Southwest Ohio LAN Center

Just out of curiousity I would like to poll the SRK Midwest forum prowlers on a business concept.

Say a place existed that ran weekly tournaments for every conceivable game and genre. Where people could come and play their favorite games (console or PC) as a group for a small hourly fee, a value similar to catching a movie or a fast food meal. Where people of like mind and hobbies could congregate and share strategies and learn from one another. Where competitive and casual gaming is encouraged and accepted.

A place where one could lounge with a soft drink and mingle or read an interesting magazine, enjoy a snack or catch the big game. Play and trade card games (Pokemon, Magic). Where “Competition Seasons” (Akin to a ladder) existed for big games (Halo 2, Smash, racing games, fighting games and sports titles)?

Where on a weekly basis specific clicks of usual customers can challenge groups from other LANs nationwide and just chill in a pleasing atmosphere. Bi-yearly mega tournaments.

Does this sound like a place in which you would be interested? Would you be willing to support such a venture that enhances your neglected culture, condensing the population into one small zone that is IT? If so, please take my poll.

If it helps, the location will likely be either in the Cincinnati (most likely) or Dayton area. Come on. More votes. More votes. More votes… then we can stop votes, to paraphrase L. Jenkins.

I could see it working for pc games but not 2d fighters. So few gamers are even aware of the 2d fighting scene to get enough interest. I would be surprised if there were enough to support the 2d scene to warrant a tourney at a lan center. FPS’s are a different story.

You make a fair point. All of this is true. However, that’s the point of the business to MAKE people aware of 2D and 3D fighters and general console gaming, both casual and hardcore.

There exists a small, but healthy and silent core group of people in the southern half of Ohio and through-out the entire midwest who have no outlet except for the odd tourney here and there and recent emergence of Season’s Beatings as a “Big” tournament.

People are willing to travel to get their fix and my business model which is pretty involved and doesn’t rely on any particular phase to succeed in the business, is designed to build upon the existing scene and create one that is bigger, healthier and more concentrated. I want to tweak the current environment and make it into something better.

Its purpose is not just tournaments, that’s simply another phase which creates a small problem I’m attempting (and believe I have done so) to solve. For obvious reasons, I don’t want to announce all the parameters of the business, but there is not one like it in this nation.

I would encourage everyone to take a negative approach to the idea, tell me why it won’t work and announce the problems you see as the poster above me did. All input is and will be appreciated. Don’t be afraid to tell me why I’m wrong.

Thanks, Riot Guard.

You make a good point as well. I travel out of state to 2 to 3 tourneys a year which are usually majors. So for it to be worth while there has to be an okay turnout to be worth the drive. Regardless, I would come out to support every once in awhile to play casuals with people.

Maybe you can have a day monthly or every other month where the focus is on a specific genre of games or game. A night in which it’s 3d games, another night 2d games and so forth. I would drive out for that and bring locals with me. What were you thinking of charging? Hourly?

I’d be there every weekend for both PC and fighting games, easily.

Honestly , I think its a great idea. I know alot of dayton would come out to support considering we live the way.

Well, for the LAN section, I was thinking ~$4 an hour, give or take a dollar initially. The concept is that a person might come in and enjoy a couple of hours for the relatively equal price to see a movie.

For the console section, initially probably $3 or $3.50 an hour until the scene builds and space is more in demand, then raise it another $1 or $.50. The philosophy behind this is that 6 friends can get together and decide that want to play, say, Marvel with each other but they don’t have a place to play. They can scrounge up 20 dollars among them and have a TV or two to play for a couple hours as a package deal. Is $20 for 6 people to play for 2 hours all that much? I don’t think so. That turns out to be about $1.50 a person. Much cheaper than an arcade where that’s three matches and they’re done. It’s also a fair deal to the business so that it can actually continue to operate.

And as far as tournaments, I would run, say, Halo 2 once a month or every 2 months and do the same with a variety of other games. Then have a giant tournament every 6 months which encompasses many games.

The LAN section would be setup similarly, but completely separate.

