How much does it cost to start an arcade business

The cost of starting an arcade business is approximately $50,000 to $150,000, including store rent, equipment purchase, decoration design, licensing fees, and marketing.

Store location and rent

In downtown New York City, rent is $100-$200 per square foot, while in small cities or suburbs, rent is $20-$50 per square foot. Since 75% of arcade players are aged between 15-30, choosing locations with high foot traffic such as shopping malls, entertainment districts, or near universities can effectively increase the arcade’s exposure and customer flow.

In the initial budget, rent accounts for 30%-50%. For a 1500 square foot store, with rent at $50 per square foot, the monthly rent is about $75,000, and the annual rent cost is $90,000.

Equipment purchase costs

The price range of new arcade equipment is usually between $1,500 and $10,000. Classic arcade games like “Galaga” or “Street Fighter” cost about $1,500-$2,500, while advanced VR gaming equipment can be as high as $8,000-$10,000. Second-hand equipment can significantly reduce costs, usually half the price of new equipment.

Each arcade generally needs at least 10-20 gaming devices. Assuming an average price of $3,000 per device, the total purchase cost is approximately $30,000-$60,000. The annual maintenance cost for each device is about $200-$500. If there are 30 devices, the annual maintenance cost is about $6,000-$15,000.

Decoration and design costs

Decoration and design costs range from $20,000 to $100,000, depending on the store size and design requirements. For a 1500 square foot store, the decoration cost is $20-$60 per square foot, with a total cost of about $30,000-$90,000.

Wall decoration costs $5-$15 per square foot. Flooring materials, such as durable carpets or high-quality wood floors, cost $10-$30 per square foot. High-quality LED lights and smart lighting control systems cost $5,000-$15,000.

The sound system budget is $5,000-$10,000. Industry expert John Smith points out, “A good sound system can significantly enhance players’ immersion.”

Design fees range from $2,000 to $10,000, including floor plans and optimal layout solutions. Decorative items such as game-themed furniture and decorations have a budget of $2,000-$5,000.

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