My short bio: I am a lifetime fan of arcades, and when I opened Galloping Ghost Arcade five years ago, I wanted to create a space where people can experience as many different games as possible. A flat admission fee up front means you never have to worry about quarters. Play whatever you want as long as you want, whether it's a childhood favorite or something you've never seen before.

I have been restoring and collecting arcade cabinets and boards for years. I want the arcade industry survive and thrive wherever I can, and I have helped multiple arcades open across America.

I also run a small indie game studio, Galloping Ghost Productions, and our first game will be a arcade cabinet exclusive!

The Arcade Photo Tour: We've moved alot around since then.

My Proof:

EDIT: I've got to go hand out our Galloping Ghost Arcade Gamer of the Year Award, so I'll be away for a while. I'll be back to check on questions tonight and tomorrow.

Edit: I think I'm going to close it off for now. It was fun answering all of these. If you are ever at the arcade, feel free to look me up and I'll give you a tour of the place. And finally, shout out to our 2015 Galloping Ghost Gamer of the Year Pete Hahn!

Comments: 236 • Responses: 74  • Date: 

WayGroovy21 karma

How and why did you establish your cover charge instead of coin-op? Have there been any problems with using arcade machines on free play instead of using coin-operation? I'm concerned partially for taxation purposes, but also curious as to what other problems or benefits it may have presented.

I've seen videos showing what look like either console or PC games in cabinet form. Did you work out any sort of licensing agreements with the franchise owners, or are they simply consoles in cabinets?

Would you be willing to give a breakdown on your budget? I'd be interested in starting one in my local small town, but the cost of retail space is always too damn high.

Thanks for the iAMA!

GhostLord0019 karma

The door fee fixed so many issues. The concept called for the arcade to have a lot of rare games and get people to try them. On a pay per play system, its sometimes tough to get people to risk money on new things. This way people could try everything without that worry. If they don't like a game, they can just walk away.

It would allow players to play games for score in a better way as well. We also wanted our players to be here for a long time to really feel they got their moneys worth.
Players can finally get to play all the way through games like Terminator 2 or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and not have it cost them $15 on its own. On a business level, Brookfield only allowed 6 coin operated machines to be in a location. Also as the games aren't coin operated the per machine tax is avoided. On a maintenance level it complete gets rid of coin jams and you don't have to collect the coins. You don't have to deal with frustrated people saying a machine ate their quarter. When people are frustrated with games for that reason often they will take it out on the machine which can lead to more repairs that are needed.
It reduces the chance of people just loitering about too. Its been a complete positive thing for us and I honestly couldn't imagine going pay per play in today scene.
We are very open with our numbers to people trying to open new arcades. Please contact me privately and we will help however we can!

Chewbaccas_Tongue10 karma

What the story behind the name "Galloping Ghost", how did you come up with it?

GhostLord002 karma

I saw something similar on a WWII bomber in a book my brother was transcribing way back in 1992 or so. I had redrawn it and in 1994 it evolved into my Productions company logo. Some people thought it was supposed to be a nod to the dead arcade scene coming back as a Ghost. Not the case, but in hind site its kind of cool idea.

jmgeiger10 karma

What recommendations do you have for others that are opening arcades? What were some of the issues you ran in to along the way? How do you maintain all those great games?


GhostLord0010 karma

Opening a good arcade really takes research. We've helped 9 arcades open since we opened and are currently helping 14. Some will be amazing places and others we hope the best for them. We went to 80+ locations (arcades, pool halls, theaters, roller rinks and really any place that had arcade games) BEFORE the business model was written. We walked away with a huge amount of notes of "this works" and "this doesn't" and a list of what we thought needed to be better. There is so much data out there now and we are always willing to help any new location open and share what made our place work. We encourage places to come hang out here for to our players and see why they are travelling from all over the world to come play here. Recognize that so much has been attempted and its to the point where a really safe business model can be put in to place.
Maintenance is also key. You have to make sure you can keep all your games running. Its one of the biggest elements that made arcades fail in the past. You can't have a ton of games down. You have to be able to get into the community and track down parts and have an ways to fix games that there simply aren't parts for anymore.

ZeiglerJaguar9 karma

Galloping Ghost opened one mile from my apartment the same month that I moved in, and it got me through a tough couple of years. So first, thank you, and second, why on earth did you pick a tiny Ogden storefront in Brookfield, Illinois, of all places?

