GameWorks already has lounges in Las Vegas, Denver, and Seattle. Over the next few months, it will expand them to its venues in Chesapeake, Va., Schaumburg, Ill., Minneapolis, Minn., and Newport, Ky. It plans to launch the new lounges on the following dates:
- Chesapeake, Va. (Norfolk/Virginia Beach) – Feb. 28, 2019
- Schaumburg, Ill. (Chicago) – Mar. 7, 2019
- Minneapolis, Minn./Mall of America – Mar. 14, 2019
- Newport, Ky. (Cincinnati) – Mar. 20, 2019
Each esports lounge comes equipped with about 20-40 PCs and consoles, along with a library of approximately 100 popular video games that GameWorks said it continually updates. They can typically accommodate up to 100 guests. People can play casually or partake in any of the estimated 200 tournaments held at GameWorks locations monthly. GameWorks expects the expansion will bring in even more players for local and regional tournaments in the coming months, and it believes the lounges will give teams, leagues, and publishers a space to host competitions in all time zones.
“Esports is rapidly gaining momentum worldwide. As an established leader in competitive gaming and entertainment, GameWorks is well positioned to capitalize on this burgeoning space,” said Philip N. Kaplan, chief executive officer at GameWorks. “Our strong foothold in esports — now that we’ll have lounges in every location — further strengthens our leadership position and will serve as a springboard for future growth.”
GameWorks already faces some competition in this area. Walmart announced last year it’s teaming up with Esports Arena to open competitive gaming venues in five of its U.S. stores. The first three are in Roseville, Calif., Spokane Valley, Wash., and Colorado Springs, Col. Two additional locations will arrive at a later date. GameWorks, however, said it’s offering an entirely integrated entertainment experience, combining esports with arcade and redemption games, prizes, and its new Modern American restaurant, The Works Kitchen at GameWorks.
GameWorks said its new esports lounges can be rented for private events like local tournaments, birthday parties, school overnight lock-ins, and more.