After a career working in government electronics departments, Andy gave in to his urges to write games programs and quit to move into the arcade business.

"It was a tough business and it finally fell apart because everyone went over the top. The time came when you'd walk into a pub, and there'd be two games machines; then you'd go to the chippie, and there'd be another one; you just couldn't get away from them. To make things worse everyone was ripping everyone else off. A lot of the companies who claimed to be producing games machines were just furniture makers - they'd buy one machine, copy the ROM, then churn out the cabinets with flashy artwork and someone else's game inside."

The lack of innovation which beset the UK arcade market rapidly knocked the bottom out of it. "Of course, another big problem was development costs. Your development budget could only be the amount of money you could afford to lose, because if an idea wasn't successful it would have to be completely scrapped. What the games designers would often do is to complete one prototype, ship it over to Miami and stand it in an arcade on a holiday weekend.

Andy Walker Chevrolet Camaro
Andy Walker's Chevrolet Camaro

They'd empty the coinbox and count up the quarters, and if it came to less than around $400 then the thing was a failure. There wouldn't be any question of just producing a few units - the American companies deal in thousands. There's no point in trying to pull the wool over their eyes with a bodged game - they've got to get their buying right."

Working for international corporations like Midway and Centuri, Andy gained a great deal of experience in what makes a game good to play. (Another acquisition was Andy's huge Chevrolet Camaro, which looks so out of place in Bridlington that its owner is recognised wherever he goes. "I was paid for one job in dollars, and I just couldn't resist the car. It's almost ten years old now, and I lost the radiator grille when I drove into a flock of pheasants, but it's still good for the image!")