Atlus Leaves Sticker Picture Business

In 1995, video game Atlus maker changed game centers forever when its first sticker picture (called "purikura" in Japanese) machine Print Club exploded onto the arcade scene.

When Space Invaders hit big in Japan in 1978, both men and women played the game; however, by the 1990s, male-dominated fighting games were in vogue. Girls didn't go to arcades — unless dragged there by their boyfriends.

But when girls went gaga over Print Club, teen started lining up in front of arcades to take low-res sticker pix of themselves with friends. Atlus revolutionized not only arcades, but the arcade demographic. And as of March 31, Atlus is officially no longer making sticker picture machines.

The company's purikura output in recent years has been waning, and Atlus was no longer a major purikura player. Machines continue to sport better cameras and software, and they carry price tags that are comparable to a mid-sized sedan.

Sure, purikura is still popular with teens (see pictured schoolgirls), but things like the wide-spread use of cameras embedded in cell phones and a shrinking arcade market has hurt business, and Atlus has decided to focus its resources elsewhere.

ゲームメーカー「アトラス」、利用者減少のため31日で「プリクラ」から撤退 [FNN]