September 12, 2018

How Important is Utilization to Your Game Room Design Decisions?

Utilization in Game Room Design Decisions

Manufacturers, distributors, and Family Entertainment Center owners alike tend to focus primarily on cash box or game earnings when evaluating a game. I can’t argue that the cash box is King, but in a large room designed to keep as many customers as happy as possible, utilization can be an undervalued metric.

Big Bass Wheel amusement game two cabinets with jackpot marquee image

For example, a family of four walks into your location. The mom and the 7-year-old daughter gravitate to the ticket redemption games, while the dad and the teenage son head for the video racing games. The mom and daughter spend $40 over the course of the same hour playing prize games, while the dad and son spend $25 playing video games. Why the difference in spending?  Redemption is a broad category that encompasses many sub-genres with varying gameplay values (Skee Ball and Down the Clown vs. Big Bass Wheel, for instance). On average, redemption games have shorter gameplay time, emphasizing prize value overplay value. Video game-play can take up to a few minutes since there is no prize value, so the play must be rewarding unto itself.

Measurements and Analytics

Utilization measures what percentage of time a game was being played over a defined period.  (# of plays x length of play/time). A redemption game and video game might have the same 75% utilization from Saturday at 1 pm-3 pm, but the redemption piece made three times the amount of money because of the length of play difference. Does that make the redemption piece more valuable to you and your customer base? Would that family of four still have spent $65 if the game room was redemption only or if the video games were occupied and the father/son got restless waiting? Utilization is a helpful analytic metric for evaluating your game room across or within all categories, not just redemption vs. video.

Proper Game Room Equipment Mix

Selecting the proper mix of game room equipment is more than just picking the top-earning pieces in every category. It is about understanding your customer base and offering the appropriate variety of entertainment options to maximize the family fun experience at your facility. Does your facility track utilization or incorporate it into your game room evaluation?  I’d love to hear your comments.

Jonathan Betti

Jonathan Betti is the Senior Vice President of Sales & Business Development 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.