Crowdfunding campaign in the works to renovate Super Arcade, Mike Watson discusses future plans, thanks supporters

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • January 1, 2014 at 6:43 p.m. PST

Mike Watson's previous blog post about Super Arcade was a bit depressing, but after reading about his current situation, a number of people came out to support him and his arcade, including doing some heartwarming things that Watson made special mention of in his recent blog post.

Watson also noted that he's fleshing out a new business plan which will be a "great improvement for Super Arcade and will revitalize this location along with the FGC as a whole."

While he doesn't reveal all of his plans, Watson discusses how he'd transform some aspects of Super Arcade into more of a hang out spot for college students nearby, and altering their game lineup a bit to appeal to a broader audience.

Hit the jump to read more.

Watson states that part of this overhaul will include renovation and remodeling of Super Arcade, but he wants to tackle it via a crowd funding campaign due to his current financial situation.

"This project will be done as a Kickstarter or Indiegogo, as I have obviously exhausted everything in life including my time, health, and savings.

"Is this location and plan enough to have people willing to support? I really don't know, but regardless of the outcome I know that I will have zero regret, and I know that I have done everything in my power to support the community and push it towards being better and stronger," said Watson.

Also, in related news a full website has been setup for the Nelson "EMP|Remix" Reyes charity event, taking place this weekend at Super Arcade.

The event will go down on January 4, 2013 at 3 p.m. PST. A stream will be provided by IE Battlegrounds. Tournaments will be held for MvC2 and UMvC3, at $10 per game.

Of the $10 entry fee, $5 will go towards the venue fee to cover things like, electricity, location, equipment, etc. while the $5 towards the pot will be donated to Nelson Reyes' family. Super Arcade may also donate more, depending on the turnout.

You can visit the website linked above for further details.


PurplePonyJotaro said on January 1, 2014 at 6:46 p.m.
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TheTHCGamer said on January 1, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.

Times are tough theses days and I wish him the best along with everyone else that's struggling.

Vothsair said on January 1, 2014 at 6:48 p.m.
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Madenka said on January 1, 2014 at 6:54 p.m.

I reckon Watson's best option might be to sell some machines but in the end like the crowdsource funding we'll be at the same situation.

The business model no longer works in this current age. Video rental stores were affected in a similar way with the introduction of streaming. Nowadays those business are doing everything to stay afloat.

Only other thing is sponsorship, but the likelihood of someone with the capital necessary to sponsor an entire arcade is so unlikely. It's frankly not even a good business decision.

Coocoopaper said on January 1, 2014 at 7:11 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

superarcade said on January 1, 2014 at 7:11 p.m.

i really dont like how this article has termed the distribution of the charity tournament :

"Half of the money will go to EMP|Remix's family, and the other half will go to Super Arcade to keep its doors open."

This is not the case of a normal arcade throwing a tournament and keeping half the pot. Any console tourney we hold has a venue fee that is charged because we are using our location, our electricity, and in most cases our equipment to run everything. With that being said, the tourney cost $10 of which $5 will go towards venue fee, and $5 towards the pot that will be donated entirely towards Nelson's family. And pending turnout I will also donate what I can once my costs for the day are covered.

Madcatz will be donating some stuff that we might raffle off or give to the winners in hopes of raising more money for Nelson's funeral costs and a buddy of mine named Edward aka DASH, is donating 2 tickets to Universal Studios that will also be included in prize distribution that is still to be determined.

Thanks again and hope to see people show up for this.

SuperRoadFighter said on January 1, 2014 at 7:20 p.m.

How do you ask for crowdfunding but keep the details private unless it would sound really bad if people found out what they were and wouldn't want to help. It seems like donating would just be throwing away money to stall its inevitable closure if that's the case.

SadisticSamurai said on January 1, 2014 at 7:24 p.m.

I hope this is a troll post......

Because online still really sucks for fighting games despite games having increasingly better netcode.

Even a really good connection still makes online quality/stability uncertain in different states.

Catalyst said on January 1, 2014 at 7:26 p.m.

Wasn't trying to put you guys on blast or anything there, sorry if I gave that impression. Was trying to commend you guys for hosting the charity event and let people know their money not only helps Reyes' family, but keeping Super Arcade open as well.

Regardless, I'll try and word it a little better in the story.

superarcade said on January 1, 2014 at 7:29 p.m.

because the plans still need to be set in stone and there is still a ton of work required before i make an actual announcement? and please explain to me how i am keeping details private? if you would read my post you would see that i actually go into much detail. any more constructive criticism buddy? if not, thanks for stopping by and sharing your 2 cents.

