Namco is hoping to jumpstart the arcade business by opening a chain of "upscale entertainment restaurants." Polygon reports that Namco Entertainment is in the midst of designing one such restaurant that will be opened in the United States, with the aim of creating an international chain. The initial establishment is being planned for a possible Chicago-based location, with a restaurateur in Kansas City helping to develop the idea. The gaming company has confirmed to Polygon that it’s working on the idea, but declined to mention a timescale for when the restaurant may launch.
It may sound like a strange idea at first, but you only need think of establishments such as Chuck E. Cheese’s or GameWorks to see why Namco is mulling over the possibility. Marrying food with arcade games doesn't guarantee success, however. Chuck E Cheese’s profits has been consistently dropping year-on-year, with the company eeking out a small $7.8 million profit in Q3 2012. GameWorks, meanwhile, filed for bankruptcy once in 2004 and was ultimately liquidated by Sega in 2010. Namco may be hoping its new business model pays off, but it’ll still have to find a way to cope with strong competition from other restaurants, not to mention home consoles.