SEGA closes sale on SEGA Amusements International and what it means for the future of western SEGA arcades

Back in March, SEGA Amusements’ Roger Penninton left the company after 31 years of service. Considering how SEGA’s Japanese management device was hit hard during Covid-19 which ended up selling 85% of the company back in November of 2020. I had a gut feeling big changes were also coming to SEGA Amusement International and I was right.

While most people write off SEGA Amusement International (prior where known as SEGA Amusement Europe) as just a company that distributes SEGA’s Japanese arcade games to the West; they actually have development teams that are creating original titles. One of the recent titles included Daytona USA 3 (or is that Daytona Championship USA?). All the way back in 2016, the company even wanted to try their hands at making OutRun 3!

So who bought SEGA Amusements International and what does this mean for the future? Oddly enough, the management team working within SEGA Amusement International including industry veteran Paul Williams. For what I read, nothing much will change as the company will still be ‘SEGA Amusements International’, still distribute SEGA’s arcade titles outside of Japan and still work on their own original titles.

SEGA Amusements’ Roger Pennington leaves company after 31 years

SEGA’s arcade division has been taking a lot of hits since Covid-19 with the company selling a majority of its Amusement management business in Japan and now the company has announced that a 31 year veteran Roger Pennington will be leaving the company. The website Global Amusements and Play has a good write up on Roger.

He began his career with Deith Leisure as a financial controller, Deith Leisure would then be taken over by SEGA. Roger and Bob Deith would grow the UK Amusement division branch to have a £100m turnover and 250 employees.

“It has been an enjoyable 20+ years working with Paul and building a new team which has become a second family. We have seen our own game development grow and no longer rely solely on Sega Japan for games. Rebranding the company to Sega Amusements International Ltd (SAI) a few years ago and focusing on becoming an international company selling machines all over the world to major operators and distributors. SAI has truly become a global company which not only manufactures and develops games but also distributes 3rd party product and operates games,” 

Roger Pennington will be replaced by Siraj Elkhawad moving forward. Welcome aboard and we hope 31 years of more arcade action!

SEGA leaves Japanese arcade management business selling off 85.1% shares to GENDA – SEGA name will remain

As you know that the arcade business has been shrinking over the last few decades. This was one of the main reasons Yu Suzuki left SEGA in 2008, stating that they would no longer fund larger scale arcade games. As time went on, it seemed that only a handful of arcade titles continued to profit and the market kept shrinking. This year we got hit with Covid-19, which had a huge impact on the arcade market.

Because of these trends and the events of 2020. SEGA has sold off a majority stake (85.1%) of their SEGA Entertainment arcade business to GENDA, “a company created in 2018 by former President of Aeon Fantasy. Genda specialises in the rental of amusement machines and owns the LIFTるwebsite and mobile application which allows players to remotely play cranes and have their won prizes delivered home” (Source: Arcade Belgium).  SEGA is now a minority shareholder of the business at 14.9%.

SEGA News Bits: SEGA Astro City Mini Arcade Revealed

SEGA has just announced that they’re releasing a SEGA Astro City Mini Arcade machine, watch as George and Barry go through all the news we know so far including size, amount of games, confirmed games, accessories, and much more on this extra sized SEGA News Bits episode. Let us know what you guys think of the SEGA Astro City Mini Arcade  in the comments below.

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SEGA News Bits: House of the Dead 1 & 2 Remakes Coming in 2020

Forever Entertainment, a polish publisher behind the Panzer Dragoon remakes has now teased that they are working on House of the Dead 1 & 2 remakes with MegaPixel Studio. On this episode of the SEGA News Bits we discuss all the information we know and even discuss how Forever Entertainment’s Panzer Dragoon remake demo has been received by fans.

If you want to support this type of content, you can check out our Patreon!

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a thumbs up so it shows up on more like-minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that YouTube algorithm is.

Eerie abandoned Fukushima SEGA arcade ‘covered in radioactive dust’ explored

I think that abandoned buildings always have some sort of story to tell and it seems a lot of people share my thoughts, including Bob Thissen an urban explorer that has been documenting abandoned buildings in Fukushima. If you didn’t know, Japan had a nuclear disaster back in 2011 when they had a huge earthquake that disturbed a nearby power plant. Over 160,000 people fled the area.

One of the places that Mr. Thissen explored was an abandoned SEGA arcade, which has been basically intact since 2011. No looters seemed to have grabbed any of the machines, Thissen believes it was because they are all covered by radioactive dust. Check out the video and the photos below.

[Via: DailyMail]

Yu Suzuki to Produce VR Battle Game “VRSUS” for Japanese Arcades

It looks like the Tokyo Game Show 2018 news keep on coming out, this time its our boy Yu Suzuki who has announced to be producing a upcoming virtual reality arcade game called VRSUS. Yu Suzuki joins JPPVR Corporation that makes VR rigs for arcades as part of the software development subsidiary company VRes. He joined the live stream to talk about his history with VR including talking about the 1991 failed SEGA VR headset that never made it to market.

Unsurprisingly Yu Suzuki said the reason he really wanted to work on VR is because he thinks it will “liven up” arcades, which have been in a decline for awhile.

SEGA has a ‘surprise announcement’ at SEGA FES 2018

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SEGA will be holding a celebration next month in Akihihabara, Tokyo on April 14-15, where they will celebrate their history by including new and old SEGA game in a museum style event.

