Good Game Café will offer Virtual Reality & PC gaming, weekly social events, and food & drink! I lived in Asia for most of 2012, and saw how the majority of young people (13-30) were going to PC gaming cafés for their social entertainment. It’s cheap, lots of like-minded people there, open late, food & drink, and a fun, relaxed atmosphere. I aim to open a similar café, but instead of being PC only, I will offer a gaming experience people cannot get at home: Virtual Reality!
Virtual reality finally has the technology to create a believable experience, but it’s too expensive to put in homes. The OMNI (http://www.virtuix.com/) and Oculus Rift (http://www.oculusvr.com/) are what will be used in the café.
With PC gaming, the café will promote and emphasize weekly tournaments that will build a growing community among Bostonian gamers. Some may argue that gamers can already compete online at home, but it’s not the same. Sitting alone in your room gaming is not the same compared to when you’re in a room full of other gamers. It’s the same philosophy as why bars are so successful. We can all drink at home, but we choose to go out and overpay for drinks at a bar. Why? The SOCIAL aspect is what draws us and keeps us coming back.
What We Need & What You Get
Initial start-up cost will be $50,000. Monthly costs will be $3,500. Money will be raised from investors, kick-starter, fundraisers, etc. A loan from the bank will be used as a last resort. Assuming a borrowed amount of $50,000, repayment would be finished within 48 months of start-up, and probably sooner. 80-85% of the start-up cost will be spent on equipment, and will be used as collateral since it can be sold back to regain the funds.
PC Gaming: 25-35 stations that will be specified for online gaming of the newest games. They will be priced on a “per hour” service fee.
Pre-packaged snacks and drinks: These will be available at a 200% price markup.
Weekly Events and Tournaments: Entrance fee for the event. Fee will be determined per event.
Market research - Why?
Gaming now provides the most entertainment today, but most people tend to play alone in their homes. The biggest downside to this is the lack of socializing it creates. People greatly desire to be around others similar to themselves. This is why yearly gaming conventions (E3, PAX, BlizzCon, ComicCon, etc.) are exploding and sold out within a few days of opening ticket sales. To have a local venue that creates the same atmosphere as these conventions is one of the main goals of this cafe.
Market research - How?
Dozens of PC cafes and gaming centers were contacted to gather info about the expenses, sources of revenue and demographic of their businesses. From this data, projected expenses, revenue, demographic, etc. could be estimated. The strengths and weaknesses of the business were also shown with the gathering of this data.
Risks & Challenges
Barriers and Solutions:
Low traffic Mon-Thurs: Different specials held daily will promote traffic and volume for the slow days. Reduction in staff and hours will minimize cost of running the cafe until traffic picks up.
Not enough stations during peak times: 75% of the cafes that opened with less than 20 stations closed within 18 months. 85% of cafes that opened with more than 25 stations remained opened and began profiting within 6 months of their opening. Traffic will be closely monitored to ensure enough stations are available during peak times.
Poor advertisement: A large budget is put in place for advertisement, which will be done via YouTube, online sites, and physically at local colleges.
Overstaffed: Staff will be hired as needed, as the cafe grows.
Over or under priced: Revenue vs. cost of running will be closely monitored to make adjustments in the pricing.
Location: Boston is a great location for this due to large amount of colleges and tech companies.
Outdated equipment: The latest technology equipment will be used to ensure we have the things people can’t have or afford in their homes.
Inconsistent Revenue: We will provide membership options instead of “block time” sales. Monthly memberships will generate consistent and guaranteed revenue.
Gender: 75% Male, 25% female
Location: Boston, MA. Back Bay, Kenmore, Allston, Cambridge
Income level: 25k+
Social class and occupation: Lower to upper middle class. Students and professionals
Education: In college or post graduates
Current competition in Boston currently is low to none. There are a few pc cafes, but they focus on food quality, and have the PCs as an afterthought.
For gaming entertainment, there are two main competitors, but neither have technology based games. Kings (http://kingsbowlamerica.com/boston/) and Jillian’s (http://jilliansboston.com/) both focus on billiards, bowling, and alcohol as their sources of entertainment.
The biggest source of competition is people gaming in their homes. Many choose to game at home now, although still crave to attend social events. We aim to be the main avenue for their social events while exposing them to technology and games they can’t get at home. We will be priced so a weekend gaming will be cheaper than a weekend at a bar or club.
Entertainment in Boston is rather lacking as a whole for many people. Bars, clubs, museums and theatre are currently the only sources of entertainment in the city. These are all very expensive if done often. Many of the college students and young professional people of Boston have wanted more options for their nightly and weekend entertainment.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please ask around for investors and spread the word about the cafe! This will be the future of gaming and entertainment!