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How Much Money Have The Top Arcade Machines Made?

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Have you ever been in an arcade and wondered how much money a specific arcade machine has made so far? Maybe you recently started looking to buy an arcade machine and you wanted to buy the one that has made the most money.

So how much money have the top arcade machines made?

Below we will discuss how much each arcade game has made from the Iconic Pac-Man to Space Invaders. Some Arcade machines have made as much as 3.5 Billion dollars since being released. 

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Are arcade games popular?

If you look at something as simple as a suit, you realize that they are timeless. This  means they don’t go out of style. Do you know what else doesn’t out of style? Arcade games. No matter what era you are in, arcade games are always popular. People will still fight you over an arcade game to settle their differences by playing a sparring match in street fighter.

This sort of competitive spirit is the best for those who own the games. While you want to beat someone’s high score, to the owner it’s just another day at the bank ATM waiting to take in your cash. 

Most people look at arcade games and think because they are cheap they don’t make much money. If you think about the money you spend a day at an arcade though,you realize that you spend $15-20. After that think about the money others spend and how many other people are at the arcade all day. Before you realize it all of the little amounts start to add up fast. 


If you want to know how much an arcade machine ears, you will have to look at which pricing model is used. There are three models for arcade machines. They are:

  1. Charge per coins and tokens

  2. Charge on entry per play

  3. Charge money per time

If you look at the charging for coins and tokens you will realize this is most common in places like Chuck E Cheese and other arcade areas. It involves buying coins and tokens so you can insert them in an arcade machine and play.

The second method was actually introduced by Dave and Busters. They decided to pay one flat fee to play as many games as you want for being in the arcade. Many adults prefer this method as they normally play more expensive games for the fun of it rather than for tickets. 

The Last model is very effective as it charges the customer similar to Dave and Busters, but they are only limited by how long they play. For instance you can purchase unlimited game play for 1 hour, two hours, or three hours instead of just one set price. 

If you use any one of these methods, your one arcade machine can earn up to ,000 a year!  Now you will want to take that number and multiply it by how many arcade machines you have in your arcade. 


The following are the common known rates for games in the arcade

Cost per coins

One coin represents one game

One coin costs – 50 cents or 1 dollar depending on the arcade place

Charge on entry per play

This is very hard to determine since everyone has his model according to the way they see their business. They usually cover five dollars for fifty cents so basically 10 bucks an hour

As we have seen that arcade games can bank you a ten thousand dollars check a year, now we are going to look at the most top-selling arcade games.

1. Pac-Man

Although it’s the most famous Arcade game on the planet, this game consists of big head swallowing (PAC Man) while moving around a maze. The game was first introduced in 1980 and since then Pac-man has become the real deal. 

Its success is mainly because it was different from all other arcade games. It was different from games because it was good for every age group. The game was also non-violent and very entertaining. It still holds the record of the most arcade sold in the world with over four hundred thousand arcade machines. This is why it has generated the revenue of three billion and 5 hundred million dollars to this date

2. Space Invaders

This game was one of the first arcade games in history. The game was directly space themed and laid the foundation for many arcade games that would follow. The game was heavily influenced by its previous predecessor, computer space. 

Before Pac-man came in and stole the show, Space invaders used to hold the crown all the way back to the 70s. Space invaders had a total number of three hundred and sixty thousand cabinets sold. This made Space Invaders behind Pac-man by just forty thousand cabinets. The arcade game had an income revenue of two billion seven hundred and two thousand dollars. This made it the second highest-earning arcade game in history.

3. Street Fighter 2 Champion Edition

This is the most successful CAPCOM game in history. It is also the bestselling versus combat arcade game in history. Street Fighter 2 came and saved the arcade business which was going downhill in 1987. The most astonishing thing about this was its quick sales after its release. It sold 60,000 units. If you think this was astonishing, wait until you hear this. In 1992 Champion edition of Street Fighter 2 was an upgraded version and it sold one hundred and forty thousand arcade machines on its first day! The upgrade brought down the first mirror versus combat mode. The game sold a total of two hundred thousand arcade machines and earned a revenue of two billion three hundred and twelve thousand dollars.

4. Ms. Pac-Man

Perhaps Bally Midway was the first gaming company to profit out of gender balance in arcade gaming. The arcade game was designed to attract women, but it didn’t stop a man from playing it as well. With four new maze(s) and unpredictability in the ghost movement Ms. Pac-man surely took a win at this game. Bally even changed the color of the Pac-man avatar into pink to make it more appealing for women. The game sold a total number one hundred and twenty-five thousand arcade machines. It also hit the revenue of one billion and two hundred thousand US dollars.

5. NBA Jam

NBA Jam is probably the best selling sports game in the history of arcade games. The NBA Jam had great success in 1993 with exceeding the expectations of its predecessor arch rivals by a mile. This only happened after earning the license to use the NBA name and its teams. Ever heard this catchphrase ‘’Boomshakalaka’’? Well, that phrase came off this game. 

The game sold twenty thousand arcade machines and it pocketed a revenue of one billion and one hundred thousand US dollars. This game also was very impactful in terms of influencing young growing kids into playing basketball and increasing knowledge of fan-ship in basketball.


Although the arcade business made quite a bit of money every year, it required them to purchase the arcades up front which were very expensive. This was a problem for most people as even small arcades had to have at least 5 arcade games in them.