Japan Declares Social Gaming Payment System Illegal

Japan has outlawed a social gaming payment system, declaring it illegal after it was found to be encouraging users to buy multiple common items with the chance of perhaps getting a rare prize.

It was announced earlier this month that the system known as Gacha, was to be investigated after reports over: "IAP systems that encourage users to purchase multiple virtual items from an in-game vending machine in the hope of winning a rare item as a prize".

Ultimately, any companies still using this system after 1st July will be fined. It's not just social developers like DeNa and Gree that are affected though, but worldwide brands like Konami and Namco Bandai.

This move isn't hugely surprising, considering Japan doesn't look too kindly on random prize systems and gambling in general. It's why casino-like locations filled with Pachinko machines can't give cash prizes. Instead punters win balls, which can then be exchanged for prizes. Often these are novelty items with no real value, except for a few rarer ones which can sometimes be exchanged for cash prizes. In the past these facilities have been linked with Yakuza activity, but due to efforts by the governing body known as the Tokyo Union Circulation (TUC) this has been somewhat reduced.

Source: MCVUK