Keep­ing an eye on the coin- op gam­ing scene

Sega’s Alien: Isolation is only one of 2014’s Alien games. The other, Aliens: Ar­maged­don, snuck into ar­cades early this year in cab­i­nets built by Raw Thrills.

The mod­ern ar­cade scene is so low-key that the news of an­other Alien game might come as a sur­prise to many, but that it’s a se­quel should sur­prise even more. Aliens: Ex­ter­mi­na­tion has been swal­low­ing coins since 2006, with a lu­di­crously out-of-con­ti­nu­ity re­turn to LV-426 and ar­mies of hos­tile Wey­land-Yu­tani an­droids.

From a typ­i­cally os­ten­ta­tious Raw Thrills cab­i­net, Ar­maged­don tells an even more out­landish tale of es­cape from an Earth en­tirely over­run with Xenomorphs. There are 55- and 42-inch mod­els avail­able, both re­pur­posed and re­painted ver­sions of Play Mechanix’s own Ter­mi­na­tor Sal­va­tion coin-op, from which Ar­maged­don bor­rows its pac­ing and me­chan­ics, too.

But it’s Play Mechanix that’s per­haps the big­gest sur­prise of all. The com­pany’s be­gin­nings, in 1995, were mod­est, but the stu­dio has grown to be­come one of the big­gest play­ers on the Amer­i­can ar­cade scene thanks to the bar­friendly Big Buck Hunter fran­chise, in­tro­duced in 1999. The rev­enue stream gen­er­ated by reg­u­lar up­dates to the hunt­ing sim has sup­ported a hand­ful of orig­i­nal projects along­side work on Raw Thrills’ big­gest li­cences, such as The Ter­mi­na­tor, Mo­nop­oly and Wheel Of For­tune. No won­der Raw Thrills now owns the stu­dio.

Game Aliens:Ar­maged­don Man­u­fac­turer Play Mechanix/Raw Thrills

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