What ever happened to arcade games?

General and high profile video game topics.
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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby Tron » May 9th, 2015, 1:28 am

I visited a bowling alley on my lunch break. Looked around & they actually had some arcade games. They were all new, either guns or sit-down car racing. No classic arcade games like Pac-man. I saw a House of the Dead-like game. It costs a dollar to play? Ugh! So much for 50 cent games. I go to my car to get some quarters. I come back & see that the dang thing doesn't even take quarters. It has some sort of credit card thing on it. So I go to the front counter to see how I buy a card. No one is around. I wait & look around the corners & still nobody. I walked out & haven't been back since.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby SpiceWare » May 11th, 2015, 3:02 pm

They failed to stay ahead. It used to be that arcade games were significantly better than what you could play at home - higher resolutions, more colors, better sound, etc.

That hasn't been true for a long time - sometime in the mid to late 90s I realized that new arcade games were looking significantly dated. I was seeing new games using 320x200. As an example of how far ahead they could have been, the Sony GDM-400PS is from 1997 - in 2000 I was driving mine at 2048x1536.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby jon » May 11th, 2015, 8:13 pm

Yea the consoles had caught up by the late 90s. I remember in 1994 playing Virtua Striker in the arcades, being blown away. It was so amazing the smooth 3d graphics. Those were great times.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby scotland » May 12th, 2015, 7:16 pm

Arcades may be alive and well, but living under an assumed name..."Video Slot Machines"

Now here me out before you go all quoting me about "I don't think video slot machines are arcade games". The site http://www.arcade-history.com lets you build histograms of various types of coin-op entertainment going back to the Gilded Age to today. You can look at by individual video game consoles, or all video game consoles, or pachinko machines, or strength testors, or pinball. This is looking at number of models built I believe, not units made or shipped, but one would think they are closely linked.

Its really interesting as I think pinball peaked in the 1970s..nope, that was a second spike, but the biggest was pre-WWII...that was before flippers and tilt! That's interesting. You can look at how redemption games had a boom in the 1990s and 2000s, but seem to be really sagging in the last few years.

If you look at arcade video game you see the Golden Age from 1981 to 1984 with over 300 new models a year, but it does not drop off a cliff. Instead its still pretty solid, with another upswing in 1988, another in 1994, but then it goes down steadily until 2006, and by last year it was down to just 21 new models.

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Now look at slot machines. In 1999, there were 150 models. By 2004, 650! Boom goes the Dynamite. That's better than ever video games were in the 1980 arcades. It goes down but booms again every few years. At this time, slot machines are the most profitable business for casinos. They have advanced considerably in technology. They are still considered coin-ops, but they use swipe cards and bill changers, and you play in 'credits'. "Multiline" machines with 5 video reels (lines being diagonal or other pattern) allow gamblers to win on some lines while losing on others. This sort of system gives the gambler some electronic rewards of winning, even though they lost more money than they bet. Its a bit like the rewards of playing Pac Man, eating some dots and ghosts, but still losing pretty quicly. Slot machine tech now has video slot machines...no mechanical parts, which is essentially a very simple (to play) video game.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby eneuman96 » May 12th, 2015, 8:28 pm

Dave and Buster's is still reasonably popular. They have an ok selection of arcade games (House of the Dead 4 is very common in particular), but there aren't a whole lot of retro games aside from the Ms. Pac-Man/Galaga and Donkey Kong/DK Jr/Mario Bros cabinets. One I went to actually has a knockoff of Flappy Bird that you play to win tickets, if you can believe that.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby Rev » May 12th, 2015, 9:20 pm

I don't know if it's located outside Kansas, but Power Play is really popular down here. They have the same kind of idea as Dave and Busters (drink and play games) but they have a huge selection of retro arcade machines there. I used to love going there and playing In the Groove 2.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby ActRaiser » August 11th, 2016, 10:05 pm

I can't believe I've never been to a Dave and Busters before today. I took my daughter to her first arcade. I used a baby bjourn carrier. It worked like a charm. She's only 6 months but I'm stilling counting it as she played her first game of Mario Kart in a sit down arcade machine. It was awesome!

They had a ton of light gun games. I think she kind of liked the sit down ones as the screen filled her vision. The Ghostbusters light gun game was unique in that you tried to trap ghosts with a gun but it shot ping pong balls at the screen. It was a novel game that's for sure. We also tried out a Pirate themed gun game. They had a ton of different gun games.

One of the first games we tried was a multiplayer competitive game of Pac-Man. Playing against the CPU was boring but as you could make a go of it with 3 others it would be a great party game.

One of my favorites was a Star Wars game that was enclosed in a pod like chamber. It offered multiple takes of an on rails flight game. I picked the "blow up the Death Star" level. The pod had a fan that kept us both cool while the enclosed space made everything sound super loud. I don't think my daughter enjoyed it as much as I did.

They had a ton of other stuff that could be argued as not a game per se but ways to get tickets to trade in for merchandise.

I'm home with her for the month of August and will make a point to visit again. I had a blast. And she humored me and was a champ.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby Retrology » August 13th, 2016, 2:44 pm

I think it's ironic that the mainstream prefers simpler music but more complex video games (not that it's bad, just a funny observation). You'd think arcade style games would be more popular, but that's not the case these days.

The arcade style ones are mostly on smartphones these days, which sucks. I think if there were as many games with that arcade style appeal that Excitebots has, you'd see a thriving market for it. And as Jon said earlier, a simple 3D/2D arcade style market would really appeal to pretty much all of us. Those are the games I love the most.

The problem is that with some of the arcade style games on consoles, there's always the middle man ripping people off with DLC, patches or micro transactions. That's scared some people away in my opinion, and I definitely think it would help if the current industry of businessmen in gaming weren't so crooked.

But hey, that's my two cents.

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby crimefighter » August 14th, 2016, 1:51 am

Gambling machines ARE NOT ARCADE GAMES, and not video games either! I am offended by anyone who calls a gambling machine an arcade game! They aren't! Video games involve joysticks!

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Re: What ever happened to arcade games?

Postby Voor » August 14th, 2016, 2:37 pm

The last arcade game I played was probably a decade ago--one of those neo get cabinets that had baseball stars, samari showdown, and it's amazing game called WindJammers.

Went to Chuck E Cheese last year, and most of he games were replaced by a kiddie version of slots or other "chance" games. I was pretty turned off by it.

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