After a year in which a horror franchise brought the restaurant chain back into the pop culture spotlight, Chuck E. Cheese’s first big move of 2024 is an obvious next step: a reality contest, made by the company behind Top Chef. Oh, and it’s already being likened to Squid Game.
The official description of the as-yet-unnamed show from producers Magical Elves — which, in addition to Top Chef, is also responsible for Netflix’s Nailed It!, and the movies Katy Perry: Part of Me and Justin Bieber: Never Say Never — curiously enough almost makes the idea make sense. ““The format will feature stand-alone comedic physical challenges where duos of ‘big kids’ (aka adults) will compete over supersized arcade games — including pinball, air hockey, alley roller and the human claw,” it explains. “The top ticket earning duo will get the chance to exchange their tickets for prizes off the massive version of the iconic Chuck E. Cheese prize wall.”
Oddly enough, there’s little mention of the robotic mascots that many have come to most associate with Chuck E. Cheese, particularly in light of last year’s CEC-inspired Five Nights at Freddy’s movie, based on the video game franchise of the same name. Perhaps that’s a twist to the format that no-one wants to tease in advance.
In a statement given to the Hollywood Reporter, Magical Elves CEOs Jo Sharon and Casey Kriley said, “Chuck E. Cheese is THE place where a kid can be a kid — but as grown adults, we still have dreams of ruling the arcade, taking on the iconic games we love! We’re excited to celebrate these legendary arcade games plus the best of today, all with a super-sized twist.”
No debut date or platform has been announced for the show, which is currently in development. But does this stop us from wanting to apply to compete? No, it really does not.
How big was Five Nights at Freddy’s? Big enough to reunite Chuck E. Cheese’s iconic animatronic band.