This project's funding goal was not reached on June 16, 2014.
About this project
Endgame is inspired by the fusions of arcades and bars that have become popular in recent years. Unlike most bar entertainment, which is focused on sports, dancing, or pool halls, Endgame is focused on providing console based entertainment, creating an atmosphere designed to attract the gaming community.
We've chosen Phoenix as the destination for our first establishment because of its abysmal ratio of gaming venues to people. Endgame is about providing quality gaming experiences to all of its customers. To live up to that goal, we have a variety of game systems ranging from the NES to the PS4 stationed at every table (including the bar), an inventory stocked full of all of the newest games, as well as tons of the classics, and a staff composed entirely of game aficionados.
Console games can be requested from our library and played throughout the establishment. We began our stock of games by combining some personal collections, and have continued to expand since we started holding gaming events.
To get an idea of the variety of games and systems we have available, check out the game list on our website. Our library will continue to grow in the coming months before opening, and indefinitely after that, with popular new releases continually being added so our collection never gets stale. If there's a game we don't have yet that you would like to see, send us a request and we'll do our best to get our hands on a copy.
In addition to our huge set of console games, we'll have several arcade cabinets set up with daily game rotations, and popular board/card games such as Cards Against Humanity and Munchkin.
Red Warrior needs food badly!
[See Update #2 for updated details on food]
The 2000 sq ft restaurant space of our establishment will actually be sublet out to local food trucks, on a month-to-month basis. This allows us not only provide a variety of different food options to our customers while ensuring our menu never grows stale, but also to support the local food truck community by giving them the opportunity to service their food in a 9000 sq ft location at only a small fraction of the cost. We will always be providing the gamer staple of french fries and chicken strips, but for those looking for a healthier option or slightly more variety to their menu choices, we've got you covered!.
Roll to see if I'm drunk!
Our "Mana-restoration" menu will feature established nerd drinks (like the Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster), as well as ones we'll be mixing up and testing ourselves (like the 1,000 Needles, with Midori and tequila). We would have roughly a dozen or so local beers on draft, along with a cider or two. We'll continue to adjust our selection based on demand.
Other themed alcoholic items planned for our menu will include vodka Pokéballs, a full set of boss-themed drinks, and honestly anything else we can think to make an alcoholic-gamer pun out of.
While our primary source of income is from alcohol sales, there is a $10 daily cover to access the gaming section. The cover provides all day access to the gaming area; once you've paid, you can come and go as much as you please throughout the day without ever paying a cent more. You'll never have to worry about carrying around tokens or quarters, since all our arcade cabinets are set to free-play and consoles don't accept quarters anyways.
At the end of the day though, we are a bar. And as a bar, we want to encourage people to come hang out and socialize with their friends (and buy our beer) as much as possible! As such, there is no cover for the bar area, and drinking customers receive reductions on their gaming cover.
We're aiming to open off of Mill Avenue in Tempe. This location is particularly convenient for ASU students, as it is immediately adjacent to the Engineering school's computer lab. For those travelling from off-campus, this location is conveniently located next to the light rail. There are also several parking garages and meters available that are free on nights and weekends.
Although Endgame will be an alcohol serving bar, it is important to us to not neglect the vast majority of ASU students, who are primarily underage. To that end, we've set up a full 3000 sqft section of our space separate from the bar, that will be open to minors. Much later in the evening (sometime between 9 and 11 PM), however, the entire place will become 21+, which will allow beer and other forms of alcohol to be carried into all parts of the establishment.
Events & Entertainment
Beyond our multitude of consoles, our full drink menu, and the fun social environment of a geek bar, we'll also be providing regular gaming events to celebrate gaming culture. We've partnered with AZHP Gaming to help host regular tournaments at our establishment; giving you the chance to battle it out with your peers for glory and gear!
There are two rows of televisions above the main bar. The bottom row is connected to a set of consoles to be enjoyed by those sitting at the bar. The top row is dedicated to streaming, for the rest of the establishment to enjoy, anything from e-sports tournaments like League of Legends and Starcraft to speed runs of all your favorite games. We love celebrating all the major league gaming events, so you can be sure that there will always be something special planned anytime one occurs.
Check us out at our pre-opening events!
As long as we can continue to get the space, we'll be holding monthly gaming events in our target location before we open. We call these "beta tests," and they help us learn more about what is and isn't working, get more familiar with the space, and get an early start at building a community of gamers. Our next one is June 14th, which is two days before our kickstarter closes, so feel free to come experience us for yourself before contributing!
All of our reward tiers will give free access to the gaming area for the first time without cover. For all tiers above $1, your contribution can be used as credit for our gaming cover-charge for yourself or your friends. Our highest reward tiers nullify cover for you for life, with the highest tiers even allowing you to bring in friends to game with for free!
