of in arcades). He also runs simple promotions like tournaments, that encouragepeople to come in a little more than they might otherwise. And he’s a success.Maybe people in LA just don’t know about consoles or something, right?Arcades have also completely failed to promote themselves. In "the good ‘oledays", it seemed as though the games needed no advertisement. They were soirresistible that people would go anywhere to play them. This is no longer true,but arcades continue to act as if it were. There’s been essentially NO effort atpromotion whatsoever, despite their diminishing profits. To this day, about themost advanced marketing technique you see from an arcade has been some kind ofpathetic "special" deal on tokens. Even today, sickeningly enough, tournamentorganizers in some locations actually have to hunt for arcades even willing tohost them. Operators are so resistant to the idea of change, much less doing ANYextra work, that they’re happy to pass on the chance to generate easily 10x theirordinary business. I mean, think about it- you see ads for EVERYTHING. But do youever see ads for arcades? I haven’t. Ever. For that matter, do you see ads forarcade games? Nope. The only people who see those, are the arcade operatorsthemselves. Apparently Capcom/Namco/Konami, etc, seem to think that once they’vesold the machines to the arcades, their job is done. In one (very short-sighted)sense, this is true. However, in a market as crowded as the one today, you can’tsimply expect a game to sell itself. The companies seem to realize this as far asconsole games are concerned (even where the "console game" is an EXACT PORT of thearcade version), yet nothing seems to be spent on their arcade counterparts.Apparently that job falls to the operator alone, and the operators simply aren’tdoing it.The early success of videogames seems to have bred some incredibly bad industryhabits in arcade operators. The initial arcade craze was powered by games thatpeople played compulsively, against the computer. For the most part, these tendedto be relatively simple. It wasn’t graphics that made these games popular- it wasa more basic cleverness behind them. This, however, plays directly into the handsof consoles. If you want to obsess over some puzzle game, you don’t need anyoneelse around to do it, and you also don’t need a very sophisticated piece ofhardware. This is part of what I suspect was behind the initial decline in arcaderevenues, and should have been a lesson learned. Competition (in fighters likeSF2) revived the industry, because you couldn’t get that by yourself, or even athome (and you still can’t, with at least a lot of popular titles- there’s still nonational network in place in the US, internet speeds simply aren’t good enough fora lot of games, and all of this still omits the face-to-face factor, which can bea lot of the fun). However, success again spawned a still larger number of games,and constant imitation of successful titles. Both of these things make sustained,focused competition that saved the arcades difficult to maintain. With everyonetaking a small slice of the player base, there’s less people to push things to thenext level on any particular game. With a market as crowded as today’s, operatorscan hope for that lucrative intense competition in two ways. They can wait until agame comes along that’s so magical, so involving, that people everywhere can’tstay away. Good luck on that front. The other way is with some damn promotion.Does anyone remember Capcom’s "Saturday Night Slammasters"? Probably not. It was astrange wrestling game/fighter hybrid, featuring none of wrestling’s actualcelebrities, and while moderately interesting, was nothing to get very excitedabout. What was something to get excited about was the fact that Capcom sponsoreda national tournament for the game, which brought players out in droves. Withoutquestion, the cost for the entire promotion was less than the cost of a few simpleprint ads, yet it drove the players in many areas into a complete frenzy over anotherwise unexceptional game (the success of the national Tekken Tag tournamentwas another more recent example). There seems to be absolutely no reason the samething can’t work again, and *especially* because no one else is doing it.