As the company celebrates its 60th anniversary, it says goodbye to one of its cornerstones.

It’s been a year of ups and downs for Sega. The venerable video game company is celebrating its 60th anniversary, giving away free games as part of the festivities, but on the other hand, it also found itself on the receiving end of a backlash after an insensitive remark about some of its most passionate fans, and in August the iconic Sega Akihabara Building 2 arcade in Tokyo closed down.

Now comes more sad news, as Sega has announced that it’s pulling out of the arcade management business entirely.

On Wednesday, Sega Entertainment, the subsidiary of parent company Sega Sammy Holdings which operates 193 video game arcades across Japan, announced that it is selling 85.1 percent of its stock to Genda, a Tokyo-based arcade amusement machine rental company. The sale, which was made for an undisclosed price, comes after months of economic struggles for the arcade industry in Japan, which has been battered by temporary closures and lower customer traffic rates since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

▼ Current arcade gaming gear: mask and gloves

Despite recent improvements, Sega Enterprise’s arcade earnings are down some 20 percent compared to their pre-corona levels, and negotiations with Genda began in July. The official changeover of operating duties will take place at the end of December.

There are some silver (or Sega-blue) linings to the clouds, though. First off, while Sega will no longer be managing its own arcades, it will still be producing and manufacturing arcade game machines for use in other companies’ arcades. In addition, Genda will be retaining the Sega name for the arcades’ signage and branding. However, the changeover means that individual locations are likely to have their viability reevaluated, so gamers who want to see their local branch stay in business would be advised to support it however they can, especially if Genda is staying true to their legacy and continuing to use Sega’s secret-message UFO catcher bags.

Sources: Sega Entertainment, Jiji via Jin, IT Media
Top image: Wikipedia/毒島みるく (edited by SoraNews24)
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