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SEGA Leaving the Arcade Business After 56 Years

Photo Credit: VWPICS / Nano Calvo /Universal Images Group / Getty Images
Photo Credit: VWPICS / Nano Calvo /Universal Images Group / Getty Images

SEGA is world-renowned for its arcade-style games. But after 56 years, the company is pulling out of the Japanese arcade market and selling the remainder of its shares to Genda Inc.

Two women walking out of a SEGA Entertainment arcade
Photo Credit: Budrul Chukrut / SOPA Images / LightRocket / Getty Images

In 2020, the company sold 85 percent of its SEGA Entertainment shares to Genda Inc., a transaction fueled by lockdowns and closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic’s persistence, along with a continued consumer shift to at-home gaming, prompted the company to sell off the remainder of its arcade shares.

Genda Inc. is a Tokyo-based arcade company operating under the GiGO brand. As a result of the sale, all SEGA-brand arcades will be rebranded under the Glenda GiGO Entertainment name.

Genda Inc.’s chairman, Hisashi Kataoka, wrote on Twitter:

“We will be changing the names of all SEGA arcades nationwide to GiGO. We thank SEGA for its 56 years of history in the arcade industry, and hope to be an oasis that quenches people’s thirst for real entertainment. GiGO is an acronym for Get into the Gaming Oasis!

“The first arcades to be renamed will be in Ikebukuro, Akihabara and Shinjuku, followed by arcades in the rest of the country.”

Teenage boy playing a SEGA Dreamcast console
Photo Credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO / AFP / Getty Images

While arcades have experienced a decline in popularity in the Western world, they’ve remained strong in Japan, with a history dating back to the 1960s and ’70s. In 1966, SEGA released its first coin-operated game, Periscope.

More from us: Sealed In Concrete — Atari’s Video Game Graveyard Held 700,000 Cartridges

It should be noted that SEGA isn’t going out of business, as SEGA Entertainment is a different division within the company structure and only manufactures machines and runs its arcade locations. As such, it will continue producing console games, the most popular of which fall under the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise.

Clare Fitzgerald

Clare Fitzgerald is a Writer and Editor with eight years of experience in the online content sphere. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from King’s University College at Western University, her portfolio includes coverage of digital media, current affairs, history and true crime.

Among her accomplishments are being the Founder of the true crime blog, Stories of the Unsolved, which garners between 400,000 and 500,000 views annually, and a contributor for John Lordan’s Seriously Mysterious podcast. Prior to its hiatus, she also served as the Head of Content for UK YouTube publication, TenEighty Magazine.

In her spare time, Clare likes to play Pokemon GO and re-watch Heartland over and over (and over) again. She’ll also rave about her three Maltese dogs whenever she gets the chance.

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