Welcome to Newsbytes, a curated collection of news from around the world of arcade & pinball. This post has been on the backburner since the weekend before IAAPA started but there has been so much for me to do after that event, not to mention everything else I’ve been doing with other arcade work, that I just couldn’t get to it until now. Thank you to all of those who have been sending news items in though so that they can still get the love that they deserve. Let’s see what’s been happening out there!
Post IAAPA ’22 Updates
I’m still working on videos from IAAPA22 but it’s looking to me that I’ll finish them up this week, where then I can do an IAAPA 2022 livestream discussion. I know one issue with IAAPA is that there is so much news that happens at that one event that some things end up getting lost in all of the “news noise.” Here are some headlines of more news that you might have missed; Some of the game pages I had shared previously but a few are new:
- Almost 37,000 attend IAAPA 2022 – IIRC, the busiest IAAPA in history was 2019 with close to 40k
- Arcade Heroes IAAPA 2022 Review Part 1 / Part 2
- BOOTH VIDEOS: Raw Thrills / Sega Amusements / Bandai Namco Amusements / exA-Arcadia / LAI Games / UNIS / Coastal Amusements/ Stern Pinball / American Pinball
- Back To Its Best: IAAPA 2022 (Bandai Namco Amusements show wrap-up, which includes a couple of mentions of upcoming titles not at the show)
- Sega Amusements Experienced All Around Success At IAAPA
- Game page for NFS Heat Takedown
- Game page for MotoGP VR & new page for Halo: Fireteam Raven
- Game page for Donut Dodo Do! & new page for Shinorubi Pink Label; AVS listing for the new ARC-1 cab
- Game page for Dead Heat Unleashed
- Game page for Drone Racing Genesis & Storm Rider 2
- Game page for Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade VR
- Game page for Carnival Cups (new SE model) & Carnival Cups Crane
- NSFW or UNDER 18 – YOU’VE BEEN WARNED – Footage of the popular adult video game option, Hawt Pink Club
- Minecraft Dungeons Arcade Series 2 software has rolled out, cards are available (no link, just see it on my machine in front of me :P)
If you don’t want to wait for the livestream then here’s some IAAPA discussion I did with Joe at Indie Arcade Wave:
Something else posted that was a little different at the show:
Saving The Last Ridge Racer
Thanks to everyone who sent this to me – I might have missed it since I’ve been so focused on IAAPA. Tony Temple recounts the tale of Ridge Racer Full Scale, the giant “mid-scale attraction” version of Ridge Racer that Namco released back in the 1990s where players got to play RR while sitting in a full-sized Eunos Roadster (an adapted Mazda RX-5). This was a logical evolution of what cockpit driving games of the 80s, particularly the likes of Atari’s Hard Drivin’. At $250k in price though (1994 dollars), and requiring custom installation, few of these were sold and installed into arcades out there. If I were to guess, I imagine less than 50 were ever made…I’d be surprised if they even managed 25.
Thus we come to the preservation of the last known Ridge Racer Full Scale. I’ll stop stealing Tony’s thunder here and let you read it but it’s certainly a tale of legend. Now I wonder if today’s Namco would ever consider doing a Maximum Tune Full Scale? Oh and if you’re interested in stories like this, check out this similar story about the Galaxian 3 Theater that we ran on here a few years ago (written by SaraAB87).
Street Fighter 6 Type Arcade Announced
As was the case with Street Fighter 5 Type Arcade, this will mainly be found in Japan, but I’m sure Round1USA will be the only chain to carry it here. I was contacted some time ago where I was interested in SF6 for arcades but not at the pricing they want for it. I also don’t know about you but I wasn’t really impressed with what I saw from the “world premiere” trailer at the Game Awards; Tekken 8 looks vastly better (I’m not anymore pro-Tekken then I am pro-SF…I like both). Perhaps a Japan-focused arcade here and there will import SF6TA but I’ve been forever burned by my experience with SSFIVAE.
This game will be at JAEPO 2023 this coming February. Website is here.
Virtuix Reveals Rhythm Master
Operators of the Virtuix Omni Arena can now add a rhythm game to their mix as Virtuix has come up with their own take on Beat Saber called Rhythm Master. What makes this different is that it employs the Omni Arena omni-directional treadmill, so players must “walk to the beat.” From the trailer and gameplay video, it doesn’t appear to make the user go in other directions, you just walk straight; Unfortunately this is one that I missed filming at IAAPA.
Speaking of rhythm games, Taito is stayin’ alive with Music Diver.
