Game over for retro video game venue as Arcade Vaults closes

The Vaults was also home to the Welsh Games Academy, set up with government funding

A RETRO GAMING venue has closed its doors after five years in the city centre due to what its owner described as ‘financial and mental stress’.

Arcade Vaults – which opened in 2018 – operated on a not-for-profit business model and its founder, Chris Munasinha, said that the decision to close came “with a heavy heart.”

In a statement posted online, he said: “These last few years have been incredibly challenging for us, just like many other businesses. We’ve tried everything to keep the doors open, but the reality is that the stress on myself and the team, both financially and mentally, is no longer feasible.

“Creating this magical space has been an incredible journey.

“We take comfort in the knowledge that we’ve brought happiness to many people, created new friendships, and provided a safe haven for those in need.

“We will forever cherish moments such as creating bizarre cocktails and shots, experimenting with delicious unfamiliar Asian food, attempting valiantly to get ancient games and consoles to work, losing battles with our printer, and so much more”.

The Vaults, which was based in High Street Arcade directly opposite Cardiff Castle, offered those interested in vintage video game consoles an opportunity to pursue their interests whilst simultaneously socialising with other kindred spirits.

The venue was also home to the Welsh Games Academy, which was set up with help from the Welsh Government. The scheme was set up to “to support the Games Industry within Cardiff and South Wales” according to the venue’s website.

At the time of writing, no new updates have been posted about the Academy’s future.

The announcement has seen an outpouring of reaction online, with many offering their condolences to the venue which, despite it’s relatively short-life span, played a key role in the city’s gaming scene.

For others, the news prompted a moment of reflection on their favourite memories from the venue.