GhostLord0013 karma

Thank you! I've lived in Brookfield my whole life and the town was very open to work with us. Several towns that are close by were opposed to having an arcade open in them.
Our main arcade is 7,500 square the time it seemed it would take forever to fill the building. We are looking into adding a 2nd floor which would allow us to have close to 1,300 games. So while we are out of space currently we have options to continue to grow and make the location work for us.

triple3fast8 karma

Doc - How much is your electricity bill a month? I love GGA. Only suggestion is dim the lights so it has the real feel of an old school arcade! Also I wish the volume was loud on ALL games there!

GhostLord009 karma

Our electric bill is pretty heavy. We looked in to solar panels and even if we covered the entire building (from the Chinese Restaurant to the end of the block) it wouldn't get us off the grid.
It's really personal preference. I like the lights up in arcades. We are working on a few lighting changes as we want to completely eliminate any glare on the screens from the overhead lights, so maybe it will be a little dimmer eventually. We try to balance the volumes, we want the games to be heard but its always tough just because of the amount of games we have.

poopa-chalupa6 karma

Can an arcade be viable without alcohol?

GhostLord0011 karma

Absolutely! Alcohol is not something that will ever happen at the Galloping Ghost Arcade. Its crazy profitable but it does change the atmosphere. There are of course bar-cades that do really well. For me its really the difference of is it a bar with a few arcade games (which back in the day was EVERY bar), that cashing in on the arcade gaming hype and then there are arcades that happen to serve alcohol.
Hopefully more arcades will continue to open that focus on being great arcades and nothing more.

hermsgerms6 karma

I went for my first and only time (so far) in June, I live about 4 hours away from Chicago and this place is well worth the drive. If you are a videogame enthusiast of any kind you should definitely check this place out. That being said do you have any arcades in your personal collection, not counting the ones at GGA?

GhostLord006 karma

Thank you! I don't actually. I only owned 3 cabinets before we opened the arcade. Now anything that we get is always going to be for the arcade floor for everyone to enjoy.

i_love_nintendo6 karma

I have been to GG several times, and I must complement you on all of the improvements you have made recently. In fact, I was just there two days ago and LOVE how you have reorganized the cabinets by (what seemed to me to be) era. Seeing as how the space you're in is limited, do you have any plans on expanding or opening a second location (hopefully in the northern burbs)?

And do you have any plans on expanding your pinball section? (That's my personal favorite!)

GhostLord003 karma

Thank you. We do our best to have everything arranged in a way that makes sense. We do hope to expand very soon. Currently we don't have plans to open a second location but if we do it would probably be on one of the coasts. Pinball is something we are trying to figure out how to do better. The maintenance is just an incredible amount of work to keep up with. We will always have it here but we really want to improve on its implementation here.

Swichts5 karma

Have any celebrities came to visit the arcade?

GhostLord002 karma

Do you mean TV/movie star/atheletes celebrities or Industry Celebrities?

Swichts2 karma

Any, really.

GhostLord007 karma

Lots of industry Celebrities:

MK Actors Daniel Pesina (Johnny Cage, Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Reptile, Smoke & Carlos Pesina (Raiden Rich Divizio (Kano, Baraka, Kabal, Quan Chi Phillip Ahn (Shang Tsung Kerri Hoskins (Sonya John Parrish (Jax John Turk (Sub-Zero Katalin Zamair (Kitana & Mileena Brian Glynn (Shao Khan Sal Divita (Night Wolf Lia Montelongo (Sindel Tony Marquez (Kung Lao Becky Gabel (Kitana, Mileena, Jade

Developers: Brian Colin (Creator & Artist of Rampage, Rampage World Tour, Sarge, Arch Rivals, Pigskin 621 AD, Kozmik Krooz’r, Discs of Tron, Jeff Lee (Creator & Artist Q*Bert, Mad Planets, George Petro (NARC, Terminator 2, Revolution X Larry DeMar (Robotron - Defender Chris Tang (Primal Rage, Primal Rage 2, Street Fighter III Steve Ritchie (Voice of Shao Khan George Gomez (Tron, Tanyo Kylce (Stern) Steve Beran (Midway Tony Goskie (MK Dan Forden (MK Scott Pikulski (Dirty Pigskin Football John Podlasek (MK Mike Russo (Three Stooges Toru Iwatani (Creator of Pacman (Japan) Jeff Nueman (Blasted John Vogel (Mortal Kombat John Tobias (Mortal Kombat Ed Boon (Mortal Kombat Todd Allen (The Grid, Strike Force Warren Davis (Us vs Them, NARC Just to name a few Also many celebs from The King Of Kong, like Billy Mitchell and Walter Day.

BarneyFett5 karma

Do you find it difficult to maintain certain games, what with certain proprietary boards, controls, etc? Have there been any games that have been specifically challenging to restore/maintain?

