Oomba to Convert GameWorks Entertainment Centers into eSports Stadiums

Ah, GameWorks. Some of my favorite memories involve going to its Tempe location many a summer day in the 90s and experiencing the thrills it had to offer. Outside a few famed local joints around the country, it was one of the largest arcades in the world featuring not only the latest and greatest in games, but also bespoke attractions like a motion capture Tekken 2 and a balloon shooting hydraulic game called Sky Pirates. Sadly as interest in both indoor malls and playing games in public stared to wane, GameWorks began dying a slow death. It was painful to watch, seeing all of the features that even today would be mind-blowing dismantled year by year, leaving un-serviced arcade games and huge swaths of emptiness.

Amazingly the GameWorks in Tempe managed to stay open until last year until it was purchased by Tilt Studios and re-opened and improved, but the vast majority of GameWorks were outright closed years ago amid bouncing around to several different ownership groups.

Today only seven GameWorks remain open, but they may begin seeing more action than ever before.

Oomba, Inc — an Irvine-based Media Company — has today announced that they’ve acquired GameWorks. Instead of revamping the arcade concept, however, Oomba plans to convert the existing locations into eSports stadium facilitates and aggressively expand with further GameWorks locations.

Oomba CEO, Michael Williams stated, “GameWorks is the perfect venue for our vision of eSports Stadiums, VR experiences and hosting ‘game night’ at GameWorks. We plan to transform GameWorks into the experiential anchor for AAA locations all across America and beyond.”
GameWorks management will stay aboard and the combined companies will operate as Oomba GameWorks.
Greg Stevens, GameWorks CEO, commented, “We are thrilled to be a part of the Oomba organization. Mike’s exciting vision sets a new course for the location based entertainment business and we can’t wait to bring it to life!”
It’s an interesting concept as eSports is rapidly increasing in popularity and most arenas that exist for traditional sports are simply too large to have events at. GameWorks locations are massive in size and could accommodate modest stadiums to showcase events — especially on a regional level. At the very least, it’s exciting to know that GameWorks legacy will carry on for a new generation.