Now that I’m getting serious about running the Wilcox Arcade route once again, it’s high time I supply the people of western Kentucky with bigger and better titles — indie ones, in fact.
That’s right, people. After years of proselytizing the innovative exploits of independent developers, I’m finally ready to put my money where my mouth is and launch a brand-new coin-op experience in what some city slickers might consider the middle of gosh darned nowhere.
How did I get to this point, you may ask? Well, earlier this year, I was very fortunate to receive a William Randolph Hearst Award for a story I wrote for WKMS, entitling me to a fairly hefty monetary endowment. Combining that with some existing savings, I feel more or less comfortable taking a huge gamble on a relatively unproven product.
Luckily for me, I have a few solid options at my disposal, each within roughly the same price range yet bearing distinct advantages and disadvantages. Switch ‘N’ Shoot, Exa-Arcadia, and Retro Raccoons all greatly appeal to me, but that sure as heck doesn’t mean they’ll appeal to the residents of Murray, Kentucky.
Switch ‘N’ Shoot is an old-school, one-button shoot-em-up that lit my buddy Hudson Taylor on fire when he first played it on my Nintendo Switch a couple years back. While I’d consider him accurately representative of most college students, I highly doubt he would’ve had volition for the game in a pay-per-play environment.
Exa-Arcadia is by far the most modern-looking on my list, especially if I pair it with the right software. I’m most intrigued by Fight of Gods, a one-on-one fighter featuring the likes of Jesus, Santa, and Zeus. As the industry learned with Mortal Kombat and CarnEvil in the ‘90s, provocative games tend to turn heads, and this one also has the “Hudson seal of approval.” My only concern is the fighter genre being too old-hat in an arcade nowadays.
Retro Raccoons is surprisingly the one I think would most appropriate for my clientel. With such simple mini-games and a satisfying hook, I can easily envision this thing eating up dollar bills in a college bar. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if it made money hand over fist even in a regular restaurant. I’d be lying if I said the low, low price and itty-bitty footprint weren’t major considerations, too.
Because that’s the thing — any one of these games would be no small investment. All this money could just as easily go into my retirement fund, prepping me for a much more comfortable future. But you know what could do the same? Kickstarting my business at a rare interval in my life when my day-to-day expenses are somewhat slim.
From there, it’ll be a matter of finding a profitable location for my latest beauty, something that’s proven a bit challenging in the past. My hope is that Murray State University will prove receptive because I truly can’t imagine a better launchpad than that. College kids such as myself quite enjoy playing video games, you know.
At the end of the day, I’m pretty terrified to take this plunge, but something about it feels so right regardless. I don’t want to give up on my route dream, no matter how hard it may get. This is what I want to do. (On the side, of course. I’d much rather work in television or film as my primary career. Lifelong passions come first, folks.)
Long story short, that’s where my head’s at right now. Hopefully, I’m not about to make the worst mistake of my life. Maybe an indie title will struggle to turn heads in a rural community; maybe I’ll chicken out and buy Demolish Fist instead.
Who friggin’ knows! I’m finished writing for today. See ya, suckers.