Complete Gacha Ban Would Spell Bad News for the Social Games Business
The social games business is still very young, meaning there are a lot of things still to be worked out as certain Japanese companies are finding out right now. A highly profitable sales tactic employed heavily by companies like GREE and DeNA may soon be deemed illegal in Japan, a move which would certainly put a damper on what is a rapidly-expanding portion of the industry in that country.
The issue involves complete gacha, also referred to as compugacha or konpu gacha in Japan. Gacha on its own involves money being handed over in exchange for a random item; this is acceptable in a legal sense. Where complete gacha becomes problematic is in the way it rewards players with a special item for completing a set of items which are obtained randomly. This can, as you might imagine, become an expensive proposition as attempting to collect all the parts of a set can require countless transactions. Comparisons have been drawn between it and gambling, which is largely illegal in Japan.