Arcades Still In Decline Despite Capcom’s Revitalization Efforts

By Ishaan . May 7, 2010 . 12:49pm


Capcom’s financial review for the fiscal year 2010 contains some interesting information regarding the state of arcades in Japan, which have been in decline for some time now. It would appear that, despite an aggressive effort to revitalize the market, numerous factors contributed to the continuing lull in this segment of the games business. The report states:


In arcade operations, the entire industry was committed to a full-scale effort to revitalize the market. Implementing customer appreciation days and holding special events such as “Game Day” (November 23rd) across Japan were just two examples of such efforts. Despite these undertakings, this business segment remained in a downtrend due to the lack of appealing products and the adverse effect of the new influenza or “swine flu”.


Some of the steps Capcom took to help revive the declining arcade segment included hosting various events, special discount days, and — this one is a little more vague — trying to create a “comfortable environment” in order to attract more women and families to arcades. Part of the expansion effort also involved the introduction of Mario Party Fushigi no Korokoro Catcher and a partnership with Namco Bandai.


However, despite these efforts, arcade traffic continued to slow due to a decline in consumer-spending, the aforementioned influenza factor, and a general move toward “at-home” entertainment. In order to cope with the decline, Capcom were forced to reduce operating costs across their arcades and terminate two unprofitable centres entirely. As of March 2010, the company is operating 38 arcades.

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  • BK0000

    Arcades still exist?

    • …in Japan and outside the Anglosphere.

      Even though I’m a proud Wii, DS, and PC owner, my heart will always be in the arcade.

    • JeremyR

      Yes, some places children and young adults still actually leave their houses.

    • yes, we need yet another reminder that arcades in america suck, especially in an article about japanese arcades in japan.

      nice joke, and welcome to 2006

  • RAVENKam

    Online is simply the next logical step in the evolution of arcade gaming, which doesn’t necessitate physically housing gamers under the same roof. It’s no surprise the market is declining when you can now play from the comfort of your home.

    • Soma

      Quite a few arcade games that use IC cards have an online mode.

    • fermented

      I’m waiting for an online with close to no input lag. In the mean time, I’ll be spending most of my time playing fighters and other frame data intensive games offline either on my console at home with friends or at an arcade.

  • kupomogli

    Capcom wasn’t even going to make a Street Fighter 4 for arcade. They were in production after SF4 was released so Capcom hasn’t been trying to revitalize arcades. Sega on the other hand releasing Virtua Fighter 5R and Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown both of which haven’t been released to console.

    I’ll be happy when Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown gets a release. It’s rumored but I hope it comes out. PS3 users can only play the best fighter offline.

  • Soma

    I really think it would be nice to have seperate smoking and non-smoking sections in arcades. Not that I have anything against smokers, but I spent a great deal of time in arcades while I was there, and the amount of smoke in most of the arcades often made my eyes sting.

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