Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Coin-operated games and arcades.
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John James Pacinelli
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by John James Pacinelli »

ElectricFrenzy wrote:p.s. I actually did quit my job and open an arcade and it's been very good to me. Even with such a bad economy like we're seeing now.
YEAH! This is the reply I was waiting for when I started this thread!

So the secret recipe is location+other forms of entertainment :awe:

Read and learn you pessimistic biaitches! :awe:

Thank you for sharing this ElectricFrenzy.
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by thebutcherjb »

Heh the funny thing about this post is I was thinking about this a couple of days ago and having a bunch of candy cabinets as the main arcade part and then have like a U.S. section for like Mortal Kombat and other U.S. based Cabinets.
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by ElectricFrenzy »

My shop is about half and half.... half arcade and half consoles. I have 5 hi-def gaming stations each with their own ps3/350/wii on them and then I have another 5 arcade cabinets (currently.) When I'm able to move into my new location I'll be adding 5 more game stations and another 3-4 candy cabs.

The key to having steady income really comes from the console games. They are much cheaper to provide and upgrade while the arcade cabinets are there for "instant gratification". I get impulse spending on the arcade machines but I pay the bills with consoles.

Just FYI, I'm thinking about ordering a SF4 and Tekken6 kit and I have a feeling it would be the dominant fixture in my location for the next 6 months or more. There's already lines forming for DDR. I can't imagine what it would look like for a good game!
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by cools »

ElectricFrenzy wrote:Just FYI, location is VERY important. I've opened my shop in a small college town with nothing to do. I instantly became the "it thing in town" and started turning a profit only 6 weeks into business.
6 weeks? :shock: That's insanely good going :)

Best of luck with your arcade! Post some pics :)
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by undamned »

I've thought about this, too, but honestly, I think it'd be more realistic to do something like this when you are retired. You will be lucky to make enough money running an arcade just to keep the doors open, let alone make a profit. If you were retired you could just enjoy running the place rather than stressing about keeping food on the table.
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by Celestein »

I did this myself, minus quitting my job.

My scope of project is entirely different in that I have no intention of turning a net profit, though strangely enough, I probably will anyways(which as per charter, will go into maintenance/new machines). In my area of NY we simply have a large club of people who play fighting games competitively. My idea for the "YMCA" of Electronic Gaming was born from the simple fact that other major regions near us (Toronto and NYC) that we frequently play, often get 6mo-2year leads on us in games cause they have functional arcades that get brand new games. And speaking competitively, that's a HUGE advantage, by the time console ports hit, they're already pros, and we're just starting. So we needed machines, and we needed a place to play. And thus the Arcade Culture Preservation Society(ACPS) was born.

I'm opening our first location in the next couple months, and in the future hope to expand to new locations under the same premise, bringing low-cost arcades to areas where they were considered commercially unviable, but a demand still exists.

Tips:

Get ready for it to take awhile, I was under the false impression I could have cash in-hand and buy ****. Sea freight takes FOREVER. To both arrange and then finally ship.

You must, I repeat, MUST, learn to do all the repairs, maintenance, etc yourself. It's not hard, I taught myself most of it in a few months. Unless you just have some friends very generous with their time, you simply cannot afford to hire repairs. It will literally eat 50%+ of your profits. This in my experience talking to former owners, was the major major business mistake they would make.

Either A. Spend too much on repairs they could of done themselves, or B. Simply not do the repairs and lose customers as machines and buttons broke down, this was imho the *real* reason for the decline of arcades in the US, since they were run primarily by vending companies, their philosophy was "sit it, and forget it", so you'd always walk into arcades, or play a machine at a resturant, and it'd be busted...but you wouldnt know until you already spent your quarter. Not surprisingly, the arcades that survived until modern days, took good care of their machines.

You have to make a LOT of tough choices about floor-space. I don't have this issue due to the nature of my business, but I'm sure others do cause I thought about it. But you need to heavily consider floorspace in terms of profits. You may think Espgaluda II(random and arbitrary example), is the best game ever, and is worth playing. But the reality is another Tekken6 machine would probably make more money in that same spot. Unless you just have a HUGE facility, you gotta accept that lots of games that are GREAT, have no room in your Arcade.

Food/drinks, have it for sure. Even if just pre-packaged. The launch location for the ACPS is in the un-used Ballroom of an "old style" country inn I own (bar/resturant, mostly bar). 35% of your profits will statistically come from this.

Presentation counts, image is everything. It's important to look nice, both the business and you personally. I know it's considered Blasphemy, but repaint those beat-up cabs.

Other stuff I forgot well writing the first stuff.
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John James Pacinelli
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by John James Pacinelli »

Wow Celestein :awe: I'm telling you I'm really loving the name... Arcade Culture Preservation Society I can't wait to see some pictures of your new arcade
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by Akuma »

An arcade would be a little bit too risky as a biz for me (especially with the strict gambling rules in Germany). Besides that, I dream of quitting my job every single day :awe:
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by undamned »

@ Celestein please do keep us updated after you have your scene up and running. It sounds like you've done a fair amount of "market research," but I'm really curious to see this thing concept-to-reality.
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by skykid »

Celestein wrote:But you need to heavily consider floorspace in terms of profits. You may think Espgaluda II(random and arbitrary example), is the best game ever, and is worth playing. But the reality is another Tekken6 machine would probably make more money in that same spot. Unless you just have a HUGE facility, you gotta accept that lots of games that are GREAT, have no room in your Arcade.
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Re: Have you ever thought of quitting your job and…

Post by ruderudie »

As mentioned before, in cities like Tokio people live in houses the size of a box. With 4 or more persons. They get out as much they can, they eat outside most of the time and also entertain theirselves outdoors. And even in Japan arcades are decreasing in numbers.
The arcades that are still there have loads of space and money. When i was there and SF4 was released, most (larger) arcades had around 10-20 new Vewlix's with the game on it. These machines make a lot of money over there, but the investment is crazy if you run the business by yourself.

Problem in Western countries has always been the mentality of people that come to arcades too. Guys were fighting, bashing up machines, etc. Most arcades i have visited outside Japan have broken sticks, buttons or screen; unable to play like we are used to play it: perfectly working.

Most guys here would like to open an arcade for the true enthousiasts i think, to avoid the before mentioned public to spend time and not money in your arcade. Problem then is that enthousiasts have cabs at home, like we all do!

So who would you focus on getting to your arcade?
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