GhostLord009 karma

There have been several difficult games to get running but its really been a huge part of the fun for me (and Brandon and Seth). We love the challenge of fixing stuff. We have yet to run in to the game so far that we couldn't get running, but some do take time. We are to the point where we have to 3D print rare parts that we might need but again that is really one of the fun parts. Having to innovate and create new ways to keep the games working. The biggest challenge now is dealing with the massive number of games.

TheBeardedNomad5 karma

What was your biggest hurdle in creating a successful business?

GhostLord006 karma

The arcade went together fairly smoothly. We had done so much data collecting before we opened, it was really just a matter of noticing what was being done and not working and then coming up with solid answers to how could things be done better. There were a lot of people who had been in the industry for a long time that only gave us a 2 or 3 month period before we would close. It was tough to hear stuff like that but it never made us stray from our business model. Now our biggest hurdle would be space and time. We need to continue growing and are just out of room until the next expansion happens. We have an amazing staff here that is constantly coming up with great ideas, and there just isn't enough time in the day or days in the year to do all the cool stuff we want to.

queen_in_my_pictures5 karma

Do you have Initial D?

GhostLord006 karma

We don't have it yet, but we will eventually. Great game. We just need to have some space for it!

NorbitGorbit5 karma

which machines break down the most, which machines are the most reliable, which cabinet would you recommend for a MAME system?

GhostLord006 karma

Stuff like Need For Speed and Cruisn' USA often need to be worked on. People can be rough on them sometimes. We've been pretty fortunate that most of our stuff is reliable. Things will always go down but most everything is a fairly easy fix. A lot of people seem to like Midway cabinets for MAME.

harleyeaston5 karma

What do you think will be the key to keeping "real" arcades and pinball halls alive and well in the US?

The Dave and Buster's and Chuck E Cheese's are horrible.

I just want old fashioned games and pinball!!!

EDIT: Second question... What machines do you have at home, if any?

EDIT 2: Third question... You seem so well versed in how to make a successful arcade, instead of assisting with opening them with others, why not franchise?

GhostLord006 karma

I think it needs the players and community to be incredibly supportive. Player need to KEEP going to arcades regularly. Its so easy to get lost in console gaming, mobile gaming or emulators. A lot of people are opening arcades right now and are afraid that they need other elements to drive customers in. The people that we have helped open arcades are incredibly passionate about it, and putting a lot of time effort and money into creating places for everyone to enjoy. If more arcades keep opening and are filled with players, hopefully more developers will get back in to producing new arcade games and there could be a whole generation of arcade gaming.

I currently don't have any games at my house. I used to have Narc (original dedicated), and then Bionic Commando & Twin Cobra (conversion) which I convert to Mortal Kombat & Mortal Kombat II. Now any games I pick up I want them to be on the arcade floor for everyone to enjoy.

GhostLord003 karma

I think with each new person that opens they each bring new ideas to the scene. We've been offered to franchise but its a difficult issue. Getting a building a filling it with games is the easy part. The concerns would lie with could we replicate what the community does here. I still think of the arcade as a work in progress and there is a lot more we will be doing with it. So replicating it in another area would just slow us from getting where we want to be.

jaysamzob4 karma

Can you somehow convince GGA 16 Bit to compete again in MKX?

GhostLord004 karma

Maybe one day. He will always have a spot on TEAM GGA if he does decide to play again.

Nimgoble4 karma

I visited your arcade in October of last year and had a great time. Excellent job putting everything together.

I have a couple of questions for you:

-What is the rarest machine in your store?

-Would you ever consider building a cabinet for an independent game and putting it in your store?

GhostLord007 karma

We have several...most are prototype games that were never officially released: - Primal Rage II (there are rumored to be only 2 PCBs in existence.) - Freeze - Bio Freaks and just donated to us from Brian Colins personal collection International Team Laser & RC Squared. Both cabinets are the 1 of 1 prototypes.

It would depend on the game. We are really tight for space now, but we do want to see new arcade games being produced.

Flutebarituba4 karma

What's your favorite of your games?

GhostLord007 karma

That is a really difficult question. Usually its what ever I am playing at any given time. Currently I'm spending a lot of time on NARC. It was the first arcade game I ever purchased decades ago. The answer to that question is always changing though.

ThinkTankTurret4 karma

Are there any other games that you know of that have the crazy spinning joystick like Ikari Warriors? Also do you have Xenophobe?

GhostLord006 karma

There are several games with Rotary sticks. Heavy Barrel, Midnight Resistance and Gondomania just to name a few. Yes we do have Xenophobe in an 3 player original dedicated cabinet! A great Brian Colin game!

