Sega sells off its arcade business but the name will live on

The owners of Sega have sold off all but 15% of the company’s arcade business, but the Sega name will still be used on new coin-ops.

As if stopping people from buying PlayStation 5s on launch day wasn’t enough the coronavirus has now forced Sega’s owners to sell their arcade business.

It’s often forgotten that Sega is no longer a separate entity but was bought by pachinko manufacturer Sammy in 2004. Which makes all those fan dreams of Sega being bought by Microsoft very hard to imagine coming true.

But, as you can imagine, the coronavirus has had a very serious effect on Sega Sammy’s arcade business, with a ‘significant’ loss reported in the first quarter of the current financial year, as arcade visitors ‘declined remarkably’.

Things aren’t quite as bad as they sound though, as while Sammy has sold off 85.1% of Sega’s arcade business to rival Genda they will still use the name Sega and Sega will still continue to make arcade machines.

Not that they make many nowadays, but Initial D The Arcade is currently in production and there’s always a trickle of new coin-ops every year.

None of this will have any immediate effect on Sega’s console and PC business, although you might hope that maybe it’ll convince execs to concentrate on that rather than the almost Japanese-only arcade business.

‘Despite the recent recovery trend, the situation remains uncertain. We have been considering various options in order to adapt to these changes in business aiming for improvement of the profitability and early recovery of sales of amusement centre operations area’, says Sega Sammy’s financial report.

‘In this process, we have been discussing the transfer of SE shares to Genda, a company that has a strong desire to expand amusement center operations business and has decided to conclude the share transfer agreement at board of directors meeting held today.’

It looks like that mini retro arcade machine that Sega are currently working on will end up being more relevant than expected…

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