[Discussion] Gacha, Pseudo Gambling, Pity timers, Shops and ethics or Ethical Profits?

I strongly disagree.

Gambling, like alcohol and tobacco, are legal because regulation helps blunt the impact on a population as a whole ( similar to well regulated insurance).

In fact there is a part of contract law that says, if you do not list a specific bad outcome, you cannot waive being sued because you did not do your research on bad outcomes and how to prevent the contract signees from having a bad outcome.

Having a drinking contest for a game console, but not researching water poisoning.

But another part of contract law says once you have done your research, you must take adequate safeguards against that bad outcome, or warn the signee the burden of adequate safeguards fall on that party.

Having EMT trained in water poisoning on hand and monitoring or having contestants bring their own trained EMT.

But the ethics part comes, what if the signee cannot afford the safeguards?

If the contestant cannot afford an EMT trained in water poisoning monitoring?

The contestant dies of water poisoning, but your contest was legal because you warned them of water poisoning.

With society still wrestling with Gacha, loot box practices, pseudo gambling and other ways to lure customers into micro transactions, I would argue that transparency is not enough.

This is the whole reason I rejoined the forum and started publishing loot box unit pricing.

If SGG will not be ethical after 3 years, I will try and be the “Loot box monitoring EMT” for them.




Ah, so you’re actually arguing that it’s still unethical even if it is transparent and highly regulated?

Odd. Usually I get the opposite response here.

Just to be clear… if I understand you correctly… you are in fact stating that Gacha games are unethical even if they are completely transparent and highly regulated?

I’m half inclined to wholeheartedly agree! But then I also have this other half stubborn libertarian streak within me that wants to be able to smoke, drink, and go to casinos every now and then…




Gacha, as implemented by SGG over the last 3 years, falls under the above list of unethical Gacha.

Especially for players 13-21 years old.


But context matters.

Penny ante poker is very ethical.

Strip poker, especially versions with contact between players, can be very unethical due to peer pressure and especially if alcohol is involved and especially if age difference among players is significant.


Especially in USA, regulation always has trouble keeping up with progress.


Transparency does not help if you cannot make decisions for your self ( legal minors ) or understand the transparency ( merciless RNG ) or obscure too much ( $ USD -> gems -> rarity group odds) or design mechanics to enhance peer pressure.


This is cool


Thats a weird age range you picked. why are 18 to 21 year old grown men and women lumped in with 13 year old chikdren?

13 is 8th grade in most cases. Thats freaking middle school. 18 is a grown man or woman starting a career or attending college, possibly getting married and preparing to have their own children. Its also the age in which you can be drafted and sent off to war. Lumping them in with middle school children is VERY insultive. They are adults, with all the responsibility that comes with being an adult.

Oh I completely agree with you on that point. If they want to base their “summoning metrics” or whatever on a gambling model? One should have to be of legal gambling age before they’re allowed to participate.

Yikes! Yeah, again, if younger players are involved? It’s not ethical.

I mean, I did learn to play poker at a young age (11 or 12)… but back then I was either gambling with pennies, or plastic chips, or Halloween candy. Nothing significant or explicit.

I’m well above the age of legal consent myself (for just about anything LOL). I’m also beyond the beyond age of what some would say actually should be the age of consent (25-26 or so, based on brain development).

I fully agree that nobody under a certain age should be allowed to buy any gems in this game, period. Seeing as how I’m old enough and able to make my own decisions (somewhat) responsibly, all I ask personally is that SG be more upfront about their predatory pricing model, instead of hiding it behind a tiny little “i” icon in the summon portal. Now that I am fully informed, I know well enough not to spend any more.

I guess I should have specified “age limits” along with regulation and transparency.

In most parts of the U.S., currently, you must be 21 years old to purchase alcohol or tobacco, or to gamble in casinos.

I know, it doesn’t seem fair that an 18 year old can be drafted for military service, but not legally allowed to buy a beer… but that is the way it is according to the law, at least in the “states”.


I am aware of that. But one bad law doesn’t change the fact they are adults

Legal versus ethical

One of the problems with legal, it might still not be ethical.

Player A may be 16 year old math whiz with game design experience.

Player B may be a 70 year old head of a non profit food bank that has trouble with thier email.

Do game mechanics that are illegal for Player A, still ethical to use on Player B?

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Ethics is a very tricky subject. Two transparent and highly-regulated gachas in society are smoking and drinking. They are legal but they both have so many negative side-effects you wonder are they ethical? They can be considered long-term self-abuse and are a heavy burden on society, and supporting or allowing this behaviour can be considered unethical. Yet we all probably do it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I do drink, probably more than I should. But it doesn’t change the facts of the situation.

Very true. However the dangers of alcohol and tobacco use are very widely known whereas this particular gacha system is hell bent on keeping its dangers as hidden as possible. I’m all for people making whatever decision they like. I smoke. I know it’s horrible. But it’s a choice I made knowing full well the possible consequences. If everyone knew what the actual odds were in this game, some would make different choices. And I’m in no way against people spending money on this game. I’m so jealous of people that can and do spend. It’s waaaaay more fun. What I am against, and what I think the whole no spend thing is about, is SG not listening to the community in order to increase profits, and a lack of transparency regarding what spending actually gets you. All I want is for people to KNOW what they’re buying. Whether they choose to or not after they have that knowledge is not any of my business.

