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  • Lan Gaming Center

    Hey guys. Most of you don't know me, but im a member of the tactical gamer corp. in EVE online (TGULT). I was introduced to tactical gamer by the guys in EVE, and i love the gaming community you guys have created. That being said, I wanted to ask you guys for advice. I am an avid gamer, but im not a computer whiz. (not really anyway, im computer savy and i own a gaming rig but thats about it.) For some time now i have been thinking about opening a lan gaming center in my neighborhood. The location is very good with lots of kids and young people in the area (local high school walking distance away), and near a star bucks, a crepe maker, local restaurants, and a barber shop among other things (its in the downtown of small community). Since the community is somewhat small, i am thinking of opening up with 12 computers & 2 xbox-360's. It will have a snack bar and sell drinks etc. (gaming drinks and etc.). What I would like to know is if this is something gamers would actually use and go to. So i'll put a poll up for that. Then I'd like to get some advice/recomendations from you guys. What specs should the computers have? What chairs? What displays? What TVs? Couches? Tables? What keyboard/mouse/headset? How much are you willing to pay? What's in the snack bar? Basically anything you would like to see in a Lan Gaming Center or any ideas and recomendations you have. I'll keep you guys posted on whether or not i go through with it. Thanks in advance, as im sure I'll be getting some great advice from our TG community.
    32
    Hell Yea! (3+ days a week)
    12.50%
    4
    Gaming Centers are great (1 day a week)
    9.38%
    3
    Sometimes (1 or 2 times a month)
    37.50%
    12
    Nope (Pay to play? no way!)
    40.63%
    13

    Black Storm Cartel

    "The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his." -George S. Patton

  • #2
    Re: Lan Gaming Center

    Somebody tried to do that in my town of Conifer.........

    It was an Epic failure - nearly no business.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Lan Gaming Center

      I think the key to succeeding with a LAN Cafe/gaming center is to find staff that you can trust that you can pay with just services (read: loyal teenager), but you'll still have to be there full time. Your expenses are going to be the PC hardware, the furniture and the storefront. Snack bar can start as just a fridge with some canned drinks and can expand as it pays for itself. PCs have to be upgraded once or twice a year to stay "cutting edge". Nobody is going to pay to play on crappy computers. Headsets and furniture will get MUCH more wear and tear than you would see in your home.

      Gaining the trust of parents seems to be important. The only LAN party/cafe place that I personally know is still in existence is TEK Republic in Austin, TX. I remember they had "lock ins" where parents would drop off their kids in the evening and the doors would be "locked" and an all night LAN party would result in all the kids being right there (out of trouble) when their parents picked 'em up the next morning. You might want to contact them for some protips: http://www.tekrepublik.com/ TG used them to host one of our TX LAN parties and they were pretty cool.
      Become a supporting member!
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      TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

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      • #4
        Re: Lan Gaming Center

        If I was to get to play on top hardware with a wide choice of games to choose from and had access to other platforms to play on, in a spacious friendly atmosphere, I would play there.

        And of course there would have to be food and drink, or beer, I'm not fussy :)
        Last edited by MrMojay; 05-09-2009, 12:41 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Lan Gaming Center

          We had one in my town. It saw allot of customers (including me) for the first few months, and then everyone just stopped going. They shut down a little over 18 months later. It was pretty sweet, each computer had a huge monitor, the desktops were top of the line Alienwares, great headsets, comfy chairs, every game you can think of, etc. It was $20 or so for an hour or two, can't remember exactly.

          I guess you just need to know how to keep the customers coming back, or they'll lose interest really quickly.

          I didn't join a squad once and this guy named Nardini took me into the back room and beat me with a sock of oranges.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Lan Gaming Center

            I actually WORK in a LAN centre. You guys were charging $20!!? Thats a lot, we are charging about 3 per hour, plus all sorts of crazy discounts for holidays and weekends. We have 20 Dell XPS's with 8800GTX cards, and TBH we are rarely full. We DO have 522 accounts, but I would say about 60+ or so active ones. A bigger profit making thing is probably our snacks, we sell everything from icecream to drinks, sweets, and even microwaveable burgers etc. There is also a Internet only part for the more mature people, and a Phone section to sell Mobile Phones. I am not sure how much money is made there as I am only relatively new, but it can't be a lot. The reason I was hired was to try to organise some larger gaming sessions, and national competitions between LAN centres. Any questions etc feel free to ask and I will see what I can do!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Lan Gaming Center

              We had one in my town. It saw allot of customers (including me) for the first few months, and then everyone just stopped going
              We had something similar in Dublin, but it was only for the xbox "xbox live gaming center" and therefore they excluded themselves from other markets PS3, PC etc, and I do not think they even had PC internet access or any sort of cafe or smoothie bar or snacks etc ,as far as I know they just had an xbox shop, which eventually lead to it's downfall... :(

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Lan Gaming Center

                There's one in my old neighborhood in San Antonio. I used to go there regularly back around 2003. They are still doing extremely well. You usually have to wait in line for a computer. Their key is CHEAP prices. They have great computers, super comfy chairs, they have plenty of "Bawls" drinks on tap, and they let you bring in food/drinks from all the neighboring eateries. Usually, I'd pay around $20 for 12 hours of gaming time. That rocked. And they were open from around noon to 4 in the morning. They'd also do lock-ins, and sometimes you could pay for 24 hour gaming runs. That would also be dirt cheap. The staff was super cool as well.

