The Netherlands Could be Banning Gacha Games and MMOs
Many of us love Gacha games. Genshin, Honkai, Azur Lane, Arknights, Blue Archive, Fate/Grand Order, Epic Seven. There is no shortage of quality Gacha games available to players, and subsequently, no shortage of income for companies that develop and publish them.
And while I did a dedicated video a few weeks ago concerning a potential ban of all Gacha games in Europe later this year, this is much more important, as it is not only nearer, but much more likely to pass – having a direct impact on Gacha in the Netherlands, and setting a precedent sure to follow across Europe.
Now I’ll be the first to admit here that Gacha games can be incredible quality titles. They can have gripping stories, stunning aesthetics, fast, fluid combat that we wish were the benchmark for other games of their kind.
Yet I’ll also admit that I’ve spent hundreds of dollars in Genshin Impact, hundreds of dollars in Arknights. And Mrs Stix has spent hundreds of dollars in Lost Ark – which, consequently would also fall under this ruling, along with the vast majority of other MMOs, MOBAs, team-based shooters like Overwatch.
Business models in these games – monetization is absolutely horrendous. Spending hundreds of dollars, thousands of dollars for a chance to obtain a character, a piece of gear. Something that carries the potential to make a game more fun or directly influence your ability, or inability to clear content or be accepted into groups clearing content.
We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced it. Yet this is also the most viable option for companies to make a profit off of us.
They know we’re all idiot degenerates that are willing to mortgage our home, to put off our wedding…. no, wait, who am I kidding. People that spend money on virtual Waifu’s are about as likely to get married as I am to stop talking smack about people that spend money on virtual Waifu’s.
Spain announced last month that it was going to be a “pioneer in Europe” regarding the regulation of loot boxes and microtransactions, taking strict action against all instances of the practice.
But the Netherlands are coming off much more strongly. Six political parties, The Christian Democratic Appeal, Christian Union, People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Socialist party, Democrats 66th, and GroenLinks account for 94 out of the 150 available seats in the Chamber of Deputies, and 44 out of 75 seats in the Senate.
And these 6 government parties are petitioning to legally ban all types of loot boxes within the Netherlands, going as far as calling on the Dutch cabinet to explore the prospects for this and “amend the law where necessary.”
The 6 parties in question have been very vocal in their disdain for loot boxes and Gacha mechanics, calling this type of monetization a “form of gambling,” citing how “addicting” the business model can be. Further expressing how this should be entirely banned from video games.
And… honestly, I understand Gacha mechanics are very frustrating, and I wish every character, every item, every piece of gear was easily grindable in-game, but the fact of the matter is… without this business model, these games wouldn’t exist.
And the worst part of this ban? It’s just going to force Asian companies that push out great quality games with questionable monetization to restrict these games to the East, where it will remain profitable for them, requiring us to either play them in their native language.. or play nothing at all.
This is definitely concerning, as it sets a unique precedent within the Netherlands, within Spain, and is slowly spreading across Europe. I guess in time we’ll see how how this plans out, but this could have some catastrophic consequences for gaming.