IAAPA 2023 – The Grand Preview

arcadehero November 10, 2023 0
IAAPA 2023 – The Grand Preview

Its IAAPA season, which means it is time for tons of new games. It is a little overwhelming but hopefully this preview and guide will help you navigate the news. IAAPA 2023 will also provide a unique gauge to see where the amusement sector is at, and how it is shaping up for 2024.

If you’re new here, IAAPA Expo is the largest tradeshow held by the amusement industry, but it is much more expansive than just arcades. In fact, while there’s a nice section of the show floor dedicated to what used to be called Coin-Op (now it’s the “Games and Arcade Pavilion”), a vast majority of the Orange County Convention Center features other kinds of exhibitors, including inflatables, theme park rides, related industry tech, and more. Still, the closest thing I can compare it to is E3 – some like to say it’s the Superbowl of the industry. Which ever you go with, it’s a huge show with a ton of new products to consider.

It will be held November 13th-18th. The trade show portion opens on the 14th.

UPDATE: Click here for a post-show recap. 

Note that I will be doing a livestream walkthrough of this on YouTube tomorrow around 10am MST (12pm EST/9am PST). Safe travels to everyone on their way there.

Apologies if I’ve missed anything or any one here – I’ve done a lot of research to get it right and reached out to many reps at the different companies. Sometimes there are unforeseen changes (such as a shipment delay or damage while unloading) but also note that I’m focused on video arcade/videmption/pinball. Don’t worry, there are some redemption mentions for fans of that genre.

Advertisers/Sponsors

I’m going to write out some copy on the advertisers/sponsors here, but for the others, I’ll keep it mostly to bullet points, unless there is more to say.

Raw Thrills

At the Betson booth, #518, 615, & 818. Some of their products will be found at the Bandai Namco booth.

Raw Thrills is set to make some big impressions as they usually do, continuing to push the envelope forward on VR in the arcade space with Godzilla Kaiju Wars VR. The cabinet blends elements of King Kong, Fast & Furious Arcade, and Jurassic Park together and is promising to become the company’s new flagship product.

Godzilla Kaiju Wars VR arcade cabinet by Raw Thrills

Speaking of King Kong, the sequel will also be available to play.

It will be joined by a new standard version of Fast & Furious Arcade (no motion and smaller screens but it still has two of them), a giant new content update for Big Buck Hunter Reloaded that includes a new iteration of The Walking Dead as a selectable game, and the return of their other in-production games.

TouchMagix

Booth #1629. I was unable to attend Bowl Expo 2023, where Pop It! made its industry entrance, but it along with Crazy Prize will be the highlights of their IAAPA booth. TouchMagix also announced a new licensing partnership with Pudgy Penguins recently, but there is no game for it yet; Instead they’ll have some branded merchandise.

According to Replay Magazine, they will also show of their Magix Pool Mixed Reality project there. This had been announced some time ago but we had not seen it in action. When this was first announced we had some questions about how it might work on different colors of felt (particularly darker ones) but they will apparently have their own specially designed pool table there for it.

Wahlap

Booth #202. Wahlap has long had their own booth at IAAPA, and will use this show to debut Asphalt Moto Blitz DX to the wider industry. LAI Games is serving as the US distribution point for that (disseminating their games through their own distributors). Otherwise, Wahlap’s other titles will be carried by companies like Amusement Source International and Sega, depending.

Asphalt Moto Blitz DX by Wahlap and LAI Games

They will also feature new pieces like Thunderbolt Shot; Read more on their booth here.

Gesture Art & Design

I have been covering this newcomer to the industry for a while and you can find them and their first game Food Flight at booth #3582:

VR 360 Action

Booth #645. This VR-focused company will be making a big splash with a giveaway of one of their $30,000 products, the OMG Simulator. This will be done via raffle and the drawing will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16th at 1:30pm. I will try (assuming the signal allows for it) to livestream that drawing so you can tune in around then.

OMG Simulator raffle flyer

They will also be showcasing their other VR products, which includes a range of simulators including one that looks like a TRON light-cycle, another a tank, and so on.


Now onto the rest, in alphabetical order and starting with arcade focused companies. VR is located after that.

Adrenaline Amusements

Booths #1054 & 1354. You will also find some of their products at the Bandai Namco booth.

Games that are confirmed to be there:

I don’t expect to see anything else that is brand new and unannounced, although they sometimes pop a surprise redemption or videmption game in there.

Drakons: Realm Keepers arcade cabinet by Adrenaline Amusements

American Pinball

Booth #109A. No confirmation on what will but there but being a small booth, I would guess they are focusing on Galactic Tank Force. They have managed to pack their booths with games before, so might have more.

