Arcade Heroes The IAAPA 2021 Pre-Game Show

Posted by Ongames247 on November - 14 - 2021


Greetings readers, this is Adam the Arcadehero, and in lieu of Newsbytes this weekend, here is a preview of IAAPA 2021, a large tradeshow event focused on the arcade/amusement/theme park industry that takes place next week in Orlando, FL. If you’re unfamiliar with IAAPA, they’re a trade organization that organizes big events like this, with this namesake expo serving as the “E3” of the aforementioned amusement sector.

Where this blog is focused on arcades, that’s where the bulk of the reporting will go, although I will touch on other aspects here and there. One reader already asked me to check out some crane stuff, so I’ll see what I can do there 🙂

First, let’s start with an hour-long video that I posted the other day, presenting the “Best of” knowledge at the time as to what will be there. After the video though, I will lay out some of the same info in case you’d prefer to read; But also note, some news has come along since I recorded this, so that will be placed below. There are several new pieces of information that have come to light, so please check it out!

Now for the text version + Additions!

Adrenaline Amusements – Booth 2015. Games expected: Twister(which was at AEI21); Debut of Zombie Smasher & Hungry Hungry Hippos; Reshows of games like Hot Wheels, probably Spinner Frenzy as the latter has been promoted on their social media quite recently.

American Pinball – Booth 215. Looks big enough for them to have all four of their games, although probably will focus more on Hot Wheels and Legends of Valhalla. Could they bring their redemption game back too?

Amusement Source International – Booth 600 & 604. While I expected games like Skip Time & Overtake VR to be there, a post I found from them on LinkedIn mentions Speed Rider 3DX and some crane machines. I guess that means no Speed Driver 5, unfortunately.

Andamiro USA – Booth 1800. Games expected: Similar redemption mix to what they brought to both IAAPA 2019 and AEI21. They sent out an email highlighting one new product addition: Spongebob Squarepants Ticket Coaster. Otherwise, the email did not mention Pump It Up nor Chrono Circle. :/

ANVIO VR – Booth 3273. Not mentioned in the video at the top, this Hungarian company promises a free-roam, multiplayer VR arena experience, claiming that they are the only ones to offer: “Every single physical movement is immediately visible to you and your fellow participants”

Arkadia VR – Booth 1829. This company is listed as Arkadia VR, however, in the profile it points you to a company called “Inowise.” They will show their 6-player arena VR product.

Bandai Namco Amusements – Booth 1300. This will also entail Bandai Namco Amusements Europe, so expect a bunch of Raw Thrills and Adrenaline products here too. Really unsure if we’ll see anything new from BNA, as I’ve heard nothing from them; Their website hasn’t been updated since 2019 and when they appeared at Pinball Expo recently, they were only showcasing Pac-Man’s Pixel Bash and some Pac-Man merchandise. There was supposed to be a game announcement earlier this year, but they delayed or canned it; The rumor I’ve been hearing from multiple sources (separate from the aforementioned game announcement) is that they have something related to Pac-Man Battle Royale in the works.

Bay Tek Entertainment – Booth 1015. I expect a similar booth to ASI, with Axe Master and Rock The Rim as the newest pieces. They usually show off protos that may or may not hit production at IAAPA too, but who knows this year give how things are. It’s a huge booth, so they have the space for everything on their games page and then some.

Betson – Booths 615 & 415. While technically Betson’s booth, this is really Raw Thrills‘ space. As mentioned in the video, I was told that they will not debut anything new at this event, due to the massive shipping delays currently disrupting their existing product lines. Such delays also appear to have caused some names on the RT game’s list to be discontinued – TMNT and The Walking Dead. So those two you can only get used from now on. Barring some last-last minute change of mind on their part (highly unlikely since you have to ship things a bit in advance of the show), the next time we’ll see a new-new piece from RT is at Amusement Expo ’22.

Bob’s Space Racers – Booths 2615 & 2821. Whac-A-Mole and their other redemption/theme park games. Don’t expect anything video-related.

