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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)

For people who think - House Tekken > Arcade Tekken
Generally speaking, Japanese aren't a social bunch when it comes to subjects like games. Before anyone goes around yelling what they have seen of the arcade scene in Japan, I do know there are social people out there but for the most part, guys in these arcades just want to keep to themselves and possibly their little circle of friends. Just as an example, I've been to countless arcades and getting a "GG" from an opponent is something that happens once in a blue moon. I feel as though online Tekken would be something that would appeal very much to the Japanese gamer since it is something that can be done in the comfort of your own home with no need for social skills.
Then why are arcades still going in Japan?
Even if Tekken Online was lag-free there is still a big factor that will keep these Japanese arcade players coming back and its not a pro-arcade factor that was mentioned much in the podcast. The fact that there is money coming out of your wallet every time you lose is so humiliating, more so, once you realize that your opponent knows this as well. When you are playing with friends (Yes, I've done this my fair share of times too) losing doesn't matter. I rarely use my main character when I'm playing house Tekken. I plain don't give a shit if I lose. There is nothing on the line and seriousness goes out the window. All I have to do is wait another couple of minutes till its my turn to repeat the same thing over again. All I'm thinking of when I'm playing house Tekken is how long there is till I can head back to the arcade.
I have a great deal of respect for those that form a Tekken community where they play each other on console frequently in areas of the world where there is no arcade scene. The efforts of many to keep playing this game is such a beautiful sight to behold BUT you are delusional if you think the experience tops that of the arcade.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 12:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterMonchan

One of the reasons i like the fact that arcades still exists is that it provides excelent testing ground for the console version so when the console version comes it is pretty much complete. Arcade is the part of tekken there is no argue about that.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterRandomWhiteBoy

Also it is all about enjoyment people. If you are fine with the arcade do arcade, if you are into console or online do them. Live 'n let live.

I am the one of the people that haven't got other options, but i love tekken and enjoyed it since i was a kid, and even so i find videos of arcade tekken high level matches very educative and fun.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRandomWhiteBoy

sadly TTT2 is just SHIT. anything but shit

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 1:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterVenzo

defx and loldongs are PERFECT examples of mr. iowa

it's alright, you are just online scrubs

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 2:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterPane

Just got home from work, reading the pages I left off from yesterday and I see people saying "Tell me how how having friends over for a gathering isn't different from going to an Arcade" and If Arcades weren't so crowded and smelled like balls" Are you fucking kidding me! Again those commentor's need to listen to this podcast again bc they haven't listened to anything MKY,RIP and Aris said! It's sad that the new generation of Tekken players today do not even understand or respect that TEKKEN IS AN ARCADE GAME! And comes from the Arcade. Tekken thrive's in Arcade. If we did not support Arcade's and just wanted Arcade's to die,We would have no Tekken. Why are we against each other here? This podcast was not intended to disrespect online It was meant to address what tekken is all about from seasoned veterans that have been playing this franchise for years. It was meant to educate the Tekken novice where their favorite game came from.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 3:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterIMFAMOUSMINDED

The problem with going down the route of having console only houseparties instead of arcades is that it REQUIRES a modest scene, not a big one. People shouldn't confuse a friendly gamingsession of Tekken with 4-5 friends with what an arcade can house. It also leads to a seperation of the fightinggame community as a whole which needs to stick together. Look at some of the latest EWGF broadcasts with hype happening in marvel or streetfighter in the background; you think your house can host 3 scenes like that? Would you even want it to?

That being said, saying you can't have fun on console or have a competetive scene is bogus to me. I'm sorry RIP but the competetive scene within Counterstrike or Starcraft is 10 times that of your precious tekken and it has nothing to do with people putting quarters in the machine. Hell even playing scrabble is (it has a bigger scene).

Being competetive within hobbies is in human nature if it's playing a videogame or kicking a football. You have to understand that casualplayers are a big part of everything and you might be blinded by seing just the top of the pyramid at your arcade; the really competetive ones (who play more out of a support of the game right now then anything). So instead of saying arcades breed highlevel players you might as well turn it around and say that highlevel players seek out arcades if you get the point. The best way to get good in a fightinggame is to have a brother who plays it. This has been the case within VF in the nordic area (netrom and raider) and also within Tekken (Boris and Louis here in Sweden).

What really was important was a point earlier brought up of HOW the scene should evolve - saying "if" is pointless.
Want to know why Sweden is pretty strong and on the map even at Namcos? Dragonslair in stockholm. I think is the model of the future.

