iiRcade Declares Bankruptcy: The Home Arcade Console Company Abruptly Shuts Down
Even though this news is not exactly fresh off the press, it is crucial that all Arcade-ERA enthusiasts who may have been caught in this upheaval be well informed.
Last week, in a live stream aired via YouTube, the CEO of iiRcade unveiled that the home arcade console company is filing for bankruptcy. As of June 21, 2023, iiRcade console owners will no longer have the option to purchase games from their web store, nor download previously bought games onto their systems.
Users registered with iiRcade were promptly notified via email. The communication, addressed to active console account owners, marked the end of the company's journey and conveyed significant dates along with other essential details.
The iiRcade digital games store will halt operations starting Wednesday, June 21, 2023. Users have been urged to purchase and install desired games onto their iiRcade devices by this date, as the servers will cease operation shortly after Friday, June 23, 2023. The existing games on users' devices will remain unaffected and can continue to be played.
This abrupt announcement emerged after weeks of the CEO refuting rumors of internal issues, including product availability, addition of new games to the store, and preservation of contracts for existing games.
However, what stood out in this whole scenario was a peculiar element at the end of the announcement – an advertisement. It felt like it was a promotion for a new control panel for existing iiRcade units, available for pre-order. Thunderstick Studio's 'GRS Ultimate Control Panel for iiRcade' boasted features like an adjustable LED trackball, two spinners, industrial-grade joysticks, and external USB interfaces. It promised the perfect fusion of modern tech and the traditional arcade experience. The CEO also suggested that if enough units were pre-ordered, he would consider facilitating MAME use on these sets, a proposal he had previously opposed due to piracy concerns.
Many found this attempt to plug a product at the end of such a critical announcement rather audacious. The advertisement seemed somewhat discordant, especially considering the short notice given about the impending shutdown.
iiRcade's abrupt end has left a bitter taste in the mouths of many enthusiasts, myself included. It's a little strange that this significant development has barely made a ripple in mainstream news coverage. Comparatively, while Arcade1Up may receive its fair share of criticism, it hasn't sprung any surprises of this magnitude on its users.
iiRcade's bankruptcy underscores the precarious nature of the gaming industry and reminds us that even seemingly stable companies can face sudden upheavals. Intellivision is over in the corner, quietly taking notes.