As much as I would like to share some more good Sega-related news, there’s been another unfortunate (and unexpected) bit of bad news. The news is regarding one of the company’s most beloved landmarks in Japan. Sega Akihabara Building 2, which was established in 2003 and located in one of the country’s prime spots. It’s well known for video game and anime fans to congregate, and it will be closing its doors for good at the end of the month.
Visitors began sharing photos of the signposted above, which translates to the following according to SoraNews24.
“Notice of closure
Thank you for your continued patronage. We are sorry to announce that this branch, Sega Akihabara Building 2, will be closing.
Our last day of operations will be Sunday, August 30.
The entire staff wishes to express, from the bottom of our hearts, our sincere gratitude at the loving support you have given our establishment for so many years.”
Akihabara 2 is one of three Sega arcade centers found within the Akihabara district. The first of these centers opened in November of 1992 just as Sega Technical Institute finished up the legendary Sonic the Hedgehog 2 across the ocean. Akihabara 2 overlooked the Manseibashi Bridge and Kandagawa River. This made it the perfect spot to advertise upcoming video games and anime-related media in a district that’s already enamored with technology.
Some food for thought: The original name of the first building translates to Hi-Tech Land Sega Shintoku. The last entry in the short-lived Alex Kidd series, “Alex Kidd in High Tech World”, sees the titular character making his way to a new arcade center that just opened up somewhere in town. The game was released in July of 1987 in Japan. Is it mere coincidence that Sega’s biggest arcade center would share a similar name…or did this ill-fated mascot platforming series pull off some wicked foreshadowing before biting the dust?
While there isn’t a concrete reason for the closure, it’s painfully obvious that Japan’s declining arcade business coupled with the global pandemic has something to do with it. Japan lost one other arcade landmark just one year ago due to supposed difficulties regarding the landlord. It’s safe to say that business was declining even before the challenges brought on by COVID-19. With no guarantee that our world will be returning to normal any time soon, it’s an unfortunate yet completely understandable move.
I’ve said this once, and I’ll say it again- if you find an arcade center or even just a solitary cabinet hanging out somewhere…pop a quarter in and soak in the scan-lines. Considering that older machines are facing a problem with failing, irreplaceable hardware as well as the fall in business. Setbacks and closures are only being expedited by the Coronavirus. We need to savor every last moment at this point. Farewell, Akihabara 2.