Leading the way for arcades

Discussion in 'General' started by Chanchai, Feb 26, 2001.

  1. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Just a thought (which shall lead into a rant).

    Does anyone know the position of Konami in the world of arcade games?

    As far as I can tell, looking at the products, success, and everything else. It seems like the big arcade developers in the 90's were Namco and Sega. Gun, Fighting, and racing games seemed to be the norm. In the asian front, I can assume it also included puzzles and traditional shooters. Uniquely arcade games (Top Skater and the like) were more of the exceptions and were very interesting.

    But suddenly Konami comes out with the Bemani games, Silent Scope, and some others. Games that you could really only truly experience at the arcade with a HUGE difference that was obvious to the individuals. Yes, I know, ports of traditionally popular arcade games were not identical or as good as the arcade counterparts. But that wasn't doing anything to prevent people from often ending up ditching the arcade for the action at home (keep in mind that a lot of this has to do with a Western-biased perspective--I can't honestly comment on any asian scene with accuracy). But with the Bemani styled games and especially silent scope, the action and intensity, heck, the decibals wouldn't dare live up to the arcade experience at home. What you had at home was obviously a trainer for what you do in the arcade. Something that pretty much those that love the arcade culture or appreciate it knew, but the typical casual-goer either never understood nor cared about. And then it's different with these games. Unless you fork out for a true platform or those acryllic platforms were good, the arcade was truly where to play DDR. You could play Beatmania at home, but it just sounded so good and was loaded with the glitz and lighting at the arcade. Silent Scope just simply doesn't work at home, and yet it's such a single player experience.

    In a time when arcades are slowing down, consoles getting stronger at coming with ports that are either 80% of their arcade counterport or even surpassing them (when they are surpassing them, it's usually because the arcade hardware is primitive or scaled down, I know); suddenly, you have stronger efforts in the arcade industry for modern style replayability and a great experience at the arcade. Of course this was always worked on. However, more and more arcades from Konami were screaming, "You obviously can't get this action at home!" Something good for the industry I believe. Konami's console efforts are definitely different from their arcade efforts. Sure, they do port all of their arcade titles to consoles, but the arcade specific titles make it a point that it has to be played in the arcade for any decency. While the console-specific designs were to appeal to the at home gamer with adventures and what not.

    What Konami is doing probably isn't anything new. However, the margin between at home and arcade is much bigger than it was before in a lot of their focused titles. Sega's done this for awhile, particularly with racing, but many people grew satisfied with emulating the arcade racing experience at home. Namco has typically followed in the footsteps of Sega, almost like the Burger King of arcades (BK traditionally had a tendency to just open up where McDonald's was as part of its strategy to follow McDonald's market research). However, Konami expanded a pretty fresh idea, allowed a sub-culture to come about it, and is apparently meeting with huge success. Sega's taking an example from Konami and has released their own form of the Bemani style games among others and met with very good success as well.

    What it seems like to me is that these are the actions that are purely leading the way towards the future of arcade gaming. True, it always has been done, but not this successfully as far as I can tell. Putting back the emphasis that the arcade experience has to be its own unique and obviously better experience. A margin between at home and the arcade that is obviously better to generally all consumers. I thought it was kind of bitter-sweet that there was so much focus to improve the console market as to sell out the arcade market by using boards built around consoles. Good for at home playing, but I still feel that playing at home is no substitute for playing at the arcades (in terms of games designed to be played publicly--which means that I find FPS, strategy games, and the kind you find on Online multiplayer games to be an exception, being alone and yet interacting is a strongpoint in the experience for those games).

    In essence, this rant is just saying that I feel that Konami and Sega are leading the way to the future strength the arcade industry might have. More has to be done, but so much is being done already. They are being supported and backed by Namco and others. Capcom is still doing the traditional style arcade games which I think should be there anyways. I'm not one to favor killing tradition just for the sake of the new, I prefer they coexist. That side of me kind of feels bad for what seems like the death of the pinball machine.

    Anyways, we'll see in the future how it all works out. The problem however, is that the affordability of these experiences makes all of this so limited. The Avant-Garde (excuse mispelling) nature of these arcade machines give them little chance to be experimented with (this was almost always the case, no?). The majority of arcades out there, particularly chains (mall chains more specifically), at least in the US either feel they cannot afford to bring these arcades out or are not willing to test them out, for reasonable reasons. Hopefully arcade leasing companies could support this somehow if they aren't already.

    As a person who took part in my local arcade scene for much of my life, I just hope things will be strong for the future of arcade games. I acknowledge the limitations set by my own little world of perspective. But I feel a shared feeling when I hear others talk about the state of arcades in their area or at least reports. True, people focus on the negatives, and all you see is all you can really tell about. But my understanding is that arcades have been in a weird state for a very long time. Maybe we're just expecting so much and the industry is investing so much after the huge success that Street Fighter 2 spurred all over the place, and the fall of some arcades and chains might just be a natural part of the business cycle. Or maybe the arcade scene really is going through tough times on a normal standard. Guess we'll wait and see and try to contribute.

    At least I can be happy that Sega Racers and even Silent Scope (well, for at least a year anyways) were quite successful in my local area. And even VOOM had good distribution. Concerning tradition, the Capcom name (as well as Namco) seemed to at least be well engraved upon the scene in my area and so they live off of a very devoted fanbase. Despite MvC2 coming to the platform so soon after the arcade release, it's still such a popular arcade title. As much as I dislike the game, it gives more hope to the arcade scene. Not to mention that redemption (ticket rewarding) games are always doing well.

  2. Jason Cha

    Jason Cha Well-Known Member

    Even before Bemani, Konami has always considered itself as one of the top three players in the arcade market.

  3. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't doubt that/images/icons/smile.gif

    Unfortunately... I am not too aware of many of Konami's Arcade Division games since perhaps Track & Field (loved those games way back in the day) or Run & Gun. My memory might be failing, but I didn't see them much in my area. However, given the success of games such as Gradius and Parodius, as well as the brilliance of Treasure (which, as I understand it, are former Konami developers), I wouldn't doubt that a lot of the arcades I did become familiar with were inspired by Konami.

    Now that I think about it, their shooters were probably huge hits in Asia. I wouldn't doubt platformers either. Just wish I knew more about their arcade history. I probably played a lot of them on consoles, but just didn't see them in the arcades in my area...

    Jason, do you know much more on the history of Konami's arcade division? Just curious, because I certainly don't/images/icons/smile.gif

    BTW, I love Winning Eleven (well, at least WE4/images/icons/smile.gif). Best football (soccer) game I've ever played so far.

  4. Mr. Bungle

    Mr. Bungle Well-Known Member

    go to www.klov.com, go to search, look up konami in the manufacturer field, and shut your mouth. that is serious history.
  5. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

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