The show floor was still lit up with hundreds and hundreds of games and rides as IAAPA attendees wandered about on the Expo’s final day. With record breaking numbers, solid sales reported and a variety of new, engaging concepts and machines, you’d be hard pressed to find a person who didn’t call this year a success.
Creative Work’s Hologate VR experience had a constant line during the show. Attendants estimated around 1,200 people tried the experience, averaging 32 players per hour for the 5-minute experience.
As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 16, registered attendees numbered at 38,500, with registered buyers coming in at 24,900 (compared to 2016’s 34,800 attendees and 22,000 buyers.) That’s a big jump in attendance, and throughout the week the larger crowd was felt by all, with an increasingly apparent energy and momentum carrying through to exhibitors, buyers and window-shopping attendees alike.
RePlay spoke with a small army of exhibitors, street operators, FEC owners and other attendees throughout the show, getting the rundown on what’s hot and what’s not. For the street, multiple operators reported excitement over Valley-Dynamo’s All-Star Baseball and Zombie League pitch-and-bat games, as well as Team Play’s Family Guy Bowling (the first in that genre since I.T.’s Silver Strike Bowling.) Other potential street pieces included Raw Thrills’ arcade throwback Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the same firm’s Injustice fighting game and plenty to choose from in photo booths (more on that below.)
FEC Attractions Abound at IAAPA
For the FEC, big attractions and ticket redemption were everywhere. Coastal’s Ice Man made waves with a Brass Ring award win, LAI brought an innovative, attendant-free VR game called Virtual Rabids: The Big Ride, ICE and Sega showed off their carnival collaboration Hoopla while UNIS continued refining its VR attractions as well.
For FECs looking at adding attractions, all eyes were on laser tag and free-roam VR. The multitude of laser tag companies brought all sorts of fun new additions that are proving to reinvigorate that traditional attraction. The biggest names in free-roam VR – Zero Latency and VRstudios – both had an expansive presence at the show.
VRstudios had a demo on the show floor that gave players a large area to experience that firm’s brand new Terminal 17 game, which pits players against an alien bug infestation on a distant planet. The demo, which was a condensed version of the firm’s two, 15-minute sequential stories, displayed beautiful graphics, innovative uses of the tech and riveting, team-based gameplay.
Zero Latency once again invited attendees to its Main Event installation at Pointe Orlando, offering a free shuttle and the chance to experience the firm’s brand-new game, Outbreak Origins, a multilevel, adrenaline-infused zombie story that pits six players against the horde. Outbreak Origins, which runs about 30 minutes, adds to ZL’s growing library of games, two of which (Engineeriumand Singularity) won IAAPA Brass Ring awards this year.
The action didn’t end when the show closed! At the Fernandez dinner party during IAAPA, Linda Fernandez (50th State Coin-Op and the Fun Factory) shines brightly with guests Coastal Amusements’ Lenny Dean and Sal Mirando, Player One’s Jon Brady and 50th State’s Warren Asing (right).
Triotech and Bandai Namco brought similar, small footprint, modular VR rooms. Bandai Namco’s WePlayVRfeatured two different games, one that took you through a Mayan temple and another that pitted you against an alien enemy. By utilizing innovative game design, WePlayVR takes a 10-foot by 10-foot area and turns it into an expansive, impressive landscape.
Creative Works also entered the VR fray with the well-refined, beautifully rendered Hologate system. Hologate is a one- to four-player system that takes up around 300 sq. ft., features an impressive 90 FPS HMD, modular components and both player vs. environment and player vs. player gameplay.
For those looking for the latest photo booth, the show certainly provided. Between Digital Centre and Apple Industries, there was a lot to choose from. Apple Industries’ Share in Time Square feature, which allows users from around the nation post their own pics on a billboard in Times Square, had the whole show buzzing. Digital Centre’s Grand Palace photo booth/redemption combo also got a lot of attention, combining the firm’s brilliant lighting effects with several games that players use their pictures to play, potentially winning tickets on top of their photo.
Look for RePlay’s hot-off-the-presses, full coverage in the December issue, which is at the printer now!