What Is Lost Has Been Found: Michael Jackson In Sega’s Scramble Training
Forbes has the full write-up about the discovery of an original master tape that was used in Sega’s AS-1 motion simulator featuring Michael Jackson. If you’ve not heard of the AS-1, that isn’t much of a surprise – like the Ridge Racer Full Scale above, it was a very expensive motion simulator that would have only shown up at theme parks and the biggest arcades of the early 90s. There was one in Salt Lake City, the 49th St. Galleria, which had a big motion sim, although I can’t recall if it was Sega or Taito (they did have two R360s at one point). Anyways, hit up Forbes for the background on the discovery and check out the saved footage here:
Arcade1ups In A Business
The short answer is ‘no,’ the longer answer is best posited as a question: If you go to a business like Dave & Busters or anywhere else where you intend to be entertained and you’re going to spend money for it, would you be happy with them if said business was stocked with home game room equipment they picked up at Wal-Mart, like those cheap air hockey tables, Pop-A-Shots, or DDR home pads? That I have some people arguing with me on this is a little bit perplexing – it’s not gatekeeping to have some decent expectations of what makes an arcade a “real” arcade.
Atari Resurrects A Never Released Arcade Title, Akka Arrh
Not as an arcade game however, so that’s too bad, but given that Jeff Minter is behind this one, it might end up being too psychedelic for general audiences anyways (that said, I have always felt that Tempest 2000 should have received an arcade release – Just the T2k mode with co-op and it could have been great). You might recall that there was some controversy surrounding Akka Arrh some years ago, as the never released game ended up getting leaked onto the internet after a technician allegedly burned the ROMs from a collector’s machine without permission. Oddly enough, Atari SA (the entity who currently owns the Atari logo and all IP from 1972-1984…they do NOT own Atari Games or Midway IP like Paperboy and such), maintained a copyright for the game, despite the source code being lost and it never seeing a full release – until now. This would be a recreation from scratch however, handled by the legendary Jeff Minter. The press release and this trailer make a small error in saying that this game was finished but unreleased – Atari would finish games up to a point to get them to test (sometimes as early as 30%), then if it did well, they’d finish it up from there. I’m pretty sure that it wasn’t a 100% complete game, but that’s a minor quibble. This will launch to home consoles in 2023 – I highly doubt it would get an arcade release due to how esoteric the gameplay is but I suppose that it wouldn’t be impossible:
I do have to commend the current Atari for trying to repair the damage done to the brand over the past decade or so. Previous management regularly stiffed contractors and devs and generally just did what they could to squeeze blood out of a stone on Atari IP. The new CEO has been taking actions to fix that, it seems, and in addition to remaking a bunch of classics, resurrecting stuff like this is a good sign. Technically it would be a new concept (something Atari needs to do more of – you can’t coast on retro IP forever) and they picked the right kind of guy who has worked on Atari hardware since the 80s and worked directly with them in the 90s too, so he understands this stuff.
LAI Games Releases Arcade Legend To Oculus Quest
LAI is better known for making arcade games but as was previewed last year, they are jumping into the home entertainment space, particularly with this VR game that puts you in charge of building a modern arcade. What kind of arcade would you build?
Note that a bunch of these are from mid-November but I’ve added plenty of more recent ones in here too, so this is perhaps the most packed headlines section I’ve ever done for a NB. Thank you to readers who have been sending many of these my way so they get some attention:
ExA-Arcadia’s JAEPO 2023 Booth – It will be bigger than their IAAPA booth
My Scan Of A Dead Heat Promo Card From IAAPA 2012 or 13 (Can’t remember which IAAPA it was)
Dave & Busters Sees A Return To Pre-COVID Levels – I sure wish I was seeing that…perhaps I’m the only one seeing a big decrease in business at both of my locations
The Next Version Of Pump It Up Is Confirmed – and that’s all we know for now
ArcadeUFO Is Relocating To A New Space – That Space Is Now Open!
No More Groove Coaster 4 Arcade – Round1USA hardest hit
A Life-Sized Version Of The Board Game Monopoly Has Opened In Saudi Arabia – I would have expected to see something like this in Orlando or Vegas first
Comedian Gallagher Has Died – He Did Star In An Arcade Game
[Console] FTC blocking Microsoft’s Acquisition Of ActiVision/Blizzard (For Now) – The US gov. seems content in letting all sorts of corporate megamergers take place in modern times so I guess Sony’s lobbying against this one is bearing fruit.
[Console] Meta Begs Employees Working On Metaverse Project To Fall In Love With It – As the video points out, that’s not how a product/service becomes a success
[Console] The Atari 50th Anniversary Celebration Game Now Out On Consoles – Includes interviews with many people in the arcade space
[Console] The Sega Genesis/Mega Drive Turns 34
[Other] Retail Stores Clamping Down On Generous Return Policies – This joins the rampant retail theft that has been on the rise as of late (and has even affected some arcades, including one of my locations)
[Other] How Many Shipping Containers Are Lost At Sea Each Year? – I wonder how many of those have arcade machines inside of them?