North Texas

Entrepreneur Banks on Video Arcade Renaissance

In Lewisville, something old -- is something new again. One North Texas entrepreneur is banking on the belief that a mall video arcade will draw big crowds.

On the lower level of Music City Mall, it's a sign of the times -- if those times were the 1980's.

“This place they’ve built here is sort of a platform for this community,” said Jon Rios, who’s been gaming at Game Time arcade since day one.

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Rios says he enjoys the social aspect of a hobby which many folks can spend countless hours playing at home.

“It's fun to be at home and play video games and whatnot,” said Rios. “But I like to come here way, way more."

The arcade is a new take on a classic concept. In the 1980’s, nearly every mall had a video arcade, and they were packed. Most arcades, however, closed years ago. But they’re making a comeback.

“It's kind of the evolution of what an arcade would be,” said Flash Masterson, who opened Game Time in March. “This is something everyone is doing at home. What we've done is taken that home entertainment and brought it to a whole new level."

The arcade features cutting edge games on the newest gaming systems. There are retro classics, too -- like Pac-Man, Street Fighter and Donkey Kong.

The games have changed. The desire to play them -- has not.

“It's the good days of your life,” said Masterson. “When you were in school and didn’t like it and your fun was going to the mall, playing those games, that was your excitement."

Masterson admits opening an arcade in a mall in 2018 is a big risk. Judging by the reception so far, it’s one that could pay off.

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