Sega’s Four Point Arcade Revitalization Plan

By Spencer . November 6, 2009 . 2:46pm

image Arcade business is down. Way down, but Sega believes they can reactivate the market globally.


Sega outlines a revised arcade strategy on page 40 of their 2009 annual report. These bullet points are excepts from their four market reactivation initiatives.


  • SEGA is working to promote the uptake of the revenue-sharing model. Under this model, cabinets are sold to operators at low prices and content is provided without charge, while
    revenues from the use of the machines are shared by the center operators and SEGA. We will develop this model on the ALL.Net network service infrastructure, which links game machines over the Internet, makes possible networked gameplay, and activates player communities. This enables amusement center operators to introduce machines with a low initial investment and for SEGA to secure ongoing revenues through the replacement of content, without limiting revenues to the sale of the machines.


  • At SEGA, we are working to promote standardized cabinets, which make it possible to introduce new products (content) simply by changing specialized software.


  • While raising performance, it [RINGEDGE] offers a 30% reduction in costs in comparison with conventional products. On the other hand, RINGWIDE is a multi-purpose board for the development of a wide range of products, such as those used overseas, and offers economical pricing that will support its uptake through specification selection. 


    • Higher-end products that appeal to frequent players are too complicated for casual players and are not effective at drawing them to amusement centers. SEGA will work to reactivate the market by expanding the base of users through a broad product lineup that can meet these diversifying player needs.


    Sega also wants to expand overseas sales “through development that entails the localization of products sold in Japan to prices and specifications that meet local market needs.”


    Awesome, so more Sega arcade cabinets overseas, but other than Sega owned GameWorks chain where are they going to go?

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    • malek86

      I’m all for more arcade games. I sure hope Sega can revitalize the business (though it’s looking difficult right now).

    • Interesting. They’re probably not the only ones, but Cave offered the same “revenue-sharing” option with Deathsmiles 2. I wondered if game centers were taking them up on it; guess it must be an attractive option if Sega’s planning the same thing.

    • SEGA’s plans might work to revitalize a market used to the amusement center, but it really needs to make a concerted effort to get people talking about arcades again in the US.

      I figured I would be spending more time and money on arcades at this point, but I find myself struggling to even find one that isn’t outside city limits and actually has a decent selection of games and the GameWorks location near Gamestop HQ is getting worse in quality.

    • Mazen

      I visited the largest indoor theme park in the world Sega Republic in Dubai its the largest inside building area I’ve ever seen “there is a massive Sonic/Robotonic Roller coaster” also the theme park is frustratingly filled with people,
      there are posters on the wall saying Sega will open 7 more huge themeparks in the Middle East.

    • This is very promising. Sega seems to have a good concept for revitalizing arcades.

    • abasm

      It seems that, nowadays, arcades are relegated to rhythm and light gun games exclusively. My local laundromat has a couple of standard Neo-Geo cabinets with Metal Slug and Marvel vs Capcom. I think I’ve had more fun there than at any arcade in recent memory.

    • fuzaku2

      Second and fourth point sound pretty stupid. The idea of introducing “casual games” is an extremely dangerous one, since at least 90% of them end up just being bad games advertised to people who are unable to tell just how bad they are. Welcoming casual games means welcoming bad ones, and lots of them (compare: shovelware-syndrome of Wii and NDS). Even core games can be played casually and by casual players (they’ll probably suck at them, but this is their problem and they can work it out for themselves by lowering the difficulty level, aiming for survival instead of hi-score, competing with other casual/bad players etc). And even if you’re casual beyond any help, there’s always the UFO catcher left. Floor space in game centers is much more limited and valuable than shelf space in console game retail stores. I’d hate to see cabinets of classic games disappear in order to make room for these new casual ones.The idea of making cabinets more simple is another grave mistake. Making cabinets for multiple arcade boards will just make them look and work more like the game consoles everyone owns at home, so why should one bother going to the game center then? The NeoGeo MVS especially suffered from this outside of Japan, since people owning a home system just used the arcade version as a means to try out the new games, they would just buy the ones they liked for their NeoGeo at home. With the advent of online competition, arcade ports for home systems are now more capable of replacing game center visits than ever. So what arcades need these days is clearly the opposite: cabinets need to be more flashy, with multiple screens and more complex (or more intuitive, for that matter) controls. The rythm games gave arcades a period of revival because their controls were something your home consoles hadn’t. Gundam Senjou no Kizuna was a success because of its impressive simulation of a mobile suit’s cockpit. Here, the PSP-port will never come close to recreating the feel of the original cabinet. Ports of such games will be more of a supplement rather than a competitor. Cabinets in order to stay attractive need to do things that your home consoles don’t, and therefore they need to get more customized to their game than ever.The first one will be interesting to watch, though.

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