Boxblaster VR – Booth 2891. While I would expect their 4-player VR setup, there’s a chance that they could also show their VR-Xperience product here too. That said, I would expect to find the latter at the Elaut USA booth since they’ve been working together on that.

VRX-Perience by Boxblaster and Benchmark Games International

Characters Unlimited – Booth 3712. They never do anything for video or pinball, but they always have cool stuff to show off, like Zoltar. I’m surprised to see them at IAAPA, as I’ve only seen them at Amusement Expo, but perhaps I overlooked them.

Chicago Gaming Co. – Booth 613. The Cactus Canyon pinball remake should be here, probably along with their other remake titles. I also would expect the Arcade Legends 3 and one of their foosball tables. I’d be surprised to see anything else new.

Coastal Amusements – Booth 1319. They have been big on importing Chinese games in recent years for videmption, but since the pandemic started, they’ve not announced anything new at all, so unsure what to expect. Not as big a booth as usual (I think I mistakenly said in the top video that it was big, but on a second look, not so much), so I’m expecting a repeat of their IAAPA 2019 mix.

Creative Works – Booth 3871 & 3672. This company is throwing most of its weight behind VR this year, whereas in years past I’ve often been slightly confused as to what they offer. Among the announced products they’ll be showing Fury Hoops Madness (by VR Studios), Limitless VR for laser tag arenas, Lucky Putt, Game Up eSports, Hyperdeck VR(by MajorMega), and the new Spongebob VR.

Fury Hoops Madness

Spongebob VR by MajorMega / Hyperdeck VR

DOF Robotics – Booth 2286. Don’t expect anything for route operations here – they are focused on mid- to large-scale attractions for theme parks and FECs. They’ve been dabbling with VR for a while in terms of their Hurricane 360 VR platform, and they’ll debut another VR product called Monster Jam Grave Digger at the show.

Elaut USA – Booth 1024. As mentioned in the top video, they have a huge booth space, which will be filled with their crane and pusher products, but where they also own Benchmark Games and represent a few other manufacturers including Touch Magix, there should be an interesting variety of games to find here. It’s all redemption-focused of course. Touch Magix’s Mega Blaster will debut here, as will Team Play’s Surfin Surfari; We’ll also likely see the aforementioned VR-Xperience by Boxblaster.

exA-Arcadia Booth 1710. Small booth where the main focus will be Kung Fu Vs. Karate Champ and Nippon Marathon Turbo, however, they will have carts for every announced game available in case you want to see/play something.  I’d love to get some time with the games I saw at AEI21Shadow Gangs X & Dynamite Bomb -and actually film them properly this time, but I’ll have to wait and see. They have a lot of games ready to release, but the problem continues to be the pandemic and related production issues. Either way, they’re looking at a strong 2022.

HOLOGATE – Booth 4482. Their exhibitor profile mentions “3 virtual reality escape rooms for the ARENA system; ZOMBYTE 2.0, the sequel to our hugely popular, ZOMBYTE; HOLOGATE TERMINAL,” and the new Hyper Golf platform. The last one does not involve VR, it looks to be more AR or MXR-related.

ICE – Booth 1806. They have a big booth as usual, where I’m expecting their All In and Monopoly games, along with the Home Pro line that they’ve been promoting this year. I’m unsure if anything new-new will make an appearance, but it’s a good bet, since they tend to reveal stuff like that at IAAPA. Then again, the present situation could mean that they’ll wait; I’ve been trying and trying to contact their tech support, who apparently just refuses to answer emails, unless my mails to multiple contacts just aren’t getting through, so I haven’t been able to find out much from them lately.

Incredible Technologies – Booth 728. Booth is pretty small, so only expecting a couple of machines, Golden Tee PGA Tour, Retro Raccoons, and maybe the Arcade Classics. Not sure why I forgot to mention Retro Raccoons in my IAAPA vid, so I’ll make up for it by highlighting the game here:

JET – Booth 1327. Their main focus is on redemption and kiddie rides, and from a list I was sent the other day, it looks like they won’t be introducing any new videmption game to the mix. It sounds like the options for kiddie rides are pretty limited at the moment, so they will be focusing on that with several new pieces.

