After 50 years, Sega arcades are officially set to disappear from Japan
Game centres are set to rebrand following the sale of shares, the company confirmed
After more than 50 years, Sega’s branding is set to disappear from Japanese arcades, it’s announced.
Sega Sammy announced on Friday that it would sell the remaining 14.9% of its Sega Entertainment division, which runs its game centres across Japan, to rental business Genda Inc.
Genda first purchased 85.1% of Sega Entertainment’s shares back in 2020. At the time, Sega Sammy cited uncertainty around the pandemic as the reason it had decided to sell.
The pandemic’s impact also led to the closure of Sega’s famous Akihabara arcade in September 2020.
Following the sale, Sega Entertainment will be fully renamed to Genda GiGO Entertainment, it’s been confirmed, and all Sega game centres nationwide will have their Sega branding changed to ‘GiGO’.
Sega opened the first of its Japanese game centres in the late 1960s, including Joypolis amusement parks and Club Sega arcades. It’s estimated that the company had just under 1,000 arcade sites in Japan at its peak in the late 90s.
Commenting on the news, Genda GiGO chairman Hisashi Kataoka said: “Sega stores across the country will be switching their store names to GiGO, to express our gratitude for Sega’s 56 years of history and our desire to be an oasis that quenches people’s thirst for real entertainment.
“We will start with Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Shinjuku. Then to the whole country.”
It’s worth noting that although Sega’s Entertainment business ran its arcade locations, the company manufactured and sold arcade machines themselves separately and will likely continue to do so.
Sega is known for some of the world’s most iconic arcade games including OutRun, Virtua Fighter, Daytona USA and more.
Arcades in Japan have reportedly been on a downward trend even before the Pandemic. According to a police white paper, in 2019 there were only 4,022 arcades across Japan, down from 26,573 in 1986.