What basicly happened was that a bunch of fightingame players went to another venue that already was making money (inet cafe, boardgames) and said basicly "Hey, can we set up consoles and sceens we bring here by ourselfs if we pay a small fee to play here"? And it worked. Basicly it's a big console arcade now where people pay like 50sek to play for a night etc combined with funds given from an organization called sverok. The venue also gets money from stuff like the café etc. There are lockers etc to lock in equipment (and since players bring the equipment it's lowrisk for the venue owners since they wont get an outdated product) so players don't have to carry things back and forth all the time also. Aris; I think it would be interesting for you to do a report on this model / interviews as it is one for the future. For us Swedes it's natural by now but from an international standpoint I do think it would be interesting.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 4:50 PM | Unregistered CommenterReality

Also; arcadeowners simply in general have no clue. It's the players who put out the streaming themselves for instance; not the arcadeowners even if its the best PR for an arcade you can probably have in this day and age. Finding an arcadeowner who is knowledgable about fightinggames (knows how to keep the scene alive), prioritizes it over other games, knows how to hype and is willing to go into economic loss cause of his love of the game is a utopi. Finding players who themselves can set up tournaments and what not is attainable.

"Any business that has to beg or guilt people into using it isn't successful or anything to be proud of." (c)Pat

Also (and this is influenced by a player I know); FUCK korea, FUCK japan. The MENTALITY has to go. Using words like "Okizeme" and "Yomi"; you should be using your own language and your own terms. Leave the littlebrother complex.

As long as you look to these places as the ideal (even if they are) you'll never thrive or be happy. You'll never have what they have and you simply hinder yourself by wishing for it cause it's not your own situation. Work with what you HAVE not what you want. The US is a much bigger country with HUGE potenial (yes BIGGER) for instance; as long as you whine that you don't have what they have overseas instead of really being constructive and trying to build something new nothing will happen. Fuck having favorite japanese or korean players and looking on youtube at idols; test the game by yourself and figure out how to play. Just cause you're korean does NOT mean you play optimal in every situation. Remember when people like GM and Anakin started beating koreans? That wasn't cause they had a favorite idol Lee or Jack player on YT. Figure stuff out on your own. Build the game up from scratch. Fuck flying asian players over and sucking their cocks. Ideas will revive fightinggames; not nostalgia.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 5:13 PM | Unregistered CommenterReality

U.S. players have been beating Koreans since T4.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:05 PM | Unregistered Commenterinsomnotek

@Venzo Fuck you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterVince Lionheart

No matter what you guys say Namco doesn't seem to want to release the game in US arcades. It sucks but as the old saying goes "Deal with it".

Btw sometimes you can give all the support in the world to an arcade and it doesn't matter. We in Syracuse went above and beyond to support our local arcade. They just falt out refused to buy Tekken 6 or any new fighting games and now that place is a ghost town. The worst part is that arcade is owned and run by Namco.

Aris what are you guys going to do when TTT2 finally drops on console? Will you still go play sessions at Super? Even if you did how would that make enough money to support Super? With Marvel, SFxT, and all future Capcom titles being console only how long do you really think Super can survive?

Also if you are going to blame anyone for the current string of arcade deaths blame Capcom. They were the ones to release SF4 in arcades and then 6 months later put out a console version with 10 more characters making the arcade version obsolite. Then proceeded to make the arcade version even more obsolite with the console only version of Super. The reason arcades were able to survive so long in the US was because the games everyone wanted to play were all in ar ades. 3S, MVC, CVS2, Tekken, and GG. When SF4 dropped 95% of all Capcom players abandoned these games and JUST played SF4 cause "That's what's popular, That's where the money is". So then everyone stopped playing these games that were arcade staples that owners never had to worry about not making profit before and then when Super SF4 came out even SF4 arcade didn't make money and it was over for arcades at that point. AE was too little too late.

Sadly if Tekken, BB, Arcana Heart, and like KOF were more popular here in the US then it wouldn't have mattered cause those games were still arcade first but that's not the case. Now Tekken is gone from that list as well so if you REALLY want to support arcades you need to start playing those kind of games cause that is what will keep the few arcades around alive.

Ps: I wrote this on my phone at work so forgive any mistakes I've made.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:08 PM | Unregistered CommenterZero

"That being said, saying you can't have fun on console or have a competetive scene is bogus to me. I'm sorry RIP but the competetive scene within Counterstrike or Starcraft is 10 times that of your precious tekken and it has nothing to do with people putting quarters in the machine. Hell even playing scrabble is (it has a bigger scene)."

Hey man, that was Aris not me! I play Starcraft 2, LoL, and tons of PC games actually! Get your insults right =p jk
And I agree, Tekken's competitive scene sucks and is a whole separate topic.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterRip

exactly....EVOLVE is the key word....the whole internet cafe turned console arcade idea is genius..i dont understand why something like this isnt being organized everywhere...

actually you can call me Mr. ATL as in Atlanta, Ga where I reside...a place that hasn't had an arcade scene since 01 but yet still has a strong SF/Marvel/Tekken scene with some of the best Tekken players in the country as well....hmmm wonder how that happened?

