When arcade game manufacturers produced cabinets in the '80s, they made them to be placed in all sorts of arcades, malls and other areas of young-skewing entertainment. Fast forward to 2015, and while arcades aren't as prevalent — or as popular — as they once were, they're still hanging around. And within these locations, new business models are developing. Many traditional arcades are changing their ways, moving away from the coin-based business model that has long been part of the arcade ecosystem. Meanwhile, combination arcade bars are springing up across the country, bringing their own methods of monetizing games with them, along with other changes to pull the machines in line with more adult — and modern — usage.
Part 4 of an interview with noted video game developer M2, upon the completion of Outrun 3D, the latest on a series of 'SEGA 3D Classics', in which games from the golden era of arcades are meticulously ported to the Nintendo 3DS (!!) handheld system using a variety of interesting, fairly obsessive techniques. [more inside]
Revisit the glory days of coin-op goodness with the Flickr pool Growing Up In Arcades: 1979-1989. (A nice companion to Horace Rumpole's previous post from last year.)
Thirty-five years ago today, Taito unveiled Space Invaders, one of the most groundbreaking video games of all time. [more inside]
But the golden age was destined to be a very short one. Walter Day told writer Tristan Donovan, author of the book Replay: The History of Video Games, that the industry was "off the rails by" 1981, opening more arcades and ordering more machines than its players could ever support. By early 1982, cracks were already starting to show in the newly flourishing industry: that $400 a day machine, Time Magazine reported, was often "sucker bait, dangled to obscure the dreary truths that markets are becoming saturated and that dud games... bring in no money at all."
What is perhaps the best license ever applied to a pinball machine? Probably Star Trek: The Next Generation, which is surprisingly like playing an episode. Williams also released a special ROM of funny quotes from cast members that people can install into their machines. [more inside]
Let's Go to the Morgue! features images dug up from the San Francisco Chronicle's basement photo archives. Peter Hartlaub got distracted from his parenting blog to find and caption vintage photos of Golden Gate BART and Other Failed Rapid Transit Dreams, Sexy time! Five decades of Bay Area bathing suits, Tourist season in San Francisco, Six decades of roller derby in the Bay Area, When arcades ruled the Bay Area and A journey back to your high school prom. [more inside]
"He was twitching and his eyes were not quite shut ... I thought he was dead." With the rise in home-computers during the mid-nineties came the fall of game arcades and their unhealthy drifter culture. The family-oriented nVidia and ATI companies provided home-entertainment and the final nail in the coffin for the infamous arcade. That was until late 1998, and DDR. Dance Dance Revolution swept the nation and kids exchanged "moves" like bubblegum. It was a juggernaut. It was out of control. DDR claimed victim after victim, with no signs of stopping...
The Internet Pinball Database has shots of backglasses, playing tables, and promotional flyers for just about every pinball machine ever created. I loved pinball. Now, it seems impossible to find a machine to play on. Back when I worked at a local pizza shop, we had a rotation of some great machines. I really enjoyed the Addams Family, Star Wars, Lethal Weapon 3 (which i remember as being really easy), and especially the Twilight Zone game, with the special white power ball. A walk down memory lane that served me well. Find a place near you to play some pinball here. Or, you could just go pro.