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Ahead Of Self-Regulation: DeNA Starts Disclosing Odds In Gacha [Social Games]


Gacha, the biggest money-making mechanic in Japan’s social gaming industry, is about to get transformed radically.

A sub-form of this electronic draw concept, “kompu gacha” (or “complete gacha”), was regulated by the Japanese government a few weeks ago. The kompu gacha ban triggered a shock wave in the local gaming industry and prompted the biggest companies active in this field to introduce a set of self-regulatory measures.

One of these measures is that all companies providing games to platforms operated by GREEDeNAMixi, NHN, CyberAgent, and Dwango will be forced to disclose probabilities of winning items in gacha.

This measure will be in effect on September 1: after that day, all items in all gacha in all games in Japan will have to be disclosed, along with exact probabilities of winning each item.

This is a radical move, and I wouldn’t be too surprised to see this having a much bigger effect on sales than the kompu gacha ban because this measure affects the “core” of the mechanic (and not just a sub-form like complete gacha).

In other words, the gambling element will be much smaller. Gacha will be more transparent – and players could lose interest in investing money in gacha when they see how low the chances of getting certain items really are (see below).

As I criticized earlier, gacha right now is a black box: users have no idea what’s in the “pot” and what the odds of winning rare items are. No idea at all. On the other side, absolutely nobody controls the game providers: theoretically, these providers could set probabilities for items to zero at any time they want. There is no supervision, no guidelines, nothing.

This is a scandalous situation, but again, this will be over after September 1.

DeNA has decided to move earlier and is currently experimenting with showing the odds of winning items in a few 1st/2nd-party games.

I made some screenshots of how this looks using Gundam Card Collection.

As you can see, the game’s gacha section is making everything very clear: all items are listed up (the screenshots show just part of the display), along with exact chances of winning them:

What about GREE?

Generally speaking, GREE has “historically” been relying much more on gacha than DeNA, and they also introduced complete gacha before their rival did.

At the moment, I am not seeing GREE games disclosing probabilities, but Doliland, for example, has been showing how many cards are in the pot and how many of them are normal (N), rare (R), etc. for a few weeks now:

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.