Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

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Gleebergloben123
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Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby Gleebergloben123 » April 5th, 2016, 4:17 pm

Hey all,

Sut and Scotland brought this topic up in another thread, and I found it interesting: top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever (adjusted for inflation).

http://www.usgamer.net/articles/top-10- ... f-all-time

10. Donkey Kong
9. Mortal Combat
8. Mortal Combat II
7. Asteroids
6. Defender
5. NBA Jam
4. Ms. Pac-Man
3. Street-Fighters II/Champion Edition
2. Space Invaders
1. Pac-Man

Some thoughts: I'm surprised that NBA Jam was 5th as I only knew it from the consoles.

I was under the impression that Ms. Pac-Man was 1st, but I guess this is not the case.

Like Cy Young's 511 career pitching wins, most likely the above list will never be broken. I just can't see a new game making the top 10 as arcades are a thing of the past, which is a shame. Arcades back in the 80's and 90's were teeming with energy and excitement. Now pretty much all you have is Chucky E. Cheese-type games where if you win 10,000 tickets you get one Tic-Tac.

Sut
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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby Sut » April 5th, 2016, 6:01 pm

Fascinating I wouldn't have put Mortal Kombat or NBA Jam ahead of games like Out Run, Daytona, Double Dragon or Final Fight.

Is this worldwide Gleebergloben or US ?

Breaker
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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby Breaker » April 9th, 2016, 3:05 am

Looks like the article quotes worldwide cabinets and revenue.

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scotland
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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby scotland » April 9th, 2016, 6:08 am

Reconsider this list remembering that
    1) arcade games were just 1 quarter in the golden age, but 50 cents later.
    2) Some games are 1 player only, some multiplayer.

Taking that into account, the 90s games, all with multiplayer options and more expensive to play in the first place, all fall significantly on the list.

This makes Space Invaders and Pac Man even more impressive, as that money came from 10.8 and 14 billion games, while NBA Jam, with up to 4 simultaneous players, and could have generated that money somewhere between 550 million and 2.2 billion games. Still impressive, but nowhere near the scale of Space Invaders or Pac Man.

No wonder Pac Man is the same color as gold. Pac Man fever is Gold fever. After Pac Man, I'm sure companies were looking for the next thing to top the hungry round guy's success, but never did then, and still haven't.

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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby jon » April 9th, 2016, 9:21 pm

The 90's games are further down the list because arcades weren't the phenomenon they were in the early 80's. I'd reckon that there's more games from the 80's on the list, which in my opinion points to just how great NBA Jam, Daytona USA, Street Fighter 2, Mortal Kombat 1-2 were. I think there just happened to be several really great games, where as in the early 80's it was the arcade experience, which was completely new, not necessarily any particular games in general. To me, that suggests that the aforementioned 90's games were better. One game I always feel gets lost in the mix is Arch Rivals. It was Midway's predecessor to NBA Jam and was one of the funnest games I've ever played. Unfortunately, it was released around that era '89-'94, when a lot of arcade games got terrible ports. The graphics had to be so dumbed down that it got ruined.

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scotland
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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby scotland » April 9th, 2016, 10:51 pm

jon wrote:...Arcades weren't the phenomenon [in the 1990s that] they were in the early 80's. I think there just happened to be several really great games [in the 1990s], where as in the early 80's it was the arcade experience, which was completely new, not necessarily any particular games in general. To me, that suggests that the aforementioned 90's games were better.


That is a good point, Jon. Those 1990s games had to compete against very entertaining 16 and 32 bit home consoles compared to the early 1980s when the home competition was a far cry from arcade level technology. Also, the 1990s were not the social gathering places that they had been, and there were probably far fewer arcades too. In the 1980s, it was a lot easier to find an arcade machine to drop some coins in, where by the 1990s, you may have had to make a real effort. Those do indeed point to making it harder for 1990s era machines to compete in gross income. Good points.

However, here are reasons why the 1980 arcade machines' gross numbers are impressive as well.

    First, 1980s arcades were video game as spectator sport as much as playing. We spent a lot of time in the arcades hanging out and socializing, or watching others play, taking turns, insulting each other other, offering tips, etc. You learned how to make your quarters last.

    Second, the competition to get quarters was so fierce that even lower tier games like Bosconian or Road Blasters or Spy Hunter or Wizard of Wor are still amazing games. Some games, like Pac Man were so popular you could not just walk up and play it, so you might play other games when you really wanted Pac Man. That is what made the Atari home version of Pac Man so wildly anticipated.

