Of at least 16 titles not compliant with voluntary regulations on gacha and other aspects, a number are major mobile titles. Rise of Kingdoms and Last Fortress both receive a mention, alongside other non-mobile titles such as Apex Legends and Dota 2.
The news from South-Korean outlet Fomos (via Niko Partners weekly newsletter) indicates that the Self-Regulation Evaluation Committee of the Korea Game Policy Self-Governing Organization (GSOK) made the announcement. The voluntary regulations require developers to disclose probability rates for “capsule-type, enhancement and synthesis content”, which covers a wide variety of gacha titles.
The regulations were passed in February of this year almost unanimously and developers can face up to $15.1 thousand dollars for violations. Other legal consequences can follow. This was not necessarily a major change at the time as previous voluntary rules had been in place from the Korean Association of Game Industry (K-Games) since 2021.
Gacha legislation? It’s likelier than you think
Although some may view markets such as Japan and South-east Asia as the wild west in terms of gacha, this latest news is a small but important reminder that regulators are well aware of and combatting what they perceive to be the harmful effects of random item mechanics. It’s certainly notable however that these are not small titles. Rise of Kingdoms has been quite a successful title overall, but it may face escalating consequences from the Korean government due to this legal pressure.
Other regulations have seen games such as Fate/Grand Order and Blue Archive rated for mature audiences due to what was judged to be inappropriate content for younger players. The more open and gradual nature of regulation in these markets does present a stark contrast to the major Chinese market, where some developers and publishers have been discouraged from some business by rapid and often opaque regulation and licensing freezes.