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How Arcades Have Evolved To Survive


You’d be forgiven for thinking arcades have quietly slithered into the same dark hole payphones occupy. But despite not being as prominent as they once were in the ‘80s, arcades haven’t disappeared – they’ve evolved.

The arcade was the place to be for kids and teenagers to blow off steam after school – and for many, it was often where their love of gaming originated from. Classics like Tekken, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man would have swarms of people packing into these dimly lit buildings tossing coins into machines for hours on end. But the rise of consoles slowly had these once packed buildings seem like a ghost town. But, yet despite the seismic few decades, the gaming industry has gone through, arcades haven’t complete become obsolete, they’ve simply evolved.

Surprisingly, in spite of the shift towards consoles like the PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo’s Switch and the evolution of PC gaming, there are still many popular places to play arcade-style games, even if many of them have newer arcade machines and only a few of the classics. Many of these newer modern arcade games have been based off popular franchises like Mario, Star Wars and Halo, the latter of which received mixed feedback. Of course, not all of these newer modern arcade games are great despite their more popular console versions.

But let’s take a look at some of the more popular classic arcade games, and how they have evolved in this modern-day gaming era.


Since debuting in 1980, Pac-Man has become one of the most iconic titles throughout the gaming scene. And though we are only really seeing virtual reality gaming coming to the forefront during the last several years with devices like the Oculus Rift, Pac-Man actually released a VR version way back in 1996. Of course, back in 1996, the technology wasn’t as big as it is now, but it does go to show you how the Pac-Man franchise has attempted to modernise gaming throughout the years.

During the console era, their continued evolution resulted in PAC-Man 256 developed by BANDAI NAMCO in 2015. The game was released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PCs and Macs.

While many of the iconic arcade titles, like Pac-Man, Tekken, and Mortal Kombat, have expanded from the arcade onto modern-day consoles, their influence on the gaming scene is widespread and prominent. Online casinos have been the biggest players to take advantage of certain arcade-like aspects and aesthetics with arcade-like jackpot titles.

Mortal Kombat

Quite possibly the most successful arcade title to make its transition onto consoles is Mortal Kombat. After finding success during the arcade years, its latest release, Mortal Kombat 11 has fast become one of the best-selling games across the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Like Pac-Man, the game has stayed true to its origins while enhancing its graphics and expanding its compatibility for all platforms.

The evolution of Pac-Man and in particular Mortal Kombat shows that arcades will never truly fade away, they have and will survive a video game market that has been dominated by the rise of consoles. And as new technology continues to be developed and provides new innovative ways to enjoy video games, fans of the classic arcade don’t have to worry about them disappearing altogether.

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