Japan’s social game publishers are facing a government inquiry questioning the legality of one of their most profitable sales methods, according to a report in the Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday.
The tactic under investigation is one known in Japan as compugacha, or “complete gacha,” named after the sound made by toy vending machines. As with many mobile and social games around the world, players can spend real currency to buy in-game items. The difference in these games is that the players don’t know what items they’ll receive. If they collect complete sets of rare items, they’ll receive even more rare ones as a reward. This has led some players to spend thousands of dollars on the games in an effort to complete sets of virtual trinkets.
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