Arcade sticks, hitboxes, and mixboxes are fantastic for becoming better at fighting games, but what they are also good at is generating extra income if you have the right business mindset. In fact, you can create a fulltime business out of arcade sticks, much like Qanba has.
Of course, the simplest way to make money with arcade sticks is to become good at fighting games and win tournaments, which could earn you prizes. While that is simple in concept, it can be hard to actually win fighting game tournaments, especially the ones large enough to give big prizes. Thus, let us explore other options to make arcade sticks lucrative:
- Selling arcade sticks and their parts
- Designing artwork for others
- Reviewing arcade sticks
Selling Arcade Sticks and Parts
The primary components of an arcade stick are quite simple:
- Printed circuit board
Make it your mission to build one arcade stick at home. If you succeed, get into the groove of building many. Once your quality control becomes good and you know how long it takes you to build an arcade stick, consider selling arcade sticks on websites from Craigslist to eBay. Optimally, however, you would set up an eCommerce store, much like Arcade Shock and Focus Attack, which are our personal favorites. They carry a range of products from arcade sticks to individual parts. So, you do not have to only sell your own products.
Now, Arcade Shock and Focus Attack are major sites with teams behind them. If you are starting solo, you can use an eCommerce solution like Shopify, which is a platform we have experience with. If you would like to see a live example of a Shopify store that sells relevant products, check out RetroArcadeCrafts. However, if it looks too much like a big company site and therefore intimidating to you, also check out LeafCutterLabs, which is a much smaller Shopify operation.
Other eCommerce solutions we have seen include Big Cartel and, of course, Etsy. Some of the stores that have caught our attention are JxKDesigns as well as Nipe Arcade Originals, which are Big Cartel and Etsy stores respectively.
Here is an inspiring Etsy success story:
A popular product is the Fightboard, which is on Etsy. It is a small controller with all keys, and while it may have taken the designer a long time to come up with the concept and implement it well, everything was probably smooth sailing from thereon after, meaning the units produced after the very first unit were probably produced much faster.
Now, thnikk has converted more than 10,000 sales, and assuming they were all sales of the roughly $100 Fightboard, the result before taxes and other costs is a whopping $1,000,000!
Designing Arcade Stick Artwork
If you are already an artist, the primary step you need to take to transition into the world of arcade sticks is to create artwork with arcade stick templates in mind. Basically, you would need to create empty spaces in the artwork to cater for buttons, joysticks, and so on. Thus, it would be optimal not to have crucial artwork elements overlap with the empty spaces. For example, if a fighting game character is included in the design, consider having him or her on the left side of the panel to avoid being blocked by arcade stick parts.
Once you get the hang of arcade stick artwork, the fighting game community is constantly thirsty for good artwork to the point that you may share your artwork online for the sake of sharing it, but people want to do business with you. While you can run your operations out of Instagram, for instance, consider more state-of-the-art options like DeviantArt, Behance, ArtStation, and even Fiverr.
Without further ado, here are our nominated artists from each platform:
Fiverr is our personal favorite as we have the most experience with it both as buyers and sellers. Furthermore, its reputation speaks for itself. Here is an example of selections at your disposal:
You can even offer your arcade-stick related artwork as merch. We have personally dabbled with Printify and Printful. We are particularly fond of how they offer designs printed with vegan ink. That said, our preference is Printify, which has a more dominant online presence.
Reviewing Arcade Sticks
Although there already exist sites and channels that review arcade sticks, and you would not be the first to do so, it is still our duty to mention that this is an option to generate revenue through arcade sticks regardless. Simply, review arcade sticks to attract traffic and generate revenue through display ads by networks like Ezoic, which numerous site owners say delivers higher payouts than Google AdSense. It is actually a Google certified publishing partner.
You can also become an affiliate marketer by linking to sellers like Amazon who would give you a commission for every buyer you convert. If you make it big, companies may send you arcade sticks for free so you can review them. You can then resell them once you are done.
As for our favorite YouTuber, he is by far Mr. Sujano, who never creases to impress with his groundbreaking content about arcade sticks.
The goal of using arcade sticks, hitboxes, and mixboxes is to improve at fighting games as well as have fun. However, an element that cannot be overlooked is that you can make arcade sticks lucrative. See which venture interests you and test the waters. If anything capture your interest, then you may have found yourself a decent side income if not a venture you can pursue fulltime. Realize that the likes of Qanba are run by people just like you. If they did it, then so can you!
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.Laozi