is rebroadcasting it on YouTube:
Vritra Hexa Update
Just a quick update on the upcoming scrolling shooter Vritra Hexa for Exa-Arcadia platforms sometime this year. From the developer’s tweet, we can expect a new boss in the game among other additions:
— h.sawatari@インディーゲーム開発 (@saddy575) March 19, 2020
IntelliVision Highlights Arcade Remakes/Reboots For Upcoming Console
I’ve mentioned the upcoming “Retro revival” game console by the name of the IntelliVision Amico before, and this week they released a new trailer to showcase some of the games that will grace the system. This provides very brief looks at reboots of Breakout, Asteroids, Missile Command, & Moon Patrol, which should be available for the system possibly around launch time this October. I’m still a little skeptical about this platform, and not just because I never cared for INTV back in the day…apart from going up against stiff competition as a gaming device this Winter (which is seeing the launch of the PS5, XBSX, possibly Switch Pro) the controllers are something I’ll have to try in person to make a judgement on.
Installing The New Rampage Topper From Szabo’s Arcades
Last but not least, here’s my installation of the new Rampage topper that was designed by Brian Colin and Szabo’s Arcades. It is great to spruce up an old game with these new designs, and from the original creators.
And to end it off, I’ve also uploaded a simple design of the Arcade Heroes logo to Teepublic. Any purchases of a shirt/pin/sticker/phone case/magnet/pillow/etc. does help me out, especially right now.
Stay safe out there.