SegaWorld and Sega Park are names referring to one of a number of theme parks and arcades worldwide, including installations in the United Kingdom, China, Australia and Japan and owned and operated by Sega. The parks sought to promote Sega games while providing entertainment based on its licenses, while the Japanese Sonictown in an Joypolis park, created an entire world based on Sonic the Hedgehog alone. Currently, the only SegaWorld arcades that remain open are in Japan, despite most of them becoming unbranded Sega arcades.
- 1 UK arcades
- 1.1 Metropolis
- 1.2 Planet Sega
- 1.3 Sega Megaworld Croydon
- 1.4 Sega Megaworld Harrow
- 1.5 Sega Megaworld Romford
- 1.6 Sega Park and Casino Colindale
- 1.7 Sega Park Acton
- 1.8 Sega Park Basildon
- 1.9 Sega Park Brighton (Leisure Exchange)
- 1.10 Sega Park Bristol
- 1.11 Sega Park Glasgow
- 1.12 Sega Park Harlow
- 1.13 Sega Park Holborn (Leisure Exchange)
- 1.14 Sega Park Reading
- 1.15 Sega Park Southampton
- 1.16 Sega Park Tower Hill (Leisure Exchange)
- 1.17 Sega Park Wood Green
- 1.18 Sega World Birmingham
- 1.19 Sega World/Park Bournemouth (now Fun Central)
- 1.20 Sega World/Sega Park Tamworth
- 1.21 Sega World Wolverhampton
- 1.22 Sega Zone Brixton
- 1.23 Sega Zone Catford
- 1.24 Sega Zone Woolwich
- 1.25 SegaWorld London (Funland)
- 2 Other locations
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 External links
Metropolis was the first Sega-themed arcade in the UK. The arcade was housed in the basement of Hamleys' Regent Street branch, as a SEGA-dedicated coin-op den. The arcade contained a rare R-360 motion simulator. Metropolis changed its name to Sega World, and later The Game Zone throughout the years. The arcade was replaced with a franchised 'Game' outlet at the end of 2003.
This Sega arcade was located In Queens Ice and Bowl bowling alley in Bayswater, London. Planet Sega closed around the early 2000s and was replaced with a generic arcade.
Sega Megaworld Croydon
A Sega arcade located on the top floor of a Debenhams store in Croydon, Surrey. It was later renamed Sega Park Croydon and is now a Game Store.
Sega Megaworld Harrow
A Sega arcade located in the Debenhams store in Harrow, London. Little is known about it.
Sega Megaworld Romford
A Sega arcade located in the Debenhams store in Romford, London. Little is known about it.
Sega Park and Casino Colindale
This Sega Park was housed in the Oriental City Shopping Centre and had opened as Sega Dome in 1993. It became a "Sega Park & Casino" when the other Sega arcades in the UK were renamed due to SegaWorld in the Trocadero Centre opening. The arcade closed for good on 1 June 2008 when Oriental City closed due to the buyout of the centre by a property developer. The building has since been demolished, and as of 2016, a Morrisons supermarket now occupies the area.
Sega Park Acton
This Sega Park arcade is little known, and the only information of this location is that is opened in 1994 and was housed in Super Bowl at Royale Leisure Park. The bowling alley (now known as Tenpin) still exists, but the Sega Park is now a generic Arcade with Pool Tables.
Sega Park Basildon
This Sega Park was housed in the Eastgate Centre by the food court and traded until around 2005. The unit where Sega Park was currently houses Regis Hairdressers.
Sega Park Brighton (Leisure Exchange)
This Sega Park was opened by Leisure Exchange in 2002 and was located near Brighton Pier. The arcade closed in 2006 and then reopened as Leisure Exchange, which did not last long and in 2007 the arcade closed once again and the building has sat empty with all its signage intact. The Burger King next door to the arcade had closed around Mid 2015.
Sega Park Bristol
This Sega Park was housed in Arena One bowling (later Bristol Megabowl). it opened in 1995, and was replaced by an indoor mini golf course in 1999, the bowling alley itself was demolished in 2008 to make way for new flats.
Sega Park Glasgow
This was a short-lived Sega Park housed in a Hollywood Bowl location which only traded for 2 years before closing. The bowling alley was demolished in 2006 to make way for a car park.
Sega Park Harlow
This Sega Park opened in 1997 in units 70-74 of theHarvey Centre. It closed in 2003. The arcade is now split into two shops. one of them being a hairdressers and the other being a sole trader.
