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Sega Ikebukuro GiGO closes

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by Ted618, Sep 21, 2021.

  1. Ted618

    Ted618

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    Yesterday, Tokyo lost another iconic game centre originally opened by Sega - Ikebukuro GiGO. The 8/9 storey amusement tower had been open for over 28 years, and was the second of the small "GiGO" (Gimmick GOd - yes, really) chain of urban entertainment centres.

    [​IMG]

    Alongside the likes of Tokyo Joypolis and the multiple Sega Akihabaras elsewhere in the capital, it was one of the venues most synonymous with the company and arcade culture for many years - its legacy can be best seen in its association with player scenes for various games like Virtua Fighter, as well as its known reputation as a location test hotspot. Multiple games even specifically credited it in the special thanks.

    [​IMG]

    For what it's worth, this closure was supposedly not directly because of COVID losses/restructuring - the landlords of the building, which has stayed the same structurally for some 30+ years, essentially forced GiGO's management out, desiring to renovate the entire site. And some cryptic hints have been dropped about it returning one day... just a shame that we had to lose it so soon after losing one of the five Akiba sites too.
     
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  2. Agobue

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    https://www.nme.com/news/gaming-new...closes-as-fans-gather-to-pay-respects-3052486
     
  3. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    It is unfortunate,

    but

    realistically nobody outside of Japan really knew of its existence until a few years ago. It may have been there 28 years, and obviously if you know what Sega's arcade operations look like, it's a big deal, but until Sega Retro came along... nobody did (I should know - I made the page!). By my calculations, the first 24 of those years went by without outsider knowledge.

    In fact if Sega Retro hadn't existed I'd put money on this not being a news story (in the West at least). So in a weird way this is a celebration of how great we are!



    Then again our efforts get everywhere these days.
     
  4. Ted618

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    I don't know about that - the bigger, more visible branches in Tokyo (Joypolis, Club Sega, GiGO), although often lumped in all together, have always been quite well known overseas. They've attracted both tourists and mainstream coverage for years, as well as interest from your average fan.* You can certainly make that case for the vast majority of Sega's hundreds of game centres there, but even as far back as the 1990s you've got examples of Western magazines giving Ikebukuro GiGO in particular namechecks.

    *a consistent thing I've been seeing in the wake of this closure is people mistaking GiGO for a Club Sega, often specifically alluding to the chain's Yakuza appearances - so it's arguable that series did a lot more for those places' current state in our consciousness.
     
  5. Ted618

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    It apparently is - right across the road from the old building, which is currently under construction

    [​IMG]

    This one's smaller, but is essentially bringing the location back to its roots (when first opened, GiGO's video games were only located in the basement - the upper floors were generally all prize games and others). And by the sounds of promotional material, this is the first "volume" of three, so I imagine it will be much like Akihabara, with multiple venues.
     
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  6. biggestsonicfan

    biggestsonicfan

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    I hope they didn't have to move all their machines to some warehouse before this acquisition went down, moving the machines next door would have been easy, lol.
     
  7. Jason

    Jason

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  8. Ted618

    Ted618

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    *"arcade presence" as in physical game center locations - the UFO Catchers and big recent titles like Chunithm NEW, Initial D The Arcade, and the upcoming Eiketsu Taisen continue to make money for them, so contrary to what some western sources have been claiming, we'll see Sega arcade games for some time to come yet.

    It's a shame that those facilities are being rebranded, but I'd say this is better than most of them closing altogether, which is what Sega claimed would have happened if they didn't sell. However it is worth noting that Joypolis currently remains under another company, and am-net, a reputable Japanese source, have also been putting out some pretty intriguing tweets on this matter

    The renaming to "GiGO" is an odd choice, as that's a brand Sega themselves came up with in the first place during 1992. But back then it was reserved for their most high-profile urban locations, e.g. Roppongi GiGO, which had a Vegas-style casino and karaoke, or Shibuya GiGO, which was designed primarily for women.

    Though as that article notes, Genda have changed the word's meaning - before, it was a portmanteau of Gimmick and God, whereas now it stands for "Get into the Gaming Oasis".
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2022
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