SEGA sold a large majority of the shares of its subsidiary which manages arcades in Japan at the end of last year. If these rooms have kept the SEGA branding, they are now under the control of GENDA SEGA Entertainment. And if the boss of this new company wants to be confident about the future of Arcade in Japan, he obviously needs a boost.
GENDA SEGA Entertainment has chosen to use crowdfunding to raise funds for the development of its Arcades in Japan. To achieve this, Nao Kataoka’s company decided to go through the Japanese site Funds. The campaign, titled “Game Center Fund # 1“and launched a few days ago, has made it possible to reach a first objective of 50 million yen (approximately 377,000 euros).
And according to the Funds site, this fundraising will be done in several stages. In total, GENDA SEGA Entertainment wishes to obtain 100 million yen, or approximately 750,000 euros. And unlike what happens on a platform like Kickstarter, this is not about collecting goodies or games.
Indeed, these are real investments on the part of the public. Depending on the future financial results of GENDA SEGA Entertainment, the “backers” will receive dividends. These will be paid back every quarter and the Japanese firm estimates annual returns of 2.5%. According to the Funds site, this crowdfunding campaign should last until the end of September 2024.
GENDA SEGA Entertainment explains using this system to “diversify its financing methods“as well as to make themselves known. The group also insists that pre-COVID 19, the Arcade sector has experienced five successive years of growth (2014-2019). And he also specifies that since the start of the year, the weekly revenue generated by UFO Catchers has steadily exceeded that of the last pre-coronavirus year.
Arcade made in SEGA, that’s not what it used to be
And this is where this situation is likely to cringe among Arcade fans. Indeed, GENDA SEGA Entertainment insists that the pre-COVID growth was driven by these same UFO Catchers. The company that operates the SEGA Arcades in Japan says it is deploying “actively“such machines in all its rooms.
In short, the growth of the Arcade in Japan depends for GENDA SEGA Entertainment through “prize games.” Nao Kataoka recently welcomed the opening of a room entirely dedicated to them.
The group also recently teased the opening of a room intended to replace the famous SEGA Ikebukuro GiGO Arcade which recently closed. It is therefore legitimate to wonder if this new location will only offer UFO Catchers. Or if it will also offer traditional Arcade games.
Finally, let us specify that GENDA SEGA Entertainment manages around 200 SEGA theaters in the archipelago. It is the third company specializing in Arcade in Japan, behind Bandai Namco Amusement and AEON Fantasy.
What do you think of this situation? Do you believe that traditional Arcade machines still have a place in Japanese theaters? What image does this call for crowdfunding reflect in your opinion? Tell us all in the comments below.