Endgame – June 2024


Impressions of Amusement Expo 2024

Adam Pratt

by Adam Pratt, Arcade Galactic & ArcadeHeroes.com

When you live in a state like Utah where you can have snow well into May, it seems like the winter doldrums will never end. Thankfully, the sun is out and those with cabin fever have emerged, ready to play! That said, I expect my business to be still a little tough this year, but I’m optimistic that we’ll have a good summer.

Since January, I’ve counted 27 new game releases, including videos, pinballs and video redemption titles. That’s hard to believe, especially when, for many recent years, we’d only see about that many released over a full 12 months. (By the way, manufac­tur­ers, please review my list on ArcadeHeroes.com and let me know if I missed anything.)

Out of those new titles, there’s a nice variety to choose from:

• Racers – Apex Revels (Sega), Asphalt Moto Blitz DX (LAI Games), Bigfoot Mayhem (UNIS), Smash DX (LAI Games) and Surf League (Coastal)

• Gun Games – Godzilla Kaiju Wars VR (Raw Thrills), Mega Shot (JET Games), Super Blaster (Triotech) and Thunder Attack (Amusement Source International)

• Sports – Bobblehead Baseball VS. (Andamiro USA) and Lane Master Xtreme (UNIS)

• Joystick Games – Air Strike (LAI Games), Marvel: Contest of Champions (Raw Thrills), Omen of Sorrow: Arising Chaos (exA-Arcadia), Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash for Charity (Bandai Namco) and Touhou Scarlet Diaolique Fantastica (exA-Arcadia)

• Pinball – ABBA (Pinball Brothers), Barry O’s Barbeque Challenge (American Pinball), JAWS (Stern Pinball) and John Wick (Stern Pinball), among others.

Many of you may already have some of these games on location, and hopefully, they’re performing well. I haven’t grabbed any of these yet, but I’ve got my eye on a few for when my head is nicely above water financially.

The number of releases should continue to grow this summer, although from what I know right now, most of those will be joystick titles on the exA-Arcadia. There might also be a few redemption games, though admittedly, I don’t track those like I do the others. It’s too early to know what’s coming to IAAPA, but aside from the exA titles, some other independent games in the works could be popping up over these warmer months.

First is Alan-1 Inc., a company based in Utah, which has been testing Avian Knights and Asteroids Recharged at a couple of locations, mine included. I started with a 3-pl. Asteroids, later changed to a 2-pl. version, which was joined by a 2-pl. Avian Knights. It’s always fascinating to see how the games progress over the testing period. (Avian is scheduled to ship before Asteroids.)

Speaking of Atari games, Retro Arcade Remakes is working on a few. You might know them from the Ice Cold Beer remake. At previous shows, they also brought a black cocktail cabinet running Atari’s Warlords. That title and a new version of Atari’s 1983 Food Fight are set to launch this year. Food Fight Frenzy supports up to four players and will ship in the same cabinet as Warlords, changing the gameplay to be more competitive while looking like the original. Warlords will not have any changes to it, maintaining the same look and gameplay as the original to appeal to collectors and retro arcades.

Then there is DSM Arcade. Having previously released Switch’N Shoot and Nidhogg II, they’ve developed their own original title for arcade bar locations called Perfect Pour. A joystick game for up to four, players are challenged to work the taps at a digital bar, trying to obtain a perfect pour of the drink that doesn’t go above the rim or is too far below.

Joined by the retro-style games available for the exA-Arcadia platform, there are a few sub-$10,000 options for the market. Given how business has been for me over the past few years, that’s welcome!

The stresses of 2020 put a lot of indie developments to bed, so it’s nice to see these affordable and creative games making a return. Of course, the verdict is out on their earning potential, which can also vary depending upon the location. Most indie games I’ve operated haven’t worked out as well as I had hoped, but I’ve heard some good numbers on the same games in other venues.

Here’s to a great summer for us all, whether you’ve grabbed any of these new games or not!

Adam Pratt is the owner and operator of Arcade Galactic near Salt Lake City, Utah, and also publishes the Arcade Heroes blog site. He can be reached at [email protected].





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