Corey Hyden, owner of Free Play, a retro arcade is set to open in Richardson.  After a $10 cover the games are free.

Corey Hyden, owner of Free Play, a retro arcade is set to open in Richardson. After a $10 cover the games are free.

Rex C. Curry/Special Contributor

Free Play Arcade got attention immediately after opening in Richardson, becoming a hotspot for retro arcade gaming with a side of pinball and craft beer. A $10 cover charge gets you in to play all the games you want (they're all set to free play — hence the name), and Free Play regularly hosts tournaments for those who want to be extra competitive.

The owners must be happy with the response to that original location, because now they're expanding to Arlington.

"Our expectations [for the Richardson location] have been far exceeded!" Cory Hyden, president of Free Play Incorporated told me via e-mail. "We'll be visited by more than 100,000 people before the end of the year and all of our product offerings have been super well-received. We also recently hired our 16th full time employee! We always thought there would be a market in D-FW for awesome arcade games mixed with awesome beer, but we never expected the kind of broad audience we've received."

The  Arlington location of Free Play Arcade will be located at 400 E. South St., in the South Street Patio building. They're aiming to open on December 5, 2016 — exactly one year after the Richardson location.

South Street Patio will still be an event facility until October 15.

"A location in Tarrant County was at the top of Free Play's goals for 2016," said Hyden in a press release. "Despite the long drive, more than 10 percent of the customers at our Richardson location come from Tarrant County and these customers have been the most vocal in demanding our second location."

Like in Richardson, you'll be able to get into Free Play Arlington to play your heart out for $10 (plus tax). They plan to have 90 arcade cabinets, 5-10 pinball machines and "one of the largest beer menus in the Metroplex."

"What's the point of owning hundreds of arcade machines and operating in a space that only fits 90?" Hyden says via e-mail. "We've rotated more than 50 games into Richardson since we opened and, no matter what, we plan on rotating at least a game per week into both locations. Sometimes these games will be never-before-seen in the Metroplex, sometimes they will be awesome throwbacks, sometimes they will be vault games that we've previously rotated off the floor, and sometimes they will be transfers from one of the two locations.

"We are aggressively bringing these games back and we will not rest until all of D-FW learns the splendor of playing Tempest while sipping a craft brew and listening to Genesis."

This story has been updated to include statements from Corey Hyden.

What's Happening on GuideLive