In the US, arcades are a dying breed, way past their peak points in the early 1980s. However, the craze is still very much alive in Japan, where people are very much hooked on to playing arcades, especially as their favorite past time.
It’s interesting to understand why this is still the case in Japan. To comprehend this, we need to really understand that arcades are, after-all, a business and when there’s a smidge of great potential for a business, corporates will makes sure to do whatever they can to keep it going. In the case of Japan, this is exemplified with the vertical integration of arcade games and arcade owners. The biggest corporates in Japan, such as Sega, Capcom, etc., have their own arcades and also develop games for them. In order to keep the craze going, they work hard to ensure that there’s a reason for the attraction, be it a great place to stop by to play games, or just games in general that are just soo good that you have to stop by and play them. It’s a business and the best way to run one is….profitably. This vertical integration is a vital reason for the arcade’s survival.
The other reason it’s difficult to kill the arcades in Japan is because they’re pretty much a part of the culture at this point. It’s difficult to kill of something that is a part of a nation’s identity. Not to mention that the arcades are very strategically/conveniently located. On your way to a specific place via. a train? No worries, hey — why don’t you stop by one of the conveniently located arcades RIGHT OUTSIDE THE TRAIN STATION for a quick gameplay and and then continue onto your merry way? Sounds alluring? Of course it is!
By far the biggest reason for anything to survive is its evolution! The arcades have evolved with trends and their customers. You will see a lot more older customers at these places now and the arcades are making things quite comfy for these folks — be it with cozy blankets or adjusting the sounds of the games to make it just right for those ears! Not to mention, the quality of the games have also improved with technology — everything’s still cutting edge, which has only added to the arcade’s allure.
Of course, there are also some exclusive game experiences that only seem right in an arcade. The Crane games would be a great example of this — these are the types of games that just won’t work at home, so you have to stop by an arcade to play one!
With all this being said, however, nothing lasts forever. There will be a point in time where the arcades will come to an end but that time isn’t now and probably not any time in the foreseeable near future. So for now, why don’t you just join in the fun, check these arcades out when in Japan, and have a great time. We have a great MYrago experience just for this, so you should definitely check it out: #Tokyo: Indulge In Nerdosity With A Certified Geek
Do let us know what your favorite arcade games have been in the comments below!