Mobile gaming is becoming an extremely expensive pastime for many consumers
The mobile games space is often criticized for its love of microtransactions. Many mobile games feature content and bonuses that can be paid for. In fact, many games actually limit how much people can play unless they are willing to pay. In Japan, a particularly mobile game has caused some controversy, highlighting how dubious microtransactions can be. The game is called Granblue Fantasy and is developed by Cygames, which ran a special promotion for the game just before the New Year.
Cygrames promotion attracts new players to Granblue Fantasy
Granblue Fantasy boasts of more than 7 million players in Japan, but this number skyrocketed when Cygames announced its promotion for the new year. In the game, players can spend money to purchase special items, which can be opened to unlock new content, particularly game characters. One such character, called Anchira, is quite rare and highly coveted among players. Normally, players have only a 3% change of unlocking this character, but during Cygames’ promotion, these changes were doubled.
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Players spent thousands of dollars, with some gaining nothing
One player, known as “Taste” online, began streaming on the Internet a few years before the end of 2015. Taste wanted to chronicle his journey to unlock the Anchira character, but this quickly turned into a very expensive endeavor. After 2,276 attempts at unlocking the character, Taste finally succeeded, but at the cost of $6,065. Taste was not the only player that had to dumb thousands of dollars to unlock a character despite Cygames having raised the chances of this character appearing significantly. This has led to harsh criticism being levied against Cygames, with some players accusing the developer of being manipulative with its promotion.
Regulation in Japan aim to cut down on manipulative practices in mobile games
In 2012, the Japanese government began introducing new regulations designed to curb the “manipulative” practices of mobile game developers. These regulations are meant to protect consumers and ensure they are not taken advantage of by developers. Consumers have issued many complaints regarding the fact that they have to pay more and more money just to play their favored mobile games.