With a firm foothold in the US market, Arcade1Up is now taking to Japan and is working with Taito on a Burgertime cabinet for that region. And Bachrach said Tastemakers is always looking for more games, no matter the location.
Does that mean the company might follow TMNT with Konami’s other popular brawlers like The Simpsons or X-Men? Bachrach paused for a few seconds when we asked him, then he replied, “Uh, we agree with you that they are very popular cabinets.”
He laughed. So, are those games happening too? “Maybe,” he said with another laugh. “I cannot confirm or deny that.”
For this year, though, the focus is on TMNT, Star Wars, and Marvel. And those TMNT units, which are exclusive to Walmart for now, will only be available in limited quantities, Bachrach warned. But he was quick to add that this doesn’t mean Tastemakers is creating an intentional shortage to drive up demand and create the next Tickle Me Elmo.
“We wanted to have it centralized and be able to promote it the right way and [let] consumers know where to go,” he said. “Walmart will have it. And no, we couldn’t make more… There are only so many cabinets we can build at the level of quality we want to maintain and improve.”
No conspiracy then, other than trying to cover up the X-Men and/or Simpsons releases on the way.
Build quality aside, releasing Arcade1Up’s latest cabinet, which includes both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Turtles in Time, came with its own unique challenges. While those games’ four-player cabinet designs worked fine in a real arcade, the smaller scale of an Arcade1Up machine is already cramped even for two-player games.
The solution? Keep the TMNT body to Arcade 1Up’s usual scale but expand the control panel. “If you look at the body of the machine itself, it didn’t really change in terms of height or width,” Bachrach explained. “What we did was the extensions around the control deck, and the deck is set up in a way that you can fit four players.”
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