Arcade Extinction is Almost Upon Us
It's difficult to write a eulogy for the arcade, that once ubiquitous quarter-eating staple of malls, bowling alleys and college campuses everywhere. Like Saturday morning cartoons and the NHL, it still exists, but has been slowly fading from the American consciousness since its 1980s heyday.
For many teens in the late '70s and '80s (before the advent of Xbox, cellphones and MySpace), arcades were actually prime destinations.
The number of arcade game units nationwide dropped from 860,000 in 1994 to 333,000 in 2004, according to statistics from Vending Times. Revenue from the games sank from $2.3 billion to $866 million in that same timeframe.