Welcome to Location Watch, a post series that highlights brand new arcade locations that have opened their doors for the first time. Since news in this regard has been rather slow, we haven’t had them taking place monthly like in the past, but where we’ve gone about 3 months since the last one, some location openings have taken place since that are better to mention before too much time passes.
There are a couple of interesting trends I’m seeing with the sites being discussed today: 1) bar/arcades are still a thing, despite the damage done by the pandemic 2) We’ve got a lot more international locations to talk about than we usually do, which indicates more entertainment investment and growth outside of the US. Granted, a lot of locations had the investments made before the pandemic up-ended everything, with plenty of businesses taking a wait-and-see approach for when things would be okay to open. As numbers continue to go down in most places, I think we may see some location growth again, but it will depend on the region.
Please note that this post is highlighting brand new arcade businesses to open their doors, not ones that had opened prior to lockdowns and are re-opening again.
Area 15 (Las Vegas, NV)
Las Vegas is no stranger to places calling themselves “Area 51,” so it looks like this new mega-FEC decided to turn that on its head by calling itself Area 15. Billed as “a wonderous mash-up of experiences” and an “immersive playground,” while this is certainly in the class of FEC, they blur that line into amusement park territory given all of the experiences that they pack together. Fortunately, they do include a proper arcade inside of their Emporium section – which operates with its own website. Interesting to note that it says that the arcade section opened up today.
Since it’s a bar/arcade you have to be over 21 to enter, but if you do you can expect to find: Addams Family pinball; Deadpool pinball; Donkey Kong; Double Dragon; Galaga; Joust; Killer Queen Arcade; Metallica pinball; Mortal Kombat; Ms. Pac-Man; NARC; NBA Jam; Pac-Man Battle Royale; Robotron; Street Fighter II; Theatre of Magic pinball; TMNT: Turtles In Time; Twilight Zone pinball; X-Men 4p, and more. Find their main website here.
PINS / 16-Bit Bar & Arcade (Easton, OH)
For another bar/arcade that opened its doors today, we hop over to Ohio for the 16-Bit Bar & Arcade. This is another massive facility, boasting 38,000 sq. ft. of space, although much of that is taken up by dining/patio spaces and not games. Still, they have plenty of room to grow their selection for when they need it. The Easton location marks the companies’ 7th venue, where they have “40 arcade games, 35 pinball machines” spread throughout the facility to play. I couldn’t find a mention of what the video games are, but for pinball, they do have a list, where it includes older games like High Roller, No Good Gofers, and Playboy, to several of Stern’s latest titles like Avengers and Led Zeppelin. They also have some uncommon non-Stern games like Spooky’s Alice Cooper and American’s Houdini. Find the Easton website here.
Game Terminal (Nashville, TN)
Taking a step back to last November, Game Terminal is a huge, 10,000 sq. ft. bar/arcade that isn’t holding itself to just retro games (as many bar/arcades do). Apart from the extensive dining options they have (both indoor and outdoor), the arcade area packs a big punch with games like: Area 51; Burgertime; Cruis’n USA & Blast; Defender; Galaga; Frogger; Joust I & II; Lucky & Wild; Major Havoc; Marble Madness; Mortal Kombat II & 3; NFL Blitz; Popeye; Q*Bert; Rambo; Reactor; Space Invaders, Star Wars & Return of the Jedi (both Atari); and many, many more. Some of them are quite rare, such as Bubbles in a Duramold cabinet, Atari’s I, Robot, Robby Roto, and several others. They also have a huge collection of pinball machines, from the latest Stern titles like Avengers: Infinity Quest & TMNT as well as Jersey Jack’s new Guns ‘N Roses and American Pinball’s Hot Wheels. They also have plenty of classics to enjoy, including The Addams Family, Elvis, Funhouse, Space Invaders, and a ton of others. The main website is here; The Nashville Guru also did a nice spread on them.
Natsuge Musueum at Baba Mikado
This arcade museum opened up at the Mikado Arcade in Tokyo at the end of last November, but not many people have had a chance to check them out after emergency orders closed arcades again. Natsuge did have a museum in Akihabara previously but that closed down, so they’ve moved to Mikado, combining forces to survive. By my understanding of Mikado’s tweets, they are open in a limited capacity right now, following government-mandated guidelines.
The Oasis (Christchurch, NZ)
This one is partially open at the moment, where the company is operating a Hologate system as a “pop-up VR” experience while development takes place on their larger venue which will include “mini-golf and an arcade.” InterGame doesn’t mention how large the space nor the arcade will be, but if they have a HoloGate I imagine it will be something significant for when they do open. You can stay on top of their progress/news via their Facebook page.
TAG e-Karting (Sainte-Thérèse, QC, Canada)
H/T to InterGame for mentioning this one. While I have not found an opening date for this kart racing facility yet, it looks like it’ll be pretty sweet, something that is along the lines of Andretti’s here in the states. Their arcades page mentions that they will have “more than 30 arcade machines spread out on 2 floors,” with those falling into racers, shooters, sports, and classic games. My guess is that classic games might come more from World’s Largest Pac-Man/Space Invaders Frenzy/maybe Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash. From that page, they are promising the likes of Cruis’n Blast, Jurassic Park, Pac-Man Battle Royale, Super Bikes 3, and the Typhoon 10th Anniversary.
Large Chain Location News
Dave & Busters opened their 138th location back on Dec. 7th.
Yerevan Park To Open In Armenia This April – Not sure if it will include an arcade, but it’s certainly bringing out-of-home entertainment to the region.
Sala Entertainment Opens 3rd “Strike 10 Bowling” Location, This Time In Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – I had trouble finding out more about this one since there are some unrelated US-based bowling alleys that also use the name Strike 10.
That’s all I’ve found for now – if you do have a location that has recently had their grand opening, or will do so soon, please let me know so I can highlight it in our next Location Watch post.