The Interactive Achievement Awards recognized the year’s best console and computer games, but not arcade videogames. For years, arcades had been consistently stereotyped as breeding grounds for violence, but fortunately, they began changing for the better. Disney followed Gameworks’ lead and opened DisneyQuest, a five-story entertainment center at Walt Disney World. While similar to those at Gameworks, the attractions at DisneyQuest featured Disney characters and themes. Disney planned an additional twenty DisneyQuest centers around the country, with the rest scheduled to be built in Chicago in 1999.
Although big seemed to be better, Gameworks began opening smaller entertainment centers. The new Gameworks Studios were one-third the size of the regular Gameworks centers, yet featured big, brand-new arcade games that were just too expensive for older, smaller arcades to support. Just as the movie industry had to find unique ways to get people away from their TVs and into theaters during the fifties, arcade manufacturers were facing the same dilemma. One calamity resulting from this shift to the home was the closing of Acclaim’s coin-op division early in the year.
Meanwhile, another Japanese arcade company continued churning out machines that the public clamored to play. Following the success of Beatmania, Konami released Beatmania 2ndMix in March. The new version followed the same game play as the original, but included a new mix of songs. In September, Konami released Beatmania 3rdMix.
Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Leonard Herman’s book Phoenix IV available at Rolenta Press www.RolentaPress.com and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!