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Sega Game Card

From Sega Retro


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The Sega Game Card (セガ ゲームカード) system was a method of payment introduced by Sega for arcade games in the 1980s.

Traditionally in Japan, a credit on an arcade machine would cost ¥100 (although more elaborate machines would double the price to ¥200 as the decade wore on) - while comparatively inexpensive to owning the actual machine, Sega noted that the price was enough to turn customers away from playing their arcade games, either through the perception of being too expensive, or the requirement of having the correct currency on hand.

The Sega Game Card system attempted to alleviate this problem by being pre-loaded with ¥500 or ¥1000. This meant the customer could make just one purchase and play 5-10 games, and get a collectable card in the process. Similar to arcade medal systems, the money could not be redeemed, and so all credit had to be spent within a Sega arcade (or at least machines equipped with Sega Game Card systems). Sega City cabinets were among those often equipped with said systems.

The Sega Game Card system also allowed Sega to offer visitors to Amusement Machine Shows or AOU Shows to play their products on display without limits (which had the knock-on effect of advertising the system to arcade operators).

It is not known how long the Sega Game Card system was in operation, however new cards were being produced as early as 1986 and as late as 1991.

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