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NEWS: GiGO (Formerly Sega) Akihabara Arcade #4 to Close on September 25




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Tempest
I Run this place.
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Joined: 29 Dec 2001
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 12:15 pm Reply with quote
It's weird to see these iconic establishments disappear from Akihabara. Japan was the one place where arcades were still surviving (and huge arcades), but Covid 19 seems to have put a serious dent in this business. Not only the long closures during the "quasi-state-of-emergency" but also the huge shift in workplace culture. With WFH becoming more and more common in Japan (something that actually started before Covid), fewer and fewer people hit these arcades on the way home after work. Add to that the fact that there hasn't been any tourists in Tokyo for two years, and none of this is surprising...

... but it's still weird to walk down a certain street and not see the expected establishments

(add to that, I noticed that Hobby Paradise was closed on Wednesday night. Sad )
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PipimiOden



Joined: 26 Mar 2022
Posts: 188
Location: Pennsylvania, USA
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 1:53 pm Reply with quote
*sigh* gonna miss that place despite never going there. At this point the GAMERS store is one of the last Akihabara staples left there (despite it technically not being the original store from the 90s and early 2000s), but i'm not sure how long that will last.
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Amiantos



Joined: 30 Jan 2008
Posts: 344
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 1:58 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
It's weird to see these iconic establishments disappear from Akihabara. Japan was the one place where arcades were still surviving (and huge arcades), but Covid 19 seems to have put a serious dent in this business. Not only the long closures during the "quasi-state-of-emergency" but also the huge shift in workplace culture. With WFH becoming more and more common in Japan (something that actually started before Covid), fewer and fewer people hit these arcades on the way home after work. Add to that the fact that there hasn't been any tourists in Tokyo for two years, and none of this is surprising...

... but it's still weird to walk down a certain street and not see the expected establishments

(add to that, I noticed that Hobby Paradise was closed on Wednesday night. Sad )

Hobby Paradise has closed up for changes a good few times since their relocation. Seen them open up at their current location to close for like a month and then re-open. Then them closing to rearrange for a day or two and reopen without any issue after that.
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Thespacemaster



Joined: 03 Mar 2012
Posts: 1137
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 2:05 pm Reply with quote
at this rate i will never be able to see these places before il ever get a chance to go there and try them out.

Why is japan taking so long to reopen?
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Jeff Bauersfeld



Joined: 07 Dec 2015
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 2:42 pm Reply with quote
Thespacemaster wrote:
at this rate i will never be able to see these places before il ever get a chance to go there and try them out.

Why is japan taking so long to reopen?


The current 200K+ Covid infection rate certainly isn't helping.
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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 383
Location: QBN, NSW, Australia
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 7:27 pm Reply with quote
Jeff Bauersfeld wrote:
Thespacemaster wrote:
at this rate i will never be able to see these places before il ever get a chance to go there and try them out.

Why is japan taking so long to reopen?


The current 200K+ Covid infection rate certainly isn't helping.

I'm going to suggest here that lack of reopening the borders to normal tourism (and not the current woeful guided tours only) had absolutely nothing to do with the amount of covid cases in Japan.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
Posts: 3746
PostPosted: Fri Aug 12, 2022 10:23 pm Reply with quote
Amiantos wrote:
Tempest wrote:


... but it's still weird to walk down a certain street and not see the expected establishments

(add to that, I noticed that Hobby Paradise was closed on Wednesday night. Sad )

Hobby Paradise has closed up for changes a good few times since their relocation. Seen them open up at their current location to close for like a month and then re-open. Then them closing to rearrange for a day or two and reopen without any issue after that.


I'm not even going to recognize the place the next time I'm there at this rate -_-
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mewpudding101
Industry Insider


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 2209
Location: Tokyo, Japan
PostPosted: Sat Aug 13, 2022 2:47 am Reply with quote
To be honest, every place that relied on foreign tourists here has all but disappeared.
Akihabara is currently less known for its otaku wares and more for the many barely legal girls bars and massage parlors.
One Piece Tower and the Sailor Moon restaurant disappeared right at the beginning, while Shinjuku has lost lots of its bars and restaurants. Harajuku building owners didn’t lower the rent, so that place has tons of empty store fronts now.
It’s sad. I hope Tokyo can jump back a bit.
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omiya



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 1838
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
PostPosted: Sun Aug 14, 2022 5:19 am Reply with quote
Greboruri wrote:
I'm going to suggest here that lack of reopening the borders to normal tourism (and not the current woeful guided tours only) had absolutely nothing to do with the amount of covid cases in Japan.


Having been only a tourist and not a resident or employee, it has been a long wait to re-enter Japan. Currently I am waiting on a tourist visa for entry having obtained an ERFS certificate with a "guided tour" - namely, I am paying for my regular travel agent in Japan to provide one of their staff as a guide for tour to pre-determined locations in a submitted itinerary including secondhand stores and Animelo Summer Live concerts.

What I imagine the Japanese government did was to try to avoid any appearance of tourists contributing to COVID-19 outbreaks or pressures on their health system. It was easier for the Japanese government to specify guided tours to pre-determined locations than to expect tourists on their own to carry on the same level of preventative measures that their citizens have been carrying out.
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enurtsol



Joined: 01 May 2007
Posts: 14813
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2022 4:00 pm Reply with quote
The writing's been on the wall:

Quote:
According to a police white paper, the number of gaming arcades has been decreasing since 1986, from where there used to be 26,573 of them across Japan to now only 4,022, as of 2019. This number has declined even more since the Covid pandemic, as many businesses that rely on physical interaction have closed down. If you’ve played the famous Yakuza video games series, you’re probably familiar with the Shinjuku Playland Carnival arcade in Tokyo’s Kabukicho entertainment district. However, that too closed down in November 2020.

The numbers released by the Japan Amusement Industry Association (JAIA) in February 2021 indicate that the size of the market for arcades, valued at 705.5 billion yen in 2019, had in fact grown by 3.5% from 2018. While the market had actually been shrinking in size from 2011 to 2014, dropping to 588.3 billion yen in 2014, it started to see steady growth from 2015 to 2019.A contributing factor to the rising popularity of arcades before 2020 was the changes to the Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement and Entertainment Businesses – typically known as the “fueiho” in Japanese – in 2015, which made it so that children below 16 years age would be allowed into arcades up to 10 PM when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

This is not to say, however, that traditional video game arcades were doing particularly well before the pandemic. Though the arcade business as a whole was doing better, a closer look at the numbers indicates that a lot of this growth had come from “prize games” such as crane game machines being installed in venues that are not arcades: It is not uncommon to see such machines in department stores, restaurants, and assorted amusement facilities, and these are counted as part of the market.

Prize games (which are 89.46% crane games) accounted for a whopping 55.3% of the arcade game market in 2019, with second place going to medal games at 29%. Video games, trailing in third place, accounted for only 11.7% of the market in that year.
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