Gamer Hate

Belligerently lacking in remorse.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gacha Mechanics Explained by Jun Otsuka

One of the benefits of working at Wooga (however briefly) is that industry insiders will come and give lectures internally. While I was working on Warlords, I got a chance to hear Jun Otsuka go into depth on Gacha monetization. As he worked at one of the first companies to utilize it successfully in Japan, he had some keen insights. Here are my notes from his lecture.

Gacha Lecture Summary
An attempt to summarize the Gacha lecture.

Japan as a Market
Japan’s market is very valuable with an ARPU three times the average of other countries. It is also expected to grow due to smart phones only currently being used by 53% of the population.

What is Gacha?

  • Gacha is like a lottery where you never lose, and you can win big, or VERY big.
  • Gacha builds player assets, bringing them comfort in an ever expanding library of stuff that they have earned and won.
  • Gacha has categories of permanent assets, often in arrangements such as:
    Normal, Rare, Epic.
    Normal, Rare, Epic, Legendary.
    Normal, Superior, Rare, Epic, Legendary.

When you insert money into the Gacha machine:

  • For Hard Currency: You have a 0% chance of getting normal stuff, with a high chance of getting the next tier up, and a greater chance of higher quality goods. e.g. Normal 0%, Rare 99%, Epic 1%.
  • For Soft Currency: You have a very high chance of getting normal stuff, with a very small chance for higher tier goods. e.g. Normal 95%, Rare 4.99%, Epic 0.01%.

Designing Gacha
Design the Gacha mechanic first, then design the game around the mechanic (this is why monster games are so popular, easy to imagine).
The biggest gap in power should be between normal and the next tier up. This gives the player a taste of what could come, but keeps it rare.
Never use consumables for Gacha, you want the player to build a library of assets that keeps them in the game. It’s difficult to leave “real” stuff behind that represents hours of effort or an incredibly lucky Gacha draw. Consumables will eventually be consumed and then gone, giving the player no real incentive to stay (what did I get for my money?).
Non paying users should be able to complete the story and enjoy events. It just takes more time and effort (e.g. strategy/tactics).

Gacha Specifics
Give tutorial players gems and a rare to show the difference between normal and rare.
Give players a way to use their friends’ Epic monsters to have a taste of what winning the lottery could be like.
Sell slots to hold more Gatcha assets and have a scaling progression of costs for each slot (e.g. Non-payer has 2 slots, 1 slot costs 10 gold, 2nd slot costs 20 gold, 3rd costs 40, etc). These are always purchased in Japan.

Service in Japan
Support your player base with excellent service to keep them coming back for more, especially since they are high paying users and in Japan, they probably expect good service in many respects. This means:
Daily Dungeons that support different styles of play and strategies for success (e.g. if the game has elemental summons, having 1 day per summon type, and then gold earning on weekends).
Many special events each month (10 to 25 per month). This requires support with a calendar of events to make sure everyone can find events of interest and keep track of when they are coming.
Have easy to complete events periodically to promote getting involved in events and the Gatcha system in general.

Respond quickly to issues.
Be open and honest about problems and address them quickly.
Give “Sorry Gems” (hard currency) whenever issues come up to not only keep regular players happy, but to give Non Paying Users a taste of what they can do (puts them into the Gatcha system).

Benefits Drawbacks of Gacha

  • Higher ARPU
  • Higher quality long-term users.
  • More hardcore gameplay/less casual.
  • Lower DAU.

Find it, Try it, Want it, Buy it.

posted by CommanderHate at 9:26 am  

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