Arcades were once a booming business, and that was particularly true in Akihabara, Tokyo. However, the last two summers have each seen an announcement of a major arcade in the area being shut down. In summer 2020, it was Sega Akihabara Building 2. In summer 2021, it was Sega Ikebukuro GiGO. And it seems bad luck comes in threes, because this summer it’s the arcade GiGO Akihabara Building 4, which was previously known as Sega Akihabara Building 4.
Arcade attendance had already been dropping, but it was the outbreak of COVID-19 that really has hurt these arcades.
GiGO Akihabara Building 4 shared the news on August 12, using its Twitter account. SoraNews24 translated its message as, “GiGO Akihabara Building 4 is closing! No! We don’t want to close!”
— GiGO 秋葉原 4号館 (@GiGO_Akihabara4) August 12, 2022
SoraNews24 also translated some of the reactions to this news:
“No way! This was the arcade where I played [rhythm game] Ongeki for the first time. It’s sacred ground to me.”
“Well, they’ve got a couple of arcades in Akihabara, so I guess it can’t be helped.”
“We live in a cruel era.”
“No! Don’t close it down!”
In addition to the arcade part, GiGO Akihabara Building 4 also has a café takeout stand, and that café has been exciting fans with its changing franchise themes. For instance, they just recently had a 25th anniversary Persona themed café. But, with the closing of the business, both the café and the arcade will be gone.
There is still some time for people to get in their last gaming hours, as the business won’t shutter until September 25. GiGO Akihabara Building 4 also mentioned putting together a goodbye celebration, though details on that have yet to be released. More information should be shared soon on their Twitter handle about the celebration, so we’ll have to wait and see.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.