But that isn’t all that they will have, they will also host Q&A panels, have merchandise stands, competitions, and special guests. But even better, SEGA has also stated that they will have a “surprise announcement” at the event. They are teasing this as a announcement that is “unique to SEGA.” You know what that means? We’ll be disappointed. Sounds like a event I wish I could attend.

But  maybe, just maybe, this could be the official announcement of Virtua Fighter 6. We can dream, can’t we?

[Via: Destructoid]

House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn announced for arcades

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SEGA Interactive has just announced House of the Dead: Scarlet Dawn for arcades. They have confirmed that there will be location testing from January 19 to the 21st at SEGA Akihabara Building 3 in Tokyo, Japan.

This release will mark a return of the franchise to the Arcades, the last main entry being The House of the Dead 4 back in 2005. In 2009 we got the console exclusive The House of the Dead: Overkill, which was mean’t to be a prequel and had a different take on the series.

Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 & SEGA’s Border Break X Zero having a crossover event

GuiltyGearxBorderBreakSEGA and Arc System Works are teaming up for a limited time Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 and Border Break X Zero (which is still being updated since its debut in 2009) crossover event in Japanese arcades. The event will start on April 24, 2017 and end on May 24, 2017.

The Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 promotion will have the players log in using their SEGA ID, which will unlock the following Border Break X Zero goodies in Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2: A set of four in-game titles, collaboration icon set (see gallery for photo), Collaboration plate (gallery for sample), and weapons like the M90 machine gun and ‘ACHAT missile’. Check out more on that via Arc System Works’ Japanese blog post

As for the Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 items available in Border Break X Zero, that is a bit harder to decipher considering SEGA only posted the image below in the gallery. It does look like you will get custom titles, icons and even Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2  themed custom character portraits. Check out more info on the crossover via SEGA’s blog post. While SEGA-AM2’s Border Break arcade game never made a splash outside of Japan, it has been highly successful for SEGA as it launched a ton of updates (Border Break X Zero being about the 15th update), but also has gotten a huge art book (which was brought over to America via Udon Entertainment),  two full novels novels, and even a manga. What are your thoughts on this crossover? Do you think SEGA should consider bringing Border Break X Zero to the west?

SEGA Retrospective: The Deeper Arcade game – An oxymoron that became one of SEGA’s pillars

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Arcade? When you ask the modern western gamer about such a concept, they will likely know about the genre of “arcade” in today’s market of downloadable games on console, PC and smartphone. Home and mobile ports of classic coin operated titles. But twenty years ago, people would visit actual venues to play games they could otherwise not to, offering considerable advantages in graphics, controls and cabinet designs.

Putting a coin into a machine should get you more enjoyment that you expect out of it. That has been the ethos of SEGA’s coin-up division for as long as existed. Immediate, visceral, thrilling; all of that should be encapsulated into the experience. One session should not go longer than 3 minutes. Often times games offer more depth as well, which is best summed up by the phrase “easy to learn hard to master” – which can be said of countless fighting games.

But different cultural perspectives can transform one concept considerably, and this can be applied to arcade games. Back in the glory days of arcades, westerners played in an arcade maybe once a month or even once a week at most. However in Japan, with its density of population, going to an arcade can become simply a part of your everyday routine, similar to how westerners play their games on home and mobile platforms. But what could one keep coming back to the arcade, time and again? Cards. Yes. Magnetic cards.

The SEGA Five: SEGA Games That Would Thrive in Virtual Reality

SEGAVRWhile not every single gamer is sold on Virtual Reality just yet, mostly due to the fact that it is rather expensive to even get a headset and compatible computer, the people that have experienced it all think its the future of gaming. While this is still open to debate, what I do know is that Virtual Reality has opened the door for older types of genres that SEGA pioneered in their long history to thrive. So today on The SEGA Five we will be discussing five genres that SEGA can revive with the help of Virtual Reality.

Before we get started I just want to say that these ideas are to make the games Virtual Reality compatible and not exclusive. I think this would mean that more gamers will be able to enjoy the games, VR headset or not.  The number of gamers with Virtual Reality headsets is too low to spend money on exclusives right now. So let’s get to it.

Club Sega Shibuya location has closed

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Some sad news for SEGA fans at the start of the week. We learned that Club Sega Shibuya has closed its doors as of yesterday. News of the arcade’s closing became known with the posting of signs outside the arcade, politely advising customers of the impending closure. The location’s website also has a message, which also gives the January 31, 2016 closing date as well as a thank you to customers for their patronage. No word on why the arcade had closed, though it may simply have to do with the fact that it is a dwindling business in the country. There has also been speculation that the closure could have to do with the renovation of Shibuya Station, which Club Sega sits just outside of.

Club Sega can still be found in Akihaba, Nagoya-Fushimi and Nishiguchi. For a full list of operating SEGA amusement centers, check out this link.

SEGA Games That Are Celebrating Big Anniversaries in 2016

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SEGA has created some highly popular and cult classic series of games that have stuck with people over the years. While most of you guys already know that Sonic the Hedgehog is celebrating his big 25th Anniversary this year, many other games get ignored because they aren’t as relevant as they used to be. Today we will list those mostly ignored video game franchises we all love. Did your favorite game make our list?