Into the Future: Best New Video and Redemption Earners

Video and redemption game operators are on the front lines when it comes to evaluating top earning games. With a wide variety of choices some clear-cut favorite emerge, as operators nationwide offer their take on what did the best for them in 2016, as well as providing some predictions for top earners in the coming year.

At Custom Amusements in Durango, Colo., Owner John Krispin says his current top earning games are Jurassic Park in the video game category and Sega’s Key Master in redemption games.

“Key Master offers pretty nice prizes like iPads that are very attractive to people and so the game draws players. Jurassic Park just has great visuals. It’s a fun game that two people can get in, and essentially get into their own world in there. And of course, they enjoy shooting dinosaurs,” he explained. The action video game has been holding strong in arcades for all of 2016.

Teen Playing In The Race Behind The Wheel

According to Krispin, another staple of his arcade business is his cranes. “We still have mp4 cranes that produce really well, but overall it helps to change up the merchandise in crane games. I’m doing sports caps and T-shirts in one, I have plush and knobby balls, too. The machines produce a lot more when I put new items in there,” he attested.

For 2017, Krispin has his hopes set on a new driving game. “It’s taking the place of SuperCars. The maker is Raw Thrills. I think it will be a top earner, and I plan on purchasing a pair of them when the game comes out in a few months.” The game Krispin has his eye on is Cruis’n Blast, which will zoom players at speeds of 200 miles per hour through London, Madagascar, the Rio Carnival, Singapore, and the Death Valley desert. Like so many Raw Thrills games, the realistic images will help make the game popular, Krispin said.

Heading south to Fort Worth, Texas, James Brewer, sales manager at City Vending Company, said his business is chiefly in the bar industry, and his company does not carry redemption games. But when it comes to video games, one is a huge hit for his company. “Golden Tee Golf by Incredible Technologies is a sports competition game that adults just love to play. They can win tournaments through the company and we also do loyalty programs for City Vending if they play a certain amount of the games. We’ll give them loyalty points that allow free games.” Golden Tee’s addictive pay to play game puts video golfers in competition with friends or in skill contests. The addition of being able to play for cash prizes makes it even more attractive, Brewer said.

For the future, Brewer plans to keep Golden Tee Golf exactly where it is, and has yet to decide on or make predictions for 2017 games. “I’ve been in this industry since 1978,” he said. “I’ve not yet learned to predict anything. I will say that sports games do the best for us in the bar industry.”

At Stick With Us Amusements LLC in Elko, Nev., Owner Russell Minter knows what he’s buying for 2017, and predicts the games will do well indeed. “I’ll be purchasing a pair of new

Cruis’n Blast games by Raw Thrills,” he said, echoing Krispin at Custom Amusements.

Minter agreed with Krispin again regarding his current top selling video game, Jurassic Park, due to its stellar graphics and ability to create a unique world to involve players. As far as redemption games go, Minter choose Namco’s Barber Cut game. A skill with a prize game, Barber Cut  is reported to be more addicting to players than other prize redemption games, encouraging many repeat plays.

In Wasilla, Alaska, Tri-Valley Vending President Jerry Lewis has no set predictions in mind for new games in 2017, but sees a down market coming up. “I feel like 2017 is going to be the year for us to maintain what we have and do the best we can,” he said.

For 2016, when it comes to top achieving video and redemption games, Lewis takes into consideration current trends. “That’s actually a harder question now than it used to be. Things have fallen off recently. Now the higher tier redemption games, and your hold win and stackers are still very popular, but they’ve just fallen off. Beyond redemption games, we find our claw machines and our toy shops do well for us right now.”

For video games, top earning games includes those that involve shooting, hunting, and driving, according to Lewis. His most popular game is Winter X Games SnoCross by Raw Thrills. This snowmobile racing video game is based on ESPN’s very popular Winter X-Games television sporting event. “That’s a big earner for us,” Lewis related, due in part to his Alaska location.

In Spokane, Wash., at Bullseye Amusement, Business Partner Shawn Mckay predicted a strong earner for 2017 in Video Juke Box by AMI, with a wide range of songs in all niches available. “I think that should do well. With redemption games, I’m not going to guess on that. We’ll be going to the game show in Dallas this year, and I’ll make a decision once I go to all the game shows. I’m a frequent buyer and shopper at those events,” he explained.

Presently, Mckay has had good luck with Incredible Technology’s Gold Tee Golf, as City Vending’s Brewer has. “That just continues to keep getting played, it’s extremely popular. On the other hand IT’s Silver Strike Bowling is dead,” he notes. When it comes to redemption games, hands down it’s Slam a Winner according to Mckay. “It’s our best holding redemption game, and it’s in its 5th season.” The game involves skill; the player has to select the right moment to fire bouncing balls into a spinning playing field.

All in all, redemption and video games have thrived in 2016, and operators are poised to pick the next big thing for the new year.

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