Amusement Source International

Booth #237. You will also find some of their products at the Wahlap booth.

Games that are confirmed to be there; They will have 12 total games.

Will that include Sniper Strike II? Not sure but probably.

Andamiro USA

Booth #1002. Andamiro is much heavier on the redemption side than video, although that is normal. Find a preview for them here.

Confirmed games:

  • Pump It Up 2023 Phoenix – There will also be a special event for this during the show
  • Bobblehead Baseball VS Edition
  • Crazy Toy 31″ (crane machine)
  • Spider-Man coin pusher
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Ticket Coaster – SpongeBob Ticket Coaster reskinned with GotG
  • VR Bubble Coaster
  • Tic Shaq Toe Basketball
  • Super Star 2 (merchandiser)

Bobblehead Baseball VS by Andamiro USA

Bandai Namco Amusements

Booth #1300 & 1600. Because this booth involves Bandai Namco AM’s European arm (which distributes more than Namco products in Europe), they will have products from Adrenaline Amusements and Raw Thrills there.

Confirmed games (this comes from a full page ad in Replay Magazine and Shaffer Distributing)

  • Dead Heat Unleashed
  • Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship
  • Pac-Man Power Pellets
  • Pac-Man Slider
  • Pac-Man Roller
  • Pac-Man Baller
  • Tom & Jerry Kitchen Chaos
  • Looney Tunes Red Zone
  • Crab Rush
  • Loly Crush
  • Tata Island

Most of those are redemption, but I know that many of you are wondering about some particular video games: Bike Dash Delivery; Goldstorm Pirates; and Taiko No Tatsujin. Just because these weren’t on the ad nor in the Replay copy, doesn’t mean that they won’t be there. With two booth spaces, they have a lot of space to fill but I do think that if only one of these three show up, it would be Goldstorm Pirates. It was also mentioned in the Discord from someone in the know that likely Taiko is not there.

 

Bay Tek Entertainment

Booth #1015. Games confirmed:

  • Hot Shot Basketball
  • Toilet Bowl Toss
  • Tundra Toss
  • Big Bass Wheel LED

Perhaps we’ll see QB Throwdown that was seen on test earlier this year, along with some other on-test pieces I’ve been hearing some rumors about.

Chicago Gaming Co.

Booth #206. I have not heard of what Chicago Gaming will bring but I can assume that Pulp Fiction and Cactus Canyon pinball machines will be there. They might also have their home arcade machines such as the Arcade Legends 3 and the Class of 1981

Coastal Amusements

Booth #1315. Games confirmed:

  • Bullseye Crack Shot – This has been modified from when it was seen at Bowl Expo; It now will have two guns for one screen
  • Dinosaur Era Non-water version
  • Surf League
  • Wild Thing Wipe Out
  • Hot Shots
  • Raccoon Rampage
  • Showtime (crane)

There definitely will be more than this there; Surf League was recently seen at IAAPA Expo Europe. The above are the headliners though. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bumper again, but I guess that didn’t make the cut.

Bullseye: Crack Shot arcade cabinets, a single on the right, the deluxe on the left

Elaut USA

Booth #606 & 806. Elaut includes Benchmark Games and Coast-to-Coast Entertainment.

  • BGI Pro Boxer & Kickboxer [Benchmark]
  • King Size Duck Catcher [Coast-To-Coast]
  • Superman Worlds United [Benchmark]
  • VRX Arcade w/ Gold & Mace [Boxblaster]
  • Funky Beats Curved Air Hockey
  • Superman air hockey
  • Wizard of Oz Emerald City Edition

I haven’t heard of any video games or videmption games being there but occasionally one does pop-up. They have shown Gold & Mace VR by Boxblaster VR several times; That has popped up again on Betson’s site. Perhaps that means it’s finally seeing a release and might be there.

exA-Arcadia

exA-Arcadia does not have their own booth this year like last, due to some kind of floor setup conflict. An exA Arc-1 cabinet will be located at the AVS Companies booth(#1619), although I have not been able to confirm which games will be featured therein. There are five games, four of them being fighters, that are bound to be announced either at the show or soon after.

ICE

Booth #1606 & 1806. The only thing I’ve seen promoted by ICE is a new marquee for their World Football Pro soccer/redemption game that they showed off at last year’s IAAPA. The game is already out there, so this appears to focus on making more of a spectacle out of banked units. Would also assume that all of their popular in-production games like Dodgeball, and their line-up of sports titles will be there too.

IGPM/Kalkomat

Booth #415. Games confirmed:

  • Wheel of Boxing
  • MMA Boxer
  • Hit The Green

Jersey Jack Pinball

Booth #829. I’ve not heard an announcement for them but logic dictates that Elton John will be there – I would also presume a few of their other more recent games (The Godfather, Toy Story 4, Guns ‘N Roses). I haven’t come across The Godfather nor Elton John yet, so it will be my first chance to give them a try.

