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ATP Podcast Episode 24: Arcades Are Not Dead

It's been a while but we're back with another podcast. This time around, MYK and I have Rip on the show to discuss the current and future status of arcades in America, as well as some thoughts on TTT2. I'm pretty sure this is the most worked up I've ever gotten on a podcast since this topic is very important to me. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy it. 

As always, If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to leave comments or contact us at






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Avoiding the Puddle Episode #24 Arcades Are Not Dead

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Reader Comments (139)

Awesome! Been looking forward to a new podcast. Good luck at devastation!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterEmil Rehnberg

thank you. its been too long

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 11:37 AM | Unregistered Commenterjoebo



Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterRandomJin

It is a tough situation. I admire your passion for arcades, Aris. Capcom and Namco-Bandai should have recognized that arcades were in big trouble like ten years ago though. I think they should make an AFFORDABLE Tag 2 arcade build for North America.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterForest


Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSoul Annihilator

WNF is played on console. Evo is played on console.

Arcades vs Arcade Machines.

It is great that people have places to play together online. Arcade machines are stupid expensive, hard to update and an old dated business model. If there were no arcade machines, Tag 2 would have been on consoles already and you would be streaming already.

Online is not the real issue. Bitching about how things are changing around you isn't going to solve anything.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered CommenterPat

Fuck. Play "together off line" is what I meant for that sentence.

Not that it matters. Aris isn't going to talk to anyone about this. He is treating it like a personal attack when people talk about arcades.

This really isn't a debate. Wait a few more years and japan isn't going to have arcades.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterPat

I think it is a debate. most people don't even get together socially to play games. they don't take time to organize scenes in their area.

evo this year was a cesspool on non-social, self-repressed, follow the crowd sort of people... this isn't the fighting game community of just 5 years ago. These people are missing out on the best things about the fighting community by taking community away from the picture. people aren't making friends; they are just some congealing mass of buzz words and blind fascination that aren't any more interesting than a herd of cows.

people think showing up to a tournament is being part of the community. people think posting on srk is a community. people thinking buying a game and buying its swag is being part of a community. that's all bullshit.

even if there's no arcades, there should be scenes. people are too lazy to organize and build up a community. and if you have a solid community, you have a potential audience for an arcade. and if you have potential for an arcade, you have potential for an arcade revival.

but fuck it, lets play online right?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 12:46 PM | Unregistered Commentersubt-L

Best podcast in the history of mankind right there.

99% of people who say "online is the only option I have" are just full of bullshit. I come from a small city in Norway, but I'm still able to play offline Tekken against people. All you have to do is get your fat ass up from the fucking chair and get something done. Talk to your three friends that played Tekken 3, ask in local gaming forums, ask people you see in TZ, teach your brother and mom to play and before you know it you have 10 people, and it can only grow from there. There's even a tiny village in Norway that has regular offline Tekken tournaments with 10-20 participants, just because of community work like this. Then save up some money and travel to tournaments, you'll meet even more people, and the scene will grow before you know it. If you're being content sitting alone in your room playing, competitive Tekken WILL DIE.

There's no such thing as "online is all I got". It's just because you're too fucking lazy to get people together and travel to tournaments.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered Commenterlilleboff

aris. as much as i side with your opinions you can't pass off monetary reasons as a small problem. tekken exists to make money. why invest in something you can't release the proper way and worst off, for no money.

tekken has always always shown love for the arcades. every game has come out in arcades first, they even get patches. they treat it as the final testing ground. so its not about supporting the arcade scene. who the hell is going to invest in a business with no payout? as long as arcades still exist, tekken will support it. america doesn't have the arcade scene to support.

i'm pretty sure everyone agrees that arcades and playing in person is best. people just don't have that option.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 1:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterjoebo

2 two points you are not right

1. even tekken crash can played on consoles if there is no arcade just like an tournament you dont need arcades to play a tournament!
2. if you as an iowamen dont play tekken while there is no competition near by and all did this like you, THEN tekken dies, no sells for namco no money no game anymore.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterAshesfall

Tekken Crash will never exist on console. The players themselves wouldn't want it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:22 PM | Registered CommenterAris

Yup, Lilleboff a couple of posts up is talking about me. I live in a shitty city in Norway. Just started playing Tekken like an year ago and soon found out that online didn't cut it for me. What did I do?

I started asking people if they knew somebody who played Tekken or was slightly interested in Tekken. I posted on local chatforums, on TZ, and on local gamestores.

And what do you think happened? Well, people who used to play Tekken long time ago (like Tekken 3 and 4) but had to stop due to lacking of a community took contact. And they knew of somebody who knew of others and so on. Now we are at least 9-10 people here who meet regularly and have Tekken-sessions at my house.

