The Daily Grind: Does gacha have a place in MMO business models?

        
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    It sells the landing.

    Just so, so many of my friends are playing Genshin Impact these days — and not just playing, but gushing over the fun, the beauty, and the gacha business model. Wait, what? Yes, I’ve actually seen many people both defending and approving of the game’s use of the controversial gacha model of character acquisition and improvement, saying that Genshin Impact does it much better than elsewhere in the genre.

    If this term is unfamiliar to you (bless your soul), gacha games basically revolve around acquiring lootboxes that pay out random characters and upgrades. There’s usually a way to earn them, but the much faster way is to jam your credit card into your computer’s motherboard somewhere and pay for as many pulls of that slot arm as you can before you’re broke and destitute.

    Considering that Genshin Impact appears to have tamped down on some of the more egregious use of gacha design, what do you think about such practices coming to MMOs?

    Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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    kgptzac

    1st Genshin Impact is not an MMO. In fact its meager multiplayer co-op is such an afterthought it’s actually sad. 2nd is like it or not gacha of some form has been in MMOs for over a decade already so I’m not sure there’s any sense of denying it has a place in mmo business model.

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    Zero_1_Zerum

    No, no, a million times no!

    I played Evertale for a while, a gacha RPG, until I realized that I wasn’t even playing the game, just logging in for the daily rewards. I never beat the story. They had this thing where they’d advertise a “chance up” of a character, which’d look really cool so I’d want it, and then I’d try to get it, spending all the currency I had for getting characters, and all I’d get would be a worthless repeats of characters I already had for the 20th time or junk weapons. They’re all rigged to not give you what you really want, so you keep spending money on the chance to get what you want.

    Gacha games are plague on the video game industry!

    I’d hate for more games to be infected. But, greedy companies like that business model.

    I’m not ever going to play Genshin Impact, just because of their crappy business model.

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    Schmidt.Capela

    For me, basically:

    – If there is any chance, at all, that I will find the random contents of an individual lootbox to not be worth the asking price, then I won’t ever purchase it.
    (The distinction is there because in some very specific situations — lootboxes that allow you to see their specific contents before spending the money, or those where every single possible reward would already be worth the asking price — I might purchase them.)

    – If any item I actually desire comes exclusively from a lootbox then I will never, ever, play the game. I don’t care if it’s the best game ever made; if the devs are greedy and disrespectful enough to not only lock desirable content behind an added paywall, but also add an RNG aspect to it, then they don’t deserve my money.

    Which is why I haven’t tried Genshin Impact, nor will I ever try it unless it changes its business model to one without lootboxes (the chances of which might be on par with those of China granting independence to Hong Kong).

    BTW, I still think any game that uses a Gacha monetization model should be classified as outright gambling and restricted to adults only.

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    jaif13

    Some players have time, some have money, some have little of either, and some have both. I have no problem with games that cater towards those with lots of time, or those with lots of money, so long as the core gameplay is solid.

    So I buy a game that gives me (making this up) 200 hours of fun for $40. Hey, that’s cool, and probably 100x the value of a movie date. This game then adds a bunch of gachas, so if you grind your life away or spend oodles of money, you’ll git gudder? Fine as well.

    But, if the game puts me in a position where I must pick either extreme to be competitive, then there’s a problem. So, everyone’s doing the end-game dungeons, and unless I spend a ton of money I’m a liability there? PROBLEM. Or endgame is in the PvP zones, but you’ll die unless you grind 1000 hours for gear? Again, PROBLEM.

    I want to be clear – I’m not advocating “free to play in all areas”. I’m fine with free to play being more of a demo function. But extremes of paying or grinding just to play the main part of the game will drive me away.

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    Jack Pipsam

    I’m wary of any genre that is defined by its monetisation.

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    Bruno Brito

    Yes and no.

    I find those egregious monetization models ( all of them, gacha included ) to be a good way to define the quality of my gaming. If a game monetizes/punishes me to hell and back for not paying, they probably don’t respect the bulk of their players enough, and i’m highly sure that i WILL find more damaging points of that monetization model in the future.

    So, it does have a place, and i find that place to be the hellscape of MMOs, where the Allods’ and Archeages go to hang themselves.

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    Sarnaut Explorer

    Agreed. In a b2p (all of them have some form now though) or p2p game it would be hated.

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    jonathonbarton

    Goblins in Warcraft have been illustrating this concept since 2004. “Time is Money, Friend!”

    Gacha mechanics just put that right in front of you, and it’s uncomfortable to review how your actions in the past hold up (and don’t) in light of this new uncomfortable understanding. And there’s nothing you can do but just sit with the fact that you have over a year /played on your Main in Warcraft. That’s a lot of Time, and time IS money.

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    Anstalt

    Not in good quality MMOs

    For lower quality, sure, they’re gonna need help getting that extra money coming in to pay the bills.

    Ultimately though, all down to personal choice. I have never and would never pay for such things, just as I’ve never paid for anything in a cash shop. I don’t see the value, nor will I support such business models. But, if you want to, then go for it, it’s your money after all.

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    styopa

    Of course it does.

    That some people have poor impulse control or addictive personalities isn’t the games’ fault or problem.

    Life can only have so many guardrails.

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    maydrock .

    As long as I get my piece of gum.