Japanese news outlet Nikkei reported earlier this week that Bandai Namco is set to open a new arcade in Ikebukuro, Tokyo purely focused on video gaming – the first one to do so in 13 years.
If you’ve seen pictures of places like Akihabara, you may have noticed the big Namco stores, that are actually packed with mainly things like crane games, photo sticker machines, and more casual machines aimed at a broader crowd. This new Ikebukuro store marks the first gaming-focused arcade from Bandai Namco since 2006. Bandai Namco stated that the reason they are opening this new arcade is to promote eSports, which is getting bigger in Japan, and draw in young players who are big on fighting games.
The new arcade is set to have around 1,500 square meters of floor space across a ground floor and an underground floor, and will comprise mainly of gaming machines. Bandai Namco hope that this place to be a place where game fans can get together and discuss the latest info. It is unknown when the arcade will open, but fighting games like Tekken 7 will likely make an appearance there.
Bandai Namco isn’t the only company hoping to foster eSports in Japan. Konami announced back in March that they were opening a new eSports school, which opened last month in Ginza in downtown Tokyo.