GLS_MrDean4 karma

Hey Doc, huge fan of the arcade and the people that make it happen. The arcade seems to really be passionate about scores and score keeping. Do you prioritize games that have a score keeping system over those that don't? Also would you ever consider building a cabinet of an indie dev? Such as super meat boy, shovel knight or any other popular titles?

GhostLord003 karma

Thank you! We definitely strive to have scores set on every game here. Just because a game has a score that's more competitive to me doesn't set it up high in the list of priority. Each score made someone playing at a very high level to set it and that makes every score important.
If the developer reached out to us and wanted to do something special for the arcade version we would definitely be open to it.

wrongway4 karma


Have you ironed out your customer service issues from the early days?

I signed up for yearly on your first day. I asked REPEATEDLY over the year about the guest passes that were included. I got blown off every single time. I never got to use my passes.. I never got to invite anyone to the arcade..

The next year came, and I took my yearly subscription and built a mame box instead. I miss the place its only 4 houses down... but honestly if I cant get what I paid for why would I pay again???

Disgruntled and Ripped off..


GhostLord007 karma

Sorry for an issues in the past. Initially there weren't physical day passes it was just tracked on our system. We do have physical day passes now upon request. Come on back in and we will give you the full tour and hopefully can win you back as a regular.

rogueyoshi3 karma

Is your fighting game Dark Presence being worked on still? Is there any estimate for release? And are you looking for programmers if so?

GhostLord003 karma

Yes. Many of the people pulled from working on Dark Presence to help open the arcade and finally back full time on Productions. We are hoping to still have it out before the years over. We are lining up for the next project and are actually looking for new programmers right now!

Tucana663 karma

Are arcade cabinets still being mass produced?

GhostLord004 karma

In the US, there are a few companies keeping things alive. Raw Thrills, IT, are the biggest. Our own Galloping Ghost Productions will have Dark Presence coming out with as a world wide released game later this each. In Japan Namco is still putting out new games as well (Tekken 7 and Pokkén Tournament).
Several indy companies have been putting games out in arcades too like Killer Queen and the up coming SkyCurser. Capcom seems to not be doing an arcade release for Street Fighter V, which comes at such an unfortunate time as so many new arcades are opening. These new arcades will be new titles to keep drawing people in. Maybe we can convince NRS to get back into doing arcade releases with Mortal Kombat!

heyricochet3 karma

So both you and Funspot say you have the largest arcade in the world, who is right?

GhostLord005 karma

As far as number of games, we hold the record. We currently have 475 arcade & pinball machines. Walter Day was here not long ago and filmed the counting of our machines for Guinness World Records. It just needs to be verified. Funspot is a larger location as they offer other activates like bowling and mini golf. Game wise according to which tracks what arcades have what games they have 327 games

cotch853 karma

I'm looking to travel America soon, this has been added to my list of places to visit.. If you get an English fella come in point me to pit fighter, or Simpsons arcade! Do you get many travellers?

GhostLord003 karma

Yes, we get players in from all over the world very regularly. Almost everyday we hear someone has traveled in from various parts of the US. We've had players in from Japan, Chile, Spain, Luxembourg, Brazil, and many other places. We look forward to having you visit!

justVinnyZee3 karma

One word...franchise?

When will we see a GG over in California?

GhostLord003 karma

We had it as a tier in our Kickstarter but it didnt get funded. Its possible but not what we are focused on right now.
Super Arcade will be reopening out in CA though!

thekey1473 karma

How did you turn the Xbox One Killer Instinct game into a cabinet? Were there any licensing issues you had to work for, or was it more of an issue of getting it hooked up to a cabinet?

GhostLord004 karma

We had initially been in touch with Ken Lobb when we started the cabinet and had some hopes of doing a lot more with its release then what we did. We aren't charging to play KI so it really doesn't violate any EULAs. Hooking up the cabinet was easy, it was just a matter of wiring the controllers to the arcade hardware.

dankpelt3 karma

What are some good vendors for ordering parts from? Where do most repair parts for you guys come from?

GhostLord004 karma

Suzo Happ and Paradise Arcade handles most of our parts. For items no one stocks we look on the forums on KLOV or talk with the fellow collectors. If that still doesn't get us the part we need we are to the point where we can 3D print items. We fortunately have a huge back stock of cabinets and parts so we usually have everything on hand for ourselves and others who need any particular part.

Humbag3 karma

Would you ever consider getting sit down Japanese head to head cabinets for games like street fighter 3 or super turbo? Love the arcade!

GhostLord005 karma

It would be great to have Japanese style cabinets here at the arcade, but space is definitely a big issue. Once we do next expansion, we should be able to accommodate a some though.

