By Kevin Williams
Open Letter To Amusement Trade (19/05/08)
Reaction to Recent Media Coverage
This open letter is being sent out to the trade regarding a disturbing situation which seems to be being ignored!
We have seen over the last 48-hours a slew of online features that have attempted to bury the Asian and North American amusement scene – literally dismissing the market and manipulating the facts of our market.
This all culminated from a Reuters news feature that seemed to announce the closure of the Japanese amusement sector: http://www.reuters.com/article/technologyNews/idUST33521320080518?feedType=RSS&feedName=technologyNews&pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0
Having waited for a reply from our trade in defense there seems to have been none and so below is the reply that we sent to Reuters (and CrunchGear who repeated the commentary and added a few new inaccuracies).
Reply to Feature
There seems to be a hunger from some news services to attempt once and for all to bury amusement – if not physically, at least in the consumers eye. Having read the Reuters report on the Japanese arcade scene and its errors – I am now greeted with your feature – I think you will now see that copying the Reuter feature may have been a mistake!
I have tried to address the key errors in your report:
– The claim is that certain factories had closed “20%” of their amusement venue business – the truth is that Namco closed 41, while Sega closed 110 – and as both operations run over 500 sites in the main islands this is not 20% – or close?
– The out of date statement about the venues seemed a little confused. If we are talking about Japan they are smoke free in the majority, and have been underling a major update of facilities – the Reuter piece though inaccurate had to mention the redevelopment of the Taito/Square arcade operation.
– A comment about the close of Japanese amusement copied from the Reuter piece missed out the reality of the profitability of arcade for many publishers, Taito/Square, Konami and even Sega saw increase in revenue from amusement – yes Sammy Sega saw a down turn on their Pachinko side – but Pachinko is a different division to their amusement.
Finally, I would recommend that there are a number of excellent sources for factual information on the amusement scene. I understand that a number of vested interest in the consumer game sector want to claim expertise in covering arcade gaming, but as you can see there is a lot more too the market than just jumping up and claiming it is dead!
The Reuter piece was written badly and was not the best source (foundation) to base opinion on. The news that Street Fighter IV is breaking arcade records in revenue – those records created only a matter of weeks earlier by Tekken 6 – speaks volumes of a strong upswing in amusement. However certain consumer parties are less than happy with the coverage arcade is getting on the web and seemed to attempt to discard arcade interest – I would recommend that you avoid these vested interest.
If you want the facts on the international amusement scene just drop us a mail!
It is a shame that KWP has had to undertake this defense of our industry and supply the facts on our own – we personally have to wonder what the trades plan is to try and defend ourselves from the vested interests of the consumer media wanting to dismiss our industry (this will snow ball if no one else dose anything) – Can someone tell me what our industries media defense plan is, and will it be started quickly?
Thanks to Kevin for passing this along and doing his part to defend the industry. We’re here to do the same and my thoughts are after the post break.