YouDontKnowMe said on January 1, 2014 at 7:33 p.m.

Best wishes. Have you considered liquidating some of the less popular machines and lease out some floor space? I was in a comic book shop near Arizona State not long ago and was surprised to see half the shop dedicated to tabletop games and the place was packed.

Smorgasboard said on January 1, 2014 at 7:34 p.m.

Might as well turn the place a Starbucks and use the profit from that to fund an arcade.

benzo425 said on January 1, 2014 at 7:35 p.m.

man u tell em watts! fuk all u fukin naysayers

CaptainHowdy said on January 1, 2014 at 7:37 p.m.

Thanks for keeping us informed on this Eventhubs. I hope this place stays open, it's a shame so many arcades are going down. That's the way things work sadly.

courte said on January 1, 2014 at 7:48 p.m.

these comments will be a blood bath. anyone who feels like making a statement about internet tourneys, for reasons that are better left unsaid you can save your strokes. for anyone who gets a little offed by a term like esports getting involved well... take a look at the future. these things don't just magically happen. they take blood sweat and tears. money and time. love and dedication from many people. but that can only happen at a detriment for so long.

superarcade said on January 1, 2014 at 7:52 p.m.

and for those of you who have serious questions or suggestions, i do read all these comments regardless of quality i try to find some content in them :) thanks to all who care and lets let the chips fall where they may.

thanks to eh catalyst for editing the post too. much appreciated and keep up the good work.

spotlesseden said on January 1, 2014 at 8:02 p.m.

console kills arcade, there is little thing we can do about it.

DrDucker said on January 1, 2014 at 8:46 p.m.

i'll donate, WNF and runback keeps me coming back

is there a link or somesuch for donations set up yet - on crowdfunding?

ColorQ said on January 1, 2014 at 8:47 p.m.

Maaaan.. pretty out there but someone should try to get Super Arcade on the National Register of Historic Places or something. I've seen lots of random buildings listed as historical and one of the last true arcades in the US is at least as interesting and notable as they are. A gem of a bygone era that can be preserved into the future.

Reality2k said on January 1, 2014 at 9:02 p.m.

Internet café / console area is the way to go. Internet PC's are cheaper than arcade games and people are on LoL / wow and new PC multiplay releases like crack sitting for hours for a reasonable fee. 4-5 people multiplaying battlefield or something in the same room screaming as a team could prove profitable. Requires a good internet connection though and continuous maintenance of PC's and upgrades. Buying / selling of used games could be another income that works for a lot of videogame stores - might be volatile though depending on how big of a market you'll get. If your goal is to make people STAY in the arcade and hang out longer things like food and/or even fixing up (what I've heard) a disgusting toilet is also important. Get sponsorship deals with energydrinks or something. Put up an actual donationbutton for Superarcade at streams (don't be to proud) - it WILL generate income. Make a proper website for Super (is there one?) with pictures, games and events and a proper description of how to get there - put out posters and what not on colleges and try to think of motivating things for them in order to get there. Right now it seems to be word of mouth but as such it will only circle in certain circles; never underestimate the power of breaking out of groupthinking. While income is still low; maybe you shouldn't have an event like WNF on a weekday where basically just bums with no work can be around for finals (I guess this is cause normal weekdays there is less of a turnabout but still). You say you want games that you can't play at home but a projector with a normal ps and House of the Dead overkill would be hella fun also to play and cheaper than an arcadegame (and could be changed out for everything from singstar to just dance), think outside the box in this area also. Pooltable? The fgc crowd would probably bring MM culture to this and make it popular lol. You aren't allowed to sell alcohol or cigarettes right?

Rehire Aris #Kappa

Baby_Astaroth said on January 1, 2014 at 9:07 p.m.

I like the new concept for Super Arcade.

GH0ST said on January 1, 2014 at 9:20 p.m.

"F**k dem other N****s"

Madenka said on January 1, 2014 at 9:30 p.m.

Maybe Superarcade can run all day stream on some of the fighting games like those other arcades in japan did? Maybe there is some revenue to made from that? I'd be happy to watch a stream with ads if I could see some local players in an arcade setting.

I know I'm scratching the bottom of the barrel for ideas though.

wallie said on January 1, 2014 at 9:33 p.m.

to be honest i have no idea how super arcade can survive even with an influx of cash and new business plan. All the arcades in my area are gone and as online play gets better and more popular.

