RPGs have always been popular, but companies are increasingly adding the gacha model to boost player spending.
Your gaming experience is never truly free. Whether you pay to play, pay for a subscription, or pay for the game itself (or a combination of all three), companies need to make money somehow to keep the software developers working. Historically, the RPG has operated using the buy-your-game model, but times are changing. The modern RPG operates using pay as you play models, using Gacha for in-game profit.
What is Gacha in Gaming?
A gacha game is the term used to describe the toy vending machine logistics. By imitating the way A toy grabber wins you a random prize, you randomly select an in-game item such as kit or loot chests. These chests contain random but expensive goodies which can seriously enhance your gaming experience. If you look at the game mechanics in the Limbus Company, you can see clear examples of how you might encounter these game models. It is a piece of code which you find often in android/iPhone games.
What is the point in gacha games? When used properly in a game such as an RPG or an MMO, you can see how this premise makes game designers money.
How Does Gacha Meet RPG Games?
To make this money, the company begins by uploading a game as normal. Let’s use the popular Limbus Company game to explain. This is a character-driven RPG game which lets players summon identities and E.G.O.s. It has a turn based system and complex battle mechanics, but underneath all of this it has the drive of gacha powered RPG gaming. You lead a group of 12 sinners and explore a city with 26 different playable districts.
To use the gacha style, the RPG creators use in-game purchasing. You can buy pulls, buy stamina, and buy growth packs. Although there is no virtual recreation of a grabber toy vending machine game, they do randomized power up packages to help you get ahead. Take the growth packs for example, these contain randomized goodies which help your character get stronger, faster.
RPG – or Role Play Games – have always enticed the user by offering an experience based platform. Every time a character completes a task, they earn experience for that task. When they complete enough tasks, they ‘level up’, becoming stronger in their chosen skill set. When you add these gacha style bonus packages, you are selling the player advances for their character which will help them level faster. These packages serve to give you equipment, skills boosts, experience boosts, and more.
Gacha in Action
For one final example, let’s turn to legendary MMO World of Warcraft. In the beginning, players purchased the game for £40+. A few years later, the company announced a subscription fee on top of that game price. After that, players bought the game then paid around £8.99 per month to play it. This drove away a substantial number of their customer base. People do not like to pay twice.
Shortly afterwards, consoles such as the PS and the Xbox started the monthly charge subscription to play online too. As it gradually became acceptable, players returned to WoW. However, the team made changes. They did away with the initial fee for the classic game and stuck with the monthly subscription fee. Now, you can buy new gear, new weaponry, and even advances in your level, for an in-game fee. It’s not quite a vending machine, but it does contain random rewards.