Saturday, September 17, 2011

Gaming Business Advice Needed! Any little idea

Yes, after my gaming hate post, here I am asking for your advice on having a potentially successful gaming business.

My husband works as a lab technician but that's not his real domain. He's a computer guy (networks, hardware, programming, whatever) with a passion for gaming. And he made the decision to start a business. He signed a lease for two small, linked stores. One will be a computer store for selling and fixing computers mostly and the other part will be a gaming cafe type place. The plan for the gaming cafe is not clear yet but I'm trying to help him figure out what could possibly work. He has the gamer's point of view, but I have the "regular person" point of view as a non-gamer who can enjoy a game once in a while and as someone who comes from here and knows about the population (not exactly the same type of people as in Egypt).

The place is not big - it's small and that limits the possibilities A LOT. It's one sort of long room where we figure there will be enough space for 3 "gaming stations". They will each have their 3-place couch with 46 inch TV. One will have extra space to play PlayStation Move and Xbox Kinect and the others will have just an Xbox or PlayStation with their games. There's not enough room for tables and extra chairs for snacks or for extra spaces for computers for an internet cafe so it's really going to be all about PlayStation and Xbox. We plan on having small snacks like a drink and chips available to buy while they play.

With the costs of buying everything over 1 year plus the monthly costs, we would cover the costs with about 10 people per day average coming to play for an hour each so hopefully that's possible. The location is not bad for our city of about 60 000 people and there are no other places doing this. There is one arcade though but it's not really the same type of thing and not in the same area.

I'm thinking the main clientele would be kids and teens. We are close to 2 elementary schools and not too far from the high schools. It's in a lower class family area of town so I think most kids in this area are not set up at home with their own game consoles which should work to bringing in a few people! I'm hoping it would be welcoming enough to attract families wanting to get an hour of family time in with their young kids (who might be too young to come alone).

The other part would be actual gamers who are the ones who would be more likely to want to come and stay for a few hours at a time. But these are the people who are likely to have a gaming set up at their home. What can this place offer that they can't get at home?

Help with any ideas! ANY AT ALL!

6 Comentários:

Explorer said...

I can definitely see gaming cafes working out in Egypt - I'm not from Canada but the UK so I don't know how similar that would be. You're going to sell refreshments right? I'd say having the most up to date consoles and accessories that people might not have at home is your best bet. And market it. Make it go viral. Pay a cool looking kid $10 to hand out flyers. Make it feel accessible - I know this is the type of business I might feel shy to go into as a non gamer.

Candice said...

Thanks for your advice! The "cool kid" is a good idea! And yes, we'll sell refreshments but it will be pretty basic. Drinks and non-greasy snacks since there will be no other spaces to hang out other than the actual gaming stations.

What scares me is just what you said though... That it's something that would work well in Egypt... And that my husband is seeing it as an Egyptian but that it's just not the same here. At least it's a tag-along project so if we just cover the costs and not even make any profits, we'll be OK with that. The computer store is the main project that I really hope will with time get enough regular customers to make a full time job for my husband.

LK said...

Well here in the US you'd be most likely to get kids. Like tween boys. Real gamers like to stay in their basements and interact online. It would be a great idea to use kinect because a lot of people don't have it (very expensive here). You'll want interactive games, "party" games. Maybe some arcade games that you can get for a councel would be good too.

Honestly I don't know how much you'll make. Its a market to a small audience. Most kids here at least own their own system. High Schoolers aren't so interested anymore in arcades and your very unlikely to get girls unless you install a dance dance revolution machine. It seems like a very expensive venture that will yield a small profit.

Now if you can make it like a video game/ coffee bar or something that could change. I would go to that for the novelty of it all.

ellen557 said...

LK is right, it is definitely a small audience that you're marketing to - but you can make it work, you'd just really need to be targeting a specific market, e.g. families or serious gamers, etc. I like the idea of combining the cafe/game bar thing.

I once saw an article about a game bar in Japan, where they had private booths (maybe not at your level yet but something to think about?) with big beanbags and the TVs so people could feel more comfortable.
Also, it brings to mind family sections in the Gulf - e.g., semi enclosed, private space, with a seating area, TV, nice juices, etc. I think the computer store part of it would work well, there's enough people that have no idea and really need help with computers and I think that if you've got a place where there's not much that caters to that then you'll be laughing inshaAllah!

I definitely think you both should have a think about who you want to target with the gaming thing first, because different strategies would work differently depending on who you want to come, if that makes sense?

Candice said...

Thanks for your suggestions! I also don't think hardcore gamers would be interested in this. My husband wants to sell games too (like new releases which hardcore gamers would want to buy) and rent out consoles and games but the actual gaming in the store would probably appeal to families and kids up to tween age like you've been saying. I don't know that many kids lately so I don't know what they do, but I know the goal will be to cater to their needs... We would want this to be the hangout for them after school and on weekends. A place that is fun and comfortable. Laid back and not too expensive. Safe as well.

And the goal will be for that to help bring more business to the computer store (which is actually the MAIN business).

Becky said...

One thing you need to consider is licensing. I don't think it's legal to let people play games for profit, without speaking to the companies behind the video games about licensing.

Same thing goes for selling the games :)

Anyways, sounds like it could work - at least won't be too expensive to give it a go.

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