Capcom seems to be getting cold feet with randomized elements in mobile titles.
Mobile games didn’t quite take over the industry like some people expected about a decade ago. Japanese publishers and developers are still very much into that market, though, and have been trying to find that sweet spot for mobile success. One aspect of mobile games that have been embraced have been the “gacha” aspect that is randomized pulls of characters or skins or what have you. It’s been somewhat controversial with some people pointing at those types of game mechanics as little more than gambling. Depending on how you feel about that, one major Japanese company is looking to pull back a bit with it in Capcom.
In their 2019 Integrated Report, Capcom talked about the gacha mechanics. In that section of the report, they say they are looking to minimize the mechanics, largely due to the backlash in western countries that have likened them to gambling. No specifics are mentioned for what they plan to do instead.
“In the Japanese game market, discussions have been taking place for several years on the problem of gacha, or lottery-style game mechanics, primarily in mobile games,” the section reads. “Overseas, gacha-like ‘loot boxes’ have been banned in some countries.
“As a creator of entertainment culture, Capcom believes that games should be enjoyed for the entertainment value they provide with gameplay, not for thrills associated with winning a lottery. We do not want to see games that are supposed to make people happy having the opposite effect as a result of excessive charges. For that reason, we are working to ensure that all users can enjoy our games fairly and safely. In principle, we minimize gacha elements in the mobile games we develop; in our home video games, we provide any content required to enjoy the full game free of charge, while offering some additional content at low cost.”
Capcom has returned in a big way in the last few years, seeing record levels of profits for their recent efforts. They largely haven’t done much in mobile in those years, with the exception of the card battle game Teppen.