GREE, DeNA and 4 other Japanese social gaming firms outlaw 'complete gacha' mechanism

GREE, DeNA and 4 other Japanese social gaming firms outlaw 'complete gacha' mechanism
A council formed by major social gaming players in Japan back in March has ruled to outlaw the 'complete gacha' mechanism employed in some social games.

The six-strong body, which includes both GREE and Mobage creator DeNA, has banned both first and third party titles from employing the method.


The move follows the release of individual statements of intent from GREE and DeNA signalling a renewed effort to clamp down on excessive user spending in-game.

Rapid response

The council's ruling comes after Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency announced it was to investigate the use of the 'complete gacha' system across both GREE and DeNA's platforms, amongst others.

The model charges players small sums - around ¥300 or $4 - for virtual items that can be converted into a rare item when combined.

The agency claimed it was to look into whether such a practice violates the law using "unjustifiable premiums and misleading representations", although it's now unclear how fruitful such an investigation will now be, given all parties involved have outlawed its use.

Nonetheless, in a statement issued by GREE following the council's ruling, the firm said the new measure would be effective in regards to in-house releases from 10 May.

Law unto itself

"GREE does not view the comp-gacha function as an infringement of current Japanese legislation,Q the firm added.

"However, having given the matter careful examination, and taking into account the input it has received from a broad range of stakeholders and its social responsibility as a provider of services to a large number of users, GREE has decided to discontinue the comp-gacha function in the interests of improving the content of its services for users."

The new measure will hit third party games from 31 May, with titles from the likes of Konami, Sega, Zynga and Bandai Namco all currently employing the mechanism.


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


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