The Economic and Intangible Benefits of Trading in Your Arcade Games
Given proper planning and installation, most game rooms are
designed these days with a selection of game machines optimized for maximum fun
Maintaining that selection, however, is far more than just a matter of initial design and implementation. For family entertainment centers with game rooms more than a few years old, updates are required to bring the mix of games more closely into line with recommended ratios of redemption to video games, etc. And industry experts suggest that even locations with brand new game rooms should replace 5-10% of their games each year in order to keep the room looking fresh and earnings strong.
The problem, of course, is that none of this refreshing
comes for free. How, with limited resources, can location owners keep their
rooms on the cutting edge, and prevent what’s fresh from turning overfamiliar?
For most locations, the best solution to this problem is to trade in arcade games on a regular basis. Indeed, distributors like Betson offer a variety of trade-in programs designed both to help you upgrade your current games and to facilitate the purchase of new equipment that appeals to your clientele.
Here are some of the key benefits of adding a trade-in program to your business plan:
Keep Your Game Room Fresh
While there’s certainly a place for “retro” and classic
cabinets in any game room, the last thing you want is to feel stuck with a
collection of stale games that discourages repeat play (and repeated visits!)
from your patrons.
Trading in your outdated arcade games is a simple and
straightforward way to avoid this problem.
When you bring in new and state-of-the-art equipment, your game room
will feel refreshed again. Regular customers will return more often and spend
more money to try your latest games, and first-time customers will be drawn to
the novelty of titles they haven’t seen before.
Adding new games also enables you to update your floor plan.
Moving existing games around—along with featuring your state-of-the-art
acquisitions—helps to present a more profitable impression of freshness and
makes your updates and additions even more pronounced.
Maximize Game Room Revenue
If there’s one thing that defines the arcade-game industry,
it’s a commitment to constant innovation.
Arcade games are growing ever bigger and better, and their persistent
reinvention makes them some of the principal draws—as well as, almost
inevitably, the biggest per-capita earners—in any well-designed family
But this same quality can cut the other way, too. Because
they depend so much on novelty to drive interest, some arcade games can carry a
shorter maximum earnings life than more permanent workhorses like Skee-Ball
alleys and basketball games.
Savvy location owners, along with assistance from their
partner distributors, will regularly evaluate the game reports generated by
their card systems. When games start to earn less relative to their overall room
earnings, trading them in for cutting-edge products can offer a reasonable way
to maintain maximum revenue from your game room.
Generate Marketable Excitement
As the points above suggest, leveraging your older games to
acquire the latest industry offerings can be a source of additional revenue in
and of itself.
But when you trade in your existing arcade games for the biggest and newest pieces on the market, you don’t just get those new games alone. You also gain access to the networks of marketing materials [link] that accompany the latest offerings from major manufacturers like Raw Thrills, Bay Tek, ICE, Stern and beyond. When used in conjunction with your own social media platforms, materials like these help to build excitement and provide incentives that bring people to your door.
Consumers want to know what the latest games are, where they can find them, and why they should leave their consoles and couches to spend money in your facility. Trading up for the newest games—and capitalizing on marketing and social media tools that accompany them—is an excellent way to ensure a continuing flow of foot traffic into your game room.
Differentiate Your Game Room
We live in a golden age of family entertainment centers. Evermore varied and fascinating arcade offerings, developed by different manufacturers and spanning dozens of completely different game categories, are constantly emerging to meet the demands of the burgeoning FEC marketplace.
An often-overlooked aspect of trade-in programs is the
opportunity they provide to individualize your game room: to depart in creative
directions from the same assortment of games that a competing location may
choose to feature. By trading up to innovative products that appeal directly to
your particular brand of customer, you can claim experiences that are all your
own, and differentiate yourself along the way from your competitors.
Reduce the Cost of New Equipment
Whether you are looking to create a uniquely creative gaming
space, to avail yourself of the marketing power that accompanies big-ticket
arcade offerings, to differentiate yourself from the competition, or just to
maintain your revenue by keeping fresh arcade options at the center of your
game room, the most significant benefit of trading in your arcade games is also
the simplest: trade-in programs reduce your cost for new equipment.
Most of your arcade games, after all—even those that are generating lower-income—carry plenty of value, and when you leverage that value against the cost of acquiring the latest equipment, you reduce your capital outlay and set yourself more affordably on the way to greater revenue. You can also take advantage of great finance and leasing programs that are available, which will help to keep your out-of-pocket spending minimal when working to refresh your room.
Jonathan Betti is Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Betson Enterprises. Jon and the Betson team are focused on providing customer-centric products and solutions for the location-based entertainment business. Jon is passionate about the arcade space and has worked with manufacturers to develop several successful game concepts. He is also a board member of the AAMA Charitable Foundation.
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