For a very long time, Sega’s big arcades were a mainstay of the Akihabara skyline, and some of the main attractions for anyone making a gaming-related pilgrimage through the streets of Tokyo.
Sadly they either closed or rebranded to Gigo back in 2020, part of Sega’s wider withdrawal from the arcade business, and for a while now what was once one of the most prominent gaming locations in the city—Sega Akihabara Arcade Building 4—has sat empty. But no longer! After news got out last month, it has now been confirmed that rivals Bandai Namco will be taking over much of the space instead, with the arcade set to reopen next month.
It’ll be a brand new arcade, of course, since it’ll be stocked with Bandai Namco’s games instead of Sega’s, which means you can expect to see everything from Tekken to Mario Kart Arcade in there. Alongside the arcade Bandai Namco will also be opening a number of stores, including one specialising in the company’s trading card games, another that’ll be selling capsule toys as well as a dedicated space for claw machines.
If you’ve ever visited, seen a bunch and are wondering which arcade exactly is changing hands—there are four in the area!—Sega Akihabara Arcade Building 4 was the big one on the corner with the very cool exposed escalators. The other notable arcades—like Sega Akihabara Arcade Building 1, the one you would see first coming out of the train station—are still there, though these now carry the Gigo logo as part of the 2020 rebrand, and so really just aren’t the same anymore.
Bandai Namco’s new arcade—which is the company’s first ever in Akihabara, somehow, with Sega having sucked up all the oxygen for decades—opens on March 1.