Writing a lead editorial for a magazine coming out in January that will also be read in December is a challenge. At the beginning of every year with the presentation of our newest Directory of the coin-op amusement business, that’s exactly what we have to do. This time, like last time, that task is highlighted by the scourge of this and every other industry: the coronavirus and its various offspring.
At the time of this writing, over 800,000 Americans have perished as a direct result of this nasty little beast, and with deep regret, we have to say that readers of this piece later in this year will wish that’s as far as it went. Due to the Omicron variant and who knows which additional “children” of this demon appear further along in 2022, that number could climb into seven figures.
The U.S. Federal Government’s medical authorities believe the Omicron variant, while much more contagious than previous forms of the virus, will not be remotely as serious for that portion of the population double-vaxed and boosted. But, it could still be deadly for small coin machine businesses and the stores they serve if and when authorities slap restrictions back on (such as requiring shot cards for entrance into FECs and restaurants). How sad when it was “only yesterday” that it looked certain we all had a handle on this.
Let’s hope we get back to that, and soon!
The brighter side of our world is that the transport logjam that defined the latter part of 2021 has been unclogging and new machines, parts and prizes have become more available than when the new year clock struck midnight. Hopefully, we might continue to return to a more familiar form of life in coin-op where the attraction level of shiny, new machines and brightly stocked prize displays tickle the fancy of the playing public.
This new Directory has been well-researched to provide RePlay subscribers with an accurate, easy-read reference of who-does-what and how to reach them. Presented in the familiar print form, its convenience speaks for itself. I would personally like to thank our staff for doing all the hard work it requires to produce such a thing. Like a solidly built game which might look easy to make, it’s anything but.