On Monday 2nd August 2021 Linden Lab announced that the end of the use of gacha machines within Second Life and must be discontinued by content creators by midnight SLT on Tuesday 31st August 2021. The lab did not make this decision lightly and they know that it will impact creators, shoppers and event organizers deeply.
Less than 30 days for designers to maximize sales on gacha items before they are retired. It’s going to be interesting how shopping events and the arcade will handle the news going forward now.
There is active discussion going on via this forum thread that the lab are currently monitoring. The feedback so far has been pretty mixed. Keep a watch on the Second Life blog post as the lab will add a FAQ shortly.
***UPDATE: Due to the sheer volume of responses, it will be difficult for us to attempt to answer all questions in this thread in a systematic way, so we will put put together an FAQ and update the main blog post with it shortly.
The blog announcement reads this…
Due to a changing regulatory climate, we’ve had to make the difficult decision to sunset a very popular sales mechanism for content in Second Life. It’s widely known as “gacha”, and is defined by a chance-based outcome as a result of a payment.
We know that creators plan their content releases far in advance and will need to re-tool their products, so to mitigate the impact to those affected, we are giving a 30-day grace period, until midnight SLT on August 31. After that time, selling content via gacha machines will no longer be permitted in Second Life. Enforcement won’t start until September 1; after that date an Abuse Report for “Gaming Policy Violation” will be the preferred method of reporting this content to Linden Lab.
We will continue to allow any sales where a payment is given for a known item, which means that items that had been purchased as “gacha” will be allowed to be re-sold as long as the buyer knows in advance the item and quantity they will receive. We will, of course, still allow fatpacks, and any other currently-allowed distribution mechanisms.
We did not make this decision lightly and we understand that it will impact creators as well as event organizers and certainly the shoppers! We look forward to fun creative ways of engagement that will come instead.
We realize that this announcement may leave the community with questions. This forum thread is going to be monitored and we will answer any related questions in there.
Patch Linden has followed up on the official thread saying this…
I wanted to address a few themes I’m seeing so far.
One of the bigger one’s is ‘why’? As we mentioned in the post, the regulatory climate around these sorts of selling mechanisms abroad have been under scrutiny for some time, as many have also already mentioned. This includes the formation of some precedence already in place. We did not make this decision without a lot of thought on the impact this has and sadly we know how burdensome this can be for many. Through legal guidance, we are giving as much notice as we possibly can, but we also understand that it may not be enough is all cases. While we will begin enforcement on September 1, we will not start this out with an aggressive approach. Your account will not be at risk on a first offense basis. Please don’t take that as an opportunity to break the rules until you get caught, but we are committed to taking a proactive approach to any enforcement.
Next, is some of the comments on the mechanism or the gacha machines themselves. It is the act of paying for something and in return the item/thing you receive back is based on chance. The level of chance does not matter, or if you disclose it, including the ratios, percentages, etc, if the output is unknown (chance based in any way), that combination of mechanisms is what will be prohibited moving forward.
I have seen some interesting counter-points to how to handle the sales of the content themselves. Of course any already purchased gachas will continue to be able to be re-sold by resellers so long as the sales mechanism doesn’t use a chance based outcome to give you the item. Limited quantity items is another that would be perfectly ok to do, so long as the item being represented for purchase is what you receive upon purchase.
As posts are still coming in faster than we can respond to, we will do our best to respond as quickly as we can.
Nodoka Hanamura a gacha seller has put together this useful FAQ…
I will be giving a FAQ in this thread.
Now, fair warning as a conflict of interest, I am technically a gacha reseller, who sells them on the Marketplace, though that’s mainly because I still have some stock left there, and even then It’s not that much of an income for me – but regardless, I thought that It’d be best to note.
Q: I am a content creator that distributes content via Gacha. What do I have to do?
A: All Gacha Machines must either be disabled or removed from your store effective August 31st to avoid punitive action from Linden Lab. You are not prohibited from selling the contents of the gacha as individual items or as a ‘fatpack’ in a conventional sales format, in fact, i, and I would assume Linden Lab as well, encourage that you do so.
Q: I am a gacha reseller. Do I need to stop selling my Items?
A: Due to the fact that gacha reselling does not involve gambling, gacha reselling is permissible under the revisions to Linden Lab’s Skill Gaming Policy, under which gacha now applies.
Q: Why is this happening? Why Is Linden Lab destroying a profitable method of selling Items in Second Life?
A: The reason being is that, for anyone familiar with the video games industry and subsequently, legislative bodies’ interests regarding the industry, many national and regional legislatures have made their intent known to either ban or extensively regulate gacha and loot boxes, seeing them as equivalent to gambling.
While there is a debate to be had on the efficacy and justification of banning and regulating gambling, this is not going to spare Linden Lab, nor content creators, the gavel if they are taken to court by California, U.S., or other state and national courts for violating their laws. I know this will frustrate many people.
I know many people will point at Linden Lab and say it is their fault. But this is for the best. For the longevity of Second Life and the prosperity of our platform, we must sacrifice gacha so that we can continue legally existing…Again, I cannot stress this enough. This isn’t something LL did to spite people. This is because it was either they banned gacha, or LL would be in hot water for hosting it…
Stay tuned for more updates soon.