It has been a year of ups and downs for the SEGA company. The revered video game entity is celebrating its sixtieth anniversary, giving away video games as part of its festivities, but on the other hand, it also took a heavy hit following the closure in August of the iconic arcade game center, the Sega-Akihabara Second Building, in Tokyo.
Now comes even sadder news, as SEGA has officially announced that it will completely withdraw from the business of managing arcade games. Subsidiary SEGA Entertainment, which operates 193 arcade halls across Japan, announced that it is selling 85.1% of its shares to Genda, a Tokyo-based arcade rental company.
The sale, which was made for an undisclosed price, comes after months of economic struggles for Japan's arcade industry, which has been hit by temporary closures and lower rates of customer traffic since the inception of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite recent improvements in the situation, SEGA's earnings in this area have fallen by 20 percent compared to previous periods, which is why negotiations with Genda began in July. The official change of operational functions will take place at the end of December of this year.
However, there is some hope for the most seasoned SEGA fans. First, although the company will no longer manage its own arcade, it will continue to produce and manufacture arcade machines for use in other companies' arcades. Additionally, Genda will retain the SEGA name for arcade arcade signage and branding. However, the change means the viability of individual locations is being reassessed, so fans will need to boost earnings from their closest hub if they don't want them to disappear.
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