GREE, DeNA and other Japanese social giants clamp down on dodgy practices

Gacha and real money trading revised

GREE, DeNA and other Japanese social giants clamp down on dodgy practices
Having taken itself to task during the 'complete gacha' debacle, Japan's 'big six' social gaming platforms have unveiled further measures designed to clamp down on supposed suspect practices within games.

As well as a ban on the complete gacha mechanic – where players were charged small sums for a number of in-game virtual items that could be converted into a rare item when combined – GREE, DeNA, Mixi, NHN, CyberAgent and Dwango have also outlawed many gambling practices.

All about gacha

The new guidelines bans mechanics such as 'bingo gacha' as a result, where items were laid out in bingo grids, with players able to win items if they completed a column or line.

The approach developers take with the 'gacha' mechanic as a whole is also being revised.

Now games will have to make clear the exact probabilities of a player winning an item before playing gacha, making clear to players all items that can be won along with estimates as to how much money it costs to win them.

Firm friends

All six platforms are also set to follow GREE's line of cracking down on real money trading, with each item that can be traded in game now coming with a unique ID so illegal transactions can be tracked.

Friends who have only just connected won't be able to trade items, with a certain amount of time having to pass before contacts can interact in this way.

It's a simple move all parties involved believe will make real money trading far more difficult to pull off.

All such measures appear to have staggered releases, though the eye of the Japanese social gaming industry will be on the balance sheets of all those involved, with any move to change the way previously lucrative mechanisms operate likely to have a notable impact on revenues.


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