Welcome to another thrilling edition of Newsbytes, a collection of news items from the arcade and pinball world. This one has a little bit more commentary than normal, just due to the nature of the news. Let’s go!
The Adventure Ends For Laser Quest
Last year, I took my kids to a laser tag arena for the first time, and it just so happened to be Laser Quest. The place hadn’t changed at all from when I had last been there – in 1999 or so. The only exception would be the arcade, which was smaller but had somewhat recent titles there like FnF Super Cars.
We went on a Friday night, which would have been packed when I was a teenager. Alas, when we played, it was just me and my two kids in this giant arena – when we were done, it would have been easy to go back in for another round, but without other players, it just wasn’t as fun as it could/should have been.
Keep that in mind as you read that the company has permanently shuttered its operations after 27 years. This is due to the pandemic of course, although I find it a little odd, in that laser tag usually had social distancing baked right into it, and it wouldn’t have been difficult to beef up sanitization procedures in-between matches.
It is sad, but as my anecdotal story shows, the writing had been on the wall for a while. While there have been different laser tag systems to come along over the years, the ‘sport,’ if you want to call it that, has been stagnant for a long time. I rarely saw any marketing for it outside of the occasional trade show. Granted, it is tough to change up physical mazes all the time, but in my view,