So, how popular are arcade franchises, and are they still relevant today?

While not as popular as it used to be, there has been a growing resurgence in the popularity of this coin-operated gaming business. Several reasons can be given for the rise in interest.

These include new game releases, nostalgia, and socialization.

Best Arcade Franchises

Persons considering establishing their own arcade business will need all the help they can get. If this describes your situation, you’re at the right place.

Here, the focus is on identifying and discussing arcade franchise ideas to try out. This business concept rose to prominence in the 1980s and became popular with successful arcade brands resulting from this boom.

Arcade Franchising Presents Lots of Opportunities

Opportunities are always available for the taking. This is especially true for discerning investors interested in the gaming industry.

The many advantages of partnering with reputable arcade franchise brands make them all the more appealing. So what are these advantages?

They include brand recognition, robust support, and ready access to resources.

Established arcade franchises offer you a proven business model to work with.

This is in addition to exclusive games and technology. As a franchisee, you receive all the training needed to start your operation while gaining bulk purchasing power.

A higher chance of success when joining an arcade franchise is generally higher than starting one from scratch.

Franchise Requirements May Differ

When exploring arcade franchise offerings, one of the things to look for is the requirements. Every franchise has its unique set of conditions, which may differ from another franchise’s.

Based on this understanding, it’s okay to approach the opportunity with an open mind. In other words, you’ll need to be prepared or ready for all case scenarios.

It’s typical for arcade franchises to present the franchise disclosure document (FDD) during the inquiry and application stage. Each franchise has its policy on the issuance of the FDD.

This document contains everything you need to know about the arcade franchise, including its requirements.

Also, any related questions about the franchise are fully answered after contacting the franchisor. Whichever arcade franchise opportunity you explore, one thing is sure: the need to follow its application procedure.

After filling out and submitting its online form, a franchise development team contacts you for further discussions.

Arcade Franchise Opportunities

When it comes to the arcade business sector, there are lots of success stories to reference. Some of these may offer opportunities for partnerships (via franchising).

Examples include Tilt Studio, GameWorks, Big Thrill Factory, Round1, Chuck E. Cheese’s Nickel City, Dave & Buster’s, Cineplex Pladium, Xtreme Action Park, and Arcade City.

While there are many more, we’ll dwell on the few franchises mentioned. So, are you ready to know what these arcade franchise opportunities offer?

Let’s jump straight to business.

i. Tilt Studio

Tilt Studio is one arcade business whose franchise program can be rewarding. You’ll need to meet its minimum investment sum of $1.5 million to $3 million to qualify.

This covers construction costs, initial inventory, franchise fees, and working capital. Comprehensive support is also provided to cover all aspects of its operation.

This strategy has proven to be highly effective in helping franchisees succeed.

ii. GameWorks

With a presence in California, Arizona, Nevada, Washington, and Texas, GameWorks’ franchise program presents a unique opportunity to join a growing brand.

You’ll need to meet its minimum initial investment sum of about $5 million to $10 million. Perks include marketing support, ongoing support, training, site selection, etc.

iii. Big Thrill Factory

Big Thrill Factory may fully meet your desire to join one of the most profitable arcade franchises. Your journey to become its franchisee starts with making inquiries about the program.

After filling out and submitting its online application form, a franchise development team contacts you with the information provided. They get to answer all your questions

iv. Round1

At Round 1, new and existing franchisees are given all the assistance they need to run a successful operation. The company’s many years of experience are deployed in helping franchise candidates attain set objectives.

However, to make this possible, you must fulfill its minimum requirements. We recommend you discuss this with its franchise team to assess your preparedness.

v. Dave & Buster’s

This is one of the trusted brands in arcade gaming. To join its franchise program, you’ll need an initial investment of around $6 million to $8 million.

Dave & Buster’s franchisees also enjoy robust support in marketing, construction, site selection, ongoing support, and training.

Dave & Buster’s is a franchise opportunity you should consider if you live in the following countries: Canada, Mexico, United Arab Emirates, India, Australia, Chile, Panama, Peru, & Colombia.

vi. Cineplex Pladium

With a total initial investment of $7 million to $10 million, you can become a part of the Cineplex Pladium brand.

This arcade franchise requires other fees like the franchise fee (around $250,000) and royalty and advertising fee of 5% and 2% of gross sales, respectively.

Support is provided in areas like training, site selection, marketing, etc.

vii. Xtreme Action Park

Headquartered in Florida, USA, Xtreme Action Park is an arcade franchise to consider joining due to the successful brand it has been able to build over the years.

If you’re looking for a park with many attractions, this is one to consider, as it provides arcade games, trampoline parks, mini golf, laser tags, and more.

Xtreme Action Park has been able to maintain its investor appeal due to what it offers. These include comprehensive training, a strong brand, and a tested business model.

