Comic-Con: Take a Look Inside of Flynn's Arcade, Circa 1982
by Alex Billington
July 27, 2009
One of the highlights of Comic-Con this year is easily the Flynn's Arcade viral for Tron Legacy. Without a doubt, the greatest viral marketing stunt at Comic-Con, which is quite an achievement. I stopped by Flynn's Arcade for a second time on Saturday night, where the line extended around the block, to snap a few better photos of what the atmosphere and insides of this highly secretive and special place looked like. Everyone I talked to who stepped foot in here came out with a huge smile on their face. Many said it took them back to their childhood. And of course, it ended with a very exciting look at what's to come in the future. Read on!
Every last arcade machine in Flynn's was playable, including Tron and multiple Space Paranoids machines. It was roughly a 15-minute coordinated "show" where after around 7 or 8 minutes of playtime in the arcade, a Journey song would blast on the speakers, and the lights would flicker. The wall behind the Tron machine would flip open revealing a secret passageway that lead to the lightcycle seen at the end. And if that's not enough, every last person who came in, walked out with their own Flynn's Arcade t-shirt to take home. This is the kind of viral marketing that gets people talking and that most will never forget. Bravo Disney and 42!
#1 Do you remember placing your quarters on the bottom lip of the video game screen to secure your spot? I always thought that was hilarious and sometimes annoying especially when someone did it while you were playing...you knew no matter how good you were doing when you died the proper thing to do was to give it up to whom ever placed that coin down.
esophus on Jul 27, 2009
Bravo Disney indeed. Such awesomeness. Wish I could be there to experience it myself.
Mau-Dee on Jul 27, 2009
I wish there were still arcades like that around. I miss feeding the machines.
gplongwood on Jul 27, 2009
How is this "viral" marketing? Its just marketing.
Kermonk on Jul 27, 2009
Everyone calls everything 'viral marketing' these days. Hilarious.
Scott Reed on Jul 27, 2009
Indeed. Nothing viral about this. Though, in fairness, it did start out viral, that progressed into a treasure hunt with some viral puzzles thrown in. The first "leaked" (cellphone?) video of the trailer was viral. This is just kick ass, back in time traveling, scream like a little girl marketing. 🙂 @#2 - L O L!!! Ah vintage arcade etiquette. I'd forgotten that bit. There was always that one machine where the seal between the glass and surround wasn't quite close enough... BAM - token/quarter gone forever. Man that made me mad. I really do wonder sometimes how many quarters total I pumped into Gauntlet - friggin' money pit that one.
bozoconnors on Jul 27, 2009
Glad to see that the fans enjoyed the arcade.. I had a Tron arcade game in storage.. I moved it into my garage this weekend... Still works as well. Once the New teaser was online.. I was glad to see some real progress in the OCP universe. Thanks FS
Ryan McCarthy on Jul 27, 2009
so its just like barcade in brooklyn????
jk on Jul 27, 2009
The large portrait photo of the guy playing the arcade is a fantastic shot!
Digital Metaphor on Jul 27, 2009
SwampDonkey on Jul 27, 2009
I miss great arcade games, that you basically paid 25c to play for a minute or so until you got good enough - and you actually could get better.
Mark on Jul 27, 2009
What always got me was lining up my quarters only to find that the panel was not well attached so if someone leaned on it your quarters slid into the crack and into the machine. teh suck.
jreyst on Jul 27, 2009
100% VIRAL. From the coins..to the codes on the site..to the posters..to the codes on the games which unlocked the trailer. Short lived and only comicon lasting but viral none the less. If I wasnt following first showing news and other movie blogs I would have never heard about it. Great stuff. Loving it. 🙂 Would be cool if DAFT did something similar for tracks etc.. awesomeness.. **
Mau-Dee on Jul 28, 2009
I'll say it was viral. If you were there on Thursday night, they had a guy with swine flu cough on you as you walked through the door. Not sure how it relates to the movie, but viral marketing, along with my fever, are hot these days!
attackcat on Jul 28, 2009
What you could play those games? and what happened to those games afterwards? What Comicon was this? Could you get these arcades? What is all these?
Daniel on Aug 10, 2009
This is a real live arcades are used for the movie, Tron in July of 1982. Before I was born in September 25, 1982.
Charles H. Westgate III a.k.a. Balto Togo Iditarod Nomesmith on May 20, 2010
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