Sega Leaves Arcade Business For Good, Arcades To Be Rethemed GiGO

Different things will spring to mind when gamers hear the name Sega. Sonic, Yakuza, maybe even a particular console like the Mega Drive or the Dreamcast. However, long before Sega plucked up the courage to dive headfirst into the console game and go head-to-head with Nintendo, it made its money through arcades, most of which were situated in Japan. Today marks the end of an era in that regard as Sega has now sold all of its remaining shares and is officially leaving the arcade business.

Sega Sammy revealed it will be selling the remaining 14.9% of its shares to Geneda Inc, thus leaving the arcade business entirely, a process it started doing at the tail end of 2020. Sega Sammy sold 85.1% of its arcade shares to Genda back then, the pandemic seemingly hitting what was already a struggling business incredibly hard since no one would have been visiting its arcades for almost the entire year.

The good news is the arcades won't be closing down. They will be gradually changed and rebranded, though. The Sega branding will be removed from arcades across Japan and replaced with Geneda's GiGo Entertainment brand. It marks the end of an era in Japan as it will be the first time since the late 1960s that the country hasn't boasted any Sega branded arcades.

The writing has been on the wall for a while when it comes to Sega getting out of the arcade business, and not just because it sold off the bulk of its shares over a year ago. The company's iconic Ikebukuro arcade closed its doors for the final time last year as those who frequented it lined the streets to say goodbye. A new Sega arcade opening right across the street shortly after gave fans a glimmer of hope, but sadly, Sega has now opted to leave the business entirely.

Speaking of Ikebukuro, Genda GiGO chairman Hisashi Kataoka has revealed it will be one of the first to lose its Sega branding. Even though Sega will no longer run its own arcades in Japan, there has been no mention of whether it will stop creating arcade cabinets, games, and machines. That will presumably continue and they'll be able to be found and played in GiGO's arcades moving forward.

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