Great article over at Polygon on new video game arcades:
What it’s Like Running an Arcade in 2015
It’s a costly business, and it’s no secret that many arcades have been looking for other ways to supplement that income, including combining arcades and bars together. “[Most people] have illusions that beer and arcades are a perfect gimmick,” Wilson says. “If you don’t love video games or know anything about repairing them or how to maintain them, you will lose your hat faster than the few minutes it takes to sign the lease on your new spot.”
It’s great that they list figures for the businesses too. When you’re in one of these places it seems like the money is just pouring in, but that’s not the financial reality.
Plus, you’ll need to be really good at repairing these old machines, and in ways that retain their authenticity.
“It’s very important to have a very good video game repairman,” Horne says. “It’s very important. Probably the number one thing. And bring your patience when it comes to sourcing the games.”
Prices for the cabinets can wildly vary, on average costing around $1,000 a unit. For example, Mario Kart can run $2,500 to $3,000. Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! can run $1,500. Mortal Kombat 2 has doubled in price since Horne started buying machines.