In another of his occasional guest features for Arcade Heroes – industry specialist Kevin Williams, takes on a ticklish subject for the industry that of change, and the ramifications it will have on the traditional amusement scene and its future.
Source: Mixed-Use Entertainment District
As the amusement trade starts to emerge from the hibernation forced on it by the Global Health crisis, there have been questions raised on if the amusement industry can return to its previous business model. The issues of new competition, the impact of discussions on addressing staff minimum wage payment in the States, and the birth of new businesses that steer away from the traditional amusement model, have all come to play.
In avoiding getting too political regarding the minimum wage discussion (we would recommend if interested to see the AAMA’s position on this impact on operator’s wage bills & costs), I will focus on the new business models that are appearing with new investment as the trade* remerges from Lockdown. We’ve coined this process with the hashtag #SpringBack.
Note(*) – Not all amusement operators are able to jump back into operation as new surges in cases in some territories force renewed lockdowns – as seen in Tokyo and across Japan, with amusement centres re-closing under governmental & cultural pressure. This is the spectre of last-minute enforced closure as a new factor in business life.
-New Business Models
It is obvious that the traditional Street Route (arcades as a service) model has been under attack since the late 80’s and its last Golden Era of popularity. The amusement venue has progressed from walls of illuminated coffin-shaped cabinets to a gaming floor mixed with prize machines, videmption, and deluxe amusement/attraction pieces. The latest phase of immersive entertainment is feeding this layout, which takes up far more capital and space than what your typical