Humbag2 karma

Awesome thanks for the reply! I hope to visit again soon and keep up the good work!

GhostLord002 karma

Thank you.

5-4-3-2-1-bang2 karma

GhostLord004 karma

It would be added on from scratch.

phatboyslim3 karma

Hey Doc -

Big fan. I've been to GG on several occasions. Have a list of questions, and understand if you aren't able to answer all of them.

  1. With several hundred games running all day everyday, how is the electricity bill? Honestly just curious about this one.

  2. Has not having alcohol in the location helped or hurt business? I know a lot of 'barcades' in Chicago such as HQ and Emporium are setup to support bar sales by using arcades.

  3. Do you have a favorite arcade style? i.e. Viewlix, Classic, Bartop, etc.

  4. Do you have any game recommendations for someone looking to get into high-scoring challenges? I spent most of my money in the local arcade growing up but never got into more competitive play.

GhostLord003 karma

  1. It's a pretty astonishing bill every month. Its the price of doing business though.
  2. I think its helped in a lot of ways. We are able to focus on the games only and that has resonated with the hardcore players. We don't want to dilute what we are focused on. Its really the more casual player that often say it's what they think we should add here.
  3. All of them. I think they are all pieces of art, and love seeing the designs and can appreciate all of them for various reasons (except maybe "s" back cabs...such bad design.
  4. Just come in and a set a score. The high score community here is absolutely amazing and incredibly inviting. We have our Atari Week tournament going on right now. We have had so many players that were never into scoring at all find it to be really fun. Many of them now hold world records too!

Curse_MightyMar3 karma

Could you possibly add 2 Spicy to your game lineup? That game is pretty hype!

GhostLord003 karma

Currently we just don't have the room for it. Once we get our next expansion done, it would become a possibilty.

pazmode3 karma

Did you used to sing/play bass for Type O Negative?

GhostLord007 karma

I keep hearing I did.

BillNyez2 karma

Do you have any intentions of adding rhythm games like Beatmania and DDR at any point?

GhostLord002 karma

Honestly, I never got into them personally. They have a huge following that even when we had room I didn't think we could do them well here. Its a huge part of the arcade history but we just aren't able to cover it right now. Maybe one day, but only if it could be done properly.

spankinbunker2 karma

Hi Doc, I am a fan of Galloping Ghost and have been many times. Every time I am in there I can't help but wonder...what is your electricity bill like?

GhostLord002 karma

Its a pretty monstrous bill every month.

NRSTylerLansdown2 karma

Hey Doc! Love the place! Couple questions. Is there a game that you just adore but are terrible at playing? Second... What is your favorite pinball game? Finally, what game means the most to you in the whole arcade?

GhostLord002 karma

Thank you! I wouldn't say I'm terrible...its more there are games I need to spend more time on though. FunHouse would be my favorite pinball...Rudy is the best. I've worked on every machine here so they all have a lot of meaning...really tough to pick just one. I've spent so much time on so many of them. Pretty much any cabinet that was donated to use have a special place with me. Brian Colin just donated two prototype cabinets to us from his private collection. Getting to share games that have never been seen before is pretty amazing.
Also so many of the cabinets that we restored or collectively worked on...they all mean a lot.

werty2 karma

What are the best & worst parts of owning the arcade?

GhostLord006 karma

The best is pretty much everything...Buy arcade games, fix them, share them with friends, talk with industry people about games, everyday is pretty awesome.
The only real down side is time. Its a constant struggle of I have to stop having fun in one place to go have fun in another.

VintageGrace2 karma

I love visiting the arcade! One of my favorite places to go to with friends. Thanks for all you and your team have done.

My question is: Is there any genre at GGA that you feel could use better representation at the moment?

GhostLord003 karma

Thank you! Currently I'd say Pinball. I think on the video side we do everything that we do do well (classics, fighting, shooting, driving, etc). Pinball though is a difficult thing on free play with as many players as we have every day. We are trying to pick a good direction to go with them. Also I know we have always had requests for rhythm games. We don't do them currently because I don't think we could do it on a level that would meet the demand. If we are doing something its important to do it well.

TAFK2 karma


Have you ever thought about moving locations? I think the Ghost is in a good building now but I don't really feel like the location around it is optimal for multiple other things (places to eat, parking, etc.)


GhostLord003 karma

We definitely are happy where we are. Honestly I think the location has been one of the strengths of making this place so successful. The highways, trains, buses, are airports are all close. Dining wise, Tony's (Family Style restaurant), Cantons Chinese food, Thai, several Taco places, & Dunkin Donuts all within walking distance. Plus lots more within short drive. Two decent motels both with walking distance for our out of town guests. While parking isn't perfect or ideal do have a fair amount. We have our lot, both the side parking areas, the areas across the street to the east. Even on a busy Saturday there is usually parking only a short walk away, often a shorter distance you'd find in the city or your average mall.

