Can uWink Serve 600 Trillion Games?

Jun.16.08 | About: uWink, Inc. (UWKI)

uWink logo

It’s time to go Hollywood!

uWink (Nasdaq: UWKI.OB), an entertainment and hospitality software development company and the operator of an interactive restaurant concept called uWink, has made it official and has sent notice that they are opening their latest location at Hollywood and Highland June 27th, 2008.

Well, let’s call it a “soft” opening, as the invite that I got requested RSVP confirmation and was explicit that the event was “invite only”.

But heck, we can still celebrate the occasion right?

Bottom Line:

This is great news, and I wish I was in the area to go to the opening. I’ll be here for the Mountain View, CA location opening, but it’s good to see uWink executing their strategy and getting these locations opened with minimal delays.

Nolan Bushnell Predicts 600 TRILLION Games Served!

Ok, so now that the trivial stuff is out the way, I know you are craving for the headline that uWink thinks it can serve over 600 TRILLION games through its uWink franchise and the games it provides.

Atari Inc. (OTC: ATAR) and Chuck E. Cheese (NYSE: CEC) founder and current uWink CEO Nolan Bushnell, in a well-written and far ranging article on, talks about many things pertaining to the uWink restaurant concept, gaming in general, and his place within the industry.

One of the things he discussed in particular that caught my attention is his desire to get the uWink concept, specifically the gaming technology and social aspects of the games, into as many restaurants and other social environments as possible, and in so doing, increase the total market share and number of games served to an astronomical level…

Yea, he said it, potentially 600 TRILLION served…akin to McDonald’s Corp (NYSE: MCD) and their reporting of their Billions served for hamburgers.

Now before you cream your shorts, you have to take what was said in the interview in context.

Here’s a brief excerpt:

“Probably the most important [aspect] is that we have decided to sell our software to anybody,” announces Bushnell. “When you look at numbers…” He asks for a pen. “Right now, we serve about six million games per restaurant.” McDonald’s famously measured their numbers of burgers sold, but Bushnell measures the games.

“We’re going to be selling our software, and right now we’ve got some inquiries on the part of some really interesting people.” Those people find the menu ordering system to be an efficient, labor saving device.

“We’ve got this thing where I get to serve the games,” he says, and they don’t care about the games, “and I get a little piece of the revenue.”

“I believe that, by 2020, that I can…be in 100,000 restaurants,” estimates Bushnell. So at six million per year, he continues, figuring on the napkin, “Zero, zero, zero.” He pauses, adding. “Zero, zero.”

“Six hundred…” Bushnell says, pausing once more to count just how large this number is. His publicist helpfully guesses how the sentence ends, “Million games?”

But the man responsible for the business of interactive entertainment looks up from his napkin. “Six hundred trillion,” he says calmly. And as the number sinks in, “That’s a lot,” he says. “Now what’s wrong with that? A 100,000 restaurants?”

Bushnell figures that there are at least a million restaurants in the U.S., and that he can get at least a 10 percent market share if his company offers a must-have, and assuming no competition.

“You say 600 trillion and 20 cents a game, even a dime a game – ‘The Six Trillion Dollar Man’ – the number’s just silly. So who knows what the number’s actually going to be.”

“But, I believe there’s a reasonable probability that we’re going to be in 100,000 restaurants.” Even if it were only 10,000, says Bushnell, there are 22,000 McDonald’s, and he’d only need one major deal to surpass that mark.

Read the entire article here.

Bottom Line: This is just fun with numbers. Don’t go buying uWink’s stock today expecting the next Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT)!

But in all seriousness, I talked extensively about the prospects of uWink not just as a restaurant concept, but more so in terms of their ability to leverage their content and platform to sell to other restaurants, and the hospitality industry.

They’ve already landed a few deals in this space, and it looks like as we go forward, the uWink concept will be known more for the actual platform than the restaurants, which is fine with me anyway, as this will be a potentially much more lucrative business with higher margins, and a broader appeal and market share opportunity.

Come along for the ride!

It all starts with the latest uWink restaurant openings in Hollywood and Highland, and Mountain View, CA in the next two months.