Japanese crane games, or UFO catchers as they’re also called, have huge a variety of prizes, ranging from slices of fancy cake to bottles of dish soap.
But what the crane games are infamously known for is how hard they are to win. As we’ve found out before, you can put in around 10.000 yen and still end up with little for your efforts.
An extreme example of this was recently brought to the attention of the Internet by Japanese Twitter user Ogatun, when they posted this message and photo after failing 200 times and calling the police at a Sega arcade:
▼ “I couldn’t win at all so now the police are here.”
▼ Which was then followed up with this: “Uh, the police are investigating the staff member who still hasn’t won yet.”
Apparently this continued for 300 tries, until the staff member finally moved the prizes to an easier location and was able to catch one. Ogatun himself played with the items in the new position and was able to win too. The police decided to take no action at this time.
After getting quite a lot of attention online, Sega’s public relations department released this message the following day:
“As a whole, crane games are meant to be enjoyed as a way for customers to try their skill and luck, and played knowing that when they put money in, a prize may not necessarily come out. Of course, we strive to have our staff be aware of customers’ situations, so if something seems off you are welcome to call them over, and have them assist you a little bit. That is a fundamental operation of our company.”
Overall, it seemed as though Japanese netizens were definitely on the side of the customer over the company in this one:
“That’s just a scam.”
“If there’s a way to set the machines to be unwinnable, then the makers are accomplices.”
“They should probably be required to put up a sign stating the chances of winning.”
“Everyone knows the crane’s strength is proportional to how much money has been put in.”
“The ‘game’ is just putting your coin in the slot.”
“I hope you got your money back!”
No word on whether or not any money was returned, but for anyone out there thinking of going to a world-record-setting crane game center and trying their luck, you may be better off spending your money elsewhere.
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