In another death knell to the bygone video game arcade era, London’s Namco Funscape has permanently closed.
There was no official announcement of closure from the arcade operator’s social media account or its website – which still lists six other chains in the UK.
As spotted by Koch Media marketing manager Namer Merli yesterday (August 12), and shared via Twitter, a notice on the venue’s door reads:
“NAMCO Funscape County Hall, London has closed.”
“After 25 years, London’s leading family and corporate entertainment venue, within the iconic County Hall building has closed.”
“We’re heartbroken to have closed our landmark site that has been entertaining families, friends, and corporate groups from all over the world for 25 years.”
NAMCO Funscape London arcade has permanently closed today, 25 years after its initial opening.
It recent years it became a shadow of its former self and a crass tourist trap, but still sad to see it closing its doors. I made many good memories there 😢 pic.twitter.com/YKsPSNiefV
— Namer Merli (@AmetDj) August 12, 2021
Situated in County Hall on the Southbank, close to the London Eye, Namco Funscape had been a popular arcade destination, once a rival to London Trocadero Funland, which closed back in 2011.
Of course, the arcade sector has been in decline for many years, and Merli notes how the County Hall venue had become “a shadow of its former self”. It is nonetheless a heavy blow to another part of gaming history.
Nonetheless, a few video game arcades continue to exist, include Heart of Gaming in Croydon, which contain arcade cabinets that once belonged in Trocadero Funland, so the remaining cabinets at Namco Funscape may yet find a home to preserve the memory for arcade lovers.
While the pandemic has only hastened the demise of the arcade, it appears that Namco Funscape London’s closure was known from an earlier report from Arcade Heroes, which said that it was being “forced to vacate its site due to the redevelopment of part of the London County Hall site that it occupies”.
Elsewhere, a gamer shared how his Gwent cards from The Witcher miraculously saved his life from a stabbing.