The owners of a new business in Raleigh County say they are eager to offer visitors of all ages the chance to stop in for a little fun.
Family Game Knight, located near the MacArthur Walmart, will celebrate its grand opening on Monday with a ribbon cutting and game demos.
The company, co-owned by Danny Reed, Mike Brown, Brandon Gration and Dylon McBride, offers a variety of activities – free and paid – for families and individuals.
Reed, who is the main owner, said the business started online in October 2020, when he turned to Etsy to sell small trinkets and figurines, inspired by comics and games, which he made at home on his 3D printer.
“It just started to grow from there and I kept adding printers,” he said.
Eventually Reed, who worked at both Staples and Ollie’s in Beckley, said he decided to expand.
“I spoke to a few friends and asked them if they would be interested in helping out and going together and starting a business,” he said. “That’s pretty much how it started.”
Visitors to the Brick and Mortar Family Game Knight can still purchase the figurines and other collectibles created by Reed using one of 16 3D printers.
But the men combined their collective interests to grow their business in a variety of other ways.
“We all love board games, superheroes and comic books,” he said. “We all love video games, so we decided to merge everything into one.”
Reed said the company offers a variety of comics — mostly from the 1990s through today — compendium collections and action figures.
But those wishing to do a little more than shop are invited to choose from a variety of board games, which they can “check out” and play for free on a game table downstairs.
“We have just about every board game you can imagine,” Reed said. “They (customers) can play whatever game they want and when they’re done they can return it and play another.”
The company also has an arcade. Reed said visitors can pay for 30-minute, hour, or two-hour time slots during which they are allowed to play any game they want.
“All of our arcade games are old school/retro,” Reed said, listing Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Frogger, Centipede, Gold Tee, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, NBA Jam, Mortal Combat and Rampage as examples.
And upstairs, Reed said customers can rent time in a virtual reality room where they’ll put on an Oculus headset and choose from a variety of games.
Although Family Game Knight has just officially opened, word of the company started spreading in 2021 when the owners launched a Kickstarter campaign.
“We started the campaign to try to gauge community interest and raise funds,” Reed said.
Community interest was there, as Reed said the campaign raised $10,000 for building renovations and other start-up costs.
That interest in the business, he said, grew in the weeks leading up to the official opening.
“We’ve had a lot of support and enthusiasm from the community,” he said. “People seem to be really excited about coming to play games.”
Reed said he looks forward to growing the business, which he says is an important addition to the local community.
“It’s a safe and fun environment for people here in the Beckley and Raleigh County area to come hang out,” he said. “It’s something that will bring the community together and maybe bring in some other unique new businesses that give people something to do.”
Family Game Knight, located at 1905 Robert C. Byrd Drive in MacArthur, is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.