Fredzone

SEGA leaves the arcade business for good, the end of an era

This is the conclusion of a movement launched a little over a year ago: after having sold most of the operating rights for its arcades to the Japanese group GiGO, SEGA goes permanently withdraw his name from the business. Thus, the last arcade rooms bearing the glorious blue logo of SEGA will simply be redesigned as GiGO rooms, a decision heavy in symbolism for lovers of Japanese video games.

50 years of good and loyal service

The GiGO group thus buys back the 15% share of shares that were still in the hands of SEGA, thus formalizing its total control over its arcade business, which has been in existence for almost 50 years. Difficult to thrive in such an environment between the health crisis which logically undermines the entertainment rooms of the genre, but also the changing tastes of the new generations, less inclined towards the old-fashioned arcade game. Another harbinger, last year saw the closure of Sega Akihabara Building 2, the iconic arcade in southern Akihabara, the Tokyo capital’s electrically otaku district.

So obviously, this should not be seen as a total withdrawal of SEGA from the arcade game business itself. If the management of the rooms is no longer part of the plans of the Japanese publisher, the latter will continue (we hope?) to produce new terminals, whether new episodes for its series of rhythm games Maimai and Chunithmor even other major shows like Initial D The Arcade. And of course, the machines pachinko and others pachislot and their millions of earthy and noisy marbles always make the best of SEGA Sammy’s financial statements.

One piece in the machine

It was in smoke-filled halls that the history of SEGA, aka Service Games—first with slot machines, then in electro-mechanical gaming before launching headlong into the booming gaming market video at the end of the 70s. We know what happened next: the marvels of the illustrious Yu Suzuki (Outrun, Hang-On), the legacy of the SEGA AM2 studio (Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA), the uninterrupted creation of new genres (World Club Champion Soccer and his collectible cards)… Forever the ambassador of Japanese coin-op.

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