Sega Park Holborn (Leisure Exchange)
This tiny Sega Park is little known, and traded until 2007 (as Leisure Exchange), The building now houses a Newsagents, and the Sonic Sign remained until around 2008.
Sega Park Reading
Another little-known Sega Park arcade that was housed in Reading Super Bowl. The building was demolished in 2014 to make way for a new IKEA.
Sega Park Southampton
This Sega Park opened in the summer of 1996 and was located on the first floor of the Bargate Shopping Centre in central Southampton. It closed on 30 January 2013 after all traders inside the shopping centre were given notice to leave due to the ongoing sale of the property. The remaining machines were sent to other arcades nearby including Fun Central Bournemouth. It was the last Sega Park to close down, even though the arcade had been unaffiliated with Sega after the Leisure Exchange buyout.
Sega Park Tower Hill (Leisure Exchange)
Another little known Sega Park, which had rebranded as a Leisure Exchange by 2006. The Sega Park signs remained until Leisure Exchange's closure, This Sega Park was housed in the basement of the building it was housed in (the other unit in the building houses a Starbucks Coffee). The unit now houses a Coral Betting Shop.
Sega Park Wood Green
Another little known Sega Park that was located in the Wood Green Shopping Centre. The unit today houses a Lidl Supermarket.
Sega World Birmingham
A Blockbuster outlet in Erdington, Birmingham had a Sega World arcade in the 1990s, situated on the first floor. The Arcade was later converted into a tanning salon, then to a UTC Gym, which encompassed the entire building after the Blockbuster's closure.
Sega World/Park Bournemouth (now Fun Central)
Originally opened on July 24, 1993 as SegaWorld, it was the first arcade to be opened up by Sega's European department known as 'Sega Operations UK'. The original floor plan design failed a fire safety check (entrances and exits & layout of machines being main factors) and the site was closed for 2 weeks. During this time, the floor was lowered and the entrance adjusted.
In December 1993, it was split into various sections:
- Ground floor: Various arcade machines (most notably a pair of R360's), and a raised area to the right that housed the 'Sega Shop', which sold various video games, consoles, T-shirts and other merchandise (closed in 1995).
- Middle section: Reception area (taken out in 1997), more arcade machines and two karaoke rooms.
- Back section: Four half size bowling lanes (removed from site in 1994), and a Burger King restaurant (closed in 2001).
The Sega World name was changed to 'Sega Park' (and was reduced in size, other half is now a casino) in 1998 due to Sega opening the substantially larger 'Sega World London' in the Trocadero in 1996 (it took two years to change the signs). Sega Operations UK sold most of the Sega arcades and the rights (for five years) to the Sega Park name to 'The Leisure Exchange' on the 31st of March 2000, marking the end for Sega Operations UK on the same date (Sega Europe handled the overseas arcades).
In early 2005, an attempt was made to relocate the arcade to a smaller premises nearby, however local police raised objections on the grounds of "potential high crime and disorder". The premises were renamed 'Leisure Exchange and Quasar Elite' in early 2006 to reflect a new Quasar facility that had opened at the rear of the arcade. In 2010, the premises were renamed again to simply "Amusements" and the Quasar facility was closed down in November due to flooding issues.
In 2013, the premises were renamed "Fun Central" with more emphasis on ticket redemption titles, penny pushers and slot machines. Older titles such as Ferarri F355 (still with Sega Park sticker attached), House Of The Dead 4 and Daytona USA were originally present but have all been removed and replaced by newer titles. A 3 player deluxe setup of Outrun 2 Special Tours (SP) and Time Crisis 4 are the sole remaining titles from the Sega Park era (the former sourced from Sega Park Southampton when it closed). The arcade has also been recently refurbished and have added a cafe called ShakeXpress. They have also become "cashless" with the introduction of a pay-as-you-go card facility.
Sega World/Sega Park Tamworth
During the late 1990s, SegaWorld was moved to a much smaller downstairs location and was renamed as Sega Park. The upstairs location was converted into an Arena Health and Fitness gym.
In 2001, Strykers Bowl was sold by then owners Leamore Leisure Ltd. to Namco Operations Europe Ltd. During the process of the sale, the Strykers Bowl Became one of the 9 Namco Funscape locations and the Sega Park arcade was renamed as Namco Station, A name that the arcade has since retained.
Sega World Wolverhampton
Located in a former AMF bowling alley in Bushbury, called Strykers. During the 1990s, it was home to Sega World arcade. The location was then replaced by a smaller unbranded arcade and Pool Tables. The Bowling Alley itself closed in 2013 and was destroyed by a fire in December of that year.
