Namco: Wii killing arcade scene

Namco: Wii killing arcade scene

Namco is closing 60 arcades across Japan, blaming the expanding home console market as the main factor.

The arcade scene in Europe and America has been quiet for a long, long time but in Japan things are a little different. In Japan the arcade has enjoyed a strong, consistent fanbase which has never really been under threat - until now!

Today though Namco Bandai announced that it would be closing up to 60 arcades across Japan, citing the Nintendo Wii as the main reason for the closures.

Yuji Machida acted as spokesman for Namco and told Reuters that the expanding home console market was impacting on the profitability of arcade centers.

"A lot of the types of games that people played at an arcade can now be done at home," said Yuji Machida who saw the strong sales of the Wii over the holiday season as the reason for the sudden closures.

Yuji later went on to say that the price of petrol was also a problem for the arcades as families no longer want to travel to arcades when the petrol is so expensive.

The 60 arcades in question account for a whole fifth of Namco Bandai's arcades in Japan.

When was the last time you went to a old-fashioned arcade? Personally, I haven't been to one since University when I used to waste my student loan on House of the Dead 3. Let us know what your favourite arcade game is in the forums.


Discuss in the forums Reply
BioSniper 8th February 2008, 10:11 Quote
I've not been to an arcade in years, and I guess the ones in bowling alleys don't really count either.
koola 8th February 2008, 10:19 Quote
The Wii is no more to blame than the PS3 and 360 tbh.
Spaceraver 8th February 2008, 10:21 Quote
I miss going to the arcades. Even if we just used too much money on it.. Now they closed the ones i know...
p3n 8th February 2008, 10:49 Quote
Heh... checking the dmc4 'world' leaderboard its obvious japan has had the game a while, its like something from 'pearl harbour', all but a few of the 20 missions the top 10 scores are japanese - it would seem they are relishing the 'arcade competition' from the comfort of their *infinitely configurable bean bag chair*
Sp! 8th February 2008, 14:10 Quote
I haven't been to the arcades much in the last year since I changed jobs... I miss lunch breaks in the troc or nstation.... :(
Tomm 8th February 2008, 14:19 Quote
I went to a little arcade a couple of weeks ago and wasted £2 on that 18-wheeler game. Maybe if arcade games didn't suck so much, people might use them. Probably not though, they're just too expensive when you can get the same thing at home for free.
Redbeaver 8th February 2008, 15:39 Quote
i did a couple arcade in the movie theaters here in Canada while waiting for my movie to start, just to have a little fun with my buddies while waiting.

outside that, i rarely ever visit the arcade.

but back home in Asia, arcade is the sh1t!

consoles are prohibitively more expensive, and due to geography location and gas/petrol, going to ur friends' house is alot more cumbersome than just "lets meet up at the arcade".
HourBeforeDawn 8th February 2008, 16:13 Quote
ya I would say the console seen is killing the arcade seen and man I havent been to an arcade in ages but boy were they fun back in the day problem is now I cant find any decent arcades anymore..... unless I go back to Vegas lol ~_~
Cupboard 8th February 2008, 18:19 Quote
I have great memories of being in an arcade with a friend that has clearly spent far to much time in an arcade at come point in his life. Watching him fire a semi-auto shotgun as fast as a machine gun (by moving his hand ridiculously fast between the trigger and the trigger guard) was a sight to behold.

I don't remember the games being much good though.
MiNiMaL_FuSS 9th February 2008, 11:14 Quote
There's a snooker hall just above one where i i walk through it quite often....does that count? :P
ChaosDefinesOrder 10th February 2008, 17:01 Quote
It's pretty obvious why there isn't as much of an arcade "scene" in the UK - £1 a game is rediculous! Especially considering it's like 25c in the US (or was last time I was there...)
Bindibadgi 10th February 2008, 17:07 Quote
I think the petrol argument is extremely valid - no one wants to go out or pay for travel, so people just stay at home and chat on the net or play with home consoles. More so with the addition of HDTVs etc
genesisofthesith 10th February 2008, 18:48 Quote
The costs of arcades is prohibitive when you can have the same experience at home, likely with a larger higher quality screen with only a single outlay. As a result arcades are full of dance simulators and racing games that have a unique selling point that is more difficult to reproduce in the home. Arcades are only going to become more and more niche unless they can offer an experience beyond the console, be it through VR headsets/3d dlp screens etc, or far more powerful hardware than a home user can afford.
koola 10th February 2008, 20:03 Quote
Don't forget the emulators! Tons and tons of free arcade classics to play on. It's more a social thing in Japan though with most people spending a good afternoon in them and all day in cyber cafes. It's even more crazy in korea my mate tells me.
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