Why Doesn't Our Arcade Offer Beat Saber?
Updated: Dec 8, 2020
By: Waylon Fisher | Originally Posted: 12/4/20 | Last Updated: 12/4/20
Table of Contents
About Beat Saber
Where Did Beat Saber Go?
Why I am Upset?
This post is to give insight on one of our most popular games of all time at our arcade, Beat Saber. We are asked about Beat Saber multiple times a week by our customers, and we owe some answers. Why did we get rid of a game everyone plays? Why am I reminding everyone we got rid of it? Keep reading and find out!
About Beat Saber
At Beat Saber's release, it took VR by storm. Beat Saber is a VR rhythm game where you slash the beats of adrenaline-pumping music as they fly towards you, surrounded by a futuristic world. The game reached milestones like selling a million copies and becoming the most positive reviewed experience on Steam very quickly. On just about every platform of VR, the game continues to add new music and remains as one of the VR community's most played games. If you want to check out some gameplay of the game DragonStarTheDragon and NerdCharming are two highly skilled players that have come in to Spectrum to play. We met both of these players through a tournament we hosted at our arcade and both play on the highest difficulty with ease. The game has multiple levels of difficulty so it is both easy to learn and difficult to master.
Where Did Beat Saber Go?
Beat Saber joined our list of offerings in August 2018. At the game's arcade release, a huge global tournament was held for the arcade version of the game. From the first month we started offering Beat Saber, it has been on our top 10 games played list. The game has enough playtime on it at our arcade that if you played for a month straight with no rest, you still would not have played as much as the people at our arcade have. The game was a big part of our business and as of July, we have not offered it. This seems crazy since it was such a played game, but we didn't have a choice.
Arcades run special versions of the game to operate legally. We commercially license all of our games, meaning that we aren't just buying the consumer version of the game. Instead of doing this we pay a fee every time a game is played. Companies can choose whether or not they want to offer their game commercially or not. So what happened in July 2020 that changed this? Well Facebook acquired Beat Games, the creators of Beat Saber, in November of 2019. Shortly after the pandemic ramped up an announcement was made that the game was no longer going to be made available commercially. No one knows an exact reason why, but the explanation we received was licensing the music in commercial settings like arcades was difficult. No hard feelings though, right? Wrong! I'm mad!
Why Am I Upset?
Beat Games made a version of Beat Saber specifically for arcades. The version was always a watered down version of the full version of the game, but this was not an issue for our arcade. As an arcade, we introduce a ton of new people to VR. Thousands of people have visited Spectrum for their first VR experience. We have influenced well over a few hundred people to go out and buy a headset and system for themselves. Usually their first game purchase is an experience they have played before. This makes an arcade a great place to sample experiences and equipment before you buy. unfortunately a lot of developers don't agree with this logic, or they haven't seen the numbers to back the claims.
The reason we were given for the removal of commercial Beat Saber doesn't constitute removing the game altogether. If music licensing is the true reason why the game was removed, just receiving the original song packs would be enough for our arcade to still introduce people to the experience. The worst part of removing Beat Saber was it took place during quarantine. This was another blow we had to deal with as a small business. We quickly needed to find an alternative for the genre of game to keep our customers satisfied. It was not an easy process, but I am happy with the choices we came up with!
Beat Saber was always single player when it was in the arcade, it has since released a multiplayer mode. The games we replaced Beat Saber with have multiplayer, allowing our customers to finally play this genre of game together for the first time.
Rhythmatic: This game is very similar to Beat Saber and was made with arcades in mind. Rhythmatic is made by one of London's top night clubs, the owners happen to run a VR development studio in addition to their night club. The game was created and released to about 10 different arcades in the US about a month after Beat Saber was removed from our offerings. Spectrum was selected as one of these arcades to feature the game and receive feedback to improve the game. At this time we are still receiving feedback, but the feedback is much more positive than it was originally. The game has its official release 12/1/20. The release will consist of new songs, new mechanics, and overall bug fixes to improve the gameplay. Here is a trailer if you want to check the game out:
Synth Rider: Synth Riders is not quite as new as Rhythmatic, but recently it has received a ton of updates that vastly improved the experience. The mechanics in the game are much different in this game than Rhythmatic or Beat Saber. This game falls into the same genre, but their are a lot more body movements than flinging your arms. This creates a more intensive workout experience without putting as much strain on your arms. The game recently overhauled a lot of features to make the game perfect for arcades. The game feels a lot more like dancing and its added multiplayer makes it a great group experience. If you would like to see a trailer, watch below:
This concludes the post, I hope you enjoyed. I hope it brings insight to some of the difficulties we face as an arcade and how we adapt to them. Beat Saber will be missed at our arcade, but we are very happy with our replacement offerings.