Most American gamers (and those elsewhere, across the globe) all view Japan as a paradise for numerous reasons. At the top of everyone's list is how arcades are still abundant and thriving. Or so it is believed. Whereas in the States, one of the few options that remain for many is Dave & Busters, which is a far cry from the dimly lit, smoky amusement centers that many of us grew up in.
Though the truth of the matter is, while there most definitely are more arcades to be found in Japan, many are finding it increasingly difficult to stay profitable. Which is why Namco Bandai, who not only still produces a good number of arcade machines but also runs a number of amusements centers as well, have come up with a plan.
According to a report cited by Kotaku, they're thinking of charging 500 yen, which is about five bucks in US dollars, for an hour's worth of gameplay. A stark contrast to how most arcade games operate; on average, a single play costs 100 yen, or around a buck.
It'll be interesting to see how this new proposed system plays out in the wild. It's definitely an appealing idea for regular gamers, those who might be intimidated by the difficulty curve of many arcade offerings. This new pay method might not be the "waste of money" that a visit to the arcade that people often characterize them to be.
Though it's also hard to imagine how this would work among hardcore fighting fans. One of the key selling points of playing such games on an arcade cabinet, other than the superior interface, is seeing how fast it takes to rob your opponent of his yen/dollar. Also, could this system possibly work in America? Hard to say.
At least for Dave & Busters, given how well they do already, it's difficult to believe that they would tinker with success. Which largely lies within their redemption games and overpriced food. Their actual games is the lowest on their list of priorities, which any D&B patron can tell you already.