Authenticity and the return of the home arcade

We live in an era where the best stories might have already been told. On every medium, all we see are remakes, re-releases, remasters, and sequels. While some of the reimaginings are thoughtful and creative (like the Marvel Cinematic Universe), many are just tired rehashes trying to capture the hearts and minds of audiences through nostalgia.

It is prevalent everywhere, from the cinemas to modern gaming consoles – which are littered with low-quality sequels and remakes of classic arcade machines from the past. While there are quality original titles, they are few and far between. And it has gamers seeking authentic titles from their youth.

The rise of the arcade machine

There are very few video game arcades left anymore as home consoles rendered them redundant over the years. But throughout several points in recent history, they changed the world and could be found everywhere from the local fish and chips shop to your favorite video rental shop (remember those?).

It all started back in 1978 when Space Invaders first hit the arcades. It created a global revolution that had never been seen before. When Pac-Man was released in 1980, the world was hooked on arcade gaming. 

It didn’t take long for the Japanese creations to find their way overseas and become a huge hit in western markets. Space Invaders was a huge hit in the United States and when Pac-Man was released, there were as many as 10,000 dedicated arcades in the US alone – a number that doubled between 1980 and 1982.

The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 threatened to end the arcade explosion just five years after the release of Space Invaders. Gamers were left disenchanted by the flood of inferior games hitting the home and arcade markets and there just wasn’t enough revenue to go around. Companies went broke, gaming appeared to be dead.

But the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1985 (initially released as the Famicom in Japan in 1983)  breathed new life into the gaming industry through quality in-house titles like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda.

Arcades began to flourish again as well and the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the release of some of arguably the best ever arcade games including the likes of Double Dragon, Final Fight, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and the smash hit Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Simpsons fighting games.

However, the home console industry began to gain ground as well, and by the late 1990s and early 2000s arcades became a dying breed to make way for home consoles like the original Sony PlayStation.

Why the arcade machine is relevant again today

The impact of those classic arcade games created memories that stuck with gamers for life. They long for the instant satisfaction, simple gameplay, and authenticity that those games provided.

There are many, adult gamers that prefer a more casual approach, not infinite menus, downloadable content, and complex gaming mechanics.

The raw emotions that classics like Pac-Man still evoke in gamers make it just as relevant today as it was in 1980. It was genuine, new, and authentic. Old mates long to play each other again in fighting titles, re-igniting the rivalry between Ryu and Ken or Scorpion and Sub Zero. 

Those classic arcade games provided genuine emotions and feelings that cannot be replicated with flash new graphics, sequels, and remakes. Many adult gamers long for the real thing and they are teaching their kids about the golden era of gaming as well.

Fortunately, there is a new breed of arcade machines available and they can be shipped directly to your home. They have the same classic design and feel but come loaded with all of the classic games.

They are the perfect, authentic solution for the gamer wanting to tap into their nostalgia in the most authentic way possible. The arcade is back – and this time it is right in your own living room.


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