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TOPIC: Arcade game costs and profits

Arcade game costs and profits 08 Oct 2007 01:55 #25455

  • Cinemateer
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For those who have arcade games in their lobbies, on average, how much do you pay for the machines versus how much do you take in? In other words, what kinds of net profits do you see? I saw an estimate of around $12/day, which seems low. Is it even worth it?
"In a place like this, the magic is all around you. The trick is to see it." -Martin Landau
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Re: Arcade game costs and profits 08 Oct 2007 02:22 #25456

  • rodeojack
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You should pay nothing for your games. Get a decent company to provide them for around 50% of the take. You get half for giving them a location and customers to play. They get half for providing the games and keeping them working.

That kind of arrangement has worked well in our area for a long time.

BTW... if you use quarters in your business, this is a great way to keep your banks supplied. Buy their half for cash when they come around to count the boxes.
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Re: Arcade game costs and profits 08 Oct 2007 08:56 #25457

  • puzzlegut
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When we use to do the arcade games, we did them through companies that provided and maintained the games and we split the profits 50/50. It was certainly worth it to provide the space in order to bring in additional income at little cost to us. We found that a lot of kids if given money will usually spend most of it if possible. So they might play the games before the show or afterwards while they wait for their ride.
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Re: Arcade game costs and profits 30 Nov 2011 10:07 #37506

  • dataman19
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Since I am (and have been for a long while ) a Coin-Op Operator.
I tend to agree that the 50/50 split is the most agreeable.
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But Harkins and AMC execs seem to thing 65/35 and 75/25 is better for them....
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We pulled several locations - just to have them call us two months later to ask for a new contract.
I put the games back but took 60/40 (I kept 60%)... They weren't happy, but agreed.
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I did the same thing to locations that removed "my machines" to replace them with some one else's for the 75/25 split. It seems that there was an operator that decide "he" wanted all the theaters - and got it. I continually got calls from the locations about broken machines (for some reason "my contact" info was on all the theater's managers lists . When they called me a year later I told them I wanted 75% and they could keep 25% (settled on 60/40)... Never a peep further.
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All the independent operators were 50/50 - I didn't like Harkins or ANC anyway. Their corporate always [played games with me. They were constantly reporting 20.00 and 40.00 in lost coins. Yet all the games were never reported out of service. What ticked me off the most was that they had the gaul to declare Even amounts like clock work. Since all my techs keep records (and yes I make them document everything, even if they are in a routine sweep and find jammed coins that were not reported - it went into the location report.
All jammed coins were given to the manager on duty, and signed for. So I actually had a good idea about what was going on. I also tended to ignore the coins turned over to management in my refunds (who has time to look through all those reports - I just did it to discourage them from bumping up fake refund claims).
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We had a policy, Broken machine? - Go fix it... Late at night? - Go Fix It... Can't fix it on site - pull it right then and replace with a Mr Do, Gallaga/Mrs Pac Man, or Centipede (we carried all three on the route truck). If we already had one of these, we brought a better game the next business day. If the location didn't like them - we brought a better game next business day.
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I'm radical, if I personally went into a location unannounced (because I went to see a show ) and saw a machine down - I went to the manager and asked if it was reported. Usually I got the "oh wow, I didn't know it was down" statement. I have my own sets of master keys, If I could I fixed it, then went to see my movie. Sometimes I missed my showtime, but mos managers didn't care if I went in for the next show (their machine was fixed, and it wasn't like I didn't pay for the show).
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On a good year I took in over $420K (which was half), I would spent from $100K to $190K annually in upkeep and payroll, insurance, State Gamming Licensing, municipal licensing, etc) I was happy....
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But I still didn't like the way Harkins and AMC seemed to muscle everyone around. New Upright Video Games run from $14K to $20K, Sit Down and Driving Games run from $18K to $34K A pair. The Virtual Reality Games (sit down or stand up) ran from $24K to $40K each. I put a lot of money into the business, and as a result I got a lot out.
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Incidentally - I had one Harkins Manager that Got Pissed when we put a Mr Do in "His Theater" in 2007. It was on a Friday evening, and a 3-day weekend. When we went back the following Tuesday afternoon with a replacement. We had to shoo the teenagers away. Then we split $84.00 (They made $42.00 on that game in three days.... e didn't want it???). We wound up putting it in a small independent owned theater not twelve miles down the road - It did $160.00 a month for three months at that location, then dropped steadily over the next three months to eventually take only $40.00 there. That manager was happy.... We generally rotated games when revenue dropped to $40.00. Our average was $60-90.00 per machine per month. Multiply that by ten to twelve machines average, not bad for one location. I peaked at thirty seven locations. I was also a happy camper.
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Dave
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