From Sega Retro


Joypolis (ジョイポリス) is a chain of indoor amusement parks operated by Sega in Japan and China, featuring arcade games, attractions, and amusement rides based on Sega intellectual properties.

After strong financial growth during the late 80s and early 90s (particularly in the arcade sector), Sega envisioned opening a chain of indoor theme parks to expand its business beyond video games, becoming a major player in the entertainment industry eclipsed only by the likes of Disney. This side of the business began with the first Joypolis centre, which debuted in Yokohama, Japan during the summer of 1994.

Typically, a Joypolis acts as a large, multi-story entertainment complex, with shops, restaurants, arcade games, and the capacity for other events. Its main attractions are Sega's medium and large scale amusement rides and attractions, such as bumper cars, indoor roller coasters, and virtual reality simulators, which the company began designing and building in the late 1980s. It was not feasible for such large, permanent attractions to be featured in typical arcade settings, so Sega effectively built its own parks to house these concepts.

Since the first Joypolis venture opened in Japan, Sega has created numerous other indoor theme parks worldwide based on the Joypolis model, such as Sega World, GameWorks, and Sega Republic. However, due to the financial constraints of the late 1990s, many of these parks have since closed or been purchased by other corporations, particularly in regions where the traditional video arcade was losing customers to ever more powerful home video game consoles and computers. Because video arcades have remained profitable in Asia, several Joypolis locations continue to survive.


Former Locations



The 11,946 sq metre complex opened with over 8,250 sq/m of that dedicated to the theme park's 7 major attractions. These included a revamped Virtua Racing (renamed Virtua Formula) and 217 coin operated arcade machines. Many of the rides also appeared inside Sega World Sydney when the parks launched in Australia. [1]

  • Virtua Formula - The opening attraction of Joypolis, an enhanced version of Virtua Racing with up to 8 players each. It features a full-sized Formula 1 cockpit and 80-inch playback screens. This game has a dedicated room with 32 machines running.
  • Rail Chase: the Ride - Based upon the SEGA arcade game Rail Chase. This is an interactive rollercoaster ride in which players must shoot targets as they travel.
  • Ghost Hunters - A ride which places the players in a pitch black arena, using mirrors to display holographic ghost targets.
  • Mad Bazooka - An indoor bumper car ride in which two teams of 6 players fire rubber balls at each other. Balls fire at the rate of 8 shots per second through a tank cannon, while the bumper cars have the ability to pick up the balls off the floor. Was also in SegaWorld London before demise.
  • Astronomicon - An astrology-based interactive theatre that tells fortunes and reads horoscopes to an audience of up to 50 people.
  • AS-1 - A 360-degree motion simulator. Was also in SegaWorld London before demise.
  • VR-1 Space Mission - A virtual reality space mission accommodating 8 people per machine which allows players to pilot their own space ship with twin yokes.

As part of a restructuring by Sega, Joyopolis Yokohama was closed in 1998.

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