IGPM GroupBooth 917. Showing off some new Kalkomat boxing machines, a kiddie ride, and talking about a new small or medium-scale theme park attraction ride.

Komuse America – Booth 811. I expect the same selection of merchandisers and redemption games that they had at ASI21 (Swing ‘N Smash, Drop It! Drop It!, and Coco Bowl)

LAI Games – Booth 1000. For us, the big one will be Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade in both models, although really it’s the newest never seen before piece they’ll have; As you can see from the tweet below, the other products have appeared at tradeshows or have been available for some time. Too bad there is no Outnumbered, but you can only focus on so much…

Meta4 Interactive – Booth 213. While this company tends to have a variety of VR games around, the only one I can find a mention of for this IAAPA is Transformers VR: Battle Arena.

Phenomena VR – Booth 4875. They will be showing off their VR arena solution with a multiplayer shooter game called Versus: VR Laser Tag and a new dance game called Space Dance Harmony. They use the Oculus Quest headset for their setup, while most others are using HTC or HP it seems.

Playmind – Booth 1817. This is one that I missed for the video at the top, a company out of Canada that introduced the Playbox last year right when the pandemic was beginning. Apart from that, they are debuting a new themed photo booth-type product called Playbooth. It sounds like the theme can be changed with new experiences down the road, with the first one being available is called The Last Floor, a horror-themed adventure designed to elicit jump scares and the like.

PrimeTime Amusements – Booth 2013. This distributor/operator will be representing IMPLY at the show, which has a new interactive bowling system for sale called Evolution Bowling Show. That said, I’m not sure if they’ll have one of the bowling lanes set up to play, which is something that IMPLY had done in the past with their own booth. They will also have some reproduction/refurbished classic arcade cabinets and probably some custom basketball machines.

Retro Arcade – Booth 1610. They don’t appear to have a website at the moment, and the generic name doesn’t help 😛 Their description on the IAAPA site claims that they are remaking or reproducing old classics for commercial use, all in new cabs, with Ice Cold Beer and Zeke’s Peak being the first two games that will be remade for today’s audiences. Their booth is directly behind exA.

Sega Amusement Intl. – Booth 1315. Sega may have the largest selection of new-new games at the show, out of the companies that we focus on. These will include: ATV Slam SD, Jet Blaster, Mission: Impossible DX, Men In Black, VR Agent, some new redemption stuff. They also might have Jumanji, which had been mentioned as a part of their selection at one point, although so far Sega hasn’t mentioned it in any of their IAAPA-focused press releases.

Shaffer Distributing/Lasertron – Booth 1615. Lasertron is a name I haven’t heard in a while – they were a company responsible for the Quake Arcade prototype many years back, but right now they are working on Mixed Reality Axe Throwing.

Smart Industries – Booth 624. Their latest cranes like the Lil Diamond+ and Taj Mahal Mini should be on hand, not sure if there are any surprises to expect.

Step Revolution – Booth 806. I only expect one game at this booth, but like last time it should attract a steady crowd – StepManiaX. Highly doubt with the situation right now, plus SMX being extremely popular, that they would reveal something new.

Stern Pinball – Booth 424. While I would hope to see a booth as fantastic as their Pinball Expo booth, Stern doesn’t seem to bring that exact same energy to IAAPA. That’s ok though, as they’ll have the games: Godzilla, Jurassic Park Pin, The Mandalorian, Led Zeppelin, and of course, their Insider Connected system. They never use IAAPA to reveal new-new surprises, so I don’t expect anything along those lines from them there.

Swiss VR – Booth 1815. This company had been seen at the show in the past through Barron Games International, but Barron is unfortunately not going to be there. Their VR foosball product, Koliseum VR, will be showcased at this booth, along with a new VR air hockey table.

Team Play Inc. – Booth 1613. They will likely be focusing on their photo booths and their videmption games like Ships Ahoy! and perhaps the new-new videmption game that they’ve been secretly testing out there. Surfin Surfari is a maybe, although this is probably going to be showcased just at Elaut’s booth.

