IAAPA 2023 – The Overview

arcadehero November 17, 2023 0
IAAPA 2023 – The Overview

The IAAPA 2023 trade show is sunsetting today but there is a ton of news to digest. Hang in there exhibitors – I know how tough it is doing all that standing/walking/talking for so many days (plus setup/breakdown).

This year instead of overwhelming you, the reader, with a smorgasbord of random stuff, I’m going to keep things focused on each company – in separate posts. Hopefully this way, you miss fewer things that were revealed.

If you do want an all-in-one place to look at though, the preview I did is mostly spot on.

The best way to stay up-to-date is to subscribe to the Arcade Heroes YouTube channel along with our Discord server.

IAAPA 2023 – General Thoughts

I haven’t heard about the attendance numbers yet but it seems just as busy, possibly busier, than the last record time, 2019. Even yesterday was robust on attendance, just from my anecdotal feeling. Unfortunately, I didn’t see a single ray of sunshine, I asked a local about it and he said it was El Nino blowing in. Oh well, at least it was still much warmer than home.

As trade shows go, IAAPA is always a bit overwhelming and this year was no exception. By filling the entire Orange County Convention Center (one of the largest such venues in the US), it is no surprise. My apologies if we ran into each other and I seemed a little zoned out though. I’m always thinking of what it is I need to film next. I think I met more people in person for the first time this year (that I’ve met online previously) than ever though.

Photo of a green carpet and sticker that says "Games & Arcade Pavilion"

Unfortunately for me, I did miss out on some of the exploring that I like to do this year. That’s my own fault for some poor time management (I love to chat, haha), although I did explore 95% of the Games & Arcade area. That said, there are always some arcade games scattered throughout the show floor and its too bad that they aren’t able to put everyone in the same space. Those vendors tend to miss out on a lot of business/clients. I didn’t set foot in some parts of the upper northeast side of the show space however, so I feel bad about missing anyone there.

It is possible I missed out on some surprises, i.e., things we hadn’t heard about pre-show, due to that. But JET Games had a surprise in Mega Shot, which garnered a lot of attention. So did Bay Tek’s new Goatz -N- Rope and Tundra Toss, in good part due to their enormous sizes. I’m not a fan of these 20′ tall games or whatever it is that they are, as they also come with enormous price tags that small ops and many international ops just can’t afford, but they are cool pieces to see and to play in the venues that can handle them.

MegaShot by JET GamesI don’t have a list in front of me of all the IAAPA Brass Ring winners but a couple I know about which won or were in the running: JJ Bot -The Avatar by Smart Industries was one game getting a ton of attention, here’s the Smart team posing for myself and Replay Magazine:

JJ Bot and the Smart Industries team posing for a photo Also, while it was their first time exhibiting at the show, Gesture Art & Design won second place in the New Products category. Food Flight will continue to receive some polish, along with some testing, and it should be at Amusement Expo in the middle of March 2024. I also got to play this in 2-player, where it provides a more entertaining and competitive experience.

David & Ben of Gesture Art & Design, their award-winning arcade game Food FlightJust down the aisle from GAAD was Inowize, where they were exhibiting both their QBIX and Arkadia VR 2-player systems. QBIX was a Brass Ring category finalist but I didn’t find out where they placed. That said, right before I left the show on Thursday, they did hold a press conference to reveal a new game for the QBIX platform and Bob Cooney spoke about it – before handing the mic over to myself to talk about it. I hadn’t prepped anything so hopefully I didn’t sound too goofy in my stream of consciousness about it – but I did get to play it this time and had fun. I’ll post a video soon; Here’s the Inowize crew and Bob (he’s center with the white hair & glasses):

The Inowize team

Also in something that I suppose tells me how old I am, my feet/legs/lower back hurt more than ever this time. Maybe I need better shoes, but I did get almost 20k steps in on Tuesday, about 13k on Wed, and 10 on Thurs (I was at the show only until 2:30pm yesterday thought). That or I need to do what Christine and Brandon from the LBX Collective did and get a scooter…

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IAAPA 2023 – Products

There are a lot of new products in development and are either available now or coming very soon. On the latter, you can place an order with your distributor already, just keep in mind you might have to wait some time. If you’re a player and not an operator, that just means, a lot of the games I’m talking about will possibly be popping up at your favorite venue here soon.

The longest lead time I heard about was with Mario Kart Arcade GP DX. No, that’s not a new game and wasn’t even there, but the demand for it is still so high that they have orders for the game well into the end of next year. That’s a good problem to have, in a way.

Some games that are available now however – I’ve confirmed this by contacting several reps at the different companies but in the event there’s a mistake below, please correct me if I’m wrong. If anything is missing from this list, I couldn’t get an answer but I will update it as I find out, so check back soon:

  • Ballzania (Sega Amusements)
  • Big Buck Hunter Reloaded (Raw Thrills, the new update is available Dec. 1st)
  • Big Shot (JET Games)
  • Everything at the Adrenaline booth, including Drakons: Realm Keepers
  • Everything at the ICE booth (there wasn’t anything new-new)
  • Everything at the Jersey Jack booth, including Elton John
  • Everything at the Stern Pinball booth
  • Everything at the Valley-Dynamo booth
  • Fast & Furious Arcade SD (Raw Thrills)
  • Hyper Cross (Sega Amusements)
  • King Kong of Skull Island II (Raw Thrills, ships 1st week of Dec.)
  • MMA Boxer (IGPM/Kalkomat)
  • Skill Fall Revolution (Sega Amusements)

Any games that were seen at the last IAAPA would also fall into this category, naturally. So all of ICE’s booth, much of Bandai Namco’s booth, most VR companies, etc.

Games shipping soon (DATES MIGHT CHANGE)

  • Apex Rebels (Sega, JANUARY/FEBRUARY)
  • Arcana Heart 3 Xtend (exA-Arcadia, DECEMBER)
  • Everything introduced from LAI Games (Air Strike, Asphalt Moto Blitz, Cosmic Spire, Dragon’s Bane – JANUARY)
  • Food Flight (Gesture Art & Design, Q2 2024)
  • JJ Bot – The Avatar (January as I recall hearing)
  • Omen of Sorrow: Arising Chaos (exA-Arcadia, Q1 2024)
  • Phantom Break Omnia (exA-Arcadia, Q1 2024)
  • Playbox Single (PLAYMIND, Q1 2024)
  • Pulp Fiction pinball (Chicago Gaming; DECEMBER)
  • Touhou Scarlet Diabolique Fantastica (exA-Arcadia, Q1 2024)

Come back later for updates to the above as I get them.

IAAPA 2023 – Additional Thoughts

Some wonder about particular booths – in the case of Bandai Namco Amusement, this is where I got things wrong in the preview. The video games we’ve seen on test are still super early in their development cycles and were not there. They did have several redemption and air hockey pieces though, including a nice looking Tom & Jerry themed table. They also had a popular coin pusher that will not be called Tata Island when it launches. ICE’s booth had less than they did last year with no new games, and there were many more Chinese factories around. Ace Amusement has a lot of equipment at the show but it is noticeable that their quality (both hard and soft) is improving. You’ll see that with titles like Surf League.

Like I said though, I don’t want to turn this post into a “here’s an info dump about everything” as so much gets lost in that noise. Stay tuned to the channel for others, but until then, here’s the raffle giveaway that  the VR 360 Action did:

Come back for more!


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