October 25, 2021

Andreas Betsche

The arcades will soon reopen! Virtually, at least

October 25, 2021 | Andreas Betsche

Who hasn’t missed the arcades? That gloomy twilight, the deafening volume of children playing and sound of arcade games, the flashing lights and that exhilarating feeling of inserting a coin and daring another game. Some of you are probably waiting impatiently to see when the arcades will reopen again.

Arcade Legend now wants to relive this feeling in your own home, entirely in VR. From a first-person perspective, you will build your own arcade, which is stylishly bathed in the neon light of the 80s.

A trailer already tells us what the core gameplay of Arcade Legend looks like. We are entering our sacred halls for the first time and have to get rid of the rubbish first, luckily with the help of a practical zapper glove that is fully hygienic. Then we choose floors and walls and place the first arcade machine, which we can also try out in the game directly, climb the leaderboards and exchange tickets for prizes.

Later in the game, we can research more machines, expand the arcade and even watch AI visitors play. You will also be able to invite your friends and play together via online multiplayer. This is also where the character customization options will surely be noticed the most.

That all sounds really fun and looks pretty good, despite the highly stylized graphics. The release, however, has to show whether the finished game can actually reproduce the atmosphere described at the beginning. We now even know roughly when the game will be out. Arcade Legend is launching on Steam and the Oculus Quest Store in 2022.

By the way, no non-VR version of the game is planned. According to the developers, the haptic feel of operating a machine in the arcade halls can simply transfers better in virtual reality than with a mouse or controller.

Arcade Legend appears under the label of  LAI Games, a global manufacturer of physical arcade machines, one who knows the subject matter well. On the other hand, the digital game is published by an in-house studio primarily based in Singapore and Australia.

That’s why we asked the developers for a short interview, whose answers we don’t want to withhold from you:

Parts of your team are based in Singapore, if we’re not mistaken?

That’s correct – our development studio is here in Singapore! We have some team members working remotely and a sales and support office based in Dallas. We also have additional marketing and sales staff in Australia, the UK and Europe. 

Why did you choose to have two development locations, and why did you select Singapore?

The games industry is one of the fastest-growing media sectors in Singapore. The island is home to many major industry players and a vibrant indie development scene. While our studio is here in Singapore, the pandemic forced everybody to change their working arrangements and, with kicking off a few new projects, it made working remotely practical for certain roles.

Could you give us more detail on which parts the Singapore team is working?

Our Singapore team is the creative force behind everything we do. Our development team consists of nearly 30 members – software engineers, artists, designers, mechanical and electrical engineers, project managers, fabricators, marketing, supply chain, and so on. They’re well equipped to drive the production of all our games from concept to release, including Arcade Legend.

Andreas Betsche

Andreas Betsche founded Virtual SEA in early 2016 after researching Cambodian mobile games for his Master’s thesis. He has a background in Southeast Asia studies and has worked and lived in Cambodia, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Since he has been actively playing games since the early 90s, combing both worlds in Virtual SEA brought together both of his passions.

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