National Amusements Turns to Games
Posted by jgaudiosi :: Hollywood & Video Games
With many movie theaters hurting in terms of box office attendance, National Amusements is targeting gamers with its Showcase Cinemas Ann Arbor, Michigan facility--the first of a new wave of CyGamZ conversions that will open up across the country. This New Year's Weekend, CyGamz will host a tournament for PC teams of gamers to play "Counter-Strike 1.6" as well as individual "Need for Speed Carbon" head-to-head matches on Xbox 360. The PC games are played on new Alienware computers and monitors, while the console games are played on 42" plasma HD TVs. Gamers can win cash and prizes at the tournament, which is one of many planned for 2007 and beyond. PC entry fees are $30 for a five-man team and Xbox 360 entry is $5 per person.
Recently launched by National Amusements, Inc., a world leader in the motion picture exhibition industry, CyGamZ offers gamers the ultimate gaming experience. Sponsored by Intel, Alienware and Pepsi, CyGamZ equipment is recognized as the best by gamers everywhere, including 60 Alienware Area-51 7500 personal computers powered by the Intel Core 2 Extreme processor, and the latest in game consoles, headsets, and monitors. This is the first in what is expected to be an extensive network of interactive gaming destinations for National Amusements.
Unlike movies, which last about two hours, games can hook customers for hours on end and keep them coming back for more. Sell candy and soda at these venues, and the odds are a lot more money can be made--especially since they're not sharing any of the profits with Hollywood studios. And if kids are there at the theater to game, the odds are also in favor of them staying for a movie, which is a win-win for theater owners.
With professional gaming taking the U.S. by storm through new TV deals and videogames eating into the revenue Hollywood makes theatrically, this type of entertainment and tournaments aimed at the gamers who are staying home is perfect for the movie operators. I expect others will follow in the footsteps of National Amusements in 2007 and beyond. Although there are big arcades like GameWorks and Dave and Busters that combine restaurants and bars with games, this conversion of movie theaters into state-of-the-art gaming centers is completely different. While arcade games are all about the player versus the computer, team-based and head-to-head games at CyGamz are about man versus man. It's a completely different experience. And the fact that there are cash prizes, as well as bragging rights, is good news for those involved.