Since the 20th of January 2009, English company Electrocoin becomes Konami's master distributor for Europe, Russia, Middle East and Africa. First affected titles are GTI Club Supermini Festa!, Guitar Hero Arcade, Castlevania - The Arcade, Dance Dance Revolution X, Byon Byon and UBeat. Electrocoin replaces Avranches Automatic which was manufacturing and exclusively wholesaling Konami amusement products in Europe since 2003. Despite loosing its exclusivity, Avranches Automatic will continue to sell future games by Konami. Beside distribution, Electrocoin is also in charge of aftersale service through its Cardiff based subsidiary "Electrocoin Aftersales and Service". These companies contact details can be found in our distributors index.
BFK 2009 - The Expansion (Belgisch FlipperKampioenschap / Belgian Pinball Championship) will take place this weekend during the 11th edition of Collector Fantasies at the Nekkerhal in Mechelen. With more than 100 contestants, competition will be rough! Qualifications will occur on 7 pinballs at once with 3 balls per game. The best 16 qualified people will be allowed to take part to the quarterfinal gaining an extra chance to reach finals. Besides the main title, a women's final will be organized between the best four qualified female players. Qualifications will cover the whole weekend with the final being held on Sunday in the afternoon. Ticket price to Collector Fantasies is 6 €, doors open on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th from 9.30am to 6pm.
Last week Bandai Namco Games became the exclusive distributor of The Fast & the Furious Drift conversion kits for Europe and the Middle East. This kit turns old racing games as Cruis'n USA, Cruis'n World, Cruis'n Exotica, California Speed or Off Road Challenge into Raw Thrills' latest car racer: The Fast and the Furious Drift. This universal conversion kit includes one Dell PC with F&F Drift installed (covered by a 1 year warranty), one security USB dongle, game CD-ROM and restore discs, a JAMMA harness suiting all cabinets, a fit-all marquee and the same decals as the original Drift. This very popular tuning themed game offers 19 varied courses and 12 official cars. The ability to customize and upgrade ones vehicle will please car lovers. Players can save their car to pick it up later in the state they left it. Beware this feature is only available on cabinets originally equipped with a keypad as this one is not included in the kit. Read the game page for more information. To order your The Fast & the Furious Drift kit, contact Bandai Namco Games sales department. Note that you need one kit per seat. Here's an excellent way to recycle an old racer!!!
Here's a game you'll hear about! H2Overdrive, the spiritual sequel to 1999 arcade hit Hydro Thunder will be released in April through Raw Thrills! The story begins in Spring 2008 when Raw Thrills president Eugene Jarvis contacts former Midway Games developer Steve Ranck. Eugene convinces Steve to go back to arcade games development. Steve then creates Specular Interactive in April 2007 and hires most of the staff who worked on Hydro Thunder and Offroad Thunder games. One month later, a deal is signed with Raw Thrills who will manufacture and market Specular's first title which will be... H2Overdrive! It represents overpowered boats racing at its best. Courses will feature many power ups, jumps and secret shortcuts. Besides high resolution graphics (1360x768), the biggest new feature is the ability for the player to upgrade his vehicle and save his progress using the cabinet keypad. There are 40 evolution levels for each boat. Some levels unlock new features like the Superboost or the mid-air stunts ability. The deluxe cabinet features a 42" 16/9 LCD screen and up to eight machines can be linked for multiplay. This game will be first publicly shown at next week ATEI where the development team will welcome people critics. If H2Overdrive manages to bring back his ancestor's fun factor, it will be a 2009 smash hit!
Rather unnoticed but occurring only meters away from ATEI 2009 is the InterGame Expo. Remember; after the lack of trades occurring at ATEI 2008, several exhibitors protested against the high price of square meter. To address this problem, InterGame magazine decided to organize a second, smaller show. This one will be held on 27, 28 and 29th of January in the Enterprise Suite of Ibis Earls Court hotel (on Lillie Road). More than thirty exhibitors share a surface of 1260sqm including some well known names in the amusement industry as the famous pusher manufacturer Harry Levy, PMT Sales or Wessex Coin. Some companies like Nanotech Entertainment play on both sides by presenting their products to both shows. This show promises to be interesting! For more information, visit the expo website.
Good news for fans of the small kitty from Sanrio! Sega Prize Europe (merchandising division of Sega Amusements Europe) has just revealed they will be exhibiting the full range of Hello Kitty plush on Sega stand at ATEI. This announce follows the acquisition of the juicy Hello Kitty licence by Sega Prize Europe. Which will have the exclusiveness in sales and distribution of all the cuddly toys of the most kawaii cat in the world in all Europe, Middle East and Africa. We are delighted by the arrival of the official plushes and we hope to see them in many Belgian operators' cranes!
