An iconic location in Tokyo is going away at the end of the month as the SEGA Arcade in Akihabara is shutting down on August 30th. If you're not familiar with the location, you might be if you pour through any of the cyberpunk anime in your collection as many of the environments over the decades in manga books, TV shows, and films have been based around Akihabara's design. Especially what's known as Electric Town, which if you just go Google that phrase, you'll be treated to what is essentially a neon paradise for anyone who loves pop culture. One of the fixtures of the town has been the SEGA Arcade, technically called SEGA Building Two, is a multi-level arcade filled top-to-bottom with the latest titles, retro games that look brand new, claw machines for days, multiple pinball rows, and all the snacks you could ever hope for.
You would think that this kind of a gamer paradise would always have a home as SEGA is a fixture of the gaming culture in Japan. Unfortunately, this is not the case. While SEGA as a company hasn't given an official reason to the public for the closure, the rumor is that it is due to COVID-19 keeping many at home and essentially killing the once-thriving business the arcade saw on a daily basis from locals and visitors wanting to check it out. Which is a shame because while the hurt on the business cannot be calculated, COVID-19 at some point will eventually not be a problem for the general public. With any luck, the current public outcry for the arcade to remain will convince them to simply shut down temporarily and re-open once the pandemic has passed around the world. If not, August 30th will be a sad day for arcades. Here's a video from KidShoryuken showing what the building was like in 2019.