Konami to remove controversial mechanic

Konami to remove controversial mechanic
Seth Tipps

By Seth Tipps

May 10th 2012 at 7:46PM

Company says the removal of 'kompu gacha' will have little effect on virtual good sales

Konami has become the latest Japanese firm to pull the controversial "kompu gacha" mechanic from its social games, following reports that a Japanese government agency had declared the practice illegal.

The "kompu gacha" or "complete gacha" encouraged customers to purchase spins on a wheel that would reward them with randomized items. If the player collected a complete set in the proper order, they would also win a very rare and powerful item.

With pressure mounting from consumer and government bodies worried about excessive child spending in freemium games, Gamasutra reports that Gree, DeNA, Namco Bandai, and KLab have pulled the mechanic before legal action could be taken.

Konami does not seem too worried about losing the mechanic, and a Nikkei report translated by Andriasang claims that "kompu gacha" accounts for only five percent of its earnings from social games.

News the mechanic would be pulled led to a twenty percent drop in the stock price of Gree and DeNA, with smaller drops for other social gaming companies.

But Konami in particular has seen remarkable growth, posting year-on-year growth from five to twenty million active users for its social games, and profits moving from $161 to $288 million.

Social games contributed over a quarter of Konami's earnings, and the company says it plans to ride the wave of growth provided by the popularity of smartphones and tablet PCs.