COVID-19 Shuts Down Remaining GameWorks Arcades

On December 23, 2021, GameWorks made the announcement of shutting down their remaining locations. Many people walked into these arcades and swiped their game cards for the last time the day before Christmas Eve.

GameWorks, formerly a chain of arcades created by Sega, was bought out several times during its lifespan before shutting down in the hands of ExWorks Capital. Their first location was opened in Seattle in March 1997 and is notable to many gamers as it is a recognizable location featured in The Last of Us Part II. Many visitors of the Seattle location shared their memories of the arcade on social media, as it was a popular spot to gather during various conventions like PAX West being across the street from the Washington State Convention Center.

GW has sentimental value with a lot of people in PNW as it was the place where we could all gather weekly and be among people you know and love.
@GoonPNW

Christa Lee, music composer and owner of Sound Retro Company, confirmed with a GameWorks manager that these closures are due to a combined effort of company mismanagement and effects of COVID-19. Kelsey Lewin, co-director of the Video Game History Foundation, is working behind the scenes to preserve the Seattle location’s historical value.

A sad loss for many, but these arcades will be immortalized through pictures, memories, and games like The Last of Us Part II. Do you happen to have any fond experiences visiting any of the GameWorks locations? Continue the conversation with us in our Discord!

Source: Twitter

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