It is fair to say that the arcades of old have long been dead in the west. Especially in the US where they once were prominent. Since the ’80s and early ’90s, arcades have not been a big staple like they once were. But the iconic and Legendary arcades of SEGA Japan are known across pop culture everywhere. Whether referenced in their own games or in anime; these arcades are popular otaku hot spots. Especially with their famous arcades in the Shibuya and Akihabara prefectures. But those days are long gone, as SEGA sells off arcade business after more than 50 years.
Now this news doesn’t come as much of a shock to many fans. And this is due to the effects of the ongoing global pandemic. Many industries and styles of restaurants have felt the ever-growing effects of quarantine and lockdowns due to Covid. Back in 2021, SEGA was already starting to separate its former SAMMY Arcade and pachinko parlors into its own separate entity and division. Giving it distance from its now primary gaming software side.
And while it is easy to understand that trying to continue investing in an industry that relies on in-person interaction and support; when there are nowhere near as many people out right now is hard. It doesn’t change the fact that it is a massive cultural blow.
Their presence alone has been one of the biggest for arcades. With classics like Space Harrier, Daytona USA, Virtua Fighter Cabinets, House of the Dead, and others; seeing the loss is very to tell. Now while the arcades themselves will still be open, they will be under a different name and company. And it just won’t be the same.
Those who had the chance to experience the SEGA arcades in Japan will have a truly unique memory forever. SEGA sells off arcade were words no one was wanting to hear, especially in 2022.
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