The Really Big Crane Company – Booth 1600. Their latest cranes will be on hand of course, although I would also expect to see their video basketball game, Zombie Jam. Why that title still isn’t listed on their website though is beyond me.

Touch Magix – Booth 1024. As mentioned in the ad at the top of the site, Touch Magix is at the show, just as a part of the Elaut USA booth. They’ll be debuting Mega Blaster there as previously mentioned on the blog, along with titles like SpaceWarp 66 Mega, Drift ‘N Thrift and more.

Triotech – Booth 1069. With the biggest booth in this company’s history, they’ll have a lot of stuff to show, although I expect it to be more along the lines of their interactive theater attractions and not so much stuff for arcades. That said, they will have their Storm VR machine with a new film, and probably the Typhoon 10th Anniversary Edition which both cover the non-theater side of things.

Storm VR ride simulator by Trio-Tech

Uncontained VR – Booth 4489. This company will be showing off their shipping containers that have been converted into a free roam VR space. Handles up the 6-players at a time, with two teams of 3 battling it out in the virtual space.

UNIS – Booth 1331. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from UNIS until yesterday, where an email cleared that up. On the software side of things, there isn’t anything that we’ve never heard of before, but they do have several new cabinets and some redesigns of some other games. One they are headlining with is Wicked Tuna, based upon the reality-TV show of the same name. It appears to be a reskin of their Fishing Derby game, with one enhancement mentioned being the fishing radar feature. They will also be showcasing Elevator Action Invasion, which has been available for a while at Dave & Busters, but will debut a standard model without the moving elevator doors; A new cabinet for their All-Star Pogo Jump game then some new crane machines. It’s looking like they aren’t going to be focusing on their Elite Series that they unveiled last year – maybe they’re saving that for later when the FEC market has recovered to a certain degree.

Unit-E Tech – Booth 2000. I am surprised to see them back since we’ve heard nothing from this indie dev since AEI20. Perhaps Neon FM will be there since they’re still promoting new songs for it, even though it’s almost 7 years old now; Most likely they’ll be reintroducing their RFPay card system. Here’s the last video I have of them:

Valley-Dynamo – Booth 1624. Jet-Pong is the big thing they’re hyping up, but they’ll also have pool tables and all the regular stuff that they always show.

Virtuix – Booth 610. The latest setup of their Omni Arena, I believe with some new games made just for the system.

VR Coaster –  Booth 2272. I mentioned this company in the video but only found out afterward that it is a company that specializes in fitting real roller coasters with VR, so it’s nothing that really pertains to the arcade scope of the blog here.

VR360 ACTION – Booth 2278. They have a number of interesting Vr products on their booth description, and their website mentions several games, but there is more online than it looks like can fit in their space.

VRSenal – Booth 1606. Probably just all Vader Immortal Lightsaber Dojo, although they may show off something else like they did at IAAPA 2018.

Wahlap Tech – Booth 604. I was surprised to see them here since they’ll have distributors showing everything else off. Amusement Source Intl. at near the top mentioned in a LinkedIn post that they appear to be sharing some booth space with Wahlap, so most likely this is going to be strongly focused on their redemption offerings.

Whew! That’s it! Barring anything bad, I’ll be there starting Monday and will begin filming what I can. If there’s a decent WiFi connection, I’ll see if it’s possible to do a livestream to YouTube from the show floor, but that can be spotty at best. Also, in case anyone exhibiting at the show actually reads this far, but we’ve never met before, I may not have my press badge at first – I got a strange email talking about some severe press restrictions(limiting it to only 1 day of the week), so while I was approved for a press badge, I had to get a different badge to be able to ensure that I have show access for the rest of the week that I’ll be there. I’ll be lugging a camera around, either way, just know that I’ll be working as press, even if my badge doesn’t always say so. 😉

Either way, I look forward to being in warn & sunny Florida this next week (70s-80s all week, woohoo) and seeing many of you again after this long hiatus. If you want to follow my postings, it will be easier for me to post to Guilded (where I have an IAAPA Forum thread, making it easy to post and track) and/or Discord than the blog or Facebook/Twitter. If there’s anything you want me to keep an eye out for, please let me know!





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