The 65th edition of ATEI (Amusement Trades Exhibition International) is coming fast and it's time to register for your free entry badge if not already done. Gathering more than 115 exhibitors from across the world, this show is the coin-op reference in Europe and showcases everything you can imagine from cranes to kiddie rides including video games, merchandising and coin pushers. Aside leading manufacturers like Sega, Namco Bandai or Benchmark Games whom will be presenting their latest products, many distributors will be there. So this is a great opportunity to save money on new machines since the low British pound against Euro value grants you a 27% discount! Belgian companies exhibiting this year are Charlier-Brabo Group, Coin Manufactory (Verheyden), Fravend International (Welkenhuysen), SOS Candy (Peeters) and Van de Wege International. After their big booths of the past two years, Elaut moves to IGE (see below) but stay visible at ATEI through Crown Leisure and John Ferguson Spares' stands. Among the events organized aside the show, there will be a free redemption seminar which will take place on the first two days explaining the best way to increase income through operation practice improvement and various tips and tricks. A free networking party is also to mention. This drink will be offered to BACTA members and their guests on Tuesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm (contact a participating BACTA member company to get your invitation). We reminds our readers this is a trade only event and that access is restricted to professionals only. New measures are taken this year, especially regarding press access. Only trade magazines are allowed. All other magazines (including on-line media) must contact KWP Limited prior the show or they will be turned away at the door. Video will be forbidden and photography will be authorized during guided tours only. Any photo taken outside the tour will cause your expulsion. Taking place at the same time, IGE (International Gaming Exhibition) incorporates ICE and ICEi for all your gambling needs (casinos and on-line gaming). Attention, as this is a different exhibition, you need a different badge to enter. ATEI 2009 will take place from Tuesday 27th to Thursday 29th of January in London's Earls Court. Take your chance, London is only 1h50 away from Brussels when traveling by Eurostar!
As many of you know, Esash, one of the managers of the PlayerOne video game shop (formerly Player) in Fléron is imprisoned in Lantin. Esash and his shop are well known among arcade games fanatics since he was organizing fighting games tournaments there. He was also the first to share his passion, proofs being the arcade cabinets he brought at the last Asianim and his AB forums membership. His crime? He fired at a 16 year-old man. This teenager (whom is alive and recovering) is a member of a gang which is well-known in the neighbourhood especially for vandalism acts. Everything started several months ago when shop owners, Esdash and Judeau, asked these delinquents to never come back to the shop. It had the opposite effect since the guys kept coming back but became more and more violent. Seeing the threats were becoming more serious, the shops managers called the police several times and a complaint was registered but the police said there was nothing they could do since minors were involved. Threats and brutalization went on until that Tuesday, December 23th of 2008 when an exceeded Esash fired three times towards the mobs, hurting one gang member. The same day, while Esash was being interrogated by the police, hoods broke the shop window. The police calm them down and the window is promptly replaced. But two days later, on Christmas Eve, they break the window again while Esash is in jail. The shop then have to be closed and emptied, one year after its opening. Of course, Esash's move was excessive but... In our business, we have all faced troubles involving delinquents one day or another but what can we do against people whom are above the law??? Esash is an enthusiast, those teenagers without any other goal than spoil others lives broke Esash life when he just achieved to fulfil his life's dream: opening a video game shop. Nowadays, he's in jail while the gang keeps terrorizing the district without any concern. We invite all people who wish to support Esash to sign this petition and to join the support demonstration that will be organized on Saturday, January 10th in Fléron at 2 o'clock PM. The rendezvous point is the parking of the BayBonnet shopping centre where Player shop was located. Here's the address for your navigation needs: Avenue des Martyrs 280, 4620 Fléron. This is a peaceful demonstration to protest against the impunity protecting the delinquents. Bring your banners!
Attention: Saturday's support demonstration is cancelled because of lacks of police protection.
Each year, Japanese magazine Arcadia rewards the best arcade productions of the year. As you'll see, fighting games takes the cake as Capcom's Street Fighter IV is praised with the Game of the Year, Best Graphics and Best Production awards. Special mention to Tekken 6 which reaches best titles top 3's second place and receives the Best Income award. Square Enix's card game Lord of Vermillion is ranked third. Many famous mangakas and character designers are responsible for its illustrations like Kazushi Hagiwara (Bastard), Hiroaki Samura (Blade of the Immortal), Atsushi Okubo (Soul Eater) or Shiro Amano (Kingdom Hearts) to name a few. Discover all results in our charts section.
We present you our best wishes for 2009! Although 2008 was the year of our 5th birthday, it wasn't a good one: many arcades closed down and only a few new products made it to Belgium. But this bad period should not darken the expectations for this new year. Indeed, you will discover new titles from Sega, Konami, Namco and Global VR in our annual ATEI report. Moreover, operators are changing their mind and now directly contact manufacturers to gather information about new games. This suggests new titles will reach us this year. On our side, we are working on a complete rebuilding of the website and we thank all people whom supported us in 2008!
All other news items are featured in our news archive.
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