The Sega Ikebukuro GiGO arcade in Tokyo debuted on July 21, 1993, and it’s shuttering in September, with the 20th as its final day. In addition to offering video games, Sega Ikebukuro GiGO has offered many crane games and sticker picture booths, as well as a Sega Taiyaki shop so people could grab a bite to eat.
This comes after arcades like The Silk Hat Ikebukuro arcade, Adores, and The Sega Akihabara Building 2 have closed during the pandemic. Arcades had already not been doing as well because more and more people were gaming at home, but the COVID quarantine really hit hard.
When the eight-story arcade is gone, there will be renovations done on the building. Sega Ikebukuro GiGO did not specifically say it’s been underperforming, so it’s not impossible that it will reopen elsewhere, or that another, smaller arcade might be created in the area. However, since there were no promises to reopen, it could be that this is just the end.
Many Japanese fans reminisced on social media, saying such things as:
“When they first opened, I was working in the neighborhood and the fighting game crazy was in full swing, so I used to stop by all the time.”
“I’ve been going there to play crane games for the past 20 years. The Shinn Asuka and Rey Za Burrel [of Gundam Seed Destiny] plushies I got there are still two of my most precious treasures.”
“I’ll never forget going to the Sakura Wars cafe on the top floor.”
“I haven’t visited in a while, but this place will always be a page in the book of memories from my youth.”
For the time being the arcade will still be open from 10 in the morning to 11 at night, so people in the area can still get some last-minute gaming in at this iconic site before its lease runs out. The arcade is located at Tokyo-to, Toshima-ku, Higashi Ikebukuro 1-21-1.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.