Demomanx2 karma

Will I ever be able to buy a lifetime membership?

What games do you want in there the most?

And what do you do when you run out of space to put games?

GhostLord003 karma

Yes we do offer lifetime memberships! We have about 110 games on hand now that we can't wait to put up. Some VERY rare and amazing titles. Right now we have Darius Burst EX, Castlevania (2011) & Silent Hill all coming in from Japan right now, but we don't know where we will put them. We can fit a few more in but most will have to wait until our next expansion.

oakleez2 karma

Doc, I've met you a few times at the arcade and also up at the Midwest Gaming Classic where you have a pretty big presence. What is your favorite thing about shows like the Midwest Gaming Classic, and do you have a favorite? Bonus question: Do you regret bringing Primal Rage 2 this past year?

GhostLord003 karma

We definitely love doing shows and MGC is one of our favorites. We get to see a lot of people in the scene we don't normally get to see. As for Primal Rage II, not at all. It was unfortunate but showed us a few things we need to improve on. "The Incident" was unsettling but all worked out in the end and we are better for it.

TAFK2 karma

Also a second question.

With the expansion coming I feel like one of the things currently lacking for GGA is the lack of being able to listen to the music/sound of the games you are playing. When you expand the arcade with some more space will you guys be able to crank up the music on some of the cabs? I feel like sometimes I can't hear anything going on and I'm really missing out on the experience.

GhostLord003 karma

Sound in games is a delicate balance, with so many. We definitely want every thing to be heard but do need to keep the place where it isn't blowing out everyone's eardrums. If a particular game is too quiet please let us know and we will do our best to make some adjustments. So many games do have such amazing music so we definitely want everyone to get the full experience.

Kool_Kids_Always_Win2 karma

Would you rather be an retro-gaming only arcade, or only a mordern arcade, or.... a mix of both retro and new?

GhostLord003 karma

As far as games? We are all over the place. Classics, new games, unreleased games. We just try to have fun games that everyone will be into.

Anitrak12 karma

Hey doc, I've been there a couple of times! Totally worth the drive from Indiana. Is the qix machine working yet?

GhostLord003 karma

Yes, Qix works and plays great!

BrometheusBound2 karma

I've seen a lot of discussion in this thread about the plans for expansion for the arcade itself, but I'm curious what the plans are for expanding the Galloping Ghosts Production side of things?

I know you guys run Smash tourneys on Sunday nights, but I was wondering if you have plans to expand on the fighting games you guys run for that, or if you were going to leave that more to places like Ignite or EXP in the area to cover that. It seems like you have the space and the ability to showcase some of the Chicago scene through the Twitch channel and stuff, and I know I'd personally love to see people from the area get more coverage.

GhostLord003 karma

We really want to accommodate the Chicago Fighting Community. Currently we host several scenes. NRS (Mortal Kombat X) which we sponsor 7 players to go compete in tournaments all over and then Anime (Guilty Gear) and Smash (which we sponsor 2 players in). Originally we had a huge Capcom following here but it just kind of fell apart. We do want that scene back and are working towards giving the tournament area more space. We are setting up to expand the current area which should hopefully be able accommodate most of the scene. After that we will be moving our Productions offices to a new building which will give everyone a lot more room in the tournament area.

jhartwell2 karma

So I love going to your arcade and have been many times (actually spent part of my bachelor party there) but it is a pain in the ass to park. But the big issue is it seems like you are running out of space for new cabinets. Any plans to move to a new location? the NBA Jam fixed?

GhostLord002 karma

Thanks. They did just add new street parking in front of the Advanced Auto Parts when that opened. Yes NBA Jam & NBA Jam TE are both running great!

truthaboutcs2 karma

What do you think about the movie Predator?

GhostLord004 karma

Its excellent...although, as much as I think Predators are awesome, I think they are all terrible at what they do.

jdllama2 karma

What are your thoughts on other arcades / barcades? Of course you prefer your own, but are there any out there that have strengths that you respect?

GhostLord003 karma

I think any place that has arcades is awesome. Honestly I not a fan of the term barcade and think its kind of over used...back in the day EVERY bar had arcade games. If an arcade wanted to serve alcohol that cool too, but call yourself an arcade, if that's what your focus is. I totally respect any place that love arcade games and respect them even more if they are doing it well. While I talked with many places before they opened I haven't been out to many (I've never had alcohol myself so its kind of lost on me). I've know guys like James from Logan's for years and that guy is hardcore about know that guy is doing it right!