JET Games

Booth #1131. Games confirmed:

  • Big Shot
  • Cannonball Drop
  • Quick Toss

JET has been heavily promoting Big Shot, showing videos on LinkedIn of the production line more than once. It’ll be interesting to compare this with Coastal’s Bullseye.

LAI Games

Booth #731. Find a preview here. They also just rolled out a complete site redesign.

Games confirmed to be there:

  • Air Strike
  • Asphalt Legends 9 Arcade VR
  • Asphalt Moto Blitz DX
  • Cosmic Spire (coin pusher)
  • Dragon’s Bane (coin pusher/video game)

PLAYMIND

Booth #429. They will have the new revamped version of their PLAYBOX multi-game ball toss system. There might be something else, but if so, it’ll be a surprise!

Playbox by Playmind

Really Big Crane Co.

Booth #640. They’ve had Zombie Jam for several shows in a row – might they introduce another video or videmption game to join their crane offerings by this point?

Retro Arcade LLC

Booth #104A. I haven’t heard anything from these guys for most of the year. They were absent at Amusement Expo, which was a surprise. They created the Ice Cold Beer Remake and have been talking other remakes, including Zeke’s Peak, Atari’s Food Fight and Warlords. Ever since ICB was supposed to start shipping in February, they’ve been quiet.

S&B Toy/St. Louis Game Co.

Booth. 1700. Normally I wouldn’t include a crane focused company but according to Replay, they are introducing a video game or videmption game at the show called Happy Racing. It looks like a Chinese-made game but I’m not 100% sure on that.

Sega Amusements

Booth #1006. A more detailed preview can be found here.

Games confirmed to be there, as mentioned on that post:

Smart Industries

Booth #1818. There aren’t any video games or pinball machines to be found here, but they will have a game that could be the talk of the show – JJ Bot: The Avatar. It’s a new crane machine that uses a robot arm to grab the prizes and it has a video screen with an interactive robot avatar.

Step Revolution

Booth #440. Apologies as I missed this initially. Step Revolution will be there to showcase their Step ManiaX dance game; I don’t believe they will debut anything new beyond the latest software for that platform, but last IAAPA they did launch the DX cabinet, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility.

Stern Pinball

Booth #815. Two games have been confirmed as being at their expo booth:

  • Stranger Things Vault Edition
  • Venom
  • Jurassic Park
  • James Bond 007
  • Avengers Infinity Quest

I also assume that a Foo Fighters would be on hand – and their Insider Connected system. I haven’t played Venom yet, so look forward to giving it a spin.

Team Play Inc.

Booth #2012. Games confirmed are the same as seen at the prior IAAPA, including Carnival Wheel and Photo Motion kiddie ride. I’m unsure if they have any surprises in the wings but we’ll see soon enough.

Triotech

Booth #1058, 1357. Triotech will be promoting a lot of their large scale attractions, such as their recent dark ride coasters. For their small scale stuff, they will have:

  • Qube
  • Storm VR

UNICO USA

Booth #8260. This is the company who created the 4:3 LCD monitors, along with the Neo Geo MVSX. I’m not sure what they’ll bring but I’d like to stop by and chat with them, see what is in store for their LCD solutions.

UNIS

Booth #1031. Their news has mainly come through email instead of website updates.

Games confirmed as debuting at the show:

Probably will have some others like Over The Edge and Emoji Frenzy.

Valley-Dynamo

Booth #2000. They will have the latest iteration of their Jet-Pong game, which is a combo of video game and beer pong – and of course, their latest air hockey and pool tables.

Zooom Studios

Booth #443. This is a newcomer to the scene focused exclusively on prize/crane/redemption machines, including a rotary pusher ducky machine that’s like the old Zombie Snatcher but now you can win duckies instead of ticket rolls.


AR/MXR/VR/Simulator Providers

Here are companies that don’t focus on arcade video games but higher cost & size items. These tend to be attractions and they can be quite impressive.

Amega Entertainment

Booth #536. They will be showcasing their E-Racing Container, a heavily modified shipping container that “includes 4 2DOF moving VR Rally simulators, monitoring screens, cafe-bar and seating area in a single container.”

Amusement Products LLC

Booth #4664, 4863. They will be showcasing the VEX Solutions Free-Roam VR system (with the Adventure and the Arena), along with some kart & bumper car systems.

Arcade Arena

Booth #284. They appeared at IAAPA in previous years with a different product and name, but have since refocused their efforts to a product that is similar to the QBIX (see Inowize below). It involves LiDAR sensors, projection mapping, and should have multiple games.Visit their website here.

