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.