Upgrade and customize your very own old-school gaming paradise.
*UPDATE [4/30/21]: We’ve updated the article in order to better clarify LAI Games’ services as a developer.*
LAI Games is an Australian-based company that makes arcade games for location-based entertainment venues all around the world. If you’ve ever stepped into an arcade to play an old-school ticket redemption game, chances are LAI Games was involved.
In 2017, the company worked with Ubisoft to develop a VR attraction called Virtual Rabbids: The Big Ride, which received high praise from both developers as well as players and is now considered a game-changer for the arcade industry. Now, the company is ready to launch its next immersive endeavor with its first-ever in-home VR game, Arcade Legend.
Think of it sort of like a game within a game. Here’s the scoop: you’ve just inherited a dilapidated arcade and its up to you to return what was once a world-class family entertainment destination to its former glory as the ultimate gaming haven.
To do that you’ll need to unravel a series of deep mysteries surrounding the old arcade. Each time you unlock a mystery, you are rewarded with a new feature that you can use to upgrade and customize your arcade. As you continue to improve your space, you’ll attract more customers and raise greater revenue which can be used to purchase official LAI Games titles.
As the owner, it’s up to you to rearrange and customize your arcade to fit new games while maintaining an aesthetically pleasing playspace. You can control the settings of each individual game and earn prizes that can be used to customize your avatars or the interior of your VR arcade. There’s even a global leaderboard, allowing you and your friends to compete against players around the world.
When Arcade Legend launches, players will be able to play 4 LAI Games classics: Let’s Bounce, HYPERshoot, Speed of Light, and the very popular Stacker! While it’s true these are far from modern games, they still hold a lot of nostalgia for gamers, and bringing them into VR offers a fun and exciting twist on retro gaming.
For most of us, going to an arcade is a social experience. Arcade Legend can support up to 4 players in one arcade, plus NPC’s (non-player characters). As the reputation of your arcade improves, you’ll start seeing more and more NPC customers hanging out and bringing in moolah to your growing arcade business.
During an interview with VRScout, LAI Games Marketing Director, Tabor Carlton (no relation), said, “Let’s Bounce, HYPERshoot and Speed of Light are all arcade industry award-winning games, and Speed of Light, in particular, has amassed a cult-following on YouTube. These super physical games translate really well to VR, and leveraging the virtual environment to augment the games even further has been a lot of fun,” adding, “Stacker was our best-selling game of all-time, and you’ll still see them in arcades, malls, cinemas, or pizza joint game rooms all over the world today.”
Visually, Arcade Legend features a cool retro digital cyberpunk look that reminds me of older arcades from the ’80s. It’s designed to “look advanced but the aesthetic is vintage,” said Carlton. He goes on to talk about how arcades were once at the forefront of gaming and computer technology. Arcade Legend pays its respects to this legendary era in gaming while embracing the now by offering players access to an old-school arcade filled with cutting-edge technology.
Moving forward, the company hopes to include additional games outside the LAI Games catalog. Discussions are already underway with several game developers and the team hopes to offer additional officially licensed arcade games over time. As a matter of fact, Carlton tells me that they have already reached an agreement to bring one legendary arcade game into Arcade Legend.
LAI Games will conduct a beta test before releasing an official game demo during Steam’s Next Fest in June. They’ve already created a “coming soon” page on Steam which you can view here.
As of right now, the company is focused primarily on the SteamVR platform.
“I think people will be genuinely surprised about some of the things they’ll be able to unlock and do inside their arcade!”
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Feature Image Credit: LAI Games