GameWorks Esports Lounges Get Another Chance to Play
GameWorks, an arcade-style gaming company started by Sega and DreamWorks, is getting another chance to play. After changing hands multiple times and two bankruptcies over its 17-year history, the company has a new CEO and a new business model geared for the growing esports industry.
The 2001 vision of Dreamworks and Sega was to create a modern entertainment company with popular games of the time like laser tag and bowling. Even Steven Spielberg was involved in the early iteration of GameWorks but the company never saw success. It filed for bankruptcy just three years after its launch.
Sega Sammy Holdings acquired the company, only to file for bankruptcy again in 2010. Last year, the mobile gaming startup Oomba attempted to revive GameWorks but went bankrupt before it could implement its esports plan in the arcade centers.
In May, Oomba investor ExWorks took over GameWorks, appointing a new CEO and changing the business strategy over to esports. The arcades have already been converted into esports lounges and new CEO Philip N. Kaplan says they are hosting around 100 tournaments monthly.
The lounges are fully equipped with everything gamers and spectators need -- more than 100 game options, 40 PCs, 20 Xbox or PlayStation gaming consoles, and multiple areas with gaming chairs and couches. Popular games at the lounges include Fortnite and Madden.
Like arcades of the past, the esports lounges serve food and award prizes to winners. Players can win anything from small gear to Apple iPads and mountain bikes for winning tournaments.