Game over for Japanese arcades

Originally published at: Game over for Japanese arcades | Boing Boing


Not to mention that at least half of the floor space is usually taken up by purikura booths and crane games. Arcades these days have turned into half-assed pachinko parlors for kids with little in the way of actual games.


Well that and japanese developers and their public are embracing online gameplay much more lately.

For decades the arcade was the place to be for fighting games and recently their fighting game devs are starting to put serious work into solving issues with the netcode for that genre. Up until recently it was the western fighting game devs who took rollback netcode seriously but Arc System Works have stepped up their game with the best netcode around that can even handle a fast paced series like Guilty Gear. Sega is way behind everyone else outside of what they managed to do with the Phantasy Star Online series. Outside of that series they now have to play catch up after losing that arcade cash.

But Round One has been expanding into the west the past few years and they are still opening arcades in american malls so it’s not all doom and gloom.


I sure miss the noise and cigarette smoke of pachinko parlors.


End of an era. I’m sorry to see it fade into the past.


I remember the arcade centers I visited during my trips to Japan. They were on another level compared to American arcades. The closest we had to the big game centers were Gameworks locations, for the obvious reason that Sega was behind them. Those were the only places I ever spotted F-Zero arcade cabinets.

According to the source article, it seems a rebound is starting in Japan. There will definitely be games that suffer from ultimately being better with networked consoles (fighting games), but that’s likely one reason why the big specialized arcade units started to be developed over the past couple decades. From a game as simple as Taiko Drum with it’s big ol drum to the more complex Mobile Suit Gundam simulator machines. These are the attractions now because the full experience can’t be recreated at home. And as much as we might complain about crane/UFO catcher machines, they’re a draw for kids and dates. There will definitely be fewer places to go when this all shakes out, but it’s not yet time to eulogize Japanese arcades.


The best scenario for arcades is cocktail bars and similar environments, the downside is that customers tend to be rough on the machines.


This was my experience back in 2018. I’d been eager to see what a Japanese arcade was like and wandered into Shinjuku Playland to find one floor of almost entirely identical generic redemption machines no one was playing and, above that, a half-dozen floors of dark, smoky, cramped aisles of men hunched over unadorned brown or gray cabinets all playing the exact same games. It was Vegas, but with no lights, bells, or whistles, and more claustrophobic, like creeping through the front facade of a back-alley gangster’s hideout in a crime movie. Totally unwelcoming. Walked right back out after wandering through a couple floors.


This also could have been why they were successful, though. I don’t know about Japan, but in many places it’s a far better business model (if you can pull it off) to fleece one very rich rube than to get pennies from everyone.

If one million people need a life saving drug but one of those people is Bezos, should you charge $100 for it or $10b for it?

Whale hunting is disgusting and a clear sign out society is fucked, but I find it hard to assume it would cause a business to fail.


Perhaps that’s the pandemic problem here: if you have a thousand casual customers paying a little, you can lose most of them yet perhaps crawl through on the faithful. But if you instead have a whale and it dies, you’ve lost everything.


Taiko no Tatsujin! Guitar Freaks! Pop n’ Music! I miss arcades because I love music games so much and it’s just not the same playing them at home with consumer-grade equipment (and I don’t have the space to have full size machines because if I did I would totally source them).

There were several great arcades in the Bay Area when I lived there, and I would play Dance Dance Revolution and Pump It Up every weekend for hours on end (and sometimes skip out of work during the week) along with all the others like Beatmania IIDX, Keyboardmania, and others. When I moved to Seattle there were quite a few arcades with a great selection of music games and sadly they almost all closed down within a few years and the few that remained were just too inconveniently located or poorly maintained to patronize.


This is Japan. They don’t need to disguise the gambling for children. They just slap anpanman on the slot machine and call it a day.


Boong-GA! the ONLY awesome arcade machine — Kancho Simulator

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WTF is Kancho… never heard of it. Hmmm:
…a prank performed by clasping the hands together in the shape of an imaginary gun and attempting to poke an unsuspecting victim’s anus, often while exclaiming “Kan-CHO!”…

I’ll admit I thought the video was amusing [but strange], but I didn’t know what Kancho was at the time.
Now… WTF!
It’s both funnier & apalling at the same time.
I do not care to know just how this video game is played. I can imagine quite a bit, thankyouverymuch.

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I wonder how the “Dave and Buster’s” business model of combining arcades with restaurants and full-service bars has been doing during the pandemic.

Some of those game machines are pretty elaborate and expensive-looking, I wonder how many units they need to ship to make developing, prototyping and building a high-end arcade-quality game system profitable. I would have thought it would be in the tens of thousands at least… for example Wikipedia says Ms. Pac-Man sold 125,000 cabinet units by 1988.


I think this is something little boys do to each other. Kind of like kids here in the US “cup” farts at each other.

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It’s a tradition that goes far beyond childhood. Adults do it too, but about the same sort of adult that would dutch oven someone on this side of the ocean.


Oh, you need to know.



Here we go again. WTF is ‘dutch oven’.
Looks like a job for the Urban Dictionary… hmm…

Farting under the blanket then lifting it up trapping your significant other under the covers

Seems legit.

Doesn’t leave much to the imagination, does it.
I’d be surprised if there isn’t an X-rated version of this ‘game’ somewhere.

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