[I meant to post this much earlier, but working on my second location got a bit ahead of me today]
It’s an age of change and adaptation, which has been a concern for companies normally focused on Out-of-Home Entertainment products. Many arcades are still closed in many areas, despite the easing of most restrictions in certain areas, which also means that arcade makers haven’t had many clients to sell their creations to.
One company that is taking this head-on with a new complete line of home-based arcade machines is ICE. Taking a page from Arcade 1up, they are launching a new line-up of arcade pieces just for the home. These are, for the most part, smaller non-coin versions of existing games that will be perfect for a man cave or game room. Per the new website they’ve launched, homearcadegames.com, they are offering the following:
Beginning October 2020, we’re releasing a line of arcade games made exclusively for your home. Sign up and be the first to know when we’re live—so you can start building your ultimate home arcade experience.
The line-up is officially christened as “ARCADE PRO.” Here’s an image they shared that we can glean some things from – that line-up includes some ICE staples such as Super Chexx Pro, a home version of Collegiate Hoops, and a home version of their ICEBALL alley bowler. What is also quite interesting is that they are carrying home based products of some other products – you can see Stern Pinball’s Star Wars Home Pin, Namco’s Class of ’81 with Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga and a new cabinet version of Raw Thrills’ Jurassic Park Arcade:
I did ask Raw Thrills about this and they said that all they provided was the software – all oft he hardware is being handled completely by ICE. It doesn’t sound like there are any real changes to how the game plays, other than it being free play, but we’ll have to wait and see how the hardware and price differs from the full-blown commercial version.
Once thing ICE emphasized to me in the initial information is that these pieces are all high-quality – while destined for the home, they are built in the same factory and with the same idea behind their commercial versions. They just don’t need to have certain materials be quite as thick, like on the alley bowler.
We’ll find out more around the 1st of October, where the company is also launching a showroom for the games. This will likely be in New York state where ICE is headquartered (Clarence to be more precise).
While they’ve always sold certain games into homes, such as Super Chexx (and back when I sold machines, I was always blown away by the number of people who wanted commercial arcade basketball machines in their homes, like NBA Hoops – they usually couldn’t fit them in though), this appears to be an answer in responding to the decreased demand from the commercial side of things/increased demand from the home side of things. What do you think about this new “ARCADE PRO” division for the company?