Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency Deems ‘Kompu Gacha’ Sales a Violation of Law [Report]

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GREE is one of the companies under scrutiny

Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has reportedly concluded that the practice of ‘Kompu Gacha’ is a violation of the law. Kompu Gacha, or ‘complete gacha,’ requires that players collect a series of items before being rewarded with a rare prize – and the process can cost as much as hundreds of thousands of yen in some cases.

The story was reported over the weekend in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun, citing “sources close to the agency,” and you can find the English version of that article here. The agency is to soon release its views about the issue, so stay tuned [1] for more information on that front.

The report says that the law in question is the “law on unjustifiable premiums” [2], and that kompu gacha is a questionable sales practice that takes advantage of user’s “gambling spirit.” It adds:

[T]he number [of complaints or inquiries concerning high charges for gacha games] surged to 58 in fiscal 2011. […] In one case, a middle school boy was charged more than 400,000 yen in just one month, while a primary school boy racked up 120,000 yen in charges over three days playing the games.

Serkan Toto has been watching this issue closely for some time now [3], and noted that some companies have already introduced restrictions in recent months in response to increased criticism, such as spending restrictions on minors. If you’re following this issue, keep an eye on his updates.

Blogger Chiyo Komoriya also wrote her thoughts on the news, noting that even though the practice of kompu gacha has been around for some time, it is only now being regulated (by officials who know little about the industry) because Japanese social gaming has become so popular and profitable.

The biggest players in Japanese social gaming were down on the Tokyo stock exchange in the wake of the news, with GREE (TYO:3632) and DeNA (TYO:2432) down 23.25 percent and 20.08 percent respectively.


Yomiuri Daily's explanation of 'Kompu Gacha'

  1. You can find the agency’s website here, as well as their English homepage here. It updates a Twitter account which you can follow at @caa_shohishacho  ↩

  2. You can find a tentative translation of that law here.  ↩

  3. See his related posts here and here, as well as a great background read on ‘gacha’ in general here.  ↩

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