What Could Kill Japanese Arcades

What Could Kill Japanese Arcades

As if Japanese arcades didn't have enough hassles on their plate already.

For Japanese arcades, offering up new and exciting ways of entertainment that people can't experience at home has always been the main focus. However, with the technological advancement of home consoles and the smartphone gaming bubble still going strong, this is becoming harder and harder to do. Who would have thought it would be Japan's own government, and not another entertainment industry, that would inadvertently step in to hammer the nail into the coffin.

Japan is getting a sales tax increase next month from the standard 5% to 8%, Japan's Mainichi news reports. Basically, what cost ¥105 (US$ 1.03) up until now, come April is going to cost ¥108 (US$ 1.06). Doesn't seem like much, but it's causing a lot of headaches, especially for an industry that is already struggling as it is.

Generally, video games are played in increments of ¥100 (US$ 0.98) for ease of use. That means, unlike stores that will simply have to increase the price of their goods, arcades can't make people pay smaller increments, and instead will have to either shoulder the increased tax themselves, or find another way to make ends meet in a steadily shrinking market.

One method is to increase the difficulty on prize games, like the crane arm games — as if those things weren't $%&#ing impossible to begin with. Another would be to increase the number of games that use tokens, like slot machines. Either way, the negative impact seems unavoidable. That, coupled with the fact that people will likely be more careful with their money, does not bode well for the industry.

Japan is a place where people still regularly go to video arcades. While they may not seem important to those of us who enjoy our video games on console or PC, remember, a lot of the game genres we love were born out of the arcade's attempt to offer something that couldn't be experienced at home at the time. The innovation in different methods of entertainment has kept them alive this long. It would be unfortunate to see them go, not because something better came along, but because the tax increase meant they couldn't make ends meet.

<消費増税>ゲームセンターも戦々恐々 [毎日新聞 via Yahoo! Japan]

Top photo: Richard Eisenbeis


Comments

    Lack of games? all the ones i went to just had stupid toy grabbing games. except Don Quixote in Akihabara.

      the best part of my trip was the UFO catchers

      i won 7 GIANT snoopys in a day.

      Got laid

        THe difference between Jp machines and our machines?

        Jp is merely difficult. Ours are rigged to loose =P And it's piss obvious when you land a perfect catch and the toy merely slips out of the claw like water flowing out of a hole in a bucket because the claw has been set to have no pressure.

          the jp ones also have insanely better prizes

          and are ACTUALLY REALLY FUN

          like its not just a pile of $2 crap

          Like i said i won 7 giant stuff snoopys which i know cost $75 RRP from Universal studios

          there was also 5 giant hamtaros i won. Each in a different way

          One was on a podium hovering over a GIANT hole to fall in and win
          Sounds easy enough? Noooooooo spent $60 bux till i figured out the perfect clawing angle and won 3 in a row

          There was a goku figurine i won that was balancing on 2 elastic bands, sounds easy but the elasticity "blocked" the box as it was about to fall since it rebounded. (in the end i just pushed down on it real hard and it sprung off and into the hole lols

          My favourite was a snoopy doll on its stomach, it was in one of those grid claw machines in a tray where you have to extend the claw in and pull it out like vending machine.
          I couldnt get it. THen a guy came along shoved the claw directly AT the doll. the claw bent inwards and popped out back into a claw on the other side and wrenched it off the shelf. i was lilke OMFG thats a huge loophole!

          My absolute favourite was the snoopy "hanging" off a ledge (the doll was made with its arms sticking out like a teddy bear) and they used its head and arms to dangle it off a ledge

          It looked so easy but a huge line of guys couldnt win it cause snoopys head was so huge and heavy

          I came along and instead of trying to claw it up

          I pushed down on the snoopy until it fell off. lmao

          all the girls were like ERRRMAGAD he won so many! I WANT ONE

          THe best part of Japanese ufo catchers are the japanese people themselves. The attendants are so polite. if you stuff up a catch, you can call them over to "reset" the prize so you can try again.

          So if you dropped it in an awekward position or it got stuck, theyd reset it.

          In Australia? Fuck that, its your problem

      they have more then just ground level in the arcades, try riding the elevator to a higher or lower level next time.(as seen in the left of the photo)

    If I have to pay more than 100yen to play Taiko no tatsujin then I'm burning the place down :(

    Japan's arcades are the last bastion of casual spectator gaming. It'll be a huge shame if they do die out. Honestly though, I've found the UFO catcher games to be slowly going on the downhill. I used to spend over $200 on them things, now there's more machines that seems to be set to "money-grabbing" difficulty instead of just "stupid hard".

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