Namco Bandai Blames Arcade Closures on Home Consoles

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Namco Bandai Holdings has announced it will be closing roughly one-fifth of its arcades in Japan, laying the blame at the feet of home videogame consoles.

A report in Reuters suggests home gaming consoles, particularly the wildly popular Nintendo Wii console, are largely responsible for the reduced interest in conventional arcades, which has resulted in the forthcoming closure of 50 to 60 arcades. Stock in the company fell for the second consecutive day following a downward revision of the company’s earnings forecast, which saw its full-year net profit outlook cut by 38 percent. Namco Bandai shares have slipped 27 percent since Tuesday.

“A lot of the types of games that people played at an arcade can now be done at home,” said Namco Bandai spokesman Yuji Machida, adding that many Japanese children are now spending their money on games for home consoles rather than at arcades. He also claimed increasing gasoline prices were contributing to the company’s difficulty, as family outings to large shopping centers where the arcades are located have been cut back.

The new follows a report that another major Japanese arcade operator, Sega Sammy Holdings, is planning to close 100 of its own arcades.

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