After 50 years, Sega is finally bowing out of the arcade center business


No More Credits

It seems as if every few months or so, I’ve written an article about a Sega arcade closing, moving, selling up, and even, on rare occasions, reopening. But today brings a moment of genuine finality. After five decades of facilitating awesome releases and delightful social gatherings, Sega is bowing out of the arcade scene for good.

In a statement issued this morning, (and translated by The Tojo Dojo) Sega Sammy announced its intention to sell the remaining 14.9% shares it holds within its arcade division to Genda Inc, the same holding corporation that purchased the majority of Sega’s arcade shares back in 2020. Effectively, this move will see Sega Sammy leave the arcade center business entirely, with its remaining locations no longer even utilizing “Sega” branding.

sega arcade gigo genda

The remaining centers will see themselves rebranded as “GiGo Entertainment”. A statement from GiGO chairman Hisashi Kataoka (as reported by VGC) iterates the company’s intention to rebrand Sega’s key Tokyo locations of Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Shinjuku, before rolling out the new branding nationwide. In regards to manufacture, Sega Entertainment is expected to continue to produce units of its current games for worldwide distribution — but as an actual arcade center owner and host, it’s finally Game Over.

While it’s difficult not to feel sadness at this true “end of an era” scenario. Sega’s centers have legitimately brought millions of hours of entertainment to millions of players worldwide. Given the increasingly redundant nature of the arcade scene, it’s a testament to Sega’s steadfastness that it has been able to hold on into 2022. There’s no denying that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will have played a hand in today’s decision but, unfortunately, the writing has been on the wall for some time.

So long, and thanks for the memories.