Ok, we’re probably gonna cry now. Recalling what this place used to be in the past is enough to sadden even the most ice-cold heart.
Since the London Trocadero still features some arcade racing games we need to do this anyway, so let’s kick off with some history!
In 1994, Sega arranged a deal with the owners of Trocadero to open an indoor theme park inside the building: the SEGA WORLD. So, the very first London’s Sega theme park kicked off at the height of its mascot Sonic the Hedgehog’s popularity on September 7, 1996. It featured a number of indoor rides, coin-op arcade machines and a Sega merchandise shop.
It looked amazing, but it was not capable of delivering the number of people they needed to deliver to support the operation. People were queuing for ages…it was a question of over-anticipation and under-delivery. SegaWorld was making a loss of £2.4 million a year.
The owners of the venue bought back the lease on the Trocadero in 1997 and in 2000 they renamed the whole establishment as Funland.
After taking over SegaWorld, Funland shut their basement and only the top floors remained open, along with McDonalds on the 3rd floor until autumn 2002 when the main entrance known as the Rocket Escalator, was shut (and eventually completely removed in May 2011). At that time the dodgems were moved from the 3rd to the 1st floor and a new lower ground floor was re-opened. The arcade was arguably the largest and most popular in England with games in 2011 including DJMax Technika, Pump It Up Fiesta, Pump It Up Pro, Street Fighter IV, and Initial D Arcade Stage 4.
On 3 July 2011, Funland was shut down. This was due to a long running dispute with the landlord over rent. The majority of arcade cabinets were sold and moved to other amusements companies and arcades. Both Las Vegas Arcade Soho and The Heart Of Gaming feature several machines from Funland.
A handful of arcade machines were kept and as of today are scattered around the building, though the main Funland area remains locked and closed. So this is what the London Trocadero is nowadays, a huge, half-locked wasteland with some old, often broken, arcade machine here and there, and some new entry games on the ground floor, but really, don’t expect too much.
Following the decision of the landlord to transform the entire building into a hotel, London Trocadero will permanently close on the 25th of February 2014.
LIST OF RACING GAMES AVAILABLE AT LONDON TROCADERO
- [2x] Daytona USA (Twin-cabinet)
Daytona USA 2 (Twin-cabinet)REMOVED
- GRID (Twin-cabinet)
- R-Tuned (Twin-cabinet)
OutRun 2006 (Twin-cabinet)REMOVED Battle Gear 4 (Twin-cabinet)REMOVED Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune (Twin-cabinet)REMOVED
- SEGA Rally 2 (Twin-cabinet)
SEGA Rally 3 (4-linked Cabinets)REMOVED
- Mario Kart Arcade GP (Twin-cabinet)
- Star Wars Racers Arcade (Twin-cabinet)
PRICE PER GAME
- London Trocadero
- Address: 7-14 Coventry St, Piccadilly Circus, W1D 7DH, London, UK
- Nearest tube: Piccadilly Circus or Leicester Square
- Tel: 020 7439 1791
- Email: info@londontrocadero
- Web: www.londontrocadero.com
- Hours: Mon – Thu & Sun: 10:00 am – 12:00 am (midnight) | Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 01:00 am
- Facebook: LondonTrocadero
- Twitter: @LondonTrocadero
- Foursquare venue
We got something wrong? Do you have an updated list of racing games available here? Just tell us!
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