In June 2017, Tastemakers CEO Scott Bahrach had a meeting discussing a hole in the ever-expanding retro gaming market. In particular, there was no cheap and easy middle ground for a generation of classic arcade fans who wanted an authentic cabinet in their home.
"We looked and said there were solutions under $ 1
From this meeting, the Arcade1Up line was born. In early 2018, the Tastemakers released a series of 3/4 scale arcade cabinets, each with a handful of emulated games and priced from $ 300 to $ 400. The initial batch focuses on Bahrach's personal cart: the classics of the 70s and 80s years from companies like Namco ([19459016)Pac-Man Galaga ), Midway ( Rampage, Defender ) and Atari ( Asteroids Tempst ) . Soon, however, the line expanded in the 90s with Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat – themed machines, called Bahrach "natural progress."
"We also looked at 'What are the best-selling arcade games?'" Bahrach said. "" Who had them? When did they come out? What kind of audiences did they go after? "And [we] made a strategic line for each of them. "
In the early days of the Arcade1Up line, its share of quality control challenges was included, as Bahrach wants to acknowledge. The early control panel stickers quickly faded from basic usage and general assembly quality issues and
While certain Walmart locations end up marking these first-generation devices up to $ 75, Bachrach says it's not a sales or quality issue. "We can't dictate what will continued First salesperson. What I can tell you is that the retailer only has so much space … if they sell 98% of their inventory and want to get rid of the last 2% so they can make room for a new title, they they look at what they can do to get rid of everything they have right away. "
In any case, Bahrach said the days of the low-quality Arcade1Up parts are behind it." We reacted to those [complaints]"he said he to Ars, noting that improvements were made between the original release of Arcade1Up Asteroids and the new machine TMNT . "We use better controllers, we use better switches, we use more better buttons, "he said." We put more packaging materials inside [of the box]. We have really stepped up our game as a result of the community telling us what they don't like and what problems they may have experienced. "
Bachrach also proudly pointed out the stronger materials and new type of trackball on Arcade1Up's version of Golden Tee A game that should be able to get beat thanks to the enthusiastic trackball rotation.
Based on a sample review from his office Marvel Super Heroes things have definitely improved since these early cabinets.The new screens feature much better contrast, the shk tree afa feels tighter and tighter at the same time, and the control panels are now covered in hard plastic to prevent wear and tear. Assembly is still relatively easy (except for some small screws that hold the LCD screen), and everything survives with intact supplies (except for minor glue-like substances in side art) The Marvel Super Heroes Cabinet is also the first legitimate home edition for the Punisher Punisher Arcade Game from Sega Genesis Limited Port and Sega Genesis Limited Port it seems to be emulated pretty well aboard Arcade1Up .  In the light of these improvements, do early adopters of Arcade1Up essentially serve as beta testers for a lower product?
"That's right," Bahrach said. "Your [current iPhone] is the first phone you have? … Every time they come out with a new iPhone, they try to do something to build on the past. Does that mean the first one wasn't good? Absolutely" no . It was wonderful for what it was at the time. In order to improve your production, you need to constantly improve or your consumer to go. I think we follow the same pattern. "
Build quality aside, releasing the latest Arcade1Up cabinet, which includes Ninja Mutant Turtles and Turtles in Time While the four-player design cabinets of these games worked perfectly in a true arcade, the smaller scale of the Arcade1Up machine was already narrow even for two-player games.
The solution? Save the body of TMNT to the normal scale of Arcade 1Up, but expand the control panel. " the lotto of the machine itself, it didn't really change in height or width, "explained Bahrach." What we did are extensions around the control deck and the deck is placed in a way that you can place four players. "
Arcade1Up the release of Turtles arcade games couldn't have come any better for fans who want to play arcade titles at home. Yes, the original 1989 was provided to console download services in 2007, and the Ubisoft Turtle in Time remake was a hit in 2009. But both were removed from digital storefronts in 2011. when the expiring license agreement made them inaccessible for legitimate play at home (with some unclear exceptions).
Rescuing the TMNT arcade from the digital death zone took about a year of fighting through a contract troupe, Bahrach said. While the character license is currently under the banner of Nickelodeon, Konami still has the original game code (which is managed through a licensed custom cabinet emulator, Bahrach said). Occasional materials such as cabinet art also had to be properly licensed, causing further headaches and delays.
With a firm foothold in the US market, Arcade1Up is now heading to Japan and working with Taito on Cabinet Burgertime for the region. And Bahrach said the Tastemakers are always looking for more games, regardless of location.
Does this mean that the company can follow TMNT with other popular Konami brawls like The Simpsons or ] X-Men ? Bahrach stopped for a few seconds when we asked him, and then he replied, "Uh, we agree with you that they are very popular cabinets."
He laughed. So, do these games happen? "Maybe," he said with another laugh. "I can't confirm or deny that."
However, this year the focus is on TMNT Star Wars and Marvel . And those TMNT units that are so far exclusive to Walmart will only be available in limited quantities, Bahrach warned. But he quickly added that this does not mean that Tastemakers create a deliberate shortage to stimulate demand and create the next Tickle Me Elmo.
"We wanted to centralize it and be able to promote it the right way, and [let] consumers know where to go," he said. "Walmart will have it. And no, we couldn't do more … There are only so many cabinets we can build at the level of quality we want to maintain and improve."
Then there is no conspiracy, except to try to cover up the X-Men and / or Simpsons releases along the way.