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How many arcade games are imported into the United States?
April 27, 2011 11:08 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to find out how many video arcade games (think coin-operated) are manufactured within the U.S. and how many are imported. Historical data would be very helpful too.

I'm aware that many classic arcade cabinets were manufactured both abroad and within the United States. But I'd like to see if I can find any information about what percentage of these games are/were manufactured in the United States. It seems like in my searches that modernly many cabinet video games are imported, but I'm having difficulty finding hard numbers, or even anything rising above the level of anecdotal data. I've looked at a few trade magazines, but they have been unhelpful. I've also tried a few generic video game history books without success. Can anyone think of any sources I've overlooked?
posted by cyphill to Technology (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I'm thinking someone in the MAME cabinet community (which has huge crossover with the arcade cabinet collector community). Someone there probably has huge ammounts of this data available.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:18 AM on April 27, 2011


Trade associations are the best source for this kind of data, because people in the business are often the only ones who benefit from amassing it. See this page. If you don't find what you need there, you may be able to access a database called Associations Unlimited through your local library's web site.
posted by Wordwoman at 12:02 PM on April 27, 2011


Look through mintel, ibisworld and marketline. I see a reference to a report in ibisworld that could contain the information (Industry Report 33999 - Miscellaneous Product Manufacturing - supplies coin-operated amusement arcade games) but I can't seem to call up that specific report.
posted by cashman at 2:24 PM on April 27, 2011


I worked in the arcade biz from 1986-1991. . .

Dynamo was the major supplier of cabinets for "kit" games, the replaceable stuff generally found in convenience stores. These were fabricated domestically.

Bally/Midway and Atari were the major domestic manufacturers, and they had their own production lines (and TMK did not import cabinets).

The "dedicated" Japanese imports like Sega and Namco -- I'm pretty sure these were manufactured in Japan and shipped here.

To get the answer to this question I was going to say you should get into contact with C.A. Robinson & Co, but I see they've gone out of business.
posted by mokuba at 3:44 PM on April 27, 2011


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