Tokyo Video Gamers, the first licensed video game bar in Japan, is open to the public right now for patrons to play games from Sega, Arc System Works, SNK, and more.
Via Kotaku, the idea of a video game bar might not be so interesting to Western gamers. However, in spite of their popularity, these outlets operate in a grey area where bars were even shut down owing to copyright claims from studios. This is because the bars let people pay for their drinks, but play the games for free. In 2018, three bars closed their doors for good and four people were arrested after the Association of Copyright for Computer Software warned them they were in violation of Japanese copyright laws.
Based in Akihabara, Tokyo Video Gamers is the first officially licensed video game bar in Japan. It even sells merchandise from the games and franchises it offers within its four walls. Sega, Arc System Works, SNK, City Connection, G-Mode, Paon DP, and Dotemu SAS have all given the green light to the owners. Here’s a handful of snaps of what it looks like: