Why are Arcade Machines so Expensive?

Last Updated on by William J. Lopez

Arcade machines have been around since the 1970s and have been a popular source of entertainment for generations.

While they were once found in arcades, malls, and movie theatres, they are now more commonly found in homes, game rooms, and bars. However, one thing that hasn’t changed is the high cost of arcade machines.

Many people wonder why arcade machines are so expensive compared to other forms of gaming.

In this article, we will explore the various factors contributing to the high cost of arcade machines and help you understand why they are often considered luxury items.

Why do arcade machines cost so much?

how much does an arcade machine cost

The cost of arcade machines is more than just the price of hardware. They are expensive for two reasons: It costs a lot to maintain an arcade machine.

It includes ensuring your game is up-to-date with new releases and getting tested by qualified technicians.

Secondly, Arcade Machines must conform to UL standards.

They must undergo rigorous testing to ensure they are safe for customers and comply with safety regulations in the United States.

Therefore, arcade machines have higher maintenance costs than traditional games that do not need to be tested or updated regularly.

Arcade machines are expensive because of their many things, such as maintenance and testing costs.

There is also the fact that they look much more immersive than other games in an arcade environment. Arcades are booming in 2023 for many reasons, but it remains unclear whether or not arcades will die out entirely like bowling lanes.

Why are arcade machines so expensive when the phones in our pockets can do the same thing?

They’re not the same thing at all. Arcade machines are a completely different experience from your phone or tablet.

They offer unique gameplay and an immersive environment, which cannot be found in any other form.

*For example, there is no way to optimize the frame rate with arcade games.*

Arcade machines can be expensive for several reasons

Quality and Durability

Arcade machines are built to withstand heavy use in public spaces, which requires high-quality, durable materials. This contributes to their cost.


Arcade machines are complex pieces of equipment. They contain various components, including the game system, the cabinet, the screen, the controls, and the coin mechanism. Each of these components adds to the overall cost.


Many arcade games are based on popular franchises or properties, and licensing costs can be significant.

Maintenance and Repair

Arcade machines require regular maintenance and occasional repairs, which can add to their overall cost over time.

Nostalgia and Collectability

Collectors often seek older, classic arcade machines, which can increase prices. The nostalgia factor can also make these machines more expensive.

Limited Supply

Many arcade machines, especially older models, are no longer being manufactured. This limited supply can increase their price.

Shipping and Handling

Arcade machines are large and heavy, making them expensive to ship and handle.

What is the most expensive arcade game?

Strictly speaking, the most expensive arcade game is not an arcade machine. It is a pinball machine that weighs over 12 tons and costs $250,000.

The average price of an arcade cabinet can be anywhere from $5000 to $7500, with some being even higher due to their rarity or difficulty in finding parts.

Do arcade machines make money?

Mame Arcade machines can be a great way to make money. Many arcade games, such as Street Fighter II and Pac-Man, have been proven to work well in an arcade setting.

Furthermore, the upkeep costs are relatively low compared with other more expensive options like pinball or slot machine tables.

Are arcades still profitable in 2023?

Arcades are still profitable in 2023 because of the passion and need for arcade machines.

Another reason they are successful is that people want to socialize and get out from behind their desks or at home, leading to increased revenue by selling food and drinks while there.

Do Arcade machines use a lot of electricity?

No, they do not use a lot of electricity. Some arcade cabinets require as little as 100 watts per hour, equivalent to running an electric kettle for about 20 minutes or boiling water for one cup.

It makes them very efficient in terms of energy usage and cost-effective when it comes to operating costs.

Where can I buy arcade machines?

Arcade machines can be found in many locations. Popular places to find arcade machines are malls, movie theatres, hotels, and online eBay or Amazon.

We have listed the best arcade machines in different categories.

As of 2023, there is no clear answer on whether arcades will die out. More people than ever want to use the experience that only an arcade machine offers.

You can also read tips about buying wholesale & used arcade machines.

Arcade Machines for Home

Many arcade games can be played at home, but the experience of playing a game like Street Fighter II is not the same as in an arcade.

They offer unique gameplay and an immersive environment, which cannot be found anywhere else.

As you know, the best arcade machines for home are expensive, but if you can afford them for your entertainment in your home, then it’s up to you.


Arcade machines are expensive due to various factors, including the high cost of manufacturing, scarcity of parts, licensing fees, and the limited demand for the machines.

Additionally, arcade machines are often considered collectable items, driving up their prices for those interested in owning a piece of gaming history.

Despite the high price tag, arcade machines continue to hold a special place in the hearts of gamers and collectors, providing a unique gaming experience that cannot be replicated through other forms of gaming.