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Dave & Buster’s invites creativity with mobile gaming app development

June 18, 2013

Dave & Buster’s is giving users the opportunity to design a mobile application that will be featured as an arcade attraction at its locations nationwide.

The initiative is part of a bigger strategy that ultimately aims to drive traffic to the company’s locations, as well as build brand awareness. Over the past year, Dave & Buster’s has been bolstering its mobile strategy to keep up with tech-savvy customers.

“Our strategy is to give guests the opportunity to share their creativity, even if they’re not a computer programmer,” said Sean Gleason, senior vice president of marketing at Dave & Buster’s, Dallas.

“We have a bunch of new arcade games that are based on highly successful mobile games,” he said. “We want to find the next big mobile game idea, so that we might be able to bring their mobile game to life, on the phone and in the arcade.”

To help find the next big game, Dave & Buster’s has teamed up with VH1, MTV and Comedy Central to launch the new contest.

According to the company, its customers have never been shy about sharing their opinion. And, this initiative gives them an opportunity to get involved with the actual design of its games.

The contest will run through July 15, and is open to residents of the continental United States.

The winner will not only have the opportunity to have their winning game designed as a mobile app or featured as an arcade attraction, but may also win free games for life.

“Our partnership with VH1/MTV/Comedy Central means we’ll have TV spots on those networks,” Mr. Gleason said. “And of course, we will have a presence on the Web sites of those same networks, our site and in our social media.

“We will also reach out to groups that will have a passion for games,” he said. “Everyone from game development schools to video gamers and techies will hear about this.”

Mobile agenda
Dave & Buster’s has used mobile in the past.

Last year, the company used mobile advertising to build its email database list and attract new customers with incentives (see story).

“An integrated digital/mobile strategy is core to Dave & Buster’s on-going strategy for both communications and gaming,” Mr. Gleason said. “Mobile is a growing priority for us.

“We’ve invested in a best-in-class mobile-optimized Web site and a mobile app that makes it easy to get right to the games,” he said. “We are also rolling out the option for guests to receive SMS messages with our latest promotions.”

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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