But, more important than price per hour or whatever pricing format with which I decide to go, I think atmosphere should be the focus.

I think this is a great idea. If it goes down I think a lot of the cincy peeps will be dropping by for sure.

4-5 dollars an hour for online games will work but not for console games which people usually just play in groups for free at one another’s house. The package rate will work for groups but it wouldn’t be worth if for the random Joe that comes by himself.

I think you should try it out, I just know of a place that in Indy a couple of years ago that tried to do the same thing. Great prices and deals, cool atmosphere, etc. and then just disappeared after being open for only a couple of months because of a loss of profit.

When were you thinking of starting the business?

As soon as possible. I have some very strenuous logistics to work out and then there’s raising the money I’ll need. My business plan is almost complete and I think it is/will be a good one.

I believe that other similar business fail or barely stay above water because they’re not diverse and the owners don’t understand the people to whom they cater. They’re too concerned with bottom line profits and it’s a pure business to them. I understand that people, the customers, direct a business. It will be a business to me, too, but that’s secondary. I am a part of the scene. I know what the scene wants in general. If you give the people what they want (sometimes not even they are aware of what that is) the rest will take care of itself.

How would you go about getting all the equipment to run all this? From like sponsors or donations or something?

Cause I know with PC folks they would want a good PC that could run everything with the best quality… let alone every computer have the same hardware on every comp.

About the consoloe games you could probably give them something to work for with paying… dunno exactly what but something would be good.

Computers I’m going to attain through an AD partnership and put them together on my own. The specs are good.

I’ll be running
3.2 GHz DC AMD 6400+ Processors
4 GB Ram
GCard - Undetermined. Shopping for the best deal, but will suffice.
HDD - Doesn’t matter so much
19" Monitors
The computers will be good for a few years.

I’m still working out the kinks in the network logistics. Not yet sure what type of network I will run.

As far as the console division, it will be flexible for the casual and hardcore gamer. Running a combination of HDTVs and CRT tvs for older titles (Most fighters) and really big TVs for DDR and Guitar Hero or several WII titles.

People can have pick-up tournaments or just hang out and play big titles, whatever the hell they want to play. Think “small” clicks of people. I don’t expect too many people to come alone and sit down to play a game by themselves.

One thing I havn’t described are “Competition Seasons” which I still won’t. But people might like that a lot.

I will find as many partnerships and sponsors to make tournaments and little things worth attending. I’m not thinking small long-term.

That sounds like a good plan.


Holding ranking battles (RanBats) for the large mainstream games like Halo3, COD4, and GH3.

Have a snack bar. Nothing huge like serving hot food (hamburgers etc) but water/soda/snacks are good.

Good bathroom and good airconditioning.

I like and I second humbag. You could probably use sams club… to stack up on stuff in buk for cheap.

I would even talk to sams club about a sponsorship/donation considering they are good in the market.

Shit Run Ranbats for those game humbag mentioned and fighters of course. LOL

The few replies on the polls are encouraging, but the number of votes aren’t.

I’d pay for the computer usage, probably wouldn’t play any console games except for fighters (and only in tournaments because as stated before, we can just group up at other people’s houses). Plus, I can’t stand the FPS scene…pretty much why I avoid XBL.

Just HOW MUCH would you be willing to pay per hour for computer usage, assuming good heat/air conditioning, spacious, comfortable and a pleasing community in which to socialize? That question goes out to everyone who wishes to participate in my research. Is $6 too high?

I don’t know man, I think as many people stated before, it’s just way too convenient to go to a friend’s house and play for free for as long as you want. It would be cool to have a place like this to play, but would it be open super late? I know most of the time when I go to play games with someone, we’re not done until like 2 am. Depending on how many TVs a group gets, 2 hours may not be a whole lot of matches per person. I think in order to charge (at least for fighting games) you have to offer something they can’t get at home. If you can maybe get an arcade cab or two, I could see people willing to pay for that, provided you have the cabs on free play and just charge for time. As I understand it now though, I really want your business to succeed, but I can only see myself coming out for tournaments.