The Golden Age of Arcades: When Coins Ruled the Gaming World - Next Level Gaming Skip to main content

Age Of Arcades


Before the days of ultra-realistic graphics and portable gaming vans like Next Level Gaming, there was a magnetic realm where quarters reigned supreme, and the echo of digital soundtracks filled bustling rooms. Welcome to the golden age of arcades, an era where every corner had a coin-op and every gamer, a dream of beating the highest score.

The Spark of an Era

In 1971, the first commercially successful arcade game, Computer Space by Nutting Associates, was introduced. However, it was Pong, launched a year later by Atari, that truly ignited the arcade revolution. Within a year, Pong’s success led to approximately 19,000 machines being sold.

The Cultural Impact

Arcades evolved into social centers, shaping an entire generation. They influenced movies such as ‘Tron‘ and ‘WarGames‘, and even made appearances in music like Buckner & Garcia’s 1982 hit, “Pac-Man Fever“.

Gameplay Evolution and Top Titles

As technology advanced, arcade games matured. ‘Space Invaders‘ in 1978 became a runaway success, with Taito selling over 400,000 cabinets, generating revenue in billions. This was just a prelude to 1980 when Namco’s ‘Pac-Man’ took the world by storm, gobbling up over $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s.

Demographic Appeal

The 80s arcade scene wasn’t exclusive to teenagers. Surveys from that era indicated that the age group was split evenly between individuals under and over 25, showcasing a broad appeal.


The golden age of arcades dimmed with modern gaming. Still, their iconic era’s influence, especially next to Next Level Gaming’s vans, remains undeniable. Coin-operated machines from the golden age of arcades set the stage for gaming’s rise. They fostered community and competition, feelings still alive today. As we immerse ourselves in the latest technological marvels in gaming, it’s essential to remember and appreciate the pixelated adventures that started it all.


Graeme Moore is the visionary founder of Next Level Gaming, a premier mobile gaming entertainment company. With a passion for technology and a knack for creating unforgettable experiences, Graeme launched Next Level Gaming to bring state-of-the-art gaming vans and gaming buses to events across the region. Under his leadership, the company has quickly become a go-to for fun, immersive, and safe gaming adventures perfect for all ages. Graeme is dedicated to innovation, customer satisfaction, and pushing the boundaries of what's possible in mobile entertainment. When he's not driving the gaming van to its next destination, he enjoys staying up-to-date with the latest gaming trends and spending quality time with his family.