Barron Games International

Booth #240. Games confirmed (thanks to an ad in the Nov. 2023 Replay):

  • Birdly World VR
  • Galaxy Collision QuadAir
  • Koliseum – VR Foosball

Barron used to be focused on air hockey and other traditional games but have pivoted hard to VR, with Birdly leading that charge. They are launching a new Birdly World experience, which allows players to soar above “over 2,500 [real-world] locations.” It won’t let me embed the video, so you can watch that here.

They are also giving Koliseum a second wind, as that will ship with a new overhead gantry for hanging the VR headsets upon.

Koliseum VR 2023 by Barron Games

Captivr

Booth #6009. Sounds like a software solution for capturing VR video on roller coasters, not sure what they might have at the booth. Visit their website.

CXC Simulations

Booth #858. If you’re in the market for professional grade, full-size simulators, CXC has got you covered.

Creative Works

Booth #3078. Confirmed games:

  • Limitless VR
  • VAR Box
  • Lucky Putt
  • Black Light Laser Tag

I assume they would have more there, as they have had quite a few different VR products at previous shows, but they also are involved in some other larger scale products.

DOF Robotics

Booth #1362. They debuted the Grave Digger VR ride a couple of years back but also have a variety of other impressive products. They don’t do anything small, being focused on medium to large scale attractions. Here’s one from several years ago that they still make and sell

Hero Zone VR

Booth #457 – This is an affordable free roam VR arena solution with a number of games. They might have a new game at IAAPA although if they sent out an email stating their plans, I can’t find it.

Hologate

Booth #4273 – Perhaps the best known VR company of them all, they recently saw the 20 millionth play on their systems and will celebrating that at IAAPA. They will also be showing off their new non-VR product, Hyper Golf. They were supposed to show this in the past, but it was delayed until now. Note that there are several different designs for this, although I’m not sure if all of them will be at the show.

Hyper Golf

HTC Vive

Booth #254 – First time that HTC will have a booth at IAAPA, although they are not there to show off any kind of new VR arcade product. It’s more about promoting their headsets for further use in such products that others might create.

Immersive Gamebox

Booth #5638 – I did come across this company a couple of years ago, but they’ve changed their name from Electric to Immersive. While based in the UK, they do have some installations in the US, including one that is near me.

Immotion

Booth #1086 – This company is focused on creating education VR experiences for venues like museums, zoos and other amusement-adjacent locations. Visit their website here.

INOWIZE

Booth #3473 – Inowize will have their Arkadia VR 2-station VR setup that was first seen at Amusement Expo and the latest software for their QBIX game room platform. I hope to give this one a spin this time since I missed the chance at the past two shows.

Kat VR

Booth #1680 – This company will be offering their take on an omni-directional treadmill with VR.

Rilix

Booth #447 – This Brazilian company has been quite successful at getting their VR system out onto location in the US, perhaps they’ll introduce a new game at this show, although I haven’t heard of what that might be yet.

SPREE Interactive

Booth#4028 – This company has generally been seen with their free-roam VR arena with a focus on adventure style experiences as opposed to shoot ’em up ones. They have been expanding into VR bumper cars and playgrounds though, perhaps one of those two will be there.

Talon Simulations

Booth #2772 – This is the company behind the Dave & Busters VR installations (such as the Top Gun Maverick VR experience they did last year), but they have other products and services to work with other FECs out there.

Valo Motion

Booth #4678, 4879. The ‘Motion’ part of their name is their focus, as all of their products involve moving around/exercise in some way. Their flagship product is the Valo Arena, which is a Mixed Reality setup that uses motion tracking and projection mapping together. I believe they have a new game for this but with two booth spots, they’ll certainly have more.

Virtuix

Booth #840 – The creators of the omni-directional treadmill and the Omni Arena will be there, although I am unsure if they will be revealing any new products at the show.

VRcave

Booth #252 – This company specializes in building VR escape rooms, using a variety of headsets and experiences to offer an array of options.

VRsenal

Booth #258. I was told that VRsenal is currently selling a solution to replace the headsets on Virtual Rabbids with something more robust, but they haven’t been widely promoting it.

In Replay Magazine, Bob Cooney did mention that they have their own QBIX-like platform in the works although it apparently operates with holograms. It isn’t clear if it will be there; Same with a controller-free version of Synth Riders that might be there.


There are many more exhibitors there than this, but not all of them are focused on the products that we obsess over here.

Stay tuned to the blog here as well as the Arcade Heroes YouTube channel and social media channels for updates on the many games that will debut, and please let me know if there is anything you’d like me to put an extra focus on.

Safe travels to everyone headed to the show – Thanks for reading!

Leave A Response »