Each game has ways of monetizing its content or the game in general.

For example, Overwatch and CSGO implement loot boxes, Valorant with their various cosmetics, and DotA 2 with item trading.

However, nowadays, one form of monetization has been taking up the video game industry by storm, and that is gacha. While the gacha system doesn’t have a good reputation among many gamers, it has been proven successful in monetizing its gameplay instead of the pay-to-win monetization of some games.

Even having profits in a single limited-time event going in the millions has no sign of stopping any time soon, which is why a lot of game developers are starting to adhere to this system for their games. However, what is gacha, and how does it impact the gaming industry?

The gacha system refers to the system of monetization that is used in a lot of free-to-play mobile games. It was first popularized by the game Puzzle and Dragons, which used the gacha system to monetize its gameplay.

Puzzle and Dragons was one of its era’s most popular mobile games back then. Seeing the success of its monetization, many developers have adapted to the gacha system and have seen a lot of success in the past, making it one of the most effective forms of monetization in games.

So where does the term “gacha” come from? The name originated from the Japanese gachapon’s noise, which implements the randomness of its prizes every time you use the ticket.

The first part of the name, “gacha,” comes from the noise the machine makes when it’s rolling for the prizes, and “pon” comes from when the bell rings and you get your prize. That said, nowadays, “gacha” is more widely used in the gaming industry as a form of monetization that implements a luck system.

With all the budget cuts and lack of human resources, a game company rarely invests more than $100 million to develop and market a game. However, one Chinese company called MiHoyo (named Hoyoverse currently) did just that with their revolutionary game called “Genshin Impact.” Genshin Impact was released in 2020 and has implemented the gacha system to monetize their game.

It is a free-to-play game; it implements the gacha system by using in-game currency called primogems, which can be sought out by solving puzzles and defeating bosses. However, it can also be bought through Genesis crystals, which you can buy from the in-game store using real money.

But how is this all-important? Genshin Impact was hardly the first to use the gacha system successfully, but it’s one of the prime examples of how the gacha system turns in a lot of money through its monetization system.

Do Gacha Games Count as Gambling? The simple answer is yes. Technically, you’re using real-world money with the expectation of winning something more valuable through chance. Going back to Genshin as an example, you will use your primogems to pull for certain limited-time characters and weapons to be more efficient in the game.

When you compare playing gacha games like Genshin Impact and how you play table games in the casino, you can notice many similarities, especially in the money aspect of the game. Perhaps the only difference between these games besides the premise is that gambling requires participants to be of legal age.

Gacha games also adhere to age ratings, but their ratings mostly depend on the game’s content. Genshin Impact, for example, is rated PEGI-12, meaning kids above 12 are allowed to play. Genshin Impact is family-friendly and doesn’t delve much into darker content.

So Why Are Gacha Games Successful in the Video Game Industry? The thrill of acquiring a coveted character or item in a game is very powerful. It can be addictive to some people, so half of the gaming community is enthusiastic about gacha, and half are against it. When combined with a great game like Genshin Impact, the predatory nature of gacha can be negligible for many gamers.

If you’re wondering about the difference between loot boxes and gacha, gacha leans more towards free-to-play PVE games. This means that having new characters and items is mostly fine since the players use them against the game. Loot boxes, on the other hand, are typically found in PVP games like Overwatch, which only offer cosmetic items that don’t affect their competitive nature.

So, for the most part, gacha is a successful form of monetization for many games. However, it’s also important to note that most gacha games, like Genshin Impact, don’t require you to use the gacha system. Games like them can still be enjoyed without using the money. However, it doesn’t change the fact that the gacha system is very powerful among players willing to spend money on the game.