Sega GiGO Akihabara location to become Bandai Namco Arcade

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This past September, we were sad to report that the massive Sega GiGO Building 4 arcade located in the Tokyo borough of Akihabara was closing after being a staple spot for 11 years. It seemed like an unfortunate victim of Japan’s shrinking arcade market. However, this past January, it was reported that the site would become a Bandai Namco Arcade in its place, set to open this March.

Thanks to Genki_JPN on Twitter, we now have a look at the building’s new facade.

While I was in Japan back in 2014, I paid a visit to the Sega GiGo location in Akihabara. However, I’d have difficulty accurately differentiating it from the other game centers I visited in the area. It was at the end of a two-week journey through the country, I was very tired, it was raining, and I was carrying around a backpack roughly the size and weight of a dairy cow. If I’m thinking of the right place, though, I played Kiki Kaikai, Typing of the Dead, F-Zero AX, and won an awesome chibi Naoto Shiragane figure in one attempt on one of the crane machines.

The fact that one arcade is being directly replaced with another is some comfort. The arcade industry has pretty much disappeared entirely in most areas (especially mine) in the past few decades here in North America. Going to Japan and being able to take a seat at a cabinet is a wonderful experience. However, it’s maybe worth noting that the Bandai Namco locations tend to lean heavier on crane machines. While those are fun, too, they’re not as satisfying as row upon row of new and classic games.

Still! The building is remaining an arcade, and that’s key. We’ll see Bandai Namco’s approach to the business when it opens in March 2023.

About The Author
Zoey Handley
Staff Writer - Zoey is a gaming gadabout. She got her start blogging with the community in 2018 and hit the front page soon after. Normally found exploring indie experiments and retro libraries, she does her best to remain chronically uncool.
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