Monday May 21, 2012 : JAPAN TAKES ACTION AGAINST SOCIAL GAME (Update)
 
Consumer Affairs Agency says kompu gacha is illegal.
 
The Japanese debate on the legality of the social game kompu gacha has been decided, at least by Japan's Consumer Affairs Agency, which has declared the game illegal.
 
The Agency's ruling was reported this week by the newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun, which noted that any developers using the controversial monetisation mechanic in their games after July 1 will be prosecuted.
 
Kompu gacha, or “complete gacha” is a monetisation mechanic in social games that heavily incentivises the practice of gacha – paying a small amount of money to get an item at random and adding it to a collection, similar to purchasing toys from a vending machine.
 
Games in the social networking environment that use kompu gacha typically promise rare “grand-prize” items to players who manage to amass a defined set of specific items, which encourages players to spend more money on randomised gacha draws in order to complete their collections.
 
Reportedly lucrative for Japan’s social game companies, with some developers reporting as much as half their sales coming from this source, the kompu gacha system has become the epicentre of a debate that it encourages gambling, especially among the young.
 
Japan’s main social games providers have already abandoned the contentious model.