Sega leaves arcade management like retiring idol singer, confuses, upsets Japanese Internet users

Sega leaves arcade management like retiring idol singer, confuses, upsets Japanese Internet users

But in some fans’ eyes, this was the only way to go.

“I’m sorry to make the announcement like this,” the tweet begins, “and I think some of you already know, but as of December 29, 2020, I will be leaving the group.”

For followers of Japanese pop culture, the phrasing is instantly recognizable. When idol singers leave their groups, either to retire from the spotlight completely or simply to focus on solo projects, it’s common practice to put out a social media post respectfully thanking their bandmates and fans. Sure enough, the tweet continues with:

“Recently I’ve been the group’s center a lot, so this was a very difficult decision for me to arrive at, and I spent a lot of time talking it over with the other members of the group. I’d be lying if I said I felt no apprehension, but I can say I’m looking forward to this new part of my journey thanks to the support of the other members of the group, our staff, and all of my fans.”

But the weird thing is that the tweet doesn’t come from the account of a pop star or talent agency, but from video game company Sega.

Specifically, it comes from Sega Entertainment (though the account has now been renamed Sega no Omise or “Sega Shops”), the part of the Sega group that ran the nearly 200 video game arcades around Japan. With 2020 being an extremely bad year for an arcade industry that was already in long decline, though, Sega has decided to get out of the arcade management business. The company announced it would be selling more than 85 percent of Sega Entertainment’s stock to amusement management company Genda last month, and the handover became official at the end of December.

The rest of the tweeted message reads:

“Every moment I spent in the group was truly a precious, irreplaceable time. The group looked after me, and I was able to learn so many things. I will keep those experiences in my heart, and so as not to embarrass the legacy of my many senpai, continue giving my all as a performer.

Even after leaving the group, I will be putting the utmost effort into my performance across the country. I’m also planning to still collaborate with the group, so I’d be happy if you’d look forward to that, and ask for your continued support.”

– Sega Entertainment

▼ The new Genda Sega Entertainment logo

It’s definitely a unique way to say goodbye, but unfortunately for Sega Entertainment not everyone understood the message or appreciated the attempt at comedy, with reactions from Japanese Twitter users including:

“No idea what you’re trying to say.”
“Is this really the time to be acting a fool?”
“Sega can never get it quite right.”
“Huh? Is some idol singer posting on the Sega Entertainment account or something?”
“It sounds more like the person in charge of Sega Entertainment’s social media is retiring.”
“This is an important announcement, so it’d be nice if you were a little clearer.”
“This is like the cheese gyudon of announcements.”

On the other hand, some people got the joke and saw it as in keeping with Sega’s focus on fun and entertainment.

“Honestly, this is exactly the sort of humor I expect from Sega.”
“I was totally lost at the start, but this is what I love about them.”
“Slick right up until the end.”

“Haha even if your account’s name is changing, I’ll still be following you.”
“Sega Entertainment is doing their best to give us a laugh at the very end, so why can’t people just send them off with a smile? Not being able to recognize humor makes you seem like less of a person.”

It looks like Sega Entertainment overestimated how many people had been keeping up with its ownership status and so felt that directly explaining the stock transfer wasn’t necessary. At the same time, it’s actually pretty admirable of them to keep their chin up and have some silly fun during the transition, especially since Genda plans to continue using the Sega branding and signage on the arcades moving forward.

Source: Twitter/@SEGA_Ent via Niconico News via Jin
Top image: Wikipedia/毒島みるく (edited by SoraNews24)
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