Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Dave & Buster's Rolls Out a Game Changer

By Rick Munarriz - Jul 24, 2015 at 2:00PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Dave & Buster's dives into mobile gaming.

Source: Dave & Buster's.

Dave & Buster's (PLAY 4.74%) isn't a name that folks would consider a major player in mobile gaming. That may change soon, however, if any of the apps that it rolled out earlier this month begin to take off.

Yes, you can now play some of the more popular arcade games from the "eatertainment" chain on your tablet or smartphone. Big Bass Wheel -- where you spin a huge wheel in the mouth of a giant bass for points -- and the speed-tapping Speed of Light are among the Dave & Buster's branded mobile apps that are now available-for-free apps on Android and iOS devices.

It's a move that makes perfect sense. Dave & Buster's may pride itself on its food and drinks, but a little more than half of its revenue comes from the arcade games and other amusements offered at the mammoth-sized locations. Mobile gaming is hot, even if the gamers themselves are pretty fickle as they move from one hot title to the next. Why wouldn't D&B cash in as an industry-leading brand in high-tech arcades?

It gets better. The patrons at Dave & Buster's spend money to play games that they use to amass tickets that they can trade in for redemption prizes. We're not talking about toy soldiers or plastic spider rings. (This isn't Chuck E. Cheese.) Dave & Buster's offers real prizes that both adults and children can appreciate.

With that in mind, the game changer here is that folks can collect points on the new mobile apps that can be traded in for in-store redemption prizes. That's right... Dave & Buster's has just pushed out free apps that dispense real prizes. 

It's not perfect, of course. The games may be free, but you're limited to exchanging no more than 100 tickets a day to your Dave & Buster's card per app. Like most "free" games, there are in-game purchases to enhance the gameplay that can add up in real money if you're not careful.

Finally, there's the fun factor to consider. Spinning a Price is Right-ish wheel for points in a buzzing arcade with nearby friends cheering you on is a blast. Swiping across your iPhone screen in a dentist's waiting room? Not so fun.

However, Dave & Buster's is doing a pretty neat thing here. It's putting out games that have real-world consequences. The apps will promote in-store visits. All of this justifies the growing chain tapping Xbox co-creator Kevin Bachus to be its senior vice president of entertainment and games strategy three years ago.

Dave & Buster's is raising the bar on the convergence of mobile gaming and physical retail. If it becomes a thing -- and it probably will -- remember that it started with spinning a wheel for points in the mouth of a really big fish.

Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Dave & Buster's Entertainment. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned

Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc. Stock Quote
Dave & Buster's Entertainment, Inc.
$41.96 (4.74%) $1.90

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/10/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.