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True. I’m not disputing that at all. You asked why the 13-21 age range… basically, legally, you are supposed to be at least 13 years old to be able to be legally allowed to even play this game (or post on the forum, or whatever)… doesn’t mean there aren’t possibly thousands or tens of thousands of kids under the age of 13 who use the internet every day without full time parental supervision? Just that “technically”, you’re supposed to be “at least” 13 years old to even be here in the first place. 21 is probably the “maximum” age of consent to be able to legally gamble in most areas.

You had asked “why 13 to 21?” Obviously an 18 year old has far greater knowledge and greater personal responsibilities than a 13 year old… I believe the reason @Gryphonknight chose this age range though was to emphasize the fact that players who are “technically” old enough to play this game may not “technically” be old enough to legally gamble… which brings up quite a conundrum. Is buying summons in this game the equivalent of gambling? Many would say it is. I’m inclined to agree.

All other discussions on whether or not we should alter those legal ages and such aside… the fact is that this game treats a 13 year old player exactly the same as it treats a 31 year old player. And if we’re going to officially classify a “gacha” game as a form of gambling? Then we have a serious problem.

You make an excellent point here. It is obviously still predatory either way, whether legal or not.

Believe me, I am absolutely not arguing in favor of the gacha model. I think it’s utter crap myself. But… at the same time… I’ve reached an appropriate enough age to where I would like to have the right to decide stuff for myself - even if it is “bad” for me. So long as I’ve been duly informed ahead of time that it is, in fact, bad for me. That right there is my main issue with this game - is that it has not been completely transparent with its customers. So in that sense? I fully agree with you, that the game in its current model is not at all ethical.

But assuming your same scenario. Player A 16 year old math whiz wants to buy a bottle of whiskey. Society says “no”. I mean, maybe he deserves a shot or two… and maybe he’ll have a shot or two at his unsanctioned school parties. And then maybe he’ll get sick and taken home in the back of a police car, then scolded and grounded by his parents. That’s just run-of-the-mill kid stuff (at least, was for me in my personal experience).

Player B may not be able to figure out his email, but if he wants to buy a bottle of whiskey? Nobody is going to try to stop him. Nor should they. Unless he has a mental and/or addiction problem of some kind? In which case he should be in protective care. But that’s not up to you, or me, or the guy running the cash register at the liquor store to decide. He’s old enough to make his own decisions at that point without being questioned. We assume that a man of his age is probably already well aware of all the damage whiskey could do to his body, and we also assume that he knows he’s not supposed to drink and drive (and if he does so, and gets caught, he will be held fully accountable for his actions). Now maybe he’s so old that he’s forgotten these things… again, that’s not for us to decide.

I’m somewhere in between these two examples. I’m old enough to be able to decide for myself, and still young enough to be fully aware of my risks and responsibilities.

And finally, yes this. I will fully grant you that the gacha system itself is very, very evil. Mostly because they hide behind the facade of an innocent, fun little game. That should require one to fill out liability waivers before signing up for (I mean… I guess we already did, in a sense… but it should be much more explicit than typical ToS fine print that you have to “click to agree on” for joining most websites).

I just hesitate to take your ethics argument to the extremes, to where I’m being prevented from doing anything and everything that might possibly be “bad for me”… I mean, one of the very few perks of getting older in life is being allowed to get away with more stuff. Take those few remaining rights away from me, and I’ve got nothing left.


Yes, lack of transparency.

I’m just pointing out that transparency and regulation doesn’t equate to ethical. Legal yes, but not necessarily ethical.

There are also many. many people who smoke and drink not because they want to but because they have a compulsion to. I have many family members who smoke and hate that they do. That same tendency towards compulsion (that I also have as much as anyone) can lead to overspending on portals in-game. That is where the ethical dilemma comes in – deliberately preying on a destructive compulsive tendency.


game is run by butt pirates who stack the deck against a player in every way in order to con them into spending more and more. There is a special place in hell for these parasites.

I’m in total agreement. Didn’t mean that to sound argumentative. I am also a smoker who hates smoking. But I also enjoy it. Ethics unfortunately seems to now be a thing of the past that’s been trumped by greed. I appreciate your input to the conversation. It’s a very good point and a very debatable topic!


I enjoy discussions like this argumentative or not. In these kinds of discussions facts can be approached in so many different ways it’s often hard to keep track of what they are.


Where is the lack of transparency? The odds for summons are clearly posted. If those odds are not correct or if some 4 or 5 star heroes within a portal have a different chance of appearing than another, that would be a lack of transparency. But unless that can be proven 100% the summoning portals are are completely transparent. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not sticking up for the summoning system, i just don’t see where the claims of lack of transparency have any basis.

There was a thread recently about suing SG for false advertising. In this thread they were discussing the “increased chance for legendary heroes” line that appears on basically all of the summon portals. I haven’t seen a response from the staff to hardly any of the issues brought up here in the forum over the last few weeks, but sure enough, they got a response. They removed that line from the ToL portal because it simply wasn’t true. Is that transparency? When you only change your blatant false advertising when someone calls you out on your bulls$!t?

I dont know about every portal, but the ones I’ve paid attention to there is an increased chance for legendary heroes. Its miniscule, but it is there.

Yes you’re probably right about that. Which is why they only removed that line from that specific portal. But this again brings me back to that little blue i. Some would call that transparency, I don’t see it that way. If the actual numbers were plastered on the portal screen as much as all the fanfare, I would be of a different mindset. But to me, that’s hidden and overshadowed. I know it’s my own fault for not investigating or even looking for it. But I was distracted by the game when I started the game. I know that’s on me. But as I said, if the numbers were there, my wallet would be a little thicker.

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Legally, that little i is all the transparency required so yes, they are transparent, at least. With the portals.

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