For those who are reading this, then it may be safe to assume that you aren’t only planning on starting a gaming cafe, but have actually been in one too. Possibly even a handful? Remember back to your best gaming cafe experience. On that particular visit, what excels in your mind as memorable? Was it the uber machines with eye-melting visuals? What was it that really astounded you?
Compare that experience with your worst in a gaming cafe. Were their machines sub-standard? Was there a lot of lag during gameplay?
There are some, but important, differences between an internet cafe and a gaming cafe; many inexperienced gaming cafe start-ups make them. And it is easy to understand why this misconception exists! Basically: an internet cafe can operate utilizing the same software and infrastructure that a gaming cafe uses, however, not the other way around.
For an internet cafe, the sole software needed, besides the operating system, an office suite, and web browser (which is added with almost all operating systems nowadays), is the billing and management software. You need to be able to bill customers, so a billing program will likely be essential to do that. The cafe management software is as essential as, and maybe even more important compared to billing, though (gasp!) This is what permits you to bill your customers, and as well monitor their use and lock the station when their time is used up.
But gaming cafe software takes it a step further. There’s also a need for games (who would have thought?)! First-Person Shooters (typically called FPS) and Real-Time Strategy (also known as RTS) are the most popular genre of gaming cafe software. Many gamers interact with their friends in the game, either in the same location or over the internet. Accommodate these people, as they tend to be very loyal to a quality gaming experience. 🙂
Successful gaming cafes have a necessity for both excellent gaming equipment, adding to quality gaming cafe software. There’s no large need for high-end hardware in internet cafes. No necessity for impressive visuals, phenomenal audio or huge storage capacity. The fact is, lots of internet cafe stations just use the graphics and sound capabilities supplied by the motherboard, and that suits their needs just fine!
But gaming cafes really are different animals with various needs. Modern gaming machines, actually, are constantly being pushed to their limits. Many modern machines even implement an extra graphics card that allows you to emulate real-world physic behaviors. High-end audio systems can be purchased at inexpensive costs. However,, if you wish to just throw money at something then spend $100.00 on an audio system and send me the others (I take cash, credit and PayPal…no checks, please. 🙂 Modern gamers will also expect large, high-resolution monitors, optical mice, and computers with fast processors, a network with low latency and a fast internet connection.
Having said all of this, the most important thing you’ll need is (drum roll, please) customers! You don’t need to spend a small fortune in advertising to get people in your door (or take up treasure hunting as a hobby… it’s harder than it looks… trust me). 🙂
Clubs are one fantastic source to draw potential clientele from. No, I am not referring to techno music, light shows, and crowded venues. What I’m talking about are social clubs. You know, groups of people with common interests that will get together every now and then: jogging, sports, recycling, community improvement. Such groups are chalk stuffed with people who already share things in common and would probably make great customers! If they try your place and like it, they might even turn into a word-of-mouth marketing army for you. A number of well-placed flyers targeted internet ads, and a few good old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising will go a long way towards making your start-up successful. Sustaining that success, of course, relies on the experience that you offer your clients and how well you run your business.