Sega Center

From Sega Retro

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Sega Center was a chain of Sega-sponsored video arcades that existed during the 1970s and early 1980s.

Sega Centers came into existence when Sega purchased six "Kingdom of Oz" arcades in March 1976No results[1] (having previously bought a 50% stake the previous yearMore...[2]). Located across California (USA), several were re-branded into "Sega Center" locations and operated by a division of Sega run by Malcolm Kaufman (and later Steve IsaacsonNo results[3]). While most location testing of arcade games had at this point occurred in Japan, Sega Centers allowed the firm to location test on US soil, as well as profit from the rising trends of arcade video games.

Possibly starting with the opening of a venue in Montclair Plaza in 1977, Sega Centers began to only accept special "Sega Center" tokens, rather than real moneyNo results[4]. This was an effort to introduce better cash control, reduce vandalism and profit from promotions (as well as not having to keep $6,000-$7,000 worth of quarters on hand)No results[4].

Sega Centers were designed to be inoffensive to shoppers, as in previous years, arcades had a reputation of being dimly-lit basements unsuitable for "prestige" shopping malls. The Montclair location was adorned with blown-up photographs taken from NASA, and was coated in "special acoustically-treated paint" to keep noise to a minimumNo results[4].

Many of these arcades later became Time-Outs.

List of Venues


Membership(?) card

Magazine articles

Main article: Sega Center/Magazine articles.