Build it and they will come. That's what they say. We want to build an arcade in the UK. An Epic Arcade. Like the ones still thriving in Japan to this day. We'll have classic games. New games. Pinball machines. Consoles. Free-play events. Tournaments. Cocktail cabinets. Gaming booths. Streamed gaming marathons. World Record High Score events. Homebrew/indie gaming events. Cabinet building workshops. Cabinet hire. And everything else in-between. Oh, and did we mention that we plan to have over 200 playable machines at any given time, with an additional stock of Jamma boards so we can rotate through our game offerings on a regular basis. Epic.
We don't just want to setup a videogame arcade. We want to create a legacy. A legacy to everything that was great about arcades back in the 80's and 90's. Growing up in Blackpool (England, UK) I was constantly exposed to the latest and greatest arcade game sensations as soon as they hit the streets. Blackpool was a mecca for gamers - rows of arcades along the seafront offering everything a young gamer could ask for. But it was more than that, more than playing the new games before anyone else. It was the buzz. The thrill. The excitement of setting a new highscore and proudly putting your initials on top of the leaderboard whilst a group of people stood behind you in silent awe. And that's what we want to recreate. The adrenalin rush. Social interaction. Meeting new friends (real ones, not faceless people you spend hours chatting to online!). The buzz of setting a new record or beating a new-found-friend on your favourite fighting game ...
Being based in Scotland there's only one practical place to open this arcade and that is the country's capital, Edinburgh. Why Edinburgh? We want to attract gamers from all around the world, not just people living locally. Edinburgh is a thriving tourist destination and we want to maximise that exposure to allow as many people as possible the chance to enjoy what we plan to create. We plan to secure a 3-storey building within the bounds of the city centre of Edinburgh. We have huge plans for our vision, and you can follow progress on our project website at www.epicarcadeproject.com where we will keep you updated as things develop, including sourcing machines, architect drawings, artist impressions, and so forth. You can even enter polls to suggest games and have your say on how the arcade develops.
Will The Games Cost Me To Play Once Inside?
A set fee of £12.50 to get in, then it's all free-play central from there on in. That's 200+ cabinets, pinball galore, loads of consoles and games, and plenty of other goodies to satisfy your gaming needs. Plus, children under the age of 12 enter FREE with an accompanying adult (one child per adult only).
There will also be a 'late entry' discount for those people arriving later into the evening with only a few hours of playing time left.
Other fee structures are also under discussion and will be posted on the main website once confirmed. We will attempt to cater for as many variations and requirements as possible.
East Meets West
Whilst there will be a large focus on classic videogames, we also want to recreate the buzz and excitement that is still thriving in the arcades in Japan. Multi-storey arcade-plexes, bursting at the seams with machines and gamers hanging out, socialising, and having fun. So we're going to have a nice mix of some of the newer games on the market, ranging from classic shooters from developer Cave, to some of the more obscure Japanese-only machines out there.
Why Should I Get Excited About This Project And Help Fund It?
Good question. Here is just a taster of what we plan to have available in our arcade:
- Over 200 playable machines including arcade cabinets, pinball machines, and games consoles
- Gaming memoribilia
- Aracde machines hooked up to giant screens around the arcade
- Consoles to play in our comfy couch area
- Food and drink (non-alcoholic) available
- Booths available for you and your mates to game together on a cocktail cabinet
- Highscore leaderboards for both the arcade highscores and world record holders
- Gaming marathon sessions which will be streamed live on the internet
- World record attempts
- Homebrew/indie gaming events
- Swap shops
- Talks from game designers and developers, lectures, workshops, gaming documentary viewings, game-influenced DJ sets
- Late night sessions
- Influence other gaming projects, such as our ambition to build a 48-player networkable version of the classic game Bomberman, or a 4-player remake of Smash TV - to name but a few
- Be part of something special, to tell people you helped make this happen, that you were there from the beginning ...
To reignite the passion of the arcades of yesteryear. To prove to the world that arcades are the home of videogames, not fruit machines. To be the industry leader in a new wave of videogame arcades across the globe, and encourage similar projects around the world.
How Will My Donation Be Spent?
If we reach our target then we'll be able to do all of the above, and much more. You might not think that it could cost so much to setup an arcade, but when you factor in the cost of securing over 200 authentic machines, maintenance, architect and legal fees, insurance, rent, rates (electricity costs won't be cheap!), refurbishing a 3-floor building to our specifications, an additional stock of Jamma boards, parts, etc. then the costs soon add up. Not to mention staffing costs! Of course, we want this to be a successful business venture that has sufficient turnover so that it can continue to operate, however having this funding in place will be paramount in covering costs whilst the arcade is in its infancy. Keeping true to its roots as a videogame arcade is our primary focus, so not having to initially worry about where the next rent payment is coming from will allow us to focus our energy on the important stuff.
Will The Founders Be Pocketing Big Healthy Cash Sums From The Funding, Or Taking Large 'Wages' From The Arcade?
Absolutely not! The founders are already successful in their own career paths and make healthy livings that keep a roof over their heads.This project is not about profit - it's about passion, and the fact that we want our kids to experience the pleasures that we had going to the arcades back in the day. If we don't do this then we fear the new generation of gamers will never have seen an arcade or pinball machine in the flesh let alone had the pleasure of playing one!
Other Ways You Can Help
Love the idea, want to help out, but not in a position to make a financial donation. Shame on you! But not a problem :-) as there's a host of ways you can help:
- Spread the word - tell your friends, family, the world about Epic Arcade Project . Use your facebook account, twitter, blog, whatever you have at your disposal.
- Promote within the Kickstarter community.
- Visit www.epicarcadeproject.com and contribute in the shaping of the arcade via our forum - recommend cabinets, consoles, events, tournaments, even what food we should serve!
- Buy advance tickets merchandise for christmas presents, birthday presents, or a just-for-the-hell-of-it present
Parting Words ...
If we don't make this happen we feel the videogame arcades will wither away and die. Our children and new-generation gamers won't have been given the opportunity to feel the buzz, the rush, the excitement of a real, physical gamers paradise. Keep our dream alive. For nostalgia's sake.