It might be a much-needed catalyst for a declining scene
Arcades in America are little more than a distant memory. In Japan, they're faring better, but are still in decline. Namco Bandai is playing around with an idea that might help rejuvenate the relevancy of Japanese arcades.
Sankei Biz reports that Namco Bandai is considering ditching the pay-per-play model, and moving to a pay-per-time structure. Right now, one play costs approximately 100 yen ($1). Under the proposed format, arcade-goers would pay 500 yen ($5) to play for an hour.
Hopefully this model is implemented and catches on. It might be just the shake-up that this stagnant scene needs. It'd be really cool to see this global pastime back in the limelight.