The Arcade cancels September 2021 Round


On Tuesday 3rd August the Arcade team announced on their official Facebook page that the upcoming September 2021 in Second Life will be cancelled due to the recent Linden Lab news about banning gache at the end of August 2021. The Arcade team have said they will pause operations now to re-imagine the whole event and the event will return back even stronger in the near future. Yay! 🙂

The Arcade annual gacha events each year have been very popular indeed over the past 9 years. The Arcade are complying with the new policy change. Certain aspects of the gacha events will go which will be very sad for the Second Life community that love attending them.

The Arcade posted this via Facebook…

Just like you, we’ve been rocked by Linden Lab’s recent decision to ban gacha. For the past 9 years, gacha’s been the backbone of Arcade’s events, and we’re truly sad to see it go. Due to LL’s change and short notice to comply, we’ve decided to cancel September’s upcoming round. This pause provides our team the much-needed time to re-imagine the event and return strong. We’ll be in touch soon and look forward to seeing you when The (ALL NEW) Arcade re-opens!

It will be interesting to see the next chapter of the new Arcade when it opens up to the public in Second Life soon. I will do a blog post on that for sure.

NEW FAQ

Linden Lab have updated the original blog post with a new FAQ section at the bottom which you can read below. These are the most common questions being asked on the forums thread that was set up.

  • Linden Lab will not be extending the policy deadline. Warnings and enforcement will be happening from 30th September 2021.
  • 7Seas won’t be impacted by this policy change
  • Breedables won’t be impacted by this policy change
  • Subscription boxes are not affected
  • Linden Homes are not impacted by this policy change

Full FAQ section below!

We have developed an FAQ to assist with answering some of the most common questions we