Opening a game center, advice?

Discussion in 'Games' started by BRUUUCE, Jan 28, 2007.

  1. BRUUUCE macrumors member

    Sep 7, 2006
    My father-in-law purchased a book store and is clearing out a pretty large space for a video game center for kids. (high school age) this town is in the middle of no where, tennesee and there is no place for kids to hang out. this is his reasoning for settiing up this video game hang out

    so, i assume he wants console gaming (cheaper). he's asked me for help on what to put in there. I was thinking a couple xboxs (360s?) since, in my opinion, are best for network play. what games should i suggest.

    halo 2
    a racing game

    what else is popular among the masses?

    and then maybe a wii with wii sports.

    and possibly a computer with WoW (what the min specs on a WoW game that you can get away with)

    thanks everyone for your help
  2. mattniles007 macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2005
    I would suggest Gears of War or even Lost Planet over Halo 2. It's more recent and pretty hot now. Halo 3 is due this fall. Can't go wrong with Madden. Wii is amazing. He should do well with Wii sport and they have another sport game due in March with updated Duck Hunt.
  3. Spartacus macrumors member

    Nov 28, 2004
    I think it's a pretty good idea, but I wouldn't have a computer for WoW, just because that game requires a huge level of time commitment and a subscription per person playing it. I'd buy a couple of cheaper computers and have them running internet and messaging instead - leave the gaming to the consoles.

    You may want to consider your target audiance, too. Gears of War is rated M for 17+, so maybe that wouldn't be the best choice if you cared about such things...

    I'd also be a little cautious of having a Wii because of the wireless controllers, but if you think they'd be safe then the kids would have a blast with a Wii!

    And don't skimp on the comfy couches and Ping Pong table!
  4. AoWolf macrumors 6502a


    Nov 17, 2003
    Daytona Beach
    Which is exactly why you want to get kids hooked on it. You could sell the prepaid cards and various other wow merchandise in store. Craftheads will pay for it.
  5. SkyBell macrumors 604


    Sep 7, 2006
    Texas, unfortunately.

    Yeah, make sure the kids don't walk out with the Wiimotes.
  6. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Problem with the Wii is that the Wiimotes are too easy to steal, and you have to worry about morons hitting things.

    Get more than one Wii if you're going to have them though; they have WiFi built in, so when the network games come they'll be easy as pie to network (Super Mario Strikers Charged and BWii will be fun to play).
  7. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005

    Not for school kids. Your just giving them incentive to truant. Besides its such a time consuming game that one person will end up hogging it guaranteed, (and they will NEVER leave the shop again)
  8. furious macrumors 65816


    Aug 7, 2006
    These guys.Contact these guys. They might be able to help you.

    Mostly I would say you are wasting your time if you do anything but all out. That means 360's, and PS3's. 10 each would be a start depending on budget. Remember to contact Microsoft and Sony not resellers. You may be able to do a bulk deal or get sponsorship. Say "your place name" Sony Exclusive. Or some such. And do have lock in's( 3 hours no limit type exercises.) were people play LAN on internet games competitively and a winner I announced and prizes. At first prizes could be free hours then as more people use this place better prizes could be won.
  9. jdechko macrumors 68040

    Jul 1, 2004
    Yeah, I'd say that one of the best possible options is to make it "modular" so to speak. That way it can be used for multiple events. Don't skimp on the network resources/power outlets. Then you can rent it out for LAN parties.

    As far as the Wiimotes, I'd say that in addition to charging an entry fee (which, I'm assuming you will since it is a business) charge a refundable deposit fee for all rented controllers. It doesn't have to be much... maybe $10 or so, but enough that someone would think twice before breaking/stealing it. Give it back to the customer as they leave if they don't break/steal the controller. I say all of the controllers because you've got an investment and you need to protect that investment. Allow the customers to bring in their own controllers too... that way your stuff isn't always what's being used.

    Don't forget batteries either. Buy the rechargeable kind (or rechargeable battery packs if available). It'll cost more at the beginning, but will save you money over time. (I bought 4 2650 mAH duracell's for $8 the other day at Kroger for my Wiimotes.) Have batteries (as well as other accessories: memory cards, etc) for sale too (albeit at marked up prices :D ).

    Also, look into buying some old arcade cabinets for old-school appeal. And definitely buy at least 2-3 PS2's. They're pretty cheap and you can get games like DDR and guitar hero: two very popular games right now.
  10. Dagless macrumors Core


    Jan 18, 2005
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    School kids? Avoid GoW and Halo 2 then. I really don't know what games to put up there, but follow age ratings for games. I'd say stick to sports games, from serious to Tony Hawks.

    What about DS's? Mario Kart has an 8 player local mode and is incredibly good fun, minigames on Mario Bros, Tetris, bomberman... etc.

    No Wii, you're stuck with wireless controllers there :D
  11. Haoshiro macrumors 68000


    Feb 9, 2006
    USA, KS
    Hey, I'll probably be opening a game center myself around April/May.

