We have Gree and DeNA, two huge social gaming companies, to thank for the massive growth in Japan's social gaming industry. But their business models use a method called "complete gacha"; it is currently being called unfair, and it may be regulated by the Japan's Consumer Affair Agency.
With the chance of not just the two companies, but all social game-related companies being regulated, their stock has been falling drastically. Although the decline in their market value was not as drastic as the social gaming industry, there could be another victim of this movement: the home console game industry, such as Nintendo.
The name "complete gacha" comes from the capsule dispensing machine, gachapon, in Japan. You insert your coin, turn the lever and you get your toy. Similar to that idea, online gacha is where you pay for a random in-game items and services. Make no mistake though, as the Consumer Agency is not targeting gacha, but "complete gacha". Complete gacha is where you are required to buy a set of items through gacha to obtain the final rare item. In most cases, the whole process requires you to use over a hundred dollars to complete the entire set.
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has already made it clear that they will not incorporate online gacha, as it will not give consumers a positive and trustworthy image of the company. Although Nintendo is planning on downloadable content for the Nintendo 3DSand the Wii U to be sold through online and retail stores, the movement against complete gacha may influence even that and all in-game services in Japan, and it could, thus, impact traditional gaming companies.
While complete gacha has not yet been regulated, there is a solid movement against it. Social game companies are readying to modify their current game so as to immediately respond when regulated, and console gaming companies are working on a solid business plan as to avoid being regulated in the future.
(Top photo: Koji Sasahara | AP)