Gacha Games: The term Gacha might not be familiar amongst gamers, but without your knowledge, these types of games are creating a huge impact in the mobile gaming industry. The success of games like Genshin Impact, AFK arena, etc., has brought in a new way of monetizing free mobile games.
What does Gacha mean?
The term Gacha is a Japanese term that originates from the term “Gachapon”, which means Vending machines. The ones where you insert a coin in return for a random capsule or item from the slot machine.
This tactic lures the players to spend the currency until they get the item they want. This can turn both ways, either in a loss where the user spends more currency than the actual product or vice versa, where the user gets lucky and gets overvalued items for less or a fraction of the amount.
This led to the situation where the Gachapon vending machines achieved super high popularity in Japan. Today, you can find different types of vending machines throughout Japan with different reward models. According to a report from GameRefinery, close to 200 top-grossing games in Japan utilize gacha-style mechanics.
Meanwhile, in the west, the Gacha game mechanism is often criticized for how similar gacha and gambling are; the reality is they are basically slot machines for kids. This has led to lots and lots of controversies in some famous games like Counter-Strike, Overwatch, etc.
What is Gacha Game?
Now that you know everything about Gacha, Gacha Games are basically the same concept as Gachapon vending machines implemented in a game. Here you spend real money or in-game credit to open loot boxes or crates, characters, abilities, and more, depending upon the game.
The games you find in the app store or PlayStore often follow this mechanism to make the user spend more real currency in-game as microtransactions for different things. There can be spell effects, powers, levels and more to the character, which can make the user overpowered.
This also brings in the concept of pay to win, which basically means the person who spends more in-game has the edge over the other players with the enhanced abilities, powers, or the different variations received through the loot crates.
How does Gacha work in games?
Gacha in gaming is more like getting addicted to something rather than going out first and spending the first penny. The games created nowadays are meant to be addicting and will make the users spend more hours on the game.
This leads to a place or a loophole where the developers of the games include pay to unlock via microtransactions or full-blown DLCs to get some sort of money for the game. The other side of this is Gacha.
A good example of the early stages of Gacha can be found in The Legend Of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (2001). In this game, players can find trees that spawn at random places in their journey. These trees are called ‘Gasha Trees’ where the players can get in-game currency Rupees or Potions.
If you want to check out a Gacha Game in 2021, Genshin Impact would be the perfect example. This game is a grind-worthy game with stunning visuals and an open world. The game is filled with microtransactions and the involvement of real money to purchase different stuff, which makes it the perfect example of a Gacha game.