    What you do really depends on how much you have to spend, and how much room you have to do it. If you could clear that up some it'd be easier to give helpful suggestions.

    Personally I ditched the idea of computers (for now) as they are a lot more expensive, even to maintain and keep upgraded properly.

    I also decided on 360s and separate monitors, rather then a large HDTV. The TVs are expensive, and it's just nicer to play on your own screen rather then in split-screen with people you might not know.

    That also requires a lot less space, but does require you buy a lot more 360s (one per player). I can fit 8 people/systems in a 9'x10' space, with a big TV I'd only been able to fit 4.

    Now as for Wireless controllers, you have people leave their ID with you and then you give them a controller. You might be able to work out excepting some sort of deposit instead but I doubt that would work.

    I'm thinking of actually just buying 360 Core systems and then buying the HDD for them just so I'll get WIRED controllers. Lock the systems in a cabinet and that problem is solved.
  12. Sdashiki macrumors 68040


    Aug 11, 2005
    Behind the lens
    Every gaming center I see, has WoW players and many many MMOs being played on the computers. Ive "seen" these from window shopping and from neighbors who go regularly. I wouldnt be caught dead in one, personally.

    granted, big screens and Madden are always there...

    but there are the dark nerds who sit in front of the glowing phosphors for hours on end, playing WoW chars that either belong to them (then why arent they home?) or the actual Gaming Center.

    that being said, i would skimp on a dozen or so gaming rigs.

    you can keep upgrading the graphix cards as need be, and after a year or two, ebay and upgrade the whole machines.

    i dont know the inner workings of a gaming center, but I do know that a few PCs couldnt hurt, and if they were missing, they actually might hurt sales.

    ive seen kids drop like $150 a week on gaming centers, to play 24/7 WoW. all because they dont have their own maxed out gaming rig at home.
  13. dan-o-mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 12, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    If I went to a gaming center to pay to play WoW, I wouldn't want to play on a computer that has minimum specs.
  14. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I think you could probably anchor the Wii remotes down, through the opening used for the wrist straps. Or do what GameStop does and require a drivers license to play Wii.

    But I agree, don't have a lot of Wiis. Maybe one or two.
  15. Afro1989 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 16, 2005
    My local candy store has Halo 2 on live for $10 an hour or something. Seemed like a good idea for those without computers, routers, etc.
  16. pgc6000 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2004
    First off, we don't need to worry about M games and school kids. If you're aiming at high schoolers, trust me, that's the perfect audience for shoot em ups... They're all playing M games.

    That said, 360 and Wii seem like your best choices for now. 360 you have Halo 2 (always a popular choice for me and my buds to play together), Halo 3 in the fall, and Gears of War. And the Wii? That thing is designed form multiplayer games, it'll be perfect. Perhaps in the future, a few PCs with Counter-Strike and/or Call of Duty?
  17. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Get some Gamecubes and copies of Super Smash Brothers Melee, you won't regret it.
  18. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Good Call....while an old(er) game, still tons of fun

    xBox 360- Halo 2, Gears of War, Racing Game

    Wii-Wii Sport, Rayman, WarioWare

    Gamecube-Super Smash Brothers Melee, Mario Kart?

    For controller make it ID/Cell Phone/Wallet/Something they can't replace
  19. e²Studios macrumors 68020


    Apr 12, 2005
    I would ask for a CC and authorize it for $60, if they dont return the controller then you turn the auth in to a charge.
  20. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    You probably want to check out for suggestions. They have over 250 pc's now with WOW, BF2, BFME 2, GuildWars, just everything!

    Plus they have around 40 xbox 360's with Halo and Madden an a few other games. Only 15 bucks for a whole day. Amazing. I plan on opening something similar when I'm older.
  21. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Set up a couple of GameCubes with Super Smash Bros Melee and/or Mario Party and 4 controllers. Charge a discounted group rate if a group of four come.
  22. zap2 macrumors 604


    Mar 8, 2005
    Washington D.C
    Only if the main target is high school kids, not many of them have a CC
  23. Moria macrumors regular

    May 7, 2005
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I don't know how old you are, but trust me, those games are the most popular. Anything with violence goes down extremely well with teenagers.

    Make sure you have vending machines there too, they'll bring in a decent profit.

    About the controllers, if they borrow a controller make sure you take something of them in return so they don't steal it, $10 isn't enough as they would be making money if they went onto sell that controller.
  24. SamIchi macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2004
    Make them fill out a form initially with a photo ID. I'm sure most school's have photo ID cards now. Take their IDs when they want to borrow one, charge them a fee. If they steal it, you got their info and ID.
  25. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    I'd recommend that you don't go all cheap. Give them an experience they can't get at home. So, give them decent gaming rigs (keep the graphics card upgraded for PCs) and charge by the hour. Give them voice chat, etc.

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