From Gaming Houses to Casinos: Where Did Arcade Games Go?

Remember the time when tokens were considered the primary “currency” of gaming? Back then, your typical video game adventures were limited to arcades. The tiny game cartridges, compact discs, and memory cards we enjoy today existed in large gaming boxes that resemble mini-versions of telephone booths.

“It’s ancient history now, but once upon a time, if you wanted to play the most recent and most interesting games, you had to get up, leave the house and make your way to an arcade,” Games Industry said in a critique of the diminishing arcade landscape.

Today’s gaming trophies existed in the form of stuffed toys earned only by trading coins or tokens. From the iconic Dance Dance Revolution game, the button mashing Tekken and Street Fighter combat, to the side-scrolling Mario series, arcade games were certainly a different flavor compared to the type of games today. So, where are these arcade games now? Games Industry claims that arcade machines’ bulky frame led to its decline.

“Arcade machines are big, bulky and expensive to move or replace. Once, that meant that they were vastly more powerful than home systems – but the accelerating pace of technological progress turned the size and expense of arcade machines into a liability rather than an advantage,” the website said.

However, according to a different report published in The Verge, arcades aren’t simply disappearing from the gaming landscape. They are merely adopting to a new home in casinos and in their mobile counterparts.

“The classic American arcade may be on its way to extinction, but many of the concepts that made arcade gaming popular are sprouting up in an unlikely place: slot machines.”

According to the report, arcade gaming via casino staples like slot machines are all part of the industry’s strategy to cater to a younger audience. At present, it’s common to find entertainment giants who feature an arcade resemblance in their mobile games.

With the boom of the mobile industry, the former arcade boxes now exist in tiny mobile phones. For instance, gaming giant Bet Fair has a whole catalog designated for mobile arcade gaming. The games include simulated virtual dog racing games and simulated soccer matches among others. Although these games are far from the arcade games we used to know, the game mechanics resemble arcades where you have to pay real money for tokens in order to play.

See, arcade games never really went away. The once bulky size simply shrunk to fit mobile gaming today.

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