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Keeping Arcade Fire Burning by Bespoke Arcades

This month, Bespoke Arcades are discussing the rise of retro gaming and the return of the arcade scene.

Retro gaming is coming of age and a massive part of the gaming industry, there’s no doubt about that. It’s somewhat ironic that in an age of ever more realistic, often mind-blowing visuals, more and more of us yearn for a simpler age of gaming.

Don’t get me wrong, gaming has never been healthier as an art form. Some of the epic storytelling made possible by latest hardware is a pleasure to experience, but games today so often require a serious commitment of time and the sheer complexity of modern gaming leaves many of us struggling to get a grip of the controls, let alone dedicate hundreds of hours needed to complete the adventure!

It never used to be like this. In the 80’s and 90’s gaming used to be an adrenaline packed thrill. A snapshot of visceral eye-candy testing your reflexes and exciting your synapses. Arcade gaming by its very definition needed to grip the player instantly and as these over-the-top games were meant for quick bursts of gaming, it’s little wonder that these classics have become so popular again.

Many of us leading busy lifestyles are returning to arcade classics with an urge to relive the games that defined a generation. Problem is, where do we turn now that the real arcades are but a footnote in history? Once a thriving industry with arcades featuring in many town centres and dedicated play arenas, arcades today are pretty much dedicated to the dark corners of bowling alleys and family restaurants, a sad indictment on how home gaming has wiped out this unique pastime.

Fourteen years ago, my business partner and I started Bespoke Arcades to help preserve the games that we loved. We were alarmed that our favourite gaming haunts were disappearing rapidly, so from the garage of a house, we started hand-building an arcade ourselves, purely so we could recreate those arcade thrills in the comfort of our own home.

Pretty soon, word spread and like a secret society of covert arcade gamers, more and more fans approached us, asking if we could build something similar for themselves. Today, Bespoke Arcades stands proud as a Great British company leading the field in genuine, quality arcade entertainment.

Playing the game is only part of the experience, and if you’re playing games on console, well, we’d certainly recommend the fine range of Venom accessories, but emulation, fun though it is, still can’t compete with the look, the feel, the atmosphere of the real thing and that’s what we pride ourselves on at Bespoke Arcades. We keep the thrill of the arcade alive by paying attention to detail and recreating the experience in full, just as you remember it (but without the 10p pieces!). We hand build each cabinet with the quality and craftsmanship to last a lifetime and work with our customers to tailor the experience, adding artwork as well as features like light gun support and trackballs to perfect the ultimate arcade at home!

It’s our passion for arcade culture that keeps us doing what we do, so we say long live the retro revolution. Decades of classics are just begging to be rediscovered, so if you’d like to keep the arcade fire burning, why not get in touch and see what we can create for you?!

If you’d like to hear more, visit:, give us a call on: +44 (0) 207 935 9005 and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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