I remember the times when I use to go to my local corner shop (a bit like a shop for little bits and bobs), and they had a Street Fighter II Champion Edition arcade machine in there. For 1 pound you could play 5 games, so me and my friends would be given a pound a day to go there and play. It was the place where we'd be at everyday after school, and we'd end up playing on the arcade and buying those cheap penny sweets. Those were the days. Unfortunately, times have changed, and the shop got rid of the arcade machine. Then I used to go to Trocadero near Leicester Square in central London, and that was a goldmine for arcade lovers. There were floors and floors of arcade gaming machines, it was simply heaven! But recently they shut down the arcade section of that place too.
Ever since then I’ve never really had a chance to get into some arcade gaming for a while, with the invention of consoles like the PS3 and the X-Box 360 which have pretty much revolutionized the whole gaming industry. Even more so the portable handhelds, why would someone go to an arcade when they could play HD games at home or on your mobile phone. But the thing all these next-gen consoles and technology lacked was the whole atmosphere and experience of arcade gaming!
With this at heart I set out to discover what happened to the whole arcade industry and how and why things have changed. The big names in the old industry had changed, they no longer focused on retro games, it was all about HD and flashy graphics. People play games online and not so much side-by-side and head-on-head like they used to.
However as of recent there has a been a large re-emergence of arcade games into the world, there are now people who manufacture arcade machines for the average consumer. There are also companies like Capcom who are revisiting their roots and bringing out re-packaged arcade games like the Capcom Arcade Cabinet, or even the Megaman versus Street Fighter (which is infact a free game).
In the future I think the retro games arena will be reborn and people will be returning to their roots to get back into arcade gaming.