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Re(7):SNK Stuff Thread 10 - Spring 2013 editi
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[QUOTE]But the smaller mom & pop shops seems to have problems. It's harder for them to slash prices because of the royalty system and they end up having to compete at the same price as the bigger arcades. It's also hard for them to offer per-hour freeplay. They're already sort of doomed in the dieing arcade scene, and this isn't making things any easier for them.[/QUOTE] I remember you mentioning that the last time, but if the hardware and software makers are adapting to an evolving market, it might just mean the mom&pops should maybe adapt too! There used to be three factors for an arcade scene to succeed: 1. The location 2. The game selection 3. The cost of playing and eventually, a fourth one appeared: 4. The community/scene So nowadays, factors 2 and 3 are disappearing. It is a problem for small operators to differentiate themselves, but as you mentioned, it is also seriously reducing the risk of making a bad choice in purchases and it reduces the risk they get priced out by competitors going on crazy promotions. It's important to consider that the average price of a credit (for a standard arcade game) has remained Y100, which is insane if you consider the inflation; competing by providing cheaper credits will not create a sane environment in the long term. This means Moms&Pops need to adapt to these new rules by focusing on the remaining factors for success: location and community (which are tied). What kind of crowd comes to your store because they are working or living close-by? What kind of crowd would be motivated to cross over town if you provided the right environment for them? Once you have decided on your target userbase, how do you get to come in your store? What kind of service do you provide beyond games? How can you make money outside of the arcade machines themselves? Would that crowd buy books? Clothing? What kind of food or drink would they consume? There is always going to be people going places. Blaming "the slow death of the arcades" as an inevitable trend is a self-fulfilling prophecy if the small operators don't try new things to attract consumers differently.
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