After 3 days of being as sick as I can ever remember I am glad to be back with this Friday’s Video Game Center Spotlight feature. I have known Eric Osar for almost 3 years and had the pleasure of visiting his store on a trip last winter. I still remember when he first contacted me and wanted to come down to visit our store and check our our brand new location in Bloomington, IN. He is a radical thinker in our industry and has a very unique style of center.
Eric is very opinionated and isn’t afraid to share what is on his mind with other game center owners, customers or other industry professionals. He is extremely active in the iGames forums with nearly 3000 posts to date.
The one thing that sticks out in my mind that makes Crazy Penguins drastically different from other game centers is that they charge a facility fee. Instead of logging customers in-and-out of consoles or tracking their unique time on a PC each person is logged in manually when they enter the center. As soon as you are in the building and playing your time is running. This works extremely well for Eric and his group since they also offer pool tables for players.
Here is a video I shot of Crazy Penguins about a year ago and this was obviously before they started moving almost entirely to PS3 systems instead of Xbox 360. Once again Eric steps out of the boundary of game center comfort and leaves the RROD at the door. However this will give everyone a good general idea of his store layout and some of his sweet concepts.
I hit Eric up earlier this week for some questions and facts about his center:
Why did you get into the video game center business?
What is one of the sweetest events you have had at your center?
Any example of a tough situation you have been able to overcome?
Name some other game centers you steal ideas from.
What is a guilty pleasure game that you play?
Some quick facts on your center:
Cost to Play: $1.50 an hour + $5 admission fee
Internet Feed: Dual T1s+DSL
Thanks Eric for spending the time to share some of the details about your center and keep up the good work!