                Your core clientele is going to be middle to college aged kids. Thus, keep your prices cheap to keep loyal customers. These kids don't make much money, so make it an affordable addiction. This place also offered monthly passes.

                Don't plan on becoming rich off this. In fact, I bet this business is barely sustainable if you want to make a large profit. I also want to open up a lan center someday in the future, but it will be more for fun, and NOT my main source of income. Basically, I'll probably open one up when I retire from my main occupation. That way, I don't depend on the income and can keep my prices low.

                Good luck with this. Do LOTS of research, keep your goals realistic, be prepared for major challenges, have fun with it, and you just may create a VERY enjoyable and mentally rewarding business! :D
                "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Lan Gaming Center

                  If you could easily convert from a mild-mannered internet cafe (with decent coffee) by day, to a wild LAN party by night, I think you might make it...
                  Become a supporting member!
                  Buy a Tactical Duck!
                  Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
                  TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran:

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Lan Gaming Center

                    There's one in my old neighborhood in San Antonio. I used to go there regularly back around 2003. They are still doing extremely well. You usually have to wait in line for a computer. Their key is CHEAP prices. They have great computers, super comfy chairs, they have plenty of "Bawls" drinks on tap, and they let you bring in food/drinks from all the neighboring eateries. Usually, I'd pay around $20 for 12 hours of gaming time. That rocked. And they were open from around noon to 4 in the morning. They'd also do lock-ins, and sometimes you could pay for 24 hour gaming runs. That would also be dirt cheap. The staff was super cool as well.

                    Your core clientele is going to be middle to college aged kids. Thus, keep your prices cheap to keep loyal customers. These kids don't make much money, so make it an affordable addiction. This place also offered monthly passes.

                    Don't plan on becoming rich off this. In fact, I bet this business is barely sustainable if you want to make a large profit. I also want to open up a lan center someday in the future, but it will be more for fun, and NOT my main source of income. Basically, I'll probably open one up when I retire from my main occupation. That way, I don't depend on the income and can keep my prices low.

                    Good luck with this. Do LOTS of research, keep your goals realistic, be prepared for major challenges, have fun with it, and you just may create a VERY enjoyable and mentally rewarding business! :D
                    "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Lan Gaming Center

                      Honestly, there isn't one in my area. With my own computer, it would end up being an occasional thing to meet and greet with other gamers to hang out.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Lan Gaming Center

                        Once people started getting DLS/Cable down here the LAN Centers that I have heard of all went out of business. I'm not sure how well Tek Republic is doing but like Cingular said, I think it's still operational.


                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Lan Gaming Center

                          Pretty much same as kevlar, once broadband came to the masses they all shut down.

                          One opened near me about a year ago and was closed in 3 months and I never saw a car there. It was sad.

                          You CAN do it, but you have to market it around something else... say you open a unique small pizza or sandwich shop with unique and good food. People come there for that, but then you can add the lan center on top of it.
                          It is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9/NIV

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                          • #14
                            Re: Lan Gaming Center

                            Speculating on the near future of PC gaming. Video cards are reaching a plateau and will be extinct in a short while. Good graphix will be integrated into every PC. PCs are very cheap these days and kids can't really do school with out them. Plus there are services coming out that will let you play any game through your Internet connection regardless of the hardware you have.

                            I suspect the reason there are still some lan centers in existence is they serve as a place for young people to hang out. The focus being on the "hang out" not on the Lan. Young people today have nowhere to go except the mall, because there are no other choices. Everyone knows malls suck. Create a kewl place where they feel comfortable to be for a long while and you can sell whatever you want. Just my .02

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Lan Gaming Center

                              Originally posted by Hambergler View Post
                              Speculating on the near future of PC gaming. Video cards are reaching a plateau and will be extinct in a short while. Good graphix will be integrated into every PC. PCs are very cheap these days and kids can't really do school with out them. Plus there are services coming out that will let you play any game through your Internet connection regardless of the hardware you have.

                              I suspect the reason there are still some lan centers in existence is they serve as a place for young people to hang out. The focus being on the "hang out" not on the Lan. Young people today have nowhere to go except the mall, because there are no other choices. Everyone knows malls suck. Create a kewl place where they feel comfortable to be for a long while and you can sell whatever you want. Just my .02
                              Exactly, the only reason I went to the LAN place in my town was to hang out. My friends would go and play Battlefield 1942, Vietnam, Rome:Total War, games most of us already owned. We did it so we could play together (most of my friends had dialup at the time and couldn't play online) and to hang out.

                              Yes the prices were ridiculous, and it's why I only went a few times and probably one of the main reasons they shut down.

                              I didn't join a squad once and this guy named Nardini took me into the back room and beat me with a sock of oranges.

                              Comment

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