Gracing the South West coast with impressive stature, Leisure 2000 focuses on bringing in the best performing machines on the market. Whether these are used, refurbished, or brand new, it’s all about what the customers want to pay-to-play for.
While Leisure 2000 primarily looks to bring in brand new attractions, the Paignton, Devon arcade utilises used and refurbished machines to fill a specific but important purpose in its diverse amusements offering.
With an 18+ AGC on one side of the venue and an FEC on the other, the large site has plenty of room to experiment, allowing the management team to bring in some older machines that can deliver not only a sense of nostalgia, but a heavy cashbox.
“Every now and then we’ll have a Golden Game, or something similar that we know players still look for,” said Phil Warren, manager at Leisure 2000. “If a game we already have is performing we won’t take it off the floor, so putting in a used or refurbished machine that we know will work is no different.”
Indeed, this is particularly the case when Leisure 2000 wants to double-up on its best performing assets.
“Sometimes if it’s a machine that’s proven – that we already have or had – we will get another one later down the line,” continued Warren, who explained other means of finding out which games are top-performers. “It might be on recommendation from one of our suppliers, or if we’ve heard about a machine doing well in other resorts, or maybe something we’ve seen at the January show.”
Indeed, at EAG this year Warren was impressed by a number of machines, particularly Sega’s Storm Racer G, a video racing game with a motion feature in the driving seat.
“You need something you can’t do at home and that’s why the Sega driver game was so good, as well as the graphics being great,” explained Warren. “It’s hard for players to really have a decent driver game on their console, it’s difficult to set up the steering wheel to really get the same effect.”
Another class of video machine that goes beyond home entertainment is the shoot’em up, which Leisure 2000 has recently increased its gaming arsenal with in the form of a used The Walking Dead video game.
“It’s a big sit down cabinet that’s proving quite popular,” said Warren. “We’ve got it next to Jurassic Park in the arcade, replacing Star Wars. We also have a Mario game nearby and Grid, which we’ve had for quite a few years now and it still does well.”
These kind of licensed games stay relevant as long as the licence stays popular, making them ideal machines to buy used, especially for the licence of a long-running TV Series with such a strong and loyal following as The Walking Dead.
“It’s pretty good fun and the customers seem to enjoy it. I think it’ll do well through the summer, but we’re a bit quiet at the moment because it’s so bloody hot here,” laughed Warren, explaining how the heat can be a double-edged sword. “Yesterday we had quite a few people come in to escape the sun though, as we’re all air-conned in here on both the family side and the AGC.”
Leisure 2000’s owner Gary Bond purchased another, smaller arcade last year, aptly named Little Leisure. With two places on the same street, it’s easy for the management team to swap machines across the arcades – effectively creating Little Leisure’s own supply of used machines.
“We’ve got two places here now, so when we buy new stuff at the January show, a lot of the machines that they replace get a chance in our second location,” Warren concluded.