Classic Arcade News Feed: April 2020

I hope everyone is doing OK in the current situation. I’ve been keeping busy with Nintendo Red Tent and Robotron restorations – updates will of course follow here on the blog in the coming weeks.

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these; I’ve been bookmarking a few things over the last few months and thought it high time I share some interesting snippets of classic arcade gaming news from around the globe:

A new documentary Insert Coin is in the works (in fact it might even now be complete I guess). The film documents Midway’s rise to success, especially during the 90s when many other arcade manufacturers had either gone to the wall, or were simply struggling to release games that captured the public’s imagination. It looks pretty interesting, with plenty of interviews and insight. Here’s the official trailer:

I’m pretty stoked to see the final release. Sign up here for future updates.

Elsewhere, a couple of interesting classics have turned up for sale this year:

This Robotron cabaret looks pretty standardRobo2Except the artwork is different to the usual silver, red and blue variantRobo1Turns out it’s an original engineering prototype cab!CS3And then there’s this: A Computer Space cabinet that at some point was converted to play Playstation 1 games!CS1Yeesh! At least the fibreglass cabinet looks to be in good shapeCS4Hard to believe that someone thought this was a good idea. Hopefully, the new owner can convert it back to what it once was.

Not exactly arcade news, but worthy of mention. Atari, once the dominant force in arcade gaming, is now a shadow of its former self. The current owners of the brand have been busy with a couple of announcements. The first being the proposed introduction of Atari themed hotels. This seems to follow the business model they are running with, which is licencing its IP to third parties. I don’t hold out much hope here, but if done properly, it could be pretty interesting.

Their other announcement is rather more puzzling. This was a release announcing the launch of Atari Casinos, linked to an Atari branded Cryptocurrency. Atari says:

The casino space presents a massive opportunity to leverage the portfolio of Atari properties through a range of social and real money casino opportunities.

Now I don’t doubt that’s true, but to align the Atari brand alongside out and out gambling seems like an extraordinary move to me. Since when did the carefree fun that Atari once represented sit alongside a business model designed to get players to lose potentially huge amounts of money? Here’s an interesting video about the subject:

Next up is a great documentary which I don’t think I’ve shared before, called Space Invaders. This film delves into the mindset of arcade collectors and restorers. This is the full film and is worth a watch if you have time on your hands (which I’m sure you do right now!). It’s very well done:

Some world record news was reported in Iowa during February this year. Jordan Dorrington of Cedar Rapids broke the Galaga world record in his kitchen! Check out the article here. In addition, a video interview was recently released, where Jordan talks all things Galaga:

A cool discussion on the KLOV Forums a few weeks back about arcade game glitches led me to this page about a bug in Atari’s seminal colour vector game Gravitar. It turns out you can guide your ship through the terrain on some levels. Here’s a video of the glitch in action:

Interesting stuff.

A good friend of mine and fellow podcast presenter Paul Drury did a great interview on the BBC over here in the UK about Ralph Baer some time ago. Ralph sadly passed away in 2014 aged 92, but is regarded as the “Father of Video Games”. The discussion is now on SoundCloud, and is a great listen. It’s just five minutes long – do give it a listen.

Elsewhere, Cassandra Quirk, who I’ve mentioned before here on arcadeblogger.com, has completed her History of Centuri with another video documenting the games released by this iconic arcade manufacturer. Great production values and tons of information that you may not have seen before. Here are both videos in full:

Cassandra does incredible work, and I’d recommend checking out her YouTube channel here. She’s currently doing regular videos documenting restoration work during the current lockdown – do take a look and subscribe!

Finally, if you haven’t listened in already, my new arcade project, The Ted Dabney Experience Podcast, is now available on YouTube – so you really have no excuse!

Grab a beer, put your feet up and check out Warren Davis’ talk to us with great insights into 80s arcade development. The podcast is also on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify. More info here.

[Source : Arcadeblogger.com]

5 thoughts on “Classic Arcade News Feed: April 2020

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