Inaccessible to many of them, the Japanese arcade world is also fantasized by many Western gamers. This is the reason for the repeated closings of mythical rooms, especially at a time when access to Japan is impossible for tourists, especially the keys.
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As we informed you yesterday, GENDA SEGA Entertainment announced yesterday that the legendary SEGA Ikebukuro GiGO room would be closed in September after 28 years of activity. Unlike the recent closure of other theaters, such as the famous SEGA Akihabara 2 a year ago, this end of activity is not linked to the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather to a non-renewed lease through the owner’s walls.
Despite this particular case, the general situation prompted a Belgian internet user to question the President of GENDA SEGA Entertainment, Nao Kataoka, on Twitter. The latter actually asked him if the fact of not renewing the leases of SEGA cinemas was now part of his company’s strategy to address the crisis associated with the pandemic. To which Nao Kataoka replied, trying to reassure her:
After this crisis, I firmly believe that Arcade’s revenues will recover to previous levels. So I’m not thinking of closing locations at all. I hope to be able to renew a contract when it expires. In this case, we were unable to extend it due to the owner’s intent. I love this business. https://t.co/0Ti9dDAyb8
–Nao Kataoka / Chairman of GENDA (@GENDA_Kataoka) August 3, 2021
I firmly believe that Arcade revenues will return to pre-crisis levels after the crisis. So I don’t think about closing rooms at all. I hope I can renew the contracts when they expire. But in this particular case we couldn’t extend it due to the plans of the owner of the site. I like this area.
Hold, but how long?
As a result, GENDA SEGA Entertainment does not intend to close any other theaters except in exceptional circumstances such as those described below. At least not officially. Westerners intending to return to Japan once the Japanese government reopens its borders will surely be able to visit some of the famous SEGA theaters that have not yet closed their doors. If one day Japan lets tourists come back, of course …
As explained above, at the end of last year, SEGA Sammy resigned his position as Arcade Room Manager (severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic) by selling 85% of the shares in SEGA Entertainment GENDA Inc.This sale resulted in GENDA SEGA Entertainment, which is today operates all Japanese SEGA theaters. The latter has retained the SEGA branding, nothing changed for normal visitors at first.
What do you think of Nao Kataoka’s statements? Do you trust him Do you think other famous venues will close in the coming months? Are you planning to visit Japan when the country reopens its borders? Let us know what you think in the comments below.