DoomDash2 karma

I've been to GGA before, and I've seen your game first hand at midwest gaming classic. You also offered to let me in for free next time I came over facebook lol.

My questions are

  • Will you be getting Tekken 7?
  • When will your game be finished?
  • It's been my dream to open an arcade in Milwaukee since ours closed down, how do you go about getting started? I would love to work under someone like yous wing but damn 2.5 hour drive makes it nearly impossible to even apply at GGA.
  • What kind of profits can arcades pull in todays day and age? I wouldn't want to be in the industry for the money, but viability is obviously important.

edit I see some of these are answered, so answer any you haven't

GhostLord002 karma

Tekken 7 is a possibility. Not sure when though. Depends on space and if we can find one priced right.
We are always very open to helping new arcades open please get in touch with us privately and will help however we can. We've helped with everything from with teaching people how to wire cabinets, to helping with business models, sharing data & numbers, dealing with their cities, finding games, getting contact and more.
Every arcades profits will be different. We have been very fortunate that we took off like we did. We have been able to continue to grow every year since we open and were profitable after only about 8 months. So much of what we make though goes immediately back in to make the place better.

SSB4Decoder2 karma

Is your arcade gonna get Pokken Tournament when it drops?

GhostLord002 karma

Its possible, depends on space and pricing. Every time I go to Level 257 out in Schaumburg I keep asking them if they are going to get it.

lokimon40092 karma

I live not too far away, and I've been to your establishment countless times. Do you still have season passes. if so, what's the cost?

GhostLord003 karma

Thanks! Here are our prices:

Daily: $15 Weekly: $40 Monthly: $90 (with 2 free day guest passes Yearly: $375 (with 6 free day guest passes Lifetime: Was available through our fundraiser

candidknave2 karma

do you make a good livin?

GhostLord005 karma

We could, but we focus most of the profits back into the business to make it better.

HibikiRush2 karma

Do you play any modern video games? And knowing that you're a Sega fan, do you have any interest in Shenmue III?

GhostLord003 karma

I try but time is always an issue. I do manage to play anything that is Resident Evil & God of War. I may check Shenmue out, but I've got Evil Within, Batman & Godzilla games all sitting at home sealed still.

HibikiRush2 karma

Have you ever visited game centers in Japan, and if so what do you think about them?

GhostLord002 karma

One of our Productions guys went out to Japan when Street Fighter IV was released and did some research for us. I can't wait to go check them out for myself with the Dark Presence tour.

HibikiRush2 karma

Would you ever considering installing a cabinet of Sega's R-360 if you came across it?

GhostLord002 karma

Its on my list and I've been in touch with a guy who has one. VERY expensive and massively huge, but we will get one one day after the expansion.

HibikiRush2 karma

When and how did your interest in shmups start?

GhostLord002 karma

The Genesis handled shooters really well (all that Blast Processing), and games like Gaiares, Bio Hazard Battle, Truxton, Hell Fire, Insector X & Whip Rush were some of my favorites. Seeing the players here play games like Ikaruga, Darius Gaiden, Raiden at such a professional level makes me have an even higher appreciation for them.

konidias2 karma

Is the business earning as much as you predicted? Less? More?

Have you thought about potentially opening up more GG arcades around the country?

What would you say is the biggest hidden expense of running an arcade?

How much money did you need to open initially?

GhostLord003 karma

Its doing well. Out of the gate we were confident that it would continue to grow. Recently its been doing even better than anticipated with some impressive amounts of growth over last year.

I think a lot of people under estimate the cost of repairs

For specific dollar amounts as far as costs, please contact me privately.

AppleBlumpkinator2 karma

What do you qualify as 'the world'? Is your world made up of just the United States?

GhostLord002 karma

As far as world records? We acknowledge any score that we can verify that meets the settings and that was done on an arcade cabinet. We don't allow any scores set on an emulator.
Aurcade has been open to allowing scores verified from other scoring houses (Twin Galaxies) or even high scores magazines as long the scores have legitimacy.

GhostLord002 karma

As far as being the largest arcade in the world, we have more video arcades and pinballs that anyone. Guinness hasn't found one with more.

LeikaBoss2 karma

What is the oldest game you have? Also, which game is your all time favorite? What game is the most popular? sorry for so many questions :)

GhostLord003 karma

Currently running we have Space Invaders which came out in 1978. We have Death Race that will be up and running soon though that came out in 1976! Favorite game is way to difficult to answer. Most popular it changes all the time. Usually the newest game gets a lot of play as soon as it goes on the floor for quite a while.

Kelter_Skelter2 karma

How did the sponsoring mk players thing start?

