Loveboat Hospitality International was a small entertainment and retail company.
Formation and initial attempt at competing with Chuck E.'s Edit
During a livestream on 7/14/2016, Brian Kerry, an American expat in Japan working for Kabushiki Gaisha ABS, got into an argument with company president Kenji Yukimura over the usability of Cyberamic animatronic characters at Chuck E. Cheese's family entertainment centres around the world. Brian Kerry was fired, resulting in Brian storming out, packing his bags, and moving back to his home state of Massachusetts.
Soon, he founded Loveboat Entertainment, and received funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. He soon began plans for an FEC chain, originally named "Billy Bob's Just for Kidz", which was then renamed to Showbiz Pizza Zone, after a defunct Phenix City, Alabama FEC, which was a revival of CEC's predecessor Showbiz Pizza Place.
Upon Kenji receiving word of Loveboat's existence, he rehired Brian in fear, with Brian handing over the group to his brother Mason.
Mason announced that Showbiz Pizza Zone would compete with Chuck E.'s no matter what. This turned out to be an empty threat, as Loveboat was sued by CEC-ABS Entertainment Concepts, L.P. for its unauthorized use of their animatronic character technology (it was using Cyberstars and parts for 3-stage bots stolen from closed CEC locations). Showbiz Pizza Zone was immediately closed by court order. After SPZ was closed, Loveboat became a Chuck E. Cheese's franchisee operating in Massachusetts.
Showbiz Pizza Zone's trademarks and other possessions were later sold to another company, called The Fire That Rocked Entertainment Holdings, who planned to operate the chain in areas where CEC's formerly operated. This company would later be seized by CEC-ABS before it opened any locations.
Move away from family entertainment Edit
Later on, Loveboat Entertainment was renamed Loveboat Hospitality International after it's acquisition of Dairy Queen and it's subsidiaries, and it's revival of the Child World toy store chain, the latter project ironically being assisted by ABS.
Withdrawal of ABS support Edit
In early August, Kabushiki Gaisha ABS discovered that the standards set for Child World were at a "shockingly" low point. Its particular concerns included:
- Turning their mascot, Peter Panda, into a begging and shouty salesman, compared by the company to Crazy Gideon (the nickname given to the owner of the now-closed "Crazy Gideon's" discount clearance store in Los Angeles)
- Deliberately making their stores appear run-down, to possibly unappealing qualities, and
- Setting bad prices, with Kenji Yukimura stating that "Child World may be a discount retailer at its core, but they are taking it too literally, as they set prices to such a low point that they have no hope of making a profit".
Kabushiki Gaisha ABS warned Loveboat to reverse these "bad decisions" or face the withdrawal of all support provided by the company. After refusing to comply, ABS would break their ties with Loveboat, and in the process, go on to form an alliance with KB Toys just before the shutdown of Child World. Loveboat's flagship restaurant brand, Dairy Queen, was bought out entirely by KKABS as another deal-breaking manoeuvre.
Bankruptcy and seizure by ABS Edit
After multiple failed attempts in the family entertainment business, combined with the extremely-short-lived and horrifically-mismanaged Child World revival, Loveboat was left with a bad reputation that crippled their image for both stakeholders and customers alike. With no way to reverse the damage done to themselves, and after multiple offers to investors were rejected, Loveboat closed down after filing for chapter 7 bankruptcy.
Child World was immediately shut down. Two days afterwards, The Fire That Rocked Entertainment (Loveboat Entertainment's indirect successor) and its unopened Showbiz Pizza chain was once again acquired and rebranded by CEC-ABS Entertainment, with all of their then-under-construction locations becoming Chuck E. Cheese's locations. All seven of these were opened by mid-September.
Loveboat's franchised CEC locations were soon bought out entirely by CEC-ABS, who assumed full ownership and operation of said locations.