The initial decision to invest in an arcade is a significant one involving capital outlay, planning, and other valuable resources. Creating a successful arcade must factor in the room’s layout, the right mix of games, the selection of enticing prizes, the marketing of offerings, and many other variables. With all that work, you have created a successful arcade, but it’s vital not to underestimate the importance of developing plans for a ‘game room refresh.’ This practice will enable you to maintain and grow your game room earnings through consistent reinvestment in new games.
Why should you refresh your game room?
Technology changes, game trends evolve, assets depreciate, and consumers want diverse entertainment experiences.
How do you decide which games to remove, when to remove them, and which to add? This starts with understanding your card system reports.
Consistent analysis of the 6-week, 3-month, 6-month, and annual trend reports helps identify game assets that may be declining in earnings, provide redundancy (too many lanes, hoops, cranes, etc.), or are just not appealing to your customer base for other reasons. At that point, sharing data with your GAD distributor rep to determine fair market value trade-in prices will help you narrow down the games to swap out. Trading in late-model games before they’ve become “old” provides a ripe time to offload an existing game and minimize the capital outlay to maintain a fresh game room.
Ask your GAD rep if the existing game can be refurbished or otherwise updated. New game graphics on the side. Replacing worn surface areas and upgrading joy sticks, buttons and other parts can refresh your investment for many more years of entertainment value.
As for new games, work with your GAD salesperson to find suitable hot releases to fill those spots. You also want to maintain your arcade’s optimal mix of video, redemption, and merchandisers. That mix will be unique to your specific location but should still follow general guidelines within the industry.
Keeping your arcade game titles updated is critical to attracting repeat customers, as the desire for a competitive and immersive experience drives many players. More manufacturers offer unique features such as virtual leaderboards and console crossover to incentivize return play. Although they may not generate as much revenue as redemption titles, video games are vital to the arcade experience.
Leasing games is also a great way to provide a built-in reminder that it is time to refresh. Many locations and operators will lease some of their game rooms for this reason.
Marketing Your Games
What is the benefit of a new game if your customer doesn’t know about it? Don’t forget about marketing. Not all locations have the budget for TV or radio advertisements. Still, card systems and loyalty programs give locations incredible marketing power to speak directly to their player base. Social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Tik Tok are all low-cost avenues to bring awareness of new offerings to your customers. Let your customers know that a game is coming, then create excitement and promotion around its arrival.
Lastly, a new game is an excellent opportunity to rearrange your room. Simply moving some games from the front of the room to the back will make your room feel newer, even if you have only added a few new titles.