Zooom Studios – February 2024

Zooom Studios team at IAAPA 2023

Making their debut at IAAPA 2023 are (from left) Zooom’s John Dondzila, Glen Kramer, Christine Tomassone, Tom Czaplinski, Luis Rivera, Lilian Travail, Lisa Travail, Lucas Travail and Susana Parra.

Zooom’n Into the Arcade Game Industry

From 0 to 100: Zooom Studios Launches onto the Scene;
Glen Kramer’s Team of Industry Vets Grows Company Fast

By Matt Harding

Last year in a mere nine months, Zooom Studios fully developed nine redemption and self-merchandising arcade games – in time for a big debut splash at IAAPA Expo 2023.

“What do you call a company that goes from 0 to 100 in no time?” rhetorically asked this new game company’s president and owner Glen Kramer. “It’s Zooom.”

In mid-2019, Kramer found himself out of the industry and quasi-retired. Then the pandemic rolled around. “In the two to three years I was off, I said to myself, ‘I don’t want another job.’ But Covid had me sitting in my home seven days a week watching the grass grow. I knew I had to find something else to do. I just figured retirement wasn’t for me.”With the Blues Brothers in mind, he decided to “get the band back together” – tapping a group of former employees and industry-savvy people, some of whom are junior partners in the new business.
Zooom Studios key peeps
The creative team includes office manager Christine Kramer; director of design and graphics development Julian Franco; production manager Luis Rivera; financial controller Larry Morganstein; director of electrical engineering John Dondzila; technical director and lead audio engineer Tom Czaplinski; and lead mechanical engineer Steve Romine.

Based in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Zooom Studios also has a location in New Jersey. In Florida, they’re in a 22,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing space that had been vacant for a long time and also have a 4,000-sq.-ft. temporary space in Wall Township, N.J., with the R&D and engineering departments (a 12,500-sq.-ft. space in Jersey is awaiting a certificate of occupancy).

Being on the “Space Coast” of Florida, Kramer said, “Every aerospace company in the world is in a 20-mile radius and every engineer is working there, so trying to bring people here was a real challenge when we first started.”

He decided it would be best to take to Craigslist, LinkedIn and Indeed and train the best candidates. “I started taking in a bunch of used equipment from distribution partners and taught people to refurbish old games,” he explained.

Kramer said that Zooom does their own printing and water-jetting, and made substantial investments in equipment. “We build our own prototypes here,” he said, noting the speed from idea to assembly line.

Their 5-player rotary game Duck Pond Frenzy, for example, was just an “idea on a wall” before 90 days later a prototype was ready to share.

“My team never lets me down,” Kramer boasted. “We really put it all together. We just kept churning games out week after week after week. I don’t think I’ve slept more than four hours a night in the last year at any time.”

Zooom Studios' initial 9-game lineupThe company’s other amusement games include: the 1-2-player crane Meta Claw from Losud (Zooom is the official U.S. distributor for the French company); the 1-player cranes Techni Claw and Big Choice; the 2-player crane Prize Circus; the 4-player crane Prize Bus; the cutter machine Monster Prize; and the redemption games Arctic Cool Spot and Space Race, the latter a nod to their Florida Space Coast connection. The games will ship mid-February/early March.

Nine months, nine games.

Now, Kramer says Zooom Studios has purchase orders from around the globe. “It’s remarkable to see how well our Duck Pond Frenzy is doing,” he said. “I’ve got people who are sending purchase orders one right after the other.”

Pandemic-weary, Kramer recalled attending IAAPA Expo 2021 and mentioned that another manufacturer said the industry wasn’t the same without him. That was one of many instances that led to the band getting back together around the Zooom vision of aspiring to “revolutionize entertainment by creating captivating, ageless experiences through innovative arcade design.”

Two years later and Kramer’s team was launching those nine new games at IAAPA Expo 2023.

“I was a little bit apprehensive, but I must tell you that I couldn’t have been more pleased at the results and the orders we took at that trade event,” Kramer shared, once again noting compliments from fellow manufacturers.

“I started doing this stuff 47 years ago,” he continued. “My mantra has always been, ‘You do not have a good company without good people. Without good people, you’re nothing.’ I dream it up and my team makes it happen.

Losud team - Zooom cover story 0224

Part of the Zooom family is Losud, the French designers and manufacturers of the Meta Claw crane. Pictured from left to right are Losud USA’s Lucas Travail, Lilian Travail, Susana Parra and Lisa Travail. Meta Claw is available in 1- and 2-player models and features patented MetaGrab technology Zooom says allows for full 360˚ gantry movement. For operators, there’s stainless steel gantry construction, linkable and programmable LED display, tablet-based programming, modular technology for service ease and a high-capacity prize storage drawer.

Of course, coming onto the scene as a new manufacturer hasn’t been without challenges. Delays and supply chain issues continue to be par for the course.

“If anyone thinks Covid is over, they’re crazy,” Kramer said. “The world’s business model is different now. I don’t think manufacturers and distributors are looking to put as much on the wall anymore. A lot of people learned some hard lessons during Covid.”

In addition to their slate of amusement games (did we mention they created, from the ground up, nine games in nine months?!), Zooom Studios also offers professional repair services, which Kramer said is about 25% of the business.

“The repair side of this is very brisk for us because we have the talent in which to accomplish it. We can fix anything.” Anything includes coin pusher CPU/IO and supply boards, and all things crane related – RGB boards, CPU boards and you name it.

And, as you might expect, new games are on the drawing board for this year, too, set for an IAAPA Expo 2024 release.

“We’re brainstorming and working to improve on what we’ve already done. We’ve only scratched the surface here at Zooom.”

For more information on the games, visit www.zooomstudios.com.



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