View Full Version : Storefront Gaming Shop

02-14-2003, 12:17 AM
I'll be quick and honest about this. I know nothing about gaming, but I've seen its growth. I work in Boston, Massachusetts, US, for a company that sells computer equipment.

Some friends of mine just rented a storefront downtown. They want to renovate the store and open it as a live game center. People could choose whatever game and play it right in the store. From start to finish if they can. I plan to help open the place, but I want to get an idea whether this sort of thing would work.

I'm trolling for answers here because these sites seem like the best places to learn and find answers. Yes, this is what you might call early-stage market study. Yeah, we're only interested in making money. Yup, we're hoping to be a huge world-ruling corporation in a few years. I don't want to add too much prejudice to the questions. Do you like the idea or not? What would you like to see in a store like this? Please tell me what you think of the idea. And be honest, I can take it.

Drunken Savior
02-14-2003, 06:59 AM
Heres the unfortudent catch:
If you do that than your going to have tons of freeloaders who just want to play the game without paying for that. (Assuming you offer the service free and base your profits on game sales) However, if you charge people to play, then most would rather rent the game or buy it at another store. Therefore, I don't see where you'd make profits....at all. If you want a better enterprise, think along the lines of Netflix, only with video games.

02-14-2003, 07:33 AM
I'm thinking the same. Letting them play an entire game if they want for free isn't the way to go.

02-14-2003, 12:29 PM
I would suggest time limits on the free gaming. I don't think you want one person to to play a game from start to finish in the store for 8 hours a day. If you go the pc gaming route, you can create the cyber cafe experience and those seem to be working financially. If your intention is to make money off establishing a business like a pc gaming center but centered on console games, you will have to come up with a fee system to charge by the hour.

Keep in mind though, you will have to offer a superior experience to the home set-ups (hdtv's - small and large screen, great sound,nice chairs, lan/network set-ups for some multi-player titles, and a great looking interior decor ala Gameworks can help a lot) or the console players will simply just go rent the titles at Blockbuster for 6.50 for one week.

02-14-2003, 01:32 PM
It sounds like you want to open up a cyber cafe/lan gaming center. You need the fastest computers you can buy with big screens and the best equipment, so that gamers will want to come there, so it is better than playing by yourself at home.

It would be cool to support consoles also. You will need link play and high quality TV's. You will also need high quality sound equipment and headphones and headsets.

Some other suggestions:

1. Make the place cool. Good lighting, hip paintings and posters on the walls, plants...etc.

2. Try to get the after school crowd when you first open up each day and then cater to adults after 6 PM.

3. Support leagues and tournaments.

4. Selling games would also be cool. Try before you buy. If the customer buys the game, then don't charge them for the hour that they tested it out.

5. It would be cool if you could serve coffee and drinks and some food, but that opens up a whole other can of worms. If you do that, then hire some local college hotties(to compliment your tech geek employee), to keep the guys coming back.

02-14-2003, 02:57 PM
Boston? sigh...

The store should be a marriage of retro gaming and current gaming. Buy and try for new games, but there should be a funcoland twist. By that I mean you should build up a sizable collection of old games for nes, snes, genesis, saturn, dreamcast, psx, tg16 whatever that kids can play for free as long as they want or maybe a quarter an hour. youll suck people in to all kinds of gaming such as street fighter 2, nhlpa94 games, iron man contra games, anythign you can think of, and all kinds of retro tournament to hold. Retro gaming is a completely untapped and inexpensive market and would allow gamers a chance to play again some of the classics. Kind of like at arcades where there are really old machins you still want to play at low prices next to the new ones.
And in addition to retro gaming, because you want to separate yourself from a bestbuy where you can play a new game all day long, there should be a healthy representation of import games. Imagine the draw zelda would have made if you had the japanese version up and running months ago