In Japan, the gacha’s monetization mechanic is as common as putting milk in your cereal. Gacha is a popular game feature that is equivalent to a secret box system that are found in social games, opening the box reveals a random prize / item for the users to use in the game. During the social mobile renaissance, the gacha mechanic has helped gaming giants Gree, and DeNA earn over $2.2 billion dollars annually, until the Japan government intervene and started regulating, immoral game system tailored with this addictive mechanic.
As game design features like “Kompu Gacha” started getting banned in Japan, players started voicing their opinions of the difficulties and greed of game developers on exploiting, users addictions to only fatten the companies pockets.
Cygames recently, have focused their attention towards these disgruntled users and have regulated their own games gacha system for the satisfaction of the users. Cygames announced a company wide regulation with all their social games for all where if a user who spent more than 900,000 Yen ($810 USD) on a specific game and have yet to receive a rare item, these players will be compensated with a rare item from the company.
One of the big reasons why Cygames decided to adopt these self regulated gacha rules is because recently, one of their big hits “Grand Blue Fantasy” has been getting smashed on social media on how low their rare item drop rates are. Users were taking to Nico Nico douga, a Social Video sharing community, streaming game play of “Grand Blue Fantasy” showcasing how difficult it is to get a rare item in the game, far exceeding the 900,000 Yen cap, they’ve announced.
When this topic was discussed with the major, and mid core mobile game developers in Japan, their responses were relatively consistent as they felt there is a need to regulate these system in order to grow the mobile gaming market.
Square Enix quoted, “ If CESA decides to changed their approval guidelines to regulate these monetization model, we have the resources to make these changes quickly” although still sounding like they have no intentions of changing their current position, it does sound like they are aware of their exploitation tactics and have plans stored when regulators start to regulate the situation.
Other companies like Gree, Capcom and Sega Sammy have all publicly said that “they will happily coordinate with the new guidelines, once it gets approved”
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