I was going to cover the EAG 2022 show for a Newsbytes, but I really couldn’t find much else to talk about for that post, so I figure it’s better to separate that out and give the show it’s own focus for the follow-up. This will also allow me to pack-in more info.
3/8 – Update with corrections and more info compared to the original post, so re-check it out!
As with pretty much every tradeshow on the planet, the EAG Expo had to skip their 2021 event due to the pandemic, but with things in that regard reaching a certain point, the show returned to London this year. It still ended up taking place later than usual; This is an arcade tradeshow that generally takes place in January and is for the European arcade & amusement business, giving operators and players a chance to see some of the new stuff. It’s kind of an IAAPA show, just much smaller and focused on the EU/UK regions.
I was not present for the info below; While I would love to attend EAG and other international shows like JAEPO, international travel just hasn’t been on my radar since the whole pandemic started. Thus, I’ve tried to gather everything I can using my normal means of scouring the internet for material, but there is certainly a chance that I will have missed something. If so, let me know and I’ll correct it! You can also find coverage in The Stinger Report; Here’s a link to the “Skinny” version, which also contains various photos from the event.
Let’s take a look at each manufacturer, starting with the B’s:
Bandai Namco Amusements Europe – Thanks to Kevin Williams of The Stinger Report, I was able to get a deeper look at BNAE’s booth, finding that it was quite a substantial booth in size and variety of products. As mentioned in the original post, BNAE includes product from a few other manufacturers, as they operate as a distributor for certain regions in that hemisphere. For Bandai Namco’s own products, they featured Pac-Man Power Pellets, Red Zone Rush, and a new version of the Pac-Man Basketball machine which is significantly different from previous models. You can see it in the background of this short YouTube video that is focused on Hungry Hungry Hippos by Adrenaline (whose product is also at the BNAE booth)
This features a similar design to Wik’s Big Show Basketball, which had popped up a few years back and had turned heads thanks to the RGB LED animated cage.
For other manufacturers, one could also find Raw Thrills games (Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, King Kong of Skull Island), VRsenal’s Vader Immortal VR and their Beat Saber clone Rhythmatic; This photo from Play Leisure (another UK distro who carries a lot of used equipment, but also deals in new) also shows some Triotech and Andamiro products on hand:
Electrocoin – UK distributor Electrocoin had a sizable booth, packed with a selection of redemption titles, games for kids, and pinball from Stern. They also were showing off their latest exclusive release, Skill Shooter. Since they are the official distributor for Stern, they also showcased the new Rush, the Insider Connected system, and held a scoring tournament; Gary Stern was also there.
Harry Levy – This UK distributor is generally focused on redemption-type pieces, but they are the ones that UK/EU customers can go to if they wish to get their hands on the new Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade. The cabinet appears to be the same design as what LAI Games has been offering here in the West, and HL has both Premium and Deluxe models available. Here’s a photo from site friend Toby Nanakhorn
Instance Automatics – Also known as Maxx Grab, this UK distributor supports claw machines but also serves as a representative for UNIS games in the region. They were showing off Pogo Jump, which is a game that UNIS themselves have listed on their website for quite a while, but I’ve yet to see the game in person, at a tradeshow or otherwise. Here’s one video of the game getting played on LinkedIn;’ Here’s the game’s listing on their website.
Kevin also sent some small photos showing that IA had a large selection of UNIS titles on hand including the new Wicked Tuna (which I recently asked UNIS about – it’s not shipping for North America yet), the standard version of Elevator Action Invasion, a single version of Ultra MotoVR, Bigfoot Crush, To Tha Net and more.
Interactive365 – I previously did not know who had developed this product but thanks to Kevin, we’ve now got the details. Simply dubbed an “Augmented Reality air hockey table” (maybe they’ll add a fancy name to it later), this is an air hockey table that employs projection mapping to it’s surface. No, it’s not the first table to do so, but I have been surprised by how few companies have pursued the tech as it’s become cheaper (for those long-time readers, you might recall that Sega Japan was one of the first companies to use that tech in a commercial table called Heat Up Air Hockey, but at $20k, it didn’t sell very well out West). Read more about this here.
Sega Amusements – Sega had the most social media posts about their EAG presence, from what I observed, and as expected it was similar to their IAAPA booth. This meant that visitors could enjoy Mission: Impossible Arcade, VR Agent, Jet Blaster, ATV Slam SD, Men In Black, and their latest creation, Jumanji. Also, in case you saw any of their posts and were confused by some showcasing non-Sega product, Sega in the UK also works as a distributor. This is why they also show off games from companies like ICE, but only in situations like EAG or DEAL. While Sega did most most of their quick videos to their various social media channels, the only place I saw the Jumanji one was on LinkedIn.
UDC – UK distributor UDC had quite a bit to show off, as they represent Elaut Group, which entails Elaut product as well as Benchmark Games, Coast To Coast Entertainment and Touch Magix. They also were repping American Changer and Step Revolution (Step ManiaX;). Quite a few of the pieces are redemption-based or are for kids; Here’s a booth video on LinkedIn, or there’s this below:
After a spectacular response in the US, we were excited to present Mega Blaster along with our entire arcade game portfolio for the first time in London at #EAGInternational2022. A few snippets from the expo.#eagexpo2022 #eag2022 pic.twitter.com/w40CDT4cGX
— touchmagix (@TouchMagix) March 5, 2022
Thanks to Kevin Williams, I got a little more info on a couple of games that were shown very briefly in the video above, particularly Galaxy Rangers and Dream Ball. Galaxy Rangers by Ace Amusement (Wild West Shootout and many others) is a new light-gun game that has redemption as an option, but otherwise can operate just like any other arcade game. You can find the listing for this one here; The collection of screenshots here shows that it borrows a bit from Halo (seems to have be AA’s “answer” to Halo: Fireteam Raven) and a little from Stargate, while using some other common elements from modern light-gun titles. At least from the stills it looks good, certainly one of AA’s best-looking titles, although seeing things in motion always is best:
Dream Ball will remind you of Sega’s Super Monkey Ball, although the trackball is much larger (18″ per the spec) and the characters are pushing the ball instead of running inside of it. The goal is to push the ball around an obstacle course and reach the end of the level first. With two player stations, it incentivizes competitive play and in the case of both this and Galaxy Rangers, it’s nice to see something new instead of just another license. The listing for the game is found here.
UDC has a lot of other new products on their site which should cover many of the titles seen in that booth video, but I’ll probably have to do a separate post to focus on those.
Now for a tradeshow I will be at here soon, we have Amusement Expo 2022 about to start in Las Vegas next week. Since that’s pretty close to where I am, it’s an easy trip and I’ll be there to check out various new titles, including a new secret game from Raw Thrills (my guess is that it’s Furious, but we’ll see).