Welcome to the first Location Watch of the year – I likely could have done this in January but that was a very busy month for me. It is worth noting that while I did close my second location, the infusion of around 20 new cabinets to my original location has caused a noticeable increase in earnings. Arcades always do better with quantity – yes the quality of that quantity also matters – as consumers find more to play which lines up with their interests.
Anyways, this post is a bit long since there is some catching up to do; Thanks to everyone who has been sending links! Also, H/T to both Replay Magazine and InterGame Online for their constant vigilance on location openings.
Retroware Arcade (Lansdale, PA)
This arcade (which is joined with a console game store) is taking an approach that isn’t entirely retro, which is fine, combining old/retro games like Asteroids & Street Fighter II with brand new ones like P-47 Aces Mk. II on the exA-Arcadia (running on a Vewlix) and Tekken 7: Round 2. As implied by the last entries there, they have a number of sit-down cabinets from Japan, and many others from the East including Groove Coaster, Gundam Extreme Vs. Boost, Taiko No Tatsujin, and more. They appear to run on a wristband system; Find them on Facebook.
Not An Arcade (Hesperia, CA)
Retroware is not the only new, independent small arcade with a focus on Japanese gaming. “Not An Arcade” looks like they have space to expand with more stuff down the road though I’m not sure why it’s called what it is (maybe as a snub at the city which doesn’t like arcades? It wouldn’t be the first time that has happened). Their focus on Japanese games or JP versions of certain games, includes House of the Dead 4, InitialD, Point Blank X, and Taiko No Tatsujin, among some other fun ones. Find them on Instagram.
Mira Amusement (Brunswick, Pointe-Claire, Canada)
Up North near Montreal, you’ll find this place which is packed with a bunch of brand new games, including a very impressive wall of racers. As you can see below, they have Cruis’n Blast, Daytona Championship USA, Mario Kart Arcade GP DX, Nitro Trucks, and Super Bikes 3; Not pictured are the likes of Fast & Furious Arcade, Halo: Fireteam Raven, House of the Dead Scarlet Dawn, King Kong of Skull Island, and plenty more including some new Stern pins (The Beatles, Godzilla, Metallica, Mando, Stranger Things, TMNT). Visit their website here.
Supercharged Entertainment (Edison, NJ)
Here’s an impressive FEC that just opened where they are boasting the world’s largest indoor go-karting track – among other things. This is essentially an indoor theme park, full of rides, but of course there’s a plentiful arcade there too (over 140 games. Here’s a video that definitely better at showing it than telling; Visit their website here.
Imprint Beer (Hatfield, PA)
Here’s a bar which just turned into a bar/arcade, the operator in the video below showing off some of the games he installed there, from an Aladdin’s Castle pin to 80s/90s video pieces like Karate Champ, Hang-On, Rampage World Tour, Shinobi, The Simpsons, Street Fighter 3 and a few other games. I’m guessing this is an adult-only venue.
Fun Zone Arcade (Folsom, CA)
It sounds sort of generic but you can see from the photo below that this new arcade in a shopping center has a bunch of brand new games but with a focus on rhythm titles such as Dance Rush: Stardom, Step ManiaX, In The Groove 3 and the latest Pump It Up. They also have a Rilix VR Coaster. Find them on Facebook.
BA Start (San Luis Bispo, CA)
This new arcade bar had a soft opening a little while ago but recently held a grand opening, offering a selection of old school games from the ’80s & ’90s, as well as a new piece here and there, like AfterBurner Climax. They also have seven pinball machines, air hockey, pool and of course, drinks. Find them here.
Back In Time Arcade (Marysville & Gridley, CA)
This is one that is semi-recent, with the second location having opened in May of last year but I missed it in last year’s location posts. The locations use a free play model (for all but a “few exceptions”) for the single afternoon/evening of the week that they are open (Saturday for Marysville, Friday for Gridley), otherwise they only open for pre-booked events & parties. As you can probably guess from the name, they are focused on retro games where you can expect to find some of those staple titles (Galaga, Ms. Pac-Man, etc) but you can find a few more recent games spiced here and there, including some newer pins. Visit their website here.