Ever thought about maybe doing online tournaments or online leagues. Maybe charge 5-10 bucks per entry a week and try to convince some of the locals to join the online leagues.

The leagues could be 10-20 weeks long, and at the end of the league the top 3 could get a very nice prize payout. Dunno what the man power needs to be to do something like that, and try and stream some of the matches.

if you have 50 entries a week at 10 bucks a person that is 500 dollars a week. Also instead of doing it double elim style. have each player face 3 different players in a FT5 format, and keep score based on wins. Sorta like Topanga.

Again this might be something that is totally impossible, or require just too much of your attention to do especially since someone would have to moderate 150 FT5s a week.

Wish you all the best of luck

SatsuiNoRyu said on January 1, 2014 at 10:29 p.m.

I sent a few PM's to Super Arcade, hope you read them :).

Esquilax said on January 1, 2014 at 10:34 p.m.

I live in SoCal and I am only 30~ mins away from Super Arcade

I will be sure to donate!

AugustAPC said on January 1, 2014 at 10:36 p.m.

I'm absolutely going to donate, here. I can't offer much, as I'm not well off myself, but I will do what I can.

xShonuffx said on January 1, 2014 at 10:56 p.m.

So you know Mother died of Breast Cancer while nobody is every required to donate, understand that something like that will always be more important than something that will always be here. I don't think this has to do with donating to breast cancer research anyways but if you ever get the chance you should as it helps to save lives of millions of women affected.

xShonuffx said on January 1, 2014 at 11:01 p.m.

^^^ sorry for the bad editing but you get my drift. ^^^

Also im glad something is being done to help Super Arcade.

ReddChief said on January 1, 2014 at 11:17 p.m.

Lol consoles is killing the arcades if so they would of died back in the 90's bro, it's the online that has alot to do with them dying and these new age gamers that won't come out the basement because of it, that's all they know is online and never been to an arcade

bunny said on January 2, 2014 at 12:57 a.m.

...i hope it works for you and your not just stretching the end game wish there were an arcade round my city :(

Super_Honda said on January 2, 2014 at 3:08 a.m.

Nice to see Super Arcade receiving support. It'll be tough, but I hope it goes well. Anyway, as for consoles killing arcades: not only the online gaming that is killing the arcades, but nowadays (well, for many years), any fighting game that was made for the arcades will almost certainly have an 'arcade-perfect' port of the game released for the home console version. Back then, especially in the 90s, any arcade-based fighting game that was released on the home consoles would either be a bad port or a decent port. Of course, you wouldn't see general gamers playing games online in the 90s, but what I'm saying is that ports of the game played its role as well. In this day and age, a lot has changed and unless you live in Japan, the chances are that it's almost certain that you would play fighting games on home consoles.

coddog said on January 2, 2014 at 3:38 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

ManRightChea said on January 2, 2014 at 5:37 a.m.

STFU you moron, I don't understand now you haven't been banned yet, you contribute nothing but negativity to this site.

Maybe airhead COD players (the scrubs of the FPS genre), never experienced what a good arcade can offer but they are worth keeping alive. You also have most likely never owned a business, probably never done anything significant for that matter. You don't know what its like to create something and watch it grow and become something great, and then to have to face the real truth that you might lose it. Since you seem keen on wishing worse on others, I will do the same for you. I hope you die lonely at a dead end job and that you never accomplish anything in life. Hopefully if you ever try to start a business of your own it will crash and burn like anything else you touch in life.

You don't know and likely never will as you are likely some anti-social sweaty that is too embarrassed to be seen in natural light. Most of you online scrubs hide out in your basement so that you can avoid the real challengers that will beat your ass.

@superarcade What types of things can you do to try to make the arcade more green? Are solar panels etc a realistic option. Don't underestimate the amount of energy a large solar panel and battery system can create, may be enough to run a few of your hungriest machines on. Most also have visible energy meters to make regulating power alot easier. Plug that badboy straight into the junction box, may help lop off a significant portion of the energy costs.

Lockm said on January 2, 2014 at 7:39 a.m.

Green energy in the way of solar panels will take a very long time to see a return from such an investment, it takes years upon years before a it can be seen, it's not a short term solution otherwise everyone would be doing it.

Eventhough i'm halfway across the globe from superarcade but because of the FGC related event having been hel there it is a center point for the FGC, offline and even online(streams etc) Good to here there are plans in the works to try and keep it going.

codtopdog said on January 2, 2014 at 8:36 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

ChumbleB said on January 2, 2014 at 8:43 a.m.

