Arcade games have put up a surprisingly good fight against game consoles and smartphones in Japan, but something that they’re struggling to cope with is a virus that’s keeping businesses closed.
The Japan Times has learned that Sega is selling all of its arcade centers to a game rental firm called Genda for an undisclosed sum due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has crippled their foot traffic and earnings. There are around 200 locations involved in the deal.
“The Japanese company will sell an 85.1% stake in Sega Entertainment Co., a subsidiary that operates amusement facilities, to Genda Inc., an arcade game rental firm,” the publication reported.
“Sega Entertainment is the third-largest amusement facility operator in Japan. The sale comes as its game arcades have been struggling due to closures caused by the pandemic.”
While there’s no indication of any arcade centers being shut down, the financial losses don’t bode well for an industry that’s practically extinct in the rest of the world. It would be a shame to see arcades disappear like they did in the U.S.
The good news is that Sega will continue to support the industry by keeping its arcade game production team alive. The company confirmed this in a recent interview with Famitsu, noting that its amusement machine development business wasn’t going anywhere.
“The Group will continue to optimize development resources according to the market environment of each business, such as by shifting some of the development personnel for amusement equipment to the consumer business, which is a growth field,” a Sega Sammy representative said.