After all, “playing it loud” was Nintendo’s thing.

Back in its salad days, Sega was known for having a bit of an edge to its video game marketing. The company has lost a lot of that swagger over the past 15 years, though, since it’s hard not to learn some humility when your industry rivals pummel you so badly you have to scrap your console hardware division entirely.

But there’s a little bit of good-natured attitude still left at Sega, even if it’s not as out in the open as it used to be. While Sega is out of the hardware business, it still manages a chain of arcades in Japan, with some of its most popular machines being UFO catchers, as crane games are called in Japan. If you win a prize, the helpful staff will give you a plastic bag to carry it home in, but Japanese Twitter user @raika0510 noticed something strange about the bag’s design.

Above and below the Sega logo are strings of circles and squares. There’s no set pattern to them, so @raika0510 began to suspect they might have some sort of deeper meaning beyond simple aesthetics, and it turned out he was right. They’re actually lines of Morse code, just with squares replacing the more commonly used dashes, and after decoding, the message is:

UFO catcher is not
a vending machine.

After @raika0510 shared his finding, Sega confirmed its accuracy through the company’s official Twitter account.

▼ “Looks like someone figured it out…”

Sega went on to explain that the message on the bags (which have been in use since 2014) was the idea of a playful-hearted graphic designer.

“Unlike a vending machine, where you know exactly what’s going to happen, with a UFO catcher there’s the suspense of not knowing whether or not you’re going to be able to win the prize, and the designer wanted people to enjoy that special kind of excitement.”

So next time you hear someone moping about how he totally should have won that stuffed animal or anime figure, you can remind him that Sega is very upfront about there being no guarantees in the UFO catcher world.

Source: IT Media

Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’d like to remind everyone that Neo Geo MVS cabinets are also not vending machines.