The first video game competition – on record – happened almost 50 years ago. At the moment, the revenue from eSports is just below $974 million. In just three short years, that number is expected to balloon to $1.6 billion. Seeing how the gaming community is growing every day, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the revenue surpassed that number.
Treating Gaming Like a Business
For some, gaming might still be considered nothing more than a hobby. If you’re passionate enough about gaming to consider opening an arcade for your fellow gamers, you can’t treat it like a side-gig or an innocent hobby. You have to take it seriously if you want to see success.
That means, you have to make sure that everything is in order on the legal side of things. Getting to know the laws in your state, establishing a company, and getting taxes in order, are just a few things you need to worry about.
And you can’t just look up laws online. You have to know specific laws in your local area. For example, if you’re trying to open an eSports arcade in Houston, then you need to know how to open an LLC in Texas. That’s why you need to get help from a legal professional.
Mistakes When Opening an eSports Arcade
Once you start treating everything seriously, you can face the fact that opening an arcade won’t be easy, no matter how much love you have for eSports. The best way to avoid making mistakes is getting to know what your predecessors have done wrong.
Here are some of the biggest mistakes you can make while opening an eSports arcade…
Investing Too Much Too Fast
The biggest mistake people make is spending too much money right away. For instance, an eSports arcade needs multiple computers. But it doesn’t need two dozen PCs if there’s not enough potential clientele. Spend every dollar carefully.
Having Outdated Machines
Speaking of buying machines, you don’t want to spend all of your money on outdated machines. This may seem like a great place to cut costs, but think: can you really run a maxed out version of Star Craft 2 on a 2005 PC?
Hiring Nothing But Gamers
If you’re a gamer, you probably have a ton of gamer friends. Why not hire them to work for you? They have the same passion. Make sense, right? Just because someone is a gamer it doesn’t mean they really want to work in an arcade. Find someone that cares about the job.
What You Need for an eSports Arcade
Now that you know what NOT to do, we can say a few words about… well… what you need to do. If you want to make serious money down the line, you need to be taken seriously right from the get-go by everyone from investors and competitors to your friends and customers.
So let’s see five most important things you need for an eSports arcade.
Making a Business Plan
To start a business from scratch, you either need some investors or a bank loan. And you won’t find either without a proper business plan. There are eSports centers and gaming locations near you. Talk to the owners for some advice for creating a plan.
Securing a Great Location
No matter how good your plan, computers, or food is, you won’t see a client in sight if your location is bad. The best location is something near a local college, since your target demographic should be 18 to 25 years old.
Acquiring High-Speed Internet
If your internet is lagging, you’ll start losing customers quickly. Try to find a good provider. Make sure to check all of your options carefully. Once you find a few, go to their customer service centers and talk to a few sales representatives.
Diversifying Your Offering
You can’t just offer games and a few snacks. You need to have multiple revenue streams within your arcade. That’s why you should offer coffee, sodas, and appetizers. If you have enough funds, you should consider offering food too.
Having a Marketing Plan
People need to know about you. While word-of-mouth is great, you can’t rely only on it. Prepare a plan, timetable, and budget for your marketing. Of course, have a plan for social networks, but invest in some traditional marketing like billboards, flyers, etc. locally.
Turn Your Passion Into Financial Security
And there you have it. Those are the basics. In reality, there’s a ton of things you’ll need to do too in order to open a sports arcade. But these are the most important ones, in our opinion.
Just to sum up, let’s go over the key points:
- Your business plan needs to be written down for investors
- The location you pick matters due to your customer base
- Without high-speed Internet your business is dead in the water
- You need to offer something more than just games in your arcade
- If you fail to market your arcade properly you won’t have enough visitors
We hope that you enjoyed our article and that you found it helpful. If there’s anything you feel you can add to the conversation, feel free to leave a comment below.