Sega Zone Brixton
This Sega arcade opened in the 90's on Electric Avenue. Today the building houses a William Hill Betting Shop.
Sega Zone Catford
Another Sega arcade that traded in the 90's on Rushey Green, Catford.
Sega Zone Woolwich
A Sega arcade which shared a building with The Shakespeare Pub. Today the building houses Quicksilver Amusements.
SegaWorld London (Funland)
In 1994, Nick Leslau and business partner Nigel Wray acquired the Piccadilly Trocadero. They arranged a deal with Sega to open an indoor theme park inside the building. Construction began in January 1996.
London's Sega theme park kicked off at the height of its mascot Sonic the Hedgehog's popularity on September 7, 1996. It featured a number of indoor rides, coin-operated arcade machines and a Sega merchandise shop. Initially its hours were 10 a.m. to midnight every day but Christmas Day. It was heavily promoted in the UK's Sonic the Comic, where competitions were run to win items from the SegaWorld shop, and out on the streets where tokens could often be found for discounted or free entry, and free T-shirts were distributed.
Leslau says that he became discouraged by the deal on the theme park's opening day:
Sega could not deliver what they said they'd deliver. ... It looked amazing, but their rides were not capable of delivering the number of people they needed to deliver to support the operation. People were queuing for ages. ... It was a question of over-anticipation and under-delivery.
Leslau and Wray bought back the lease on the Trocadero in 1997. In 2000 they renamed the whole establishment "Funland", after SegaWorld was making a loss of £2.4 million a year. Funland was originally the arcade in the basement floor next to the Pepsi Max drop, which shared the same building as SegaWorld.
After taking over SegaWorld, Funland shut their basement arcade and the top floors remained open, along with McDonalds on the 3rd floor until autumn 2002 when the main entrance known as the Rocket Escalator, was shut. At that time the dodgems were moved from the 3rd to the 1st floor and a new lower ground floor was re-opened. The arcade was arguably the largest and most popular in England with games in 2011 including DJMax Technika, Pump It Up Fiesta, Pump It Up Pro, Street Fighter IV, and Initial D Arcade Stage 4.
In May 2011, the Rocket Escalator was completely removed during building works for the hotel that will use the top two floors of the building. Funland closed on 3 July 2011, following a long running dispute with the landlord over rent. The manager of Funland confirmed the dancegame cabinets, including Pump Fiesta EX and Para Para Paradise 2nd Mix would be moved to Las Vegas Arcade, in Soho. Other Funland machines moved to The Heart Of Gaming arcade in North Acton.
SEGA has multiple unbranded arcades in operation, most of these are former Club Sega locations, especially the Akihabara branch, which also expanded to the building next to it.
Sega World Sydney
Sega World Shanghai
Little is known about Shanghai's Sega arcade. According to reports found on website UK Resistance, the basement arcade in Xu Jia Hui Shanghai operated a series of UFO Catcher machines and Sega arcade machines long after the demise of its Western equivalents. The arcade was adorned with artworks and fascias dating back to Sonic's heyday, on top of a largely Dreamcast-era look in meeting with some of the newer machines. Games featured in the arcade, identified by photographic records, included OutRun, Time Crisis, House of the Dead and an installation of the cult oddity Waku Waku Sonic Patrol Car for younger patrons. Most notably, it also had Initial D Arcade Stage version 4. As of October 2009, it also had Taiko no Tatsujin 12 (Asia version), Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3, and Mario Kart Arcade GP despite being Namco properties.
In September 2007, another Sega arcade on the 9th floor of the New World shopping mall opened, despite the revamping of the adjacent food court. There were multiple signs near and in the mall itself in an effort to promote the arcade, a marked contrast from the past where its presence was only known by the noise that emanated to adjacent floors. It changed its name to Player's Arena (though it retained images of Sonic and many Sega cabinets) and had expanded to two floors (due to the addition of large-scale rides and photo booths). Like the Xujiahui arcade, it also contained multiple Namco games. Citing poor sales, it closed in February 2011.
Sega World Japan
Currently, Japan is the only country where SegaWorld arcades can be found. Most of them are operated by Sega themselves. There are over 100 SegaWorld arcades, some of which are now generic Sega arcades or other brands like Club Sega. Locations of SegaWorld arcades include:
- Fushimi, Kyoto
- Imafuku, Osaka
- Apollo, Osaka
- Takefu, Fukui
- Yokohama, Kanagawa
- Festivalgate in Shinsekai, Osaka, (opened in 1997 and closed in 2004).
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