Recently I have been observing a lot of gaming companies pushing contents in their games that to my understanding should meet the definition of gacha. Yet, for some reason those games manage to avoid all the restrictions a gacha game should have, in particular the requirement to disclose the drop rates of items that are randomly acquired thru loot boxes.

I am therefore wondering what the actual requirements for being classified as a gacha game are and how those companies manage to slip past the rules.

For sake of clarity let's compare two different games from the same developer, I won't name them.

First, there is an actual gacha game. You play by using characters cards that you get from a random pool by spending a special currency. That currency can be got both in a limited amount by playing the game or by spending real world money. This game discloses drop rates. Second is a mini-figure battle game added on top of an already existing fighting game. You still get figures from a random machine, you still pay with a premium currency that is both available by playing the game (at an horrible rate requiring hours to collect) or "booster dlc" that you can buy repeatedly. In this case, the rates are NOT disclosed, so apparently this is not legally recognized as a gacha feature despite the clear intent is to profit on whale players who buy thousand $ worth of "boosters".

The question is therefore simple: what are the actual requirements for a videogame to be considered a gacha game and have to respect the rules gacha games have? Since the rules are too sparse in Europe, I will be fine with an answer that only discuss Japan, optionally USA if you like.

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    @DaleM While OP should probably add a quick wiki link, gacha games are games where essential components are obtained through lottery elements (and lottery tickets/rolls/whatever can be purchased through cash, of course), and the best results tend to be time limited (and may or may not return within any given time frame, be it months or years). Genshin Impact is probably the most popular current gacha game; though you may have seen more adverts for Raid: Shadow Legends. "True gacha" games had a prize awarded only upon getting every other item in the gacha; Japan outlawed those. Jan 3, 2023 at 23:09
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    In Japanese, gacha(pon) is literally a toy vending machine. You can probably see one at your local grocery store in the US: the little machine that you can put a quarter into or whatever and it'll spit out a plastic capsule with some "collectible" figure/toy in it. Gacha games are mobile phone variations on that idea, but they're in principle very similar to loot boxes. Jan 3, 2023 at 23:21
  • @zibadawatimmy more specifically, the term is meant to be an onomatopoeia based on the clacking sound an actual mechanical gacha machine makes when it is operated.
    – SPArcheon
    Jan 4, 2023 at 8:35
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    gacha is the sound of the turn of the coin part and the mechanics behind, while pon is the ball dropping into the chute.
    – Trish
    Jan 23, 2023 at 21:02
  • This seems a good starting point- lexology.com/library/…
    – SPArcheon
    Jan 24, 2023 at 8:44


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