Hatsune Miku fans have been outraged by the news Sega is plotting to sully their beloved virtual diva by using her on their pachinko slot machines.
From an exchange reported at the recent Sega Sammy general meeting of stockholders:
“Are you thinking of making a pachislot machine with Hatsune Miku?”
“We’d really love to do a Hatsune Miku pachislot machine. We could expect lots of her fans if we did.
But the rights-holders are a very conservative company, they say they want to take care of her, and give them a break from using her in pachinko for now.
We think if we give them some more time and coaxing, in the near future they’ll let us use her in pachinko and pachislot machines.”
For those not familiar with the details of Sega’s corporate structure, Sega was fully acquired by Sammy, a Japanese maker of pachinko machines, in 2004 after a long-period of post-Dreamcast losses, and Sammy installed its own CEO in the company and vowed only to focus on cashcows (by which it did not mean video game production) from there on.
Sega has since started generating fat profits, although its lack of interest in traditional gaming soon caused its reputation to suffer – not least thanks to its shady pachinko industry parent company.
Pachinko parlours, though ubiquitous in Japan, are only quasi-legal and are almost universally regarded as a pastime only slightly less loathsome than attending AKB48 handshaking events or collecting dolls.
Despite the vocal contempt for pachinko voiced by otaku online, curiously the pachinko industry has persistently licensed high-profile anime characters for its pachislot machines – Evangelion being the most notable example – as well as spun off a large number of its characters into their own anime series.
However, the prospect of Miku being sullied by contact with this base industry, and by no less than Sega, has outraged her fans:
“She’s being made into Sega’s plaything…”
“They are just desperate to consume and destroy her.”
“Her popularity should start to wane soon, then they’ll get their chance.”
“Be honest, Sega. You just want to suck her sweet fluids dry!”
“There’s no way they’ll let her be used for gambling.”
“Pachislot machine Miku – the lowest of the low…”
“Do they really think new customers would come because of her?”
“I get the impression pachinko and Vocaloids are the same demographic though…”
“Get lost, Sega! She’s not your character, quit trying to screw her!”
“This is more Sammy than Sega, I think.”
“Sega is a pachinko company now though. It’s to be expected.”
“I’ll never forgive Sega if they do this. They’ll destroy Hatsune Miku culture!”
“We need to get Nintendo to take care of her.”
“And get a Kinect dance game for her too.”
“All these guys want is to exploit other people’s characters for their filthy pachi-profits.”
“Great, do it! This’ll be the end of Miku!”
“If all this is true then words cannot express my loathing for Sega right now. I’ll not buy another one of their Miku games.”
“Crypton seem to be quite strict with Miku though. Pachinko might mean profits in the short-term, but in the long term her image might suffer. And the association with gambling is the worst possible one.”
“I just brushed off Sega’s idiocy as it just being Sega after all, but this…”
“Sega think they are the ones behind her popularity.”
“Crypton have Sega over a barrel though, they can pull the rights to Miku from Sega completely if they rub them up the wrong way.”
“Anime and pachislot are contents graveyards. Although occasionally one rises as a zombie.”
“Try this with Sonic or Yakuza instead, Sony! Use your own IP!”
“They already did…”
“They even did Sakura Taisen…”
“Sega: ‘We want to rape Miku to her core, but her parents won’t let us, it’s quite troubling!'”
“Sega: ‘You could make heaps selling your body… we don’t get why you’d refuse?'”
“They are probably desperate to do this after seeing how much Aimasu otaku shelled out on Mobamasu.”
“I choose to believe Crypton will never allow this!”
“Just how far have Sega fallen…”