For those who aren't local, we have a few options: our $25 - $150 rewards all come with Endgame swag such as shot glasses and shirts, and the $75 and $150 reward allows you to leave your mark by branding our controllers and consoles with your name/motto/favorite slogan/etc. Shipping is included for all domestic orders. $6 for all international.
See the reward descriptions on the right for details on more specific tier rewards.
We're a set of three nerds with a passion for gaming and a lot of enthusiasm about this project! All of us have experienced gaming bars and how fun they can be, and we really want to bring that joy to the community here.
Ryan is an avid gamer, former ASU student, and the originator of this project.
He's spent the last two years studying gaming bars in different parts of the country, learning from their mistakes and successes, and ironing out the details for Endgame. He was also responsible for recruiting the rest of the team we have today! As the head of Endgame, Ryan is in charge of recruitment, structuring and organization of the company. He's the guy that makes sure everything that needs to get done, gets done.
Nikki's been a fan of console gaming since as early as she can remember, and provides much of our classic Nintendo library. She recently moved to Phoenix after finishing a Bachelor's in Computer Science at the University of Oregon.
She has several years of experience in web development, a degree in Computer Science, and an aptitude in digital painting and design. She's responsible for the creation and maintenance of our website, and overseeing all other creative processes for Endgame.
Mike is an arcade lover and fighting game fan. He loves working on arcade machines and running events.
For the past two years, Mike has been working as a bartender, marketing coordinator, and event organizer at the Shoryuken League, a gaming bar in Eugene, Oregon. At Endgame, Mike will be primarily responsible for our marketing and event planning. He will also act as our head bartender, supervising and training our new bartending staff.
Risks and challenges
The biggest obstacles we face right now are purchasing a liquor license and securing the location we want.
We want to open at 699 S Mill Ave, Suite 201. Most recently in this space was a bar named Antar's Sports Bistro. Antar's did so many things wrong that every security guard on Mill has a dozen horror stories to tell you; everything from drunks falling off of escalators, to wild parties hours after last call, to people chucking chairs off the balcony. This made ASU so cynical of any new bars in that property that it has been a trial of perseverance to make it this far with them.
ASU is currently considering two people for the property. One, is a restaurant with two locations in Scottsdale that are looking for a 10 year lease and want to completely remodel the place; gut the entire property and build from scratch pretty much.
The other is us. They are looking at a 1-year, property as-is with us, to test whether we will be able to keep our drunks under control. The advantages we have are that their Asst VP likes our idea and the fact that we're not looking to make any modifications to the property (and he's the highest on the food chain in ASU's real estate department, reporting directly to ASU's CFO). The disadvantages we face are not having a prior established location of business, nor a previously established type of business (as there are no similar establishments to what we want to open in Phoenix), essentially making us an unknown. A 1-year relieves a lot of the risk to them, but a 10 year with an established restaurant is a juicy package.
This kickstarter is ammo that we are using to help make our case. The reason we have a $1 reward that allows you your first time in for free is because we really want that backer number to be as high as possible. If we reach $30,000 and the only reward tier that was taken was the $1, we couldn't be happier, since we could go to ASU and say "Look at this. There are 30,000 people that want this here." Realistically, we're hoping for at least 500 backers.We feel that would be enough make our case to ASU. In addition, we are also developing a comprehensive security plan to present to ASU that outlines all of our policies and procedures for handling inebriated clientele.
We'll be presenting our case to ASU the day after our kickstarter ends. By the end of June, they will have decided which establishment to go forward with. If they do not choose us, we will have to find another location, which realistically will delay our opening by up to 4 months or so (early 2015 instead of fall 2014).Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Is your business model legal? Having a bar filled with retail video games that are licensed for home use seems like it's going to be in violation of all sorts of EULAs.
The short answer is that yes, it's legal. The long answer is that technically it's not legal, but due to how prohibitively expensive it is to pursue, those that are entitled to do so, don't bother.
If you charged to play a particular game (which we don't), then the studio that created that game (or their publisher) could go after you for damages (which would be difficult to prove). The damages would be a negligible amount though, especially compared to the time, energy and money that resolving that court case would require.
And that is why places like Howie's Game Shack can exist, and why people can hold public tournaments for all types of games they don't have commercial licenses for (because commercial licenses don't exist for most games).
However, we avoid the entire situation anyways by just charging a base cover ($10 a day) for the entire gaming area (no quarters, no hourly rates). You aren't being charged to play any games, you're just being charged to enter the area.
It has been made actually. Just minus the alcohol. Liquor licenses are prohibitively expensive in Arizona (70k), and we can't realistically open our doors for real until we get one (it just isn't profitable without the liquor). The kickstarter is to help raise the funds for our license.
As it stands now, we hold once a month gaming events (that's where the footage comes from). Our next one is June 14th and the event page for it will be posted soon.
- (31 days)