In another of his occasional guest features for Arcade Heroes – industry specialist Kevin Williams returns from the UK’s last major amusement event of the season – and reveals details on some new amusement pieces.
The Autumn Coin-Op Show (ACOS) 2021, took place in central London. This is the second of the UK trade events, (the first being EAG in January), and marked the first time in some 18-months that the local amusement trade could meet in person.
A small (but well attended) event, aimed at a more meet-and-greet approach, but still threw up some new amusement releases ahead of what may be seen in the following month in Orlando at IAAPA.
Shooting games are back in vogue with the amusement trade, with the shooting gallery approach leading the charge. Veteran amusement distributor Electrocoin showed their aptly named ‘Skill Shooter’ – a fun blasting experience that offers networked multi-player. The distributor has worked closely with the Chinese developers advising them on the design and development, the blowback mechanism of the gun is one of the best in the business.
The game has been developed for the burgeoning skill shooting scene in the UK and European amusement market. Combining different categories of games such as shooting bottles and cans, shooting targets, a Hogan’s Alley style combat course, and an enemy shooter. And the company revealed that along with offering redemption ticket payout, a capsule prize version of the machine is also available.
Electrocoin is also the leading distributor of the STERN Pinball range and some of the latest tables were also on show, supported by the distributor’s other redemption and prize offerings.
‘Skill Shooting’ has drawn comparisons with the UNIS shooter ‘On Point,’ a machine that was also at the ACOS event, represented by Instance Automatics, the local distributor for the company. The pellet shooting video game offers a highly realistic target pistol with blowback, and a series of skill-based games, that also fall into the same categories as the other release.
Amusement stalwart United Distributing (UDC) represented a number of new videos, and physical redemption, and prize machines. On the ACOS booth, UDC had the pedal power game ‘Sky Riders’, (a game clearly inspired by NAMCO release ‘PropCycle’). Developed by Chinese operation Ace Amusement Technologies – though sadly the new machine was down when visiting the show.
Another new piece by Ace Amusement Technologies was ‘Nitro Speed’ – a four-player Videmption racer, with the players competing in a frantic race through various landscapes, jostling for the lead and collecting the most tickets. The game is clearly inspired by the Adrenaline Amusement ‘Hot Wheels’ approach to competitive racing.
The show also had the first Western appearance of the brand new shooter from UNIS, with ‘Elevator Action Invasion’. The long-heralded shooter has gone through a name change and a new cabinet layout while still retaining the vibrating machine pistols. The cabinet enclosure offers a vibrating floor, as well as physical elevator doors that open and close during each level.
The product had originally been revealed at UNIS Showcase in 2020. Played to completion on this occasion, the game offers over nine levels, populating each floor of the skyscraper with enemy opponents, swarms of killer drones, and giant combat robots as end-level bosses. The game seemed to offer the proven formula of wave shooters, if not any new elements.
There had been some confusion if this game was a sequel to the TAITO 2009 release ‘Elevator Action Death Parade’. However, it was denied that there was any association with this property and that the game used had a similar name, similar physical elevator door element, and similar playing style. Though now with modern graphics. Currently, I was unable to approach my contact at TAITO for an official statement, though I expect to hear more when this game is out in the market.
News from the amusement scene generally was very positive, with several operators confirming they were seeing record business, as the Staycation element of the market bounced back the following lockdown. The impact on the supply chain was one area of concern, as long and longer lead-times impacted deliveries. SEGA Amusement International and BANDAI NAMCO Amusement did not take booths at the London show, but we expect that we will have news on their new releases next month from US trade show – watch this space for more industry updates.
About the Author – Kevin Williams is a widely respected specialist in entertainment and technology. A regular presenter at international conferences, Kevin is also a regular speaker at the Foundations Entertainment University (FEU) and the Amusement360 events, boot camps for LBE and FEC investors. He also holds the role of one of the senior judges of the VR Awards.
Kevin’s consultancy KWP Ltd specializes in helping international clients develop immersive and interactive entertainment. Kevin has recently become Co-Owner and Technology Director for Spider Entertainment, a Global leader in Out of Home Entertainment for retail destinations and beyond. Along with advisory positions with other entrants into the market.
Kevin is the publisher of the Stinger Report, a must-read for those working or investing in the amusement, attractions, and entertainment industry. Along with this, he is also a prolific writer with regular columns for the main trade publications in this market, while presenting numerous conference sessions on the sector and its global impact. He is also the co-author of the only book on this aspect of the market – currently working on the next edition, scheduled for publication soon. Kevin can be reached at [email protected].
The post Kevin Williams Reports On The 2021 Autumn Coin-Op Show appeared first on Arcade Heroes.