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The Coin That Saved Japan's Arcades

Photo: rahims

While arcades in the U.S. (and most of the rest of the world) are fading, they’re still strong in Japan. Why? According to Mark Cerny, an arcade gaming expert, it has to do with currency: “It all came down to the quarter, Cerny said. Arcade games had to squeeze enough money out of people to be worthwhile for arcade owners and game makers. But they also had to deliver enough play time to make it worthwhile for gamers to drop in their money. … We lobbied Washington several times to get a dollar coin because we felt if it was just pocket change, it’s in your pocket, you put it in a machine.” In Japan, meanwhile, arcade machines shifted to accepting 100-yen coins, as opposed to 50-yen coins, allegedly saving the industry. (HT: Beth Wieder)