So it is not true that online is the only option. It never is. But the alternative is that you have to actually do your part. Contact people. Open up your house and invite people. Tekken is best offline. Period.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterDrBhup

korea is an e-sport country just watch starcraft 1+2
then dont label it tekken crash but if some company did this its possible like evo mlg even you did this with no sponsors in your neck

so no, arcades are not the POINT only tournaments can work, thats ridiculous to think

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 2:30 PM | Unregistered CommenterAshesfall

at subt-L "evo this year was a cesspool on non-social, self-repressed [people]" harsh man harsh you make seem like they are a bunch of neak beards and mouth breathers video taping little girls lol.

the main problem here in canada, tekken is even less popular in the states i think. most people play sf 4/ mvc 3 (ofcourse)

but even for arcade sf4 which has players on it; there are not much

my sf4 "console friends" that talk about sf4 all the time, they watch tourney streams, qoute from daigo/jwong/ gootechs, posting on and insult me how tekken sucks and stuff.
whenever i ask them (2 years already) to come with me to the arcade to play sf4. they refuse . they say they are busy with school but on facebook they are posting how they are getting "salty and stealing ppoint" and uploading videos of them playing... online. however, they had hinted to me that they are actually nervous and scared to go the arcade b/c of "the stories of fights happening" there which i guess do happen but its exaggeration of a couple of stupid highschool kids pushing each other and screaming.

and to be fair i admit i guess i was "scared" of "the crowd" there at the arcade initally. you got chain smoking tattooed tough looking girls, bleached white haired femmy looking asian guys with jesus christ earings, and one random silent black a suit. but in the end i played them and they were all pretty damn normal and it was fun; i talked to them and trashed talked back and forth or did not say anything all at but play for hours. no punch was throw at me yet( i need to shit talk and insult sf4 more?).

so i in the end i guess subt-L, your right. alot of people now are scared and are non socialable; are not able to meet new people (to put it harshly).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 3:13 PM | Unregistered Commenteragent146

arcades are dead in texas at least arcade ufo and planet zero are really slow everytime ive gone i played against a computer or a blazblue player who just felt bad for me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 3:32 PM | Unregistered Commenteronly jack

I love arcades just as much as you guys do and when I lived in the SF Bay Area I was going to SVGL all the time. I still go there at least once a month and it is a 3hr drive for me.It seems like the Golflands are losing attendance but now they have Starbase and SouthTown which are doing fairly well right now. Regardless I do see a trend towards gatherings outside of the arcades, at least among the most devoted players.

A big problem is that most of the new players getting into the fighting game scenes aren't really that devoted. They might seem enthusiastic and enjoy playing, but they aren't going out of their way to make things happen.

I do agree with you that there is no logical excuse for Namco not releasing TTT2 outside of Japan. There may be legal reasons why they cannot allow sales of the Japanese region version outside of Japan. All it would take to sell the game in the US is slapping an English label on the cabinet and possibly taking out the network connectivity part if its really that much trouble. But like Joebo said if they aren't going to make money releasing it here, or even possibly lose money, that's a pretty good reason for not releasing it. Perhaps Namco has crunched the numbers and decided its not worth the resources to release it here, we don't really know.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 3:45 PM | Unregistered Commenterbitkid

This is why you play at the arcade:

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 3:48 PM | Unregistered CommenterPane

Thanks Aris! Been waiting and waiting :D

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 4:05 PM | Unregistered Commenter8ight

Dead arcades died because they couldn't pay the rent, the horsepower of home systems equaled arcade hardware, and players chose the more convenient option of playing games at home rather than having to travel to the next county to spend $10 in quarters per arcade visit just to practice. Recently, arcade game developers are looking at cell phones and tablet PCs as the next big platform to build games on. Economics killed arcades; not lack of cabinets, not lack of competition, not lack of community. Shit that no consumer can control killed arcades in most places.

Most of the arcades that still exist are like museums, or time machines that somewhat old people (>25 years old) jump into when then want to remember what it was like in 1992 or 1998. Most exist for little else than novelty and nostalgia. I may be wrong, but the number of arcades in the United States where players compete seriously CAN PROBABLY BE COUNTED ON ONE OR TWO HANDS!!! And the number of players practicing absolutely seriously in the US for the next tournament is probably less than three dozen.

A couple weeks ago on a Friday evening I visited an arcade two counties away to play on the SSF4:AE, MVC2, and Chase HQ2 machines, and to see who hung out there. I counted only four people playing who did not work there. None of them playing the fighting games (two were playing the new shooter game with the fish). No one approached to challenge me while I let the computer beat the crap out of me. I left about 45 minutes and $3 in quarters later. Waste of gas. And that's why some people think investing in arcades is a poor investment...

If the home system version of a game is inferior to the arcade release, blame the developer.
Why is NB releasing a new Tekken game on the WiiU and a couple for the PS3 and X-Box, but only ONE for the arcades? Developers are looking outside of arcades to make money, because arcades aren't making as much money as they used to.

Count how many upcoming fighting games are going to be released for home systems.
Count how many upcoming fighting games are going to be released in the arcades.
The numbers will not be equal. Why is one number larger than the other?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 at 4:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterMiga-Oh

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