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SEGA leaves Japanese arcade market after 50 years

After more than 50 years in the Japanese arcade market, SEGA has announced that it will be leaving the industry soon. The publisher will sell the remaining 14.9% of shares it owns in the Sega Entertainment division, which runs arcade centers across the eastern country. The buyer will be the rental company Genda Inc.

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Genda bought 85.1% of Sega Entertainment's shares for the first time in 2020. At the time, SEGA cited the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic as the reason it decided to sell its market share.

SEGA arcade centers will disappear from Japan (Image: Reproduction/Wikimedia Commons/Fallschirmjäger)

The impact of the pandemic also led to the closure of the famous SEGA arcade in Akihabara in September 2020. Upon completion of the sale, the Sega Entertainment division will be renamed to Genda GiGO Entertainment. All SEGA game centers across the country will be rebranded to 'GiGO'.

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SEGA opened the first arcade centers in the late 1960s, including Joypolis Amusement Parks and Club SEGA Arcades. Commenting on the purchase, the president of Genda GiGO, Hisashi Kataoka, stated that he "desires to quench people's thirst for real entertainment." “To express our gratitude for SEGA's 56-year history and our desire to be an oasis,” he said.

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From the west, several SEGA arcade centers can be visited within the Yakuza franchise games. With a real reproduction of Japan, the games feature arcade emulations with Virtua Fighter 5 , Space Harrier and other titles.

Read the article on Canaltech.

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