GhostLord002 karma

It really just spawned from the tournaments we were running at the arcade. The players were getting really good and spending a lot of time practicing here. A major tournament was coming up and we thought it would so amazing to have the best player represent us. That was the start of TEAM GGA!

RockstarWK2 karma

Hey Doc! How long did it take between vision of the arcade and opening the doors? And what were your expectations of the GGA, and have they changed since day one?

GhostLord006 karma

The business model was written about 4 years before we actually opened. The thought was to open the arcade after we released our Galloping Ghost Production game Dark Presence, but the opportunity present it self and we just jump at the chance. It was a pretty quick process overall once we pulled the trigger.
With the state of the arcades at the time we were confident that it would do well, and we knew if we stuck with our main objectives of making the place take every aspect of gaming seriously and professionally it would work. Every step forward that we take and even with all growth we really try to keep a true to the backbone of what has worked and helped us get where we are.

WilliamGoat2 karma

Doc. How much time do you spend lifting? Dem biceps doe. No homo

GhostLord002 karma

Lately...none unfortunately. When we were filming I was able to spend 2 hours a day working out...definitley miss those days. I'm hoping to get back lifting regularly after the 5th year anniversary event. Moving cabinets everyday definitely helps me keep in shape though.

thecloke2 karma

Can you deadlift a cabinet?

GhostLord002 karma

What cabinet are we talking our Alcon cabinet or Pole Position or like F-Zero?

BrianColin2 karma

I think of you and Galloping Ghost at being at the forefront of the growing Arcade Restoration movement. Do you get asked to speak at any of the regional conventions throughout the year?

GhostLord002 karma

Why thank you! Yes we do actually. We do shows like Midwest Gaming Classic and currently we are gearing up for Wizard World on 08/20 - 08/23! We have some really amazing things planned for that event. Not only will be have 60 - 80 arcade games there but we will have some amazing industry guest such the legendary creator of Rampage Brian Colin as well as Jeff Lee (Legendary creator of Q*Bert). As well several of the original Mortal Kombat actors - Daniel Pesina, Rich Divizio, Carlos Pesina, John Parrish and Phillip Ahn!

ebinsugewa2 karma

Hi Doc, I finally got a chance to meet you at T20 a few months back. Thanks for everything that you do.

When is that Darius going to get put on the floor!? :D

GhostLord002 karma

Soon! Just waiting for it to clear customs! Can't wait for it to be here! Keep an eye on our Facebook page for the big announcement of its arrival!

DanAVC2 karma

besides the consoles you have in the console area, are you planning to add other classic game systems,like 7800,Jaguar,Tg-16 etc..?

GhostLord002 karma

Yes, we have a MASSIVE back stock of from Pong on up. We plan to really grow the console section eventually.

thecloke2 karma

I would love it if you guys started serving hot coffee. The sugary drinks are good but not the healthiest. Is there a possibility for this in the future?

GhostLord002 karma

We occasionally offer free coffee or hot chocolate and donuts usually a bit more towards the winter time. We used to offer it but spills are its too big of a concern.

DaisyCutter3121 karma

Recently I've noticed a lot of arcades are moving to the "barcade" format and offering food and alcohol in addition to gaming. Is that something you guys at GGA have considered, or is the threat of spillage and cabinet/hardware damage too great to make it worthwhile?

GhostLord002 karma

Its not something we will ever do. I think most bar-cades find out quick they make a ton of cash for food and drinks and that will always make me concerned that since the bar is making the money the arcade might not get the same attention.
Its not even so much about the spillage or cabinet damage as we just don't want to be a bar. We are here to bring everyone arcade games and leave food and drinks to others.

pokerchick861 karma

Hey my husband took off work and is going to your event today. He loves both The Galloping Ghost and The Underground Retrocade. I'm happy for the friends he's made and people there that share his same interest in old gaming.

My question is: Have you ever thought of bringing in a children's charity or any charity?

Invite everyone cover charge is now $25 and the extra $10 goes to charity. Throughout the day they can walk around selling raffle tickets, cookies ect for extra money and it would bring great attention for both you and the charity.

GhostLord002 karma

While we do often donate to various charities that approach us, we hope to link several of our upcoming events to charities. Its something we have wanted expand upon for a long time.

WilliamGoat1 karma

There's an event today?

GhostLord002 karma

Yes, our Gamer of the Year will be announced at 7PM!

TheBigVitus1 karma

What's your favorite fighting game?

GhostLord002 karma

Thats really tough. I'll omit Dark Presence from the list, but Mortal Kombat & MK II. Last Blade, Garou, Samurai Shodown...there so many amazing games