“The ball is really light so that it’s not difficult for them to throw and they score their points easily, so it is all about them having fun.” he said.
With a focus on improving its content, Cow Play Cow Moo has forayed into developing its own arcade games, Mr Wee said.
One of its arcades at Suntec City houses Dragon Orb, launched last month. The game, which took one year to conceptualise, requires players to use a claw to pick up “orbs” or coloured balls and drop them into holes.
“The concept is mainly skill-based multi-tier winning bonus. The better your skills, the higher the chances of winning the game and when you hit the big bonus prize, the tickets will fly out from the top,” he said.
Theatrics seem to play a big role at the arcades, where claw machines light up to announce to everyone that someone has successfully picked an item.
The strategies used by the two arcade operators might be paying off, as despite COVID-19 restrictions that limited the number of players on their premises, both of them had or have expansion plans.
Timezone added two outlets to its stable and now has 14 in total, while Cow Play Cow Moo will open two more outlets to have nine in total.
HOW CAN ARCADES SURVIVE THE TIMES?
If their growth is any indication, arcades are here to stay.
There are some games that are hard to do justice to outside of an arcade, like driving simulation games and shooting games, said Mr Walton.
“You have the whole setup (at the arcade) which is not necessarily a setup you would have at home,” he said.
He noted that arcades have changed over time, with fewer “traditional” games such as PacMan.
“You’re far more likely to see a football game where you are actually physically kicking a ball to control the player than you are to see something that is joystick operated,” he said.
Mr Walton said “it’s all about location, location, location”, borrowing a real estate maxim.
The right places include being next to cinemas to catch people during their downtime before or after a movie and near shops that sell Lego for instance, he said.
Keeping experiences up to date and keeping up with technology like augmented reality is also key, he said.
“Increasingly, the way things are going is that the games are going to get more and more immersive, 4D type of games, which is an investment,” he said.
“When you think about what you offer that they can’t get at home, those kinds of virtual reality type of things will be the way that it goes.”
Source: Channel News Asia