With the COVID-19 pandemic having a massive impact on any business that allows for the gathering of people, Sega’s arcade and amusement facilities businesses have been hit especially hard.
This has led to Sega Sammy, the company that owns Sega, announcing that it will sell the majority of its shares in its Sega Entertainment division to Japanese amusement rental business Genda Inc. after business in its arcades “declined remarkably” and resulted in “a significant loss” as reported by Famitsu.
The deal will see 85.1% of Sega’s arcade and amusement center business in Japan sold, with the remaining 14.9% of the shares being kept by Sega Sammy. This won’t affect the Sega video game division, but it will see some of the arcade development staff move over to the console business side of Sega.
Genda’s deal will see it purchase amusement machines, associated prizes, and items from Sega in the business transfer, while Sega itself will continue to manufacture and sell arcade units.
Arcades will also retain Sega branding. Sega Sammy will reveal in detail the “extraordinary losses” that the company recorded during the Q1 fiscal period when it shares its quarterly earnings with investors this week.
One big casualty due to the downturn in business was the iconic Sega Akihabara Building 2 arcade, which closed its doors in September. Opened in 2003, the arcade was one of the landmarks of the Akihabara district and became a popular video game tourist destination for fans from around the world.
Sega’s video game division is still producing titles, with Yakuza: Like a Dragon proving to be a big hit with critics around the world. In GameSpot’s Yakuza: Like a Dragon review, we scored it a 9/10. Critic Michael Higham said that the game “is a passing of the torch, and a fantastic entry in a beloved franchise that proves that it’s in good hands with Kasuga Ichiban.”