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GameWorks, Inc. Takes on a New Strategic Focus
Tuesday, January 29, 2019
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Investing in popular licensed games is nothing new for GameWorks, Inc., but this year the company has chosen to go further with its investments, elevating guest experiences with significant new investments in top games. 

According to Philip N. Kaplan, GameWorks chief executive officer, “As part of our strategic growth, GameWorks just made a significant investment in some of the most popular arcade games across all our venues. We will now have one of the largest collections of licensed interactive game titles available,” he asserts. 

Kaplan adds “These in-demand games, coupled with our eSports Lounges and new restaurant concept, The Works Kitchen at GameWorks, all combine to afford guests the best and broadest entertainment experience.” Kaplan believes that the company's variety and offering is indicative of the commitment they're making to further the strength of the brand and ensure that GameWorks remains the destination of choice for guests who have a wide range of entertainment choices to choose from. 

“Every GameWorks location has everything guests need to have a fun and exciting visit every time,”Kaplan explains. 

Gameworks Inc. is a full entertainment and dining experience for millennials, teens and families with seven locations nationwide.

Their recent announcement about the company's fairly massive investment in some of the most popular arcade games across every venue has an immediate strategic result.

GameWorks will now have among the largest collection of in-demand, licensed games available in the marketplace today, and will promote that along with the other features at each location.

The company's vision is to allow their guests to play the most current games. Keeping things fresh is sure to draw not just customer interest but their loyalty as well. With that mission in mind, GameWorks has added dozens of licensed interactive titles including Big Buck HD, Injustice Arcade, Ticket Time and Cruis'n Blast. Adding these titles has expanded their game offerings to an average 140 game titles at each of the company's locations. 

“At GameWorks,” Kaplan says, “we are always focused on ensuring our guests have a great time with us. We want them to have an engaging, fun and unforgettable visit every time.”

Part of that experience is the food and drinks on hand from The Works Kitchen, an in-house restaurant with plenty of pizzazz. The entire menu can be served directly to guests no matter what part of the GameWorks experience they're enjoying.

The menu is modern gastro-pub style fare, and was crafted by chef Tony Leitera who joined the company in January of this year. It's a menu innovative enough to be featured in magazines such as Bon Appetit and on The Food Network.

The hip but comfort-food-oriented menu is appealing and fresh, with a mix of hand-tossed pizzas, specialty shakes, appetizers and gourmet burgers.

Wings are one popular choice served in a house seasoning and combined with sauce on the side in a variety of flavor choices from buffalo to BBQ, spicy Asian chili and garlic, blue cheese, wasabi cream, and honey with whole grain mustard. Pretzel twists are another favorite: soft Bavarian, charcuterie stuffed – with salami prosciutto and seasonal cheese - or combined with seasonal dipping vegetables, sauce choices like Sam Adams beer cheese make them a stellar snack. And among other appetizers, buffalo fried cauliflower, loaded “Next Level” nachos, and spiced, seared yellow fin tuna sashimi keep things interesting. There are salads, too, such as grilled shrimp or a health Superfood Salad with rainbow kale, brussel sprouts, napa cabbage, carrots, and even seasonal berries.

Arguably the three most popular menu items however are the pizzas, shakes, and burgers. The pizzas are hand-tossed and artisanal with toppings like brisket mushroom, bruschetta, and jambalaya. Burgers are big, with The Works Burger stuffed with grilled cheese; the Impossible Burger makes strong use of the vegan burger patty that truly tastes just like meat. Adding that choice to the menu alone, versus a standard bean-based veggie burger, is an innovative selection.

But most innovative of all are the shakes: they're huge and packed with novelty –the Frozen Brunch includes bacon and a Belgian waffle with a vanilla and maple milkshake; or the Movie Theater which practically is its own concession stand with red rope licorice, M&Ms, caramel popcorn, and a chocolate shake. 

Along with the exciting new game additions and dining choices, GameWorks is leading the way as the first national eSports brand, Kaplan notes. 

“We will be expanding our eSports Lounges as part of the Company's future growth plans. We currently host more than 100 eSports tournaments monthly at our locations, and have built a solid reputation in this rapidly growing entertainment segment amongst both players and spectators.” GameWorks is recognized nationally for its electronic sports gaming, which attract over 80,000 guests annually to participate or watch tournaments.

GameWorks also operates TableTop Tap House, a restaurant, sports bar and social game hall serving modern tavern-style food and drinks in San Francisco.

Kaplan was named chairman and CEO of the company in September, when ExWorks Capital assumed full ownership and appointed new leadership, paving the way for continued expansion and growth in each of these areas.

The company's eSports emphasis, The Works Kitchen, and the new investment in licensed popular games are significant investments, Kaplan states, but one that looks poised to pay off in each of the company's markets, including Chesapeake, Va., Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Newport, Ky., Schaumburg, Ill. and Seattle.

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