This month, Navigate caught up with Wayne Joyce, Co-founder/Co-owner of Forever Gaming, to hear about their new retro gaming business that recently opened in the Valley Mall in Corner Brook. Forever Gaming offers a combination of retro game systems and modern game machines spanning more than 40 years and provides a library of more than 50,000 games for players to enjoy in a family-friendly environment. They also have event services and provide a welcoming space for gamers young and old to connect, play, and have fun.
Check out this Q & A between Allison and Wayne from Forever Gaming:
Navigate: Tell us about yourself and your team.
Wayne: Forever Gaming is an incorporated business with two partners, myself, Wayne Joyce, and my nephew and business partner, Matty Hutto. We are the co-founders and co-owners of the business, but in reality, Forever Gaming is comprised of a diverse team of individuals of all ages from 16 to 50 years of age which includes Kylie Matthews, Coby Joyce, Casey Joyce, Christina Joyce, Connie Watson, Kerry Fost, Aaron Hall, Scott Quilty, Juliet Robbins, Jessica Mardel, Dawn Gough, and Sophia Gould. FG is the culmination of the ideas, contributions, collective wisdom, labours, and efforts of all its members.
Navigate: Tell us about your business and the inspiration behind it.
Wayne: Forever Gaming is a business but also a social experiment designed to deliver the ideal form of gaming enterprise and gaming centre, as well as an events team to deliver what the gaming community wants.
Forever Gaming was conceived to share the excitement of gaming with others and also meet the needs of the gaming community, who crave a social space to meet up in and game in, and also to provide a safe and meaningful space for youth and families to spend quality time together and enjoy playing games together.
When I was growing up, there were 4 pool halls/arcades in my hometown of Benoit’s Cove alone, all run by small business owners. These were magical places in which me and my friends lived. Then, a few years ago, I had a vision of what a modern game centre could look like. I started to dream of it and plan for it, and began the search to acquire all the necessary CRT TVs and game machines, starting with my own personal collection and then buying all the other things that would be necessary to do it. As the idea grew, I began having conversations with my nephews and they described to me how they felt growing up today in Corner Brook, about how they never had any places to go and be with their friends and how they felt unwelcome and unwanted in all the social spaces they went to. My heart went out to them, as they were growing up in a society where 90+ percent of the population were adults, or seniors, and their needs and desires were neglected. This lit a fire in me.
I began to ask myself if there was a better way, where we could deliver something that might have some social value. I had conversations with friends and families and laid out a vision for a gaming centre. The idea grew with friends and family and other passionate gamers coming on board. From there, we brainstormed and developed the business and started travelling to small communities to offer gaming events. Fast forward to the summer of 2023, when we recently launched the Forever Gaming Centre in the Valley Mall in Corner Brook.
FG currently offers a combination of retro game systems and modern game machines spanning more than 40 years and provides a library of more than 50, 000 games for players to enjoy. It is a living archive, a library, and a portal into gaming history, as 90% of classic games are no longer available to the public. Retro gaming is extremely expensive and out of the reach of the average player or family and modern games are going in the same direction, with consoles costing up to $750 Canadian and games up to $100 each. Forever Gaming offers a unique game service at a reasonable cost so that everyone can enjoy the best of what gaming has to offer. The charge is $10 for 1 hour, $15 for 2 hours, $20 Day Pass, all of which offer unlimited play on all consoles and machines.
Navigate: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur and to set up a business here in NL?
Wayne: Myself and the FG team wanted to create something great, something needed and wanted, and give something of value to the community. The best place to make a change in the world is to start at home and with the community you’re living in and the people you’re living with.
Navigate: What challenges have you faced when starting your business? What have been your biggest successes to date?
Wayne: The biggest challenge is that funds are extremely limited. Resources are few and far between. FG is a leap of faith. Securing funding from traditional institutions has been a challenge. Navigate has been extremely supportive, as have certain members of the business community in the area.
Our biggest success is our partnerships and the pleasure and joy that we bring to youth and families and also to the diehard players within the gaming community. Having the manager of Gamestop come in and say thank you for doing this really means a lot and to have the support of Doug Payne from Downtown Entertainment has meant a lot to us, as well. We have also partnered with Retro to do an event so we appreciate the support of Connie and Jason as well, as well as the Wayward Spruce. We believe in partnership and collaboration. Working together is in the best interest of the gaming community as well as the business community.
Navigate: What is the number one piece of advice you would give to someone starting a new business?
Collaborate and work with others. Forget everything you think you know. Ask questions. Humble yourself. Speak directly to children and youth. They have an unclouded view of the truth. Have an open and honest dialogue with the community and do your best to deliver what people actually want.
Learn more and get in touch with Forever Gaming at any of the channels below:
Facebook Page: Forever Gaming
Facebook Group: Forever Gaming