SEGA initially sold 85% of its arcade stock to Genda back in late 2020, has now sold the remaining 15% to Genda ripping away the iconic logo and replacing it with ‘GiGO’.
Sega branding has graced arcades for 56 years and counting, until today.
Parent company Genda, had purchased the last of SEGA’s shares in the arcade business and will rebrand all of their cabinet housed centres in the coming year. Starting in March 2022, the year and a half long operation to rebrand to Genda GiGO Entertainment, GiGO is an anagram for “Get into the Gaming Oasis,” and scrubbing the logo from storefronts is imminent.
This news comes at the tail end of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as this plan to jump ship from arcades started in 2020 due to residents not visiting arcades for 8 months straight. A Tweet made by Genda’s Chairman Takashi Kataoka details the change and thanks Sega gracefully for the 56-year tenure:
Sega stores across the country will be switching their store names to GiGO, to express our gratitude for Sega’s 56 years of history and our desire to be an oasis that quenches people’s thirst for real entertainment. We will start with Ikebukuro, Akihabara, and Shinjuku. Then to the whole country.
The company that Sonic the Hedgehog built has a storied history. It was the first true competitor to go toe to toe with Nintendo—another company that received huge help from the arcade business—with the high-powered Genesis (at the time). Nintendo now gives a home to Genesis titles on the Switch Expansion Pass along with controllers. Beloved arcade favourites such as Virtua Fighter, and a lot of those racing games (such as Daytona USA) with the wanky wheels that drag adults back to childhood will now shed the Sega branding.
With the branding change, the aforementioned Japanese districts will lose the Sega flavour. But it isn’t all bad news, the arcades are only going to be rebranded, not shuttered. Those big four blue iconic letters will be missed…even though they are getting replaced with four more big blue letters.