Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has officially declared the “compu gacha” method of monetization in social games a legal offense. This follows previous reports that suggested the agency would be investigating the compu gacha practise, based on its similarities to the concept of gambling.
Compu gacha is derived from “gacha,” which is a monetization method in social games where players pay for virtual items without knowing what they are. Compu gacha takes this a step further and promises even rare items in exchange for completing certain pre-determined sets of items.
A significant portion of social game revenue comes from compu gacha. When the Consumer Affairs Agency’s investigation was reported on, social game makers GREE and DeNA saw their stocks drop by over 20%.
The early report also enabled these companies to pre-emptively announce that they would dispel the government’s concerns regarding the compu gacha practise before the CAA had a chance to crack down on them. Along with other companies, Konami and Namco Bandai announced that they would discontinue the business model entirely. Meanwhile, GREE are spearheading the creation of industry guidelines regarding social games business practises.