Once upon a time, arcades were awesome everywhere. They were in every city, even small or crappy ones. They were full of awesome and fun games, playable for a paltry 25 cents.
Fun Terminal in San Francisco in the 1980′s. A great example of awesome incarnate.
Even convenience stores had arcade games! However, in the late 80′s and early 90′s, arcades just weren’t making as much money. A lot of people blamed home consoles. The industry “adapted” and most classic mom-and-pop arcades closed to make room for terrible corporate “family entertainment centers” or FECs.
An “arcade” in the mid-90′s.
Fast-forward to current times. The entertainment industry realized that the best way to make as much money as possible was to fill a room with a bunch of crappy non-games (redemption) that eat your money within a few seconds. Furthermore, coins aren’t the way to go. They realized that people are too lazy to calculate value when they’re using an arbitrary magnetic card system. Combine it with food and drinks (the most profitable feature of FECs) and you’ve got a new corporate genre: “eatertainment”. Yes, that is how they actually describe the publicly traded stock.
2007 “Eatertainment” venue: Get drunk and watch some blinky lights while your wallet empties.
During this timeline, the people who actually enjoyed real arcade video games were displaced. The option to spend 30 minutes or a few hours playing arcade games diminished, and the only option remaining was to dedicate yourself to console gaming which can’t be fully enjoyed without a much larger investment of time.
Fortunately, enough people care about the real, classic video arcade to do things right. This is why we’re going to be giving Austin something truly unique.