One of the challenges of running an arcade is keeping things fresh. If things are the same for too long, then customers develop tunnel vision, heading straight for their favorite game and ignoring everything else. So we’re constantly on the lookout for “new” games. Because we prefer the classics, we usually wind up buying them used. And that means it usually takes a lot of effort to make them ready to operate at Ground Kontrol for 15 hours a day, 7 days a week. It takes time to find the parts, get the game working reliably, powder-coat pieces that receive wear, clean the cabinet, reproduce and apply artwork, and get a game looking the way we want it to. Sometimes it takes a couple of days, sometimes it takes over a year. But we think it’s worth the effort, which why we keep doing it.
Being the time of year to feel retrospective, I decided to list the games we added over the course of the 2008:
Marvel Vs Capcom 2
The Simpson’s Pinball Party
Cruisn’ Exotica (x2)
Rush 2049 (x2)
Super Street Fighter II Turbo (25″ screen)
Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike
Tekken Tag Tournament
Attack From Mars
That’s over a game a month! Suddenly, I feel much better about our productivity.
Of course, whenever we add a game, we usually have to remove a game. It’s an unfortunate necessity when coping with limited space on the arcade floor. Here are the games that left Ground Kontrol in 2008:
Neo Geo #2
Star Trek Pinball
Rush the Rock
Street Fighter II (19″ screen)
Elvira and the Party Monsters
…and our old-school photo booth moved around the corner to Backspace to make room for more games.
Some of these games will undoubtedly come back to GK someday. I know Spy Hunter, Golden Tee, Punch-Out!!, and WWF Wrestlefest are on the list. Like I said, though, these things take time, so please be patient with us.
We’re working hard to bring more games to Ground Kontrol in 2009, too. The next time you visit, be sure to look around, because you never know when you might see one of your old favorites returned to its former glory!