Namco Bandai's idol simulator is taking the Japanese mobile game market by storm and burning holes in players' pockets.
The Idolmaster game series is well known among Japanese gamers for its cute virtual girls and plethora of costly DLC. Now it seems the mobile phone version of the game, Idolm@ster Cinderella Girls, (better known among its users as "Mobamas") is doing a better job than any of its console predecessors at scooping up money from players.
The game basically functions like a collectible card game: Player pay 300 "Mobacoins" (At ¥1 (US$0.012) per Mobacoin) to draw a random idol that they train and compete with. Some idols have better stats than others, if certain specific idols are collected, they form a set with bonuses, and then there are special super rare cards-I-mean-idols that have some players emptying their wallets over.
Recently a couple of videos have emerged showing one player's attempt at obtaining a special rare set. Viewers watch and comment as he ends up spending ¥78,000 (US$949) without success. As generous as his donation to Namco Bandai is, this isn't an isolated case. Some people have even boasted spending over ¥100,000 (US$1,217), proving the game to be highly addictive.
I suppose all that extra cash would be handy for Namco Bandai in case of any lawsuits…