Sega’s iconic Ikebukuro Gigo arcade in Tokyo closed for good on Monday, September 20, as hundreds of fans gathered to say goodbye.
According to Kotaku, a huge sign hung at the front of the store, which read: “Thank you for 28 years,” while staff wore t-shirts emblazoned with the same message.
A loudspeaker also played “Hotaru no Hikari” (The Light of the Firefly) – a tune commonly played in Japan when popular stores are closed.
The closure of the popular Sega arcade was initially announced last month. But while it came amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the arcade manager stressed that the reasons behind the closure are simple “unavoidable circumstances”.
“If it were in my power, I’d want to stay open forever at this location and greet the happy faces of our wonderful customers,” said the arcade manager during a rousing speech at the time of the arcade’s final closure. “Unfortunately, at this time, the way it turned out was, the arcade has closed.”
According to Famitsu, it’s a simple case of business – the lease on the iconic building had come to an end, and the building is now in need of renovating.
But as hundreds of gamers turned out to pay their respects, it just goes to show that the arcade was undoubtedly popular among fans.
Sega’s Ikebukuro Gigo has been a central focal point of the Tokyo gaming scene since it opened in 1993. Housing nine storeys of arcade games, it’s often been considered the best place to test out new arcade systems.
Now, it looks as though the Ikebukuro Gigo is just the latest casualty as Sega steps away from the arcade business – selling off more than 85% of its arcades in the last year alone.
Meanwhile, the next Nintendo Direct presentation is coming tomorrow and could feature updates on Metroid Dread, among others.