I've never had any interaction with superarcade. But just reading their comments on here, they seem pretty entitled, petty, and condescending. Not saying they are, just saying that's the impression I'm getting from this one post. And I think I'd be more inclined to help if I perceived them as polite and grateful. Best of luck to them though.

Smorgasboard said on January 2, 2014 at 9:18 a.m.

Well, if you really insist on keeping it a fighting game arcade, I suggest moving up market. Instead of just having arcade machines, provide a more complete experience.

1. Have a welcome center. Just someone who can guide new people through their first time in an arcade. A good first impression goes a long way.
2. Provide training for beginners. It's like you have a gym with no trainers. Fine for regulars, hard for new comers.
3. Provide training for regulars. You have the veterans, you have the equipment, what are you waiting for? Everyone talks about teaching but no one has yet to take it seriously.
4. Sell accessories. Not just badges or shirts but sticks,guides, gunnars and gloves too. Everything a fighting could ever want.
5. Organize tournaments and sponsor the winners to Evo. Then display their wins in the arcade. Having a reputation of a breeding ground for champions advertises itself.

Basically, learn from successful dojos, skating rings, boxing gyms, swimming pools, snooker clubs, dance studios and et cetera.

YouDontKnowMe said on January 2, 2014 at 9:45 a.m.

So your first account gets banned because your acting like an idiot and talking trash about people you've never met so you open up a new account so you can continue to spend your time acting like an idiot and complaining about people you've never met. Man, this must be one boring winter break for you. I bet you can't wait for middle school to start up again.

codtopdog said on January 2, 2014 at 10:29 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

DatOneFox said on January 2, 2014 at 11:09 a.m.

I think Watson's current plan is good. It's at least something. The arcades in Illinois do basically the same thing. Host some private events, order some pizza and snacks for those folks. Limit it to however many you can hold comfortably in the arcade so that everyone is at one arcade at a time. Open that event to those people after normal business hours and continue until around Midnight. So if you close at 8, throw all those without a VIP ticket out at that time and prepare for the party then. That's 4 extra hours that day, and charge around $14 per head. Contact the people at Galloping Ghosts, Underground Retrocade, or Star Worlds Arcade. They might have some ideas to also help as well. In any case, all the best to you, Watson, and the Super Arcade! Keep those classics alive and stay a part of the culture! :)

onion_scroll said on January 2, 2014 at 11:30 a.m.

+1 to this guy just because I've had a bad experience with a local arcade/gaming cafe (which closed down the following months after my first and only visit) that could have potentially self-sustained if the owners had any semblance of marketability.

ryuhayabusa13 said on January 2, 2014 at 2:47 p.m.

Good Ideas. Also, add gaming cafe area, cafeteria,etc.
Really don't want this place to go being one of the few arcades left in the country and one of the best.

ManRightChea said on January 2, 2014 at 4:22 p.m.

Watson is under alot of stress, its not like that friend. As a fellow business owner, I understand perfectly how Watson must feel. People don't understand what it is like to put so many years of your life into something and to face the potential that you may lose it. It is not something easy to bear.

Super Arcade is the host of streams like WNF and TRB, alot of people consider it a great arcade and imo the FGC will take a major blow if it is lost. You should click the link to his personal blog, actually read the rest of his entrants there. You should get a better impression of the guy that way, nobody gives a great first impression when you catch them at a low point in their life.

gaming99 said on January 2, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

just ignore the trolls, Watson. They just a keyboard warrior talking sh1t behind the computer screen just like me, only much worse.

old_school_rival said on January 2, 2014 at 8:06 p.m.

On top of that I would say quick and accessible game updates via DLC has also played a part. There's no point going to the arcade to play the latest version of your favourite fighter, when it will be released on consoles within months. back in the day you had to wait awhile before it came out on home systems.

feralwolf72 said on January 3, 2014 at 1:33 a.m.

i've enjoyed most of the times I've ventured up to super arcade (+/- 2hour drive).

thricebang said on January 5, 2014 at 3:04 a.m.

May I suggest The Heart Of Gamings (HOG) business model for ideas; I think its a quite successful arcade opened last year that prices based on day visits etc

YanDaMan said on January 6, 2014 at 11:31 a.m.

My personal suggestion is get rid of the arcade machines (sell them for some revenue) and make the place into more like a gaming/internet cafe instead.

Have rooms with dedicated lagless monitors and consoles/PC for fighting games, shooters, MMO's MOBAS, and wahtever other competitive game there are. Charge people fees by the hour.

It would cost less to sustain and probably bring in more people. That way it would be more of a "hangout spot" too.


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