This arcade franchise also provides ongoing support to its partners, thus creating a win-win business environment that helps you thrive.

viii. Arcade City

You can also explore Arcade City’s franchise program if you are passionate about partnering. Of course, your visions and the company have to be aligned.

Arcade City also requires a minimum investment amount of $6 million. Besides this investment amount, other fees may also apply. You’ll need to contact the franchisor for details.

ix. Valhallan Esports Training

Valhallan Esports Training allows you to join its low-cost yet highly profitable opportunity. This franchise will enable you to operate out of various spaces while enjoying robust support.

Its subscription model helps increase customer retention rates, thus resulting in recurring revenue. You’ll need an estimated total investment of around $142,160 to $305,400 to join.

This covers expenses and fees like the franchise fee of $30k, signage, business licenses & incorporation, computer equipment & technology, and build-out & permits.

Others include fixtures, furnishings & equipment, architect/engineering fees, rent, security deposits & utility deposits, grand opening advertising, office supplies, training expenses, insurance deposits, other professional fees, and running costs.

x. Escapology

Escapology prides itself as one of the best in the industry with its range of quality games, well-written storylines, and comprehensive support for its business partners.

With a portfolio of over 24 games, clients are treated to the very best of immersive entertainment. This franchisor invests in premium marketing and social media engagement systems.

Its streamlined, integrated back office systems, including accounting, management & payment systems, make Escapology stand out.

If you consider this a suitable investment, consider taking further steps to learn more about the company by making other inquiries.

xi. Paniq Room

There are lots of reasons to join the Paniq Room gaming franchise. These include its small, flexible venue design and a legally registered and licensed franchise.

More reasons to consider this opportunity include professionally produced game trailers, a custom booking system & backend, promotional media displays, and furniture for your lobby.

You’ll need an investment of $200k to $350k to join. The franchise term is for five years and renewable upon meeting set conditions.

Franchisees may also qualify for third-party financing provisions covering the franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and payroll.

This is in addition to its ongoing training & support.

xii. Control V

As a gaming business enthusiast, you might want to explore the investment opportunities Control V presents. This business was founded in 2016 and began franchising the same year.

You get to be an entertainment technology pioneer through its franchise program, which requires an initial investment of $178k to $272k to join.

The Control V franchise opportunity comes with a 5-year term, which is renewable upon meeting set conditions.

The company has third-party financing provisions catering to various fees and expenses like the franchise fee, startup costs, equipment, inventory, accounts receivable, and payroll.

Are Arcade Franchises Profitable? 

Besides the fun involved, arcade franchises can be highly profitable when running optimally. In other words, it’s not enough to join an arcade franchise.

You’ll have to put in the work required to become profitable. Luckily for investors, most of the renowned arcade franchise brands put in measures to help franchisees succeed.

Such measures include ongoing support and training. The franchisor also shares your success as an arcade franchisee. This creates a win-win scenario for all parties involved.

To boost profitability, your arcade franchise operations must be well situated or located in a place with high demand. This translates to more sales, which impacts profit.

To operate a successful arcade franchise, you’ll do well to choose who you do business with carefully. In other words, finding a reliable arcade franchise operation impacts how profitable you become.

What more? Streamlining your operations and lowering running costs can increase overall efficiency while generating more profits.

Before You Join an Arcade Franchise

It’s important to note that the business you partner with will determine how successful your franchise operations become. Your suitability for the investment opportunity is a crucial consideration.

That said, there are tips on choosing the most suitable arcade franchise. These include researching and speaking with existing franchisees about the opportunity.

Is your location ideal? This can determine how profitable an arcade franchise becomes. Those located in high-traffic areas are likely to do better due to higher turnover than arcade franchises in low-population areas.

You’ll do well to inquire and research existing locations to know how well (in terms of sales) the business does.

Are you financially prepared? This is a question only you can answer after finding out what it takes to join an arcade franchise.

The cost of joining an arcade franchise will vary widely depending on the type of operation. While some may be expensive to join, others aren’t so expensive.

It’s best to compare investment costs for multiple arcade franchises before choosing.

Do you find this area of business exciting or interesting? This is another way to know if you’re cut out for this line of business or not.

For the most part, the gaming industry is considered exciting for most players. Assessing your skills and interests will go a long way in helping you find a more suitable arcade franchise opportunity.

How robust is the company’s franchisee support program? This is a critical aspect of doing business that requires your attention.

Arcade franchises with comprehensive support and training will likely be more successful in their operations than those that aren’t as supportive of their franchise partners.


Owning an arcade franchise typically requires a lot of work and dedication.

Also, finding the right arcade franchise is of utmost importance. A lot can be achieved by simply following the guidelines provided here.

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