Have fun with strangers!

Killer Queen is the world’s only 10-player strategy arcade game. It’s easy to learn—each player has only one button and a joystick. Though a single game lasts for just a few minutes, groups of strangers will forge new partnerships or rivalries for hours, months, or even years.

The Battleground

Find challengers and friends in your city, or visit another scene while traveling. Can’t find a cabinet near you? Ask your favorite arcade/bar, bowling alley, or brewery about getting one!

Local events or league nights will have people coming back over and over with Killer Queen as the community centerpiece.

The Killer Queen story

The development of Killer Queen has been an iterative journey, but we can distill Killer Queen’s origin into this single moment:

After a successful run of the Killer Queen field game, co-founders Josh DeBonis and Nik Mikros jokingly suggested to a fellow game designer that they wanted to adapt it into an arcade game. He smiled and challenged them saying, “you won’t.” We did.

The field game

In 2011, we created a 20-player field game for Come Out and Play New York also called "Killer Queen." It was fun, hectic, well-balanced, and won the "Best In Fest" and "Most Strategic" awards at the event.

The Killer Queen Field Game is a team-based field game akin to Capture the Flag. It’s usually played outside, but it can work in a large open indoor space too. Be prepared for lots of running, strategizing, and swashbuckling!

Watch us play the field game at BumbleBash 4

The early arcade days

In late 2014, the game found a champion in legendary arcade game designer Eugene Jarvis (Robotron, Defender). Eugene urged Logan Arcade in Chicago to placethe first Killer Queen at an arcade bar. There, the first recurring league night and tournament system was created largely by Josh Eklow, our second Community Service Award winner. This model became the template for Killer Queen communities across the country.

Quickly following Logan’s placement in 2015 were Ground Kontrol in Portland, Abari Game Bar in Charlotte, Brewcade (now The Detour) in San Francisco, Arcade Super Awesome in Columbus, Up-Down Minneapolis, and others.

Competition Rising: BumbleBash

Chicago’s scene threw the first Killer Queen travel tournament, KQ V, inviting teams from across the country to see who was the best of the best. An inter-scene camaraderie was born, and in 2016 we held the first Killer Queen World Championship event called BumbleBash in Austin, TX.

BumbleBash has since transformed into an arcade convention welcoming guest games as well as holding other arcade tournaments. In 2019, 60 teams from over 20 cities participated in the Killer Queen Championship event. BumbleBash, our company’s love letter to our community, has become a community centerpiece for all players of the modern arcade and arcade bar.

In 2024, BumbleBash returns to Chattanooga, October 25-27. We'll see you there.

What happens on a Killer Queen night?

Whenever a Killer Queen event is held, there is a level of excitement, tension, and hype that is hard to describe. If done properly, you will see players returning again and again, trying to improve their skills, making friends, or having a date-night.

In a world where online gaming is ubiquitous, Killer Queen brings people together that achieves a true human connection we haven’t seen since the Fighting Game Community heydays of the 90s.

Killer Queen and community go hand-in-hand

Killer Queen was never planned to be the hit it is today. It was born from the desire for a new kind of team game with multiple objectives, followed by adaptation, experimentation, iteration, and a heavy contribution from grassroots community organizers and players.

At its core, Killer Queen the game and Killer Queen the community are intertwined, and has gradually evolved into the first team arcade esport it is now. You could say Killer Queen is a game that was never planned to exist, but evolved from a small concept into an unprecedented gaming experience.

Why do bars love Killer Queen?

How to Play Killer Queen

Killer Queen is easy to pick up, but hard to master. Every game is a new experience. We can provide you the basics, tips, tricks and advanced techniques; however the best way to learn is by playing and asking your neighbor for help.

It normally takes 3-5 games to understand the basics. Once it clicks, you’ll be hooked and begging for more.