But i guess im just an online scrub lol even though I never mentioned online at all in my earlier post.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 6:33 PM | Unregistered Commenterdefx

"Though arcades are dead in 90% of the country..." You lost me there. That's self explanatory, man. I love your podcasts, but you're shooting yourself in the foot by acknowledging that the arcade scene is dead in Amerca.

I live in NYC and used to go to Chinatown Fair when Tekken 6 was out before it came to console. What do you propose Fab, GM, Bloodhawk, The Game, and the rest of the Tekken community here to do? Put our life savings together and open up an arcade in NYC? There are no more real arcades. Next Level doesn't count because its not the same as an arcade machine place, and it's too far for most people as well as Peter Pan games. The rent got too high, and the CF owner lost his lease.

Another question I have is this; if they completely, COMPLETELY, got rid of lag online, would you then be for online play?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 7:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterSketch

guys arcades are a thing of the past , sure it was cool to play with other people and what not . But think you ( A ) have to spend money on travel ( B ) spend money on food ( C ) pay for credits ( D ) make sure you have time to go arcade in the first place . ( E ) being around people that piss you off

Now playing online is so much more convenient, none of the factors above apply expect ( D ) , aris give it up . Arcades are a thing of the past and soon will be dead . Online is the future , if you cant except that then you personally are the 1 with the old man syndrome , japanese arcades are closing then you know that industry is in trouble

if any of you guys cant make friends outside of games shame on you

Online is the new era get used to it

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 7:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterArthur McJohn

^^^ This guy above me is a prime example of a duchebag filled with shit. "Arcade's are a thing of the past", "Old man syndrome" Fuck you man. You obviously did not listen to the podcast. That's the dumbest thing Iv'e ever heard!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 8:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterIMFAMOUSMINDED

"^^^ This guy above me is a prime example of a duchebag filled with shit. "Arcade's are a thing of the past", "Old man syndrome" Fuck you man. You obviously did not listen to the podcast. That's the dumbest thing Iv'e ever heard!"


Sorry but that douche bag is right, tekken or any other competitive game out there cannot support an arcade in North America. Arcade owners made their revenue with stuff outside of fighting games. With PC games taking over I've personally watched arcades closed down one by one. Aris and everyone else needs to simply accept the death of arcades as a fact of life and stop getting salty over it.

Don't worry, competitive gaming will exist as we have all seen the popularity with EVO and the streams. It took a while but even FG's are starting to become big like starcraft and FPS games. I'd say Daigo and other big names that are sponsored are already making big salaries. It's just a matter of time before people start paying to see streams with the big players in them. I remember over 1.5 million people were tuning into the EVO2k11 stream. Now imagine if all those people payed 2 dollars to watch the stream! Imagine the revenue that could be generated. Just think about that for a moment.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered Commenter??????????

defx - sorry, I will just call you mr. ignorant then. being an offline player, I am surprised to see that instead of being for people that still have an active arcade scene, you would bring them down and basically tell them to quit supporting what they believe in.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 9:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterPane

online won't be the future for years with tekken. maybe even the next decade. you'll be old and almost done with games before internet even gets closed to emulating real life.

so i don't know who's being more naive? people who still think arcades have a chance or people putting their faith that some magical invention will revolutionize the current isp conditions and the massive overhaul to our nations internet infrastructure, especially when most isp are starting to throttle and limit internet connections so they won't have to make this change.

@loldongs: i could write essays on why you are wrong about everything you said, but you see, i'm busy. i read that at 8 am this morning on the train to work and haven't had time to reply because i am working hard to achieve a career and earn money to purchase a home. funny, its also the reason why i can't schedule sessions or invite people over to my house. Its why i can't plan out when and where i want to play.

if only there was some place that was open where, if i had some free time happen to open up, i could go to sit down a play a bunch of players who are active in the scene without having to break out the scheduling books, where i might pay for the convenience of enjoying a game without having to clean my house, organize setups, and worry about entertaining guests. this magical place would also offer me the opportunity to meet people that i probably would otherwise never allow in my house around my family and my possessions without meeting them prior to that. and it would be really great if this place saw me as a patron, and catered to me by allowing me to play the newest games before it hit home console, made sure that these machines functioned correctly, and also gave me alternative games to play when i either got bored of a game or had to cool off.

this mythical place sounds too good. i wish i could dream a bit more, but its 10:14 pm and i'm working till midnight every night for the forseeable future.

you're right... I should grow up...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011 at 10:16 PM | Unregistered Commentersubt-L

There need to be some archades!! My biggest concern with archades closing is that there would be no testing arena for in-game errors. Then the rest of us would get a far worse product then the one we are getting now!

If Tekken is released directly to consoles, it would be full of bugs, glitches and infinetes, like MvC3 and Mortal Kombat. Then Namco would have to release patches or even a Super Tekken Ultimate Edition or whatever every sixth months... does it ring a bell?

Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 4:15 AM | Unregistered CommenterDrBhup

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