Opening my own arcade?

I live in Montreal, Canada, and I was thinking about opening my own arcade with all the main fighting games (mvc2, cvs2, SF3, tekkan 5 etc…), a couple of racing games and some other games. But I dont know where to start.

Any advices or suggestions are welcome.

Create a business (paperwork mountains probably). Figure out how much the rent for the building will be, including utility costs, then the costs for the machines, appropriate permits for it and all, and see how to pay for that for like 6 months and assume you won’t turn a real profit for at least 6 months.

Also it’s true what they say about location, location, location. You’ve got to see if you think the area you are setting up in has the potential community to keep this thing afloat.

Yeah, you better be really damn rich or be ready to take out some heavy loans. If you end up in prison for debt in 3 years, just remember that Shoryuken isn’t liable.

aka not a good idea

Advice? Open a business that will make you money instead. Arcades are dying and opening one up right now isn’t a smart business decision.

There are only a few ways an arcade can make enough profit to stay afloat these days (never mind even growing rich):

  1. Attract families and kids with playing fun, cheap ticket games for cheap ASS prizes

  2. DDR, DDR, DDR, DDR, DDR, but ONLY if you know a whole bunch of Asians, emo, anime nerds, losers are in the area

  3. FOOD AND DRINK…maybe even alcohol, so you can make it a place for young people with $$$ to socialize (i.e. Jillians)

  4. ANYTHING besides video games to attract a seperate crowd. Bowling is still hot right now. But Go-Karts, Batting Cages, and Mini Golf are much less so than in the 80’s (unless you live in a beach town with high tourism). Skating rinks are dead (thank GOD). And…blast, what the devil else do people do these days? Sniper ranges??? :wonder:

Oh god, just don’t put it in a basement like Mira? And agreed w/Ducky’s post, it’s gonna be tough.

i recommend you hit the library and find some books on how to get started with a business… write down what you need to get it up and running, things like renting/owning real estate, city laws, how to establish credit, etc.

start making contacts where you need them, arcade operators, bankers, city officials, and so on. if you’re planning on establishing services other than simply arcades, make contacts in those areas too. if you’re especially lost, try to find someone you know that owns their business, maybe your parents know someone, your friends know someone…

once you set your budget and have a vague execution plan, that’s good as far as basics go. there’s a whole lot of creative stuff to think about too, like how to increase income and optimize your business, which is probably best learned the hard way.

i don’t think it’s impossible to open up an arcade.
it might just be that arcades nowadays aren’t run properly.

dont bother…

Here’s some stuff from what I’ve seen of my university arcade;

It’s half arcade (MvC2, CvS2, SFIII, random DDR/driving/shooting games), half computer caf or whatever the cyber nerds call it.

And let me tell you brother … 99.9999% of the income alone comes from the computer time cards/memberships.

Oh, and it sells food and junk. They actually advertise it as “lowest prices on campus”, and it’s true.

As much as it pains me to say it, I have to agree with the negative reactions here. Arcades just aren’t making money any more.

It would be cheaper (and by cheaper, I mean you’ll be in less debt) to buy yourself 3-4 cabinets and set up your own private gamesroom. Build/find a local community of enthusiests and organise weekly/monthly tournaments at your place. Get everyone to throw a few bucks in the hat as prize money to make it interesting. You can keep outlay costs down by using console->arcade conversion systems so that you don’t need to buy arcade boards all the time, seeing as it will be a private affair and non-commercial.

At the end of the day if this is a passion of yours, you’re better off keeping it a hobby. Making it a business will just make you resent the fact that you have to whore yourself out and buy games you hate just to turn a profit. I’ve seen it happen to operators I know, and many of them are cynical about the whole thing now.

U don’t need alot of games, just get the main ones.

GG#R or Slash

Itg2 Will make u a rich man
And get some Racing Games Inital D or MT

Basicly anything that has comp.

they have debtors prisons in canada?

i highly doubt it…

this kinda reminds me of timezone , the australian arcade branch …
THEY attracted tons of families …kids and parents .
the arcade games are generally sucks …

having food and drink is really good 1 . but seriously , people tend to close down after a few months … rental is really expensive , regardless how good the food is …

Bowling + big ass shopping mall + night clubs + cinema/theater + pubs + restaurants + food centre = TONS OF PEOPLE , BUT THE PROPERTY IS GONNA DEFINITELY BE FUCKING EXPENSIVE .

You really NEED to share sometimes …
business usually not operated by 1 manager sometimes …
you might need to get somebody to work it out together , like a merge.
try getting help from your uncles , siblings or cousins too , as minor support .
BE SURE that you really trust them and they trust you .
I don’t want ending up getting problems with money issues … and your friend may leave you for that problem .

my older cousin contributed and cooperate with his friend to set up a Cybercafe . He’s the Admin in that cyber cafe now … and business is running quite smoothly , thank god my cousin is quite rich and married to a girl who got a wealthy background .

yes , Arcade manager HAS SETUP PC GAMES AS WELL !! they will not lose business …
arcade owners want that slice of pie … from that 'industry’
that’s why i post combo stuff in SRK from the arcade itself , really convenient .:stuck_out_tongue:

cybercafe tend to earn more income than usuall arcade , Because people are just crazy , they willing to spend their fucking monthly salary and sit through playing Dota , WoW etc etc and getting bad unhealthy sythomps . and Cybercafe can open for 24/7 . WHILE arcades don’t usually go 24/7 , they mostly close at morning 1 to 3 am .

and is RARE to have a crazy people that spend 50bucks for GGXX (example only )…
yeah ,by my experience , i had a friend who had 51 wins against this same geek .

pls…re-consider …Be JUST MORE THAN READY … you need serious back up as well .

99.999 percent ?? wooow … poor arcade :frowning:

the arcade i hang out ?? ( YES THE SINGAPORE PLAYERS THAT usually play MVC2 )
i think they got 50% income from the computer LAN party games .

when you look at it from an owner perspective, running an arcade for profit has a very slim chance of working.
For this to work you could take this route
Develop another business (coffee shop, bar & grill, game store, anime and movie store, music store, etc) and bring in the cab’s through business funds. This will allow you to have a successful business and still fuel your “hobby/passion”. The big problem with this is that every new cab you get will cut into YOUR paycheck, so you will a)have to already be stacked or b)be willing to give up 2 years of your life to ramen and hot dogs.

This definitely has the potential to work, but there are several obstacles that will be a definite barrier to your success. You need to be willing and able to undertake this financial risk. This means you will need to be able to convince a 3rd party to loan you this money and believe that you will stay in business long enough to pay them back. Another problem is to make this a profit oriented business you basically need to learn another trade. The problem with places that serve food is the relatively low margin made on items sold. You will have to address many main concerns with a prime one being location. Sure you could open up an arcade in bumfuck and have your friends go, but in order to keep the arcade open you will need to find a place that will be available to both ends of your customers.
ok im done for now but i have a lot of ideas about the future possibility of arcades and yes i do have 3 years experience of running a business (financial management, forecasting, supervising, etc.) so i think with other’s people input this could turn into a meaningful discussion


when there’s arcade , people frequently start a Ranking battle or a mini-tournament …hmm hmm

cosplay+mascot + arcade …as an event …
Wtf am i thinking :wtf:

Are you talking about Cove? In general, everything about Sask is shit and no 'cades other than the runned down UoS one haha.

I’m SO talking about the Cove. It’s not so bad … but yeah the Sask scene … makes me want to slice my wrists. Most stuff happens at people’s houses though, on console. There’s a small but dedicated scene.

The computers keep it afloat. People are willing to spend so much money on computer games it’s not even funny.

So you like being broke, eh?