Free Play Dallas (Dallas, TX)
This makes five locations for Free Play, which claims that they were the first to do the free play arcade idea with near 100% up-time on the games. Unlike most free play model arcades, they aren’t just about old school titles, from the pic below you can see a quad setup of Crusi’n Blasts. Find them here.
Lucky Strike Adds Eight F&FAs – If you thought 4 F&Fs were impressive…
Predator Gaming Center Opens In Puerto Rico – No indication of an arcade there…oddly it’s referring to Alien Vs. Predator but is also family themed.
Arcade Archive (Chalford,UK )
Those looking for a retro arcade museum in the UK will be happy to know about this one as they very retro, showcasing electromechanical games in their space along with video greats from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. They also work to preserve the games in using CRTs and the like but you’ll also find super rarities like Nintendo’s Sky Skipper. Visit the webpage here and check out the owner on YouTube:
Dino Merluzzi Pinball and Modern Art Museum (Marmore, TR, Italy)
This new, reservation-only pinball museum just opened in Italy, named after a late pinball collector who had the dream of opening such a museum one day but was unable to in his lifetime. I’m not sure how many games the space has but it looks like they might be adding some more to the space down the road. Visit their website, here.
This one just opened, surprising Ted who sent me the link, as they opened in the off-season for tourists. It appears to have an FEC mix with a strong focus on redemption but they have some modern video amusements there too. Here’s a little page for them; Here’s a video tour posted to Facebook.
Level Up Arcade Bar Is Coming Back (Limerick, Ireland)
Not all closures are permanent, as we fortunately heard from lUAB. A date hasn’t been announced yet but they have been sharing some of the new location details on Twitter. Or there’s this video preview:
Ted H. has been tracking progress on this one in the AH Discord, where it sounds like if you show up to Akihabara some time soon, it won’t be devoid of arcade goodness as some high profile closures in the area have implied. Press release in Japanese is found here.
Funland (Karmi’el, Israel)
This FEC just opened up in Israel, offering a modern mix of games that mostly appears to be video with some redemption & kids stuff mixed in. They also seem to have a bit of space for expansion judging by the pics shared on Discord, although I couldn’t find a website (advice for prospective ops: try not to go too generic in your business name) or other details to know how big of a space it has.
More Mastiizones For India
This FEC chain recently announced that they would be opening 15 new locations across India in 2023 and they already opened two of those: One at the Wave Mall in Ludhiana and the other at the Esplanade Mall in Gurugram. Congrats to them for being able to expand like this, it’s certainly not an easy task.
Area 51 Super Park (China)
As usual I’m not sure where in China this place is but they did a grand opening with some cosplayers and unlike some others I’ve mentioned on recent Location Watch posts, they focus more on video games than prize machines. The pic below gives you a good idea of what they are focused on in that regard, although I saw another which showed a number of generic sit-down cabs (ones often used for Pandora’s Boxes in China) which were lined up in a couple of rows.
Fun Space (Ganzhou, China)
Like the Area 51 spot above, this place opened using a number of cosplayers but it appears to have a stronger focus on prize machines than Area 51 SP does. That said, the pic below does show some video stuff:
Funworld (Xiamen, China) – Another spot very focused on prize/crane machines
Various GiGo Locations In Japan Grab DDR 20th, Other Bemani Games – Notable as Sega didn’t like to feature Konami content at their locations but under the new ownership, things have changed.
Speaking of GiGO, they are also had tested out a mini-arcade cab with four indie mobile games on it. Inspired by exA? Probably. Was it a success? Not sure.
Past Times Arcade Coming To Ohio – I think I mentioned this one last time but there wasn’t a name for it yet
Jump Inc. To Open On March 1st In Liverpool, UK – Yes, they will have an arcade
Mr. Mulligans Opens In Norwich, UK – Looks like they have an arcade from the pic, but the story snippet doesn’t really mention it
A New Fat Cats Fun Opening in Surprise, AZ In March
Thanks for checking out this Watch – if you know about or you yourself are opening a new arcade location out there, please let me know so I can include it in the next LW! If you’re just a gamer that finds yourself near one of these locations however, be sure to do more than just like their posts on social media – likes and shares don’t pay bills, but going to the place and throwing a few dollars their way does.