The end of Gacha machines has finally come. I had no idea Lindens Lab was even considering it, but after reading this article, it makes sense. The Gacha system is gambling, and gambling is illegal according to laws in several countries Lindens Lab operates in.
Gacha machines have been in the limelight for years. People are divided about whether it is a form of gambling or not.
“Gambling, the betting or staking of something of value, with consciousness of risk and hope of gain, on the outcome of a game, a contest, or an uncertain event whose result may be determined by chance or accident or have an unexpected result by reason of the bettor’s miscalculation.” (Glimne, 2019)
Let me be brutally honest – or opinionated. Anyone who doesn’t see Gacha machines as a form of gambling is deluded. Just because you get something each pull doesn’t mean it is not gambling.
When I came back to SL, Gacha was a new thing to me. My friend Saki took me to the Epiphany and I was shocked that people would gamble to buy products.
“Back in the days, Gacha machines were only found at popular events with exceptionally creative products. They were fun until some greedy creators decided to tap into that market, releasing Gacha products for mundane items and dropping a machine at every fashion event,” one commentator said.
I loved Gacha. In fact, at some point in my Second Life, that is mostly what I was using to decorate my house. I often thought most Gacha products were of better quality and lower in prims. You could find intricate things that weren’t sold as regular products.
I wasn’t a big player on the Gacha machines though. My budget has always been limited, even more so after paying a tier for my region. I still managed to occasionally spend almost 5000L at the Epiphany or the Arcade. They were the major two Gacha events I was looking forward to going to.
Most of my Gacha products I bought on the Marketplace, where I am also selling my duplicates. It is much more affordable and there is no guessing. You buy what you want.
A sad thought: most Gacha products listed on MP might come from poor buggers who spent countless Lindens. Although I’ve always wondered if some people were only playing only to resell as a way of making money on Second Life?
When I redid my house, I couldn’t do a parcel return. I had to go through my two houses and skyboxes to remove all Gacha products. That took time. Too much time. So much time that I lost interest in Gacha. When I redid my house, I used a limited amount of Gacha (my pool area which I bought on MP).
A few days ago before the breaking news, I came across a Gacha of interest. A backdrop was the rare and the rest were all poses I liked. None of them showed up on MP (yet). I went to the event because I didn’t think I could lose.
I got the same pose three times. This is a regular scenario and the part I dislike about Gacha.
In discussions on social networks, people are comparing Gacha machines to Gumball machines. Gumball machines are cheap and there is one crappy thing of equal value in each ball.
You go to a gumball machine to get a gum of random colour. No “rare” gum. At least those were the machines I remember from my childhood. If it wasn’t gums, it was silly rings. It wasn’t addictive, nor was it costly.
If my memory serves me well Trompe L’oeil would be the kind of Gacha you could compare to a gumball machine. The wager was low, 25L per pull, and all the items were the same, but a different colour.
Gacha machines can be addictive and can be costly.
Another con with Gacha is when one item is useless without the rare. For example, a pool or a house is the rare item, and some of the items would be the tile surroundings. Not only would you get the tiles in duplicates, the rare would never drop. The chances of reselling useless tiles are low.
Sometimes the rare item made no sense at all. I wondered why in some sets one item was rare at all when everything seemed of equal value. I guess the appeal and what makes them addictive is the rare, so there HAS to be one rare, no matter what.
From my experience with playing, it never seemed fair. Then again, is gambling ever fair?
The chance of getting a rare Gacha has always been a hit and miss. I have gotten a rare on a third pull, sometimes even two one after the other, not from the well-known brands though …
I have heard from vendors that the machines can be adjusted for the win-rate. How many of them adjusted them fairly so we could all have better odds to get a rare, or not so many useless duplicates? Casinos exist to make profits. The owners control who wins and how much. This is the same system for loot boxes and Gacha machines.
The creators who sell Gacha only will struggle more than businesses that were doing it on the side.
Pictures of Gacha sales, questions, and polls about what to do next are flooding Flickr.
How about selling it as regular products giving us the choice of buying what we want? I won’t miss the ‘no-copy’ items as there won’t be any fear of deleting them by accident.
Beside, you do find products for sale that have an option to buy copy or no-copy rights. Sure, it might be a bit more work to set-up, but the option is there, and no-copy is usually more expensive.
“It IS your job as a customer to support the creator you like the product of, so they can continue making them for you. Creators don’t create out of just kindness and love. We need income, we need money. Many of us either quit RL jobs, or never get one so we can dedicate ourselves to the SL business BECAUSE OF the customers buying them & creating a stable income for us to be able to dedicate,” a creator said in one of the discussions I followed (no idea who she is, nor did I look).
As a consumer it is NOT OUR JOB to buy products especially when overpriced in the SL economy.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and customers also have to make money – usually in RL – before they can spend it in a store.
I buy what I want, when I feel like it, and when I have Lindens to spend. <– That is MY job as a customer.
Products do not need to be Gacha. A creator’s responsibility is to create good quality products at a reasonable price. This is what keeps customers coming back to buy in your store.
(Side note: bad customer support will make your customers stop buying from you …)
What excites me the most about the end of Gacha is not having to chase rare products. The price for some of them is outrageous. To be able to have an equal chance to buy something reserved for the lucky ones or big spenders is appealing.
The end of Gacha machines won’t be the end of Second Life as many residents speculate on social networks.
Me not buying Gacha products hasn’t change my spending. There are enough content creators on Second Life to make us spend our Lindens. There are too many events and new ones show up almost every week.
Gacha machines were one form of selling, not the only way.
Creators that were only thriving through Gacha will have to rethink their business. It doesn’t mean they can’t sell their products anymore. They will have to sell the regular way which seems to work well for most content creators.
Please share your thought below. If you have a story to tell related to Gacha, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Let’s end this post with a ‘funny’ real life Gacha video.
Poor cats …
Here is some news about the Arcade Gacha, Gacha Guild, To Continue Despite Gacha Ban which shows it is not the end of Second Life.
Glimne, D. (2019, February 20). Gambling. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/gambling