Gacha – ガチャ
Gacha, a term that’s so common now in mobile games, almost every game have some sort of gacha system. What exactly is it? What does it mean?
Gacha originates from Gachapon (ガチャポン), Japanese capsule toys (including the machine!). It is named after the noise of cranking the machine and the toy falling down. gacha – pon (you get the idea..).
The idea of Gachapon is that consumers will crank the machine which will in turn drop one random capsule from the available pool of capsules. The toys are usually released in sets which is shown on the front of the machine, in order to complete the set, consumers will have to draw multiple times and hope the don’t get duplicates. Is this starting to sound familiar yet?
Later on, the concept was introduced to MMO games for all sorts of in-game items. It was then introduced to mobile games to draw characters and items, becoming what we all know as gacha summons, you know what is in the pool, but you don’t know what you will get.
Like many popular things, in-game gacha has faced many controversies, from being dangerously close to gambling to criticisms over exploiting children’s naivety for monetary gains. These controversies has also shaped today’s gacha, with games listing the drop rates of each pool and removing certain types of gacha which requires players to make in-app purchases to win rewards.
▍Life vs. Game
As the Gachapon concept became more popular in mobile games, new variations have also been introduced like consecutive summons (guaranteed 4*/SR for 10x summons etc.) and step-up summons. These are rare in physical gachapon machines.
One thing is the same in both the game and real life though, and that is the power to pay-to-win. If you have the money, you can easily buy the full complete set of gachapon toys you want, and in-game, you can always pay for special packages for step-up summons or even “paid gems” summons which usually guarantees one highest rarity character.
Do you think in-game gacha is a sort of gambling? Do you think that they’re breaking mobile games or do you think that they add an extra touch of excitement to the game? Let us know! As always, if there is anything else you want us to explain, let us know in the comments!