    Finally, the golden age not only had good software, but the hardware was all new and diverse. Space Invaders was simple raster graphics with colored overlays, while Tail Gunner had mind blowing vector graphics doing what raster simply could not at the time, Gauntlet had a four player cocktail table with unknown numbers of sprite support and a nagging voice, and then the mind blowing animation and laser disc with Dragon's Lair. There were trak balls, and rows of buttons and tiny analog joysticks to small digital joysticks and huge glowing Tron joysticks and cockpits with yokes and driving wheels, shifters and pedals and sit on motorcycles and mounted uzi machine guns. Gameplay could be as simple, like Frogger, or complex as Defender. It again pulled you in all different directions to try it all out. All that diversity led you to spreading your quarters around the arcade.

So, yes, the 1990s games had to be good enough to pull in gamers, but the 1980s games had to compete viciously.

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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby jon » April 10th, 2016, 12:03 am

Not to take anything away from the early 80's arcades, as I certainly would've been going if I was of that generation. And I've thoroughly enjoyed several games from that era. I love arcade games, and which is probably why I love the Neo Geo so much. Unfortunately, arcades are ancient history and there's overwhelming evidence they'll never experience a comeback. In that regard, I sort of view things in 2 eras. I know there's been debate on what's classic gaming. And very few share my views. My opinion is that there's a clear divide and I claim it's the 5th generation that was the last in so called classic gaming. Because, things were really never the same after the arcades lost their popularity, which is sad if you think about it. But it was the last time before the internet changed everything. Games were so less complicated. You got your information from magazines. And of course, the arcade resurgence of the early 90's. And to really identify the time it happened, I'd say in the middle of the 5th generation things just were never the same. I really enjoyed the PS1 it's first year, but after that they lost me with overly complex garbage. And looking back at it with proper hindsight, even the PS1's first year was something that in retrospect maybe wasn't an essential time for video games. Coincidentally, that's when arcades started their massive decline.

DevMac10
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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby DevMac10 » April 10th, 2016, 4:24 am

jon wrote:... there's overwhelming evidence they'll never experience a comeback. .


I remember thinking like that and being kinda sad. Then I went to Dave & Busters and saw a line of ten people waiting to play Time Crisis 2. Arcades haven't really died out, they've just lost popularity.

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scotland
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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby scotland » April 10th, 2016, 8:54 am

DevMac10 wrote:
jon wrote:... there's overwhelming evidence they'll never experience a comeback. .


I remember thinking like that and being kinda sad. Then I went to Dave & Busters and saw a line of ten people waiting to play Time Crisis 2. Arcades haven't really died out, they've just lost popularity.


This is just idle thinking for those who like the arcades, but all is not lost.

There are places where arcades are still popular. Maybe its such a fantastic video game or pinball arcade that its a destination in itself, like the Galloping Ghost in Chicago or Funspot in New Hampshire (or the pinball hall of fame in Las Vegas if you love pinball). There are also short term video game conventions, like MagFest in the MidAtlantic that have huge arcades. There are about 75 Dave and Busters locations in the US, mixing bar and arcade for adult socializing. Add to that the many combo redemption game/arcade where people are on vacation like Pigeon Forge or DisneyWorld resorts or beach vacation areas. Many of those run year round, not just in their local tourist seasons.

While big theme parks may have an arcade in their resort, I think smaller theme parks like Legoland or SeaWorld could benefit from having a Nintendo area or SonicTown, and have a big arcade inside the park itself. Did you know there there were versions of "SegaWorlds" in Australia, the UK, China and Japan (which even had a SonicTown). The Nintendo franchises would seem natural fits for a small theme park. There are many small theme parks in the US, like Sesame Place in the Philadelphia area.

In fact, SeaWorld is in a transition phase now, phasing out their orca shows, so they need a draw. Maybe Ecco the Dolphin would be an awesome fit for SeaWorld?

I think there are still places for arcades even with the internet and smart phones. If movie theaters can survive by being social events, then so could arcades. Its where people are unplugged from the web, out of their house, gathered with friends and family for vacation or a night out.

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Re: Top 10 highest grossing arcade games ever

Postby VideoGameCritic » April 10th, 2016, 10:51 am

My friend Brent just sent me this link for a new arcade/bar opening in Indianapolis called Tappers.
https://shar.es/1jr8SN

This is the bar of my dreams!


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