Excelling in the Arcade

In a world where a single mobile game can impoverish the masses by a billion dollars annually, surely the sit-down points in Sega playrooms are small potatoes?

Even so, Fate/Grand Order, which has ransacked smartphoners’ pockets since 2015, stooped to an arcade edition last summer.

Perhaps the billion yen of trading cards they shifted in the first month satisfied Sega Interactive – but that’s only 10 million dollars! Taking a whole month!

Mobile Fate had made 8 times that every month for 3 years.

Still, I see Sega’s motivation for Fate/Grand Order Arcade. It’s right up there with their biggest moneyspinners. Question is, why are the punters filing to the queue tapes in dingy game centres to set up their laptops, tablets AND phones at a garish coinbucket when they could just hunch into their rectangles over ramen on the original game?

Someone should tell them it’s 2018! Where are they going after the arcade? The cybercafe? The bookshop? Do they need to return some videotapes?

Just shows: arcades are more than their games. You want to sit inside the game, under its illuminated canopy, touching the custom hardware. You want a plush, height-adjustable stool. You want to know you’re not procrastinating – playing Fate is exactly what you’re *supposed* to do there. And this guy, at least, wants a nice flat surface to set up Microsoft Excel and manage his cards.

Photographer and writer covering Tokyo arcade life – the videogames, the metropolis and the people