Like other arcades, the quarters aren’t dropping at Regeneration Arcade, Free Play Arcade or Cidercade – three Dallas area businesses forced to close due to the coronavirus. However, they’ve come up with some creative ways to work while customers wait for them to reopen.
Regeneration Arcade is bringing games to people’s homes – offering weekly rentals of their 23 video games and pinball machines, according to the Dallas Observer.
“We’re definitely not making as much as when we’re open,” said Travis Hintzel, owner of Regeneration. “Nobody is, but we’re doing enough where we can weather the storm. There’s been a lot of community support, and a lot of people have stepped forward and helped out in big ways.”
Free Play had just opened two new locations in Denton and downtown Fort Worth before the shutdown. They started doing food and beverage deliveries on the weekends before the owner had to let most of the staff go. But in an effort to keep the arcade alive, their community liaison Chris Delp started a 24-hour Twitch stream on the arcade’s official channel featuring live tournaments, interviews and more.
“I looked at the arcade that was closed down at that point, and I pointed to a few community members and said I can have a few folks in my house and I have a VR system set up and two quality computers in my room,” Delp said. “If you can set up all the equipment, we can continue to fight the fight and keep people company, or it all dies right here.” People have been helping the arcade to survive by supporting them through PayPal and Patreon.
Cidercade, meanwhile, had to lay off its bartenders and arcade staff (though has plans to bring them all back). Owner Joel Malone said they’re still able to sell alcohol within 15 miles of the location. “We’re using this opportunity to do a completely new layout in the arcade and do some maintenance on our games,” Malone added. “Unfortunately, the machines are just sitting idle right now.”