serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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GREE Screws Up Again: Trading Function In Top Game Doliland Partly Suspended [Social Games]

Japanese news site BLOGOS, not really a big supporter of the social gaming industry in Japan and of GREE in particular (the blog ran several critical articles in recent weeks), has made public that GREE again stopped the trading function in their top game, social card battle game doliland.

The problem: players were again able to illegally copy rare cards (and sell them off outside the platform later). In other words, GREE screwed up again – in their most important title, and at a really, really bad time.

As a reaction, GREE made it impossible for players to trade a total of 14 cards, all of which are either rare or “super-rare” – meaning players sticking to the rules would normally have to invest a lot of time or money (or both) to acquire them.

So no, the Doliland glitch from February isn’t really fixed.

The problem here is not only the real-money trading aspect, it’s also that if too many of these cards start appearing in Doliland, the game’s “balance” might be in danger. There is a gameplay-related reason why some cards are very, very rare and are supposed to be hard or even next to impossible to get.

And taking away/suspending the trading element from Doliland means that the title loses part of its social element – obviously a problem for a social game.

GREE says for the time being, the trading function for said 14 cards is suspended until April 16.

What’s interesting here is that this time, GREE did not issue a press release or make this information public.

BLOGOS speculates that the reason for that is Doliland is already losing users and GREE wants to avoid more negative public attention –  but I think this strange PR strategy means they shot themselves in the foot, especially with regards to possible regulation around the corner.

Here’s Doliland’s top page (the link to the notice is the second one in red from the top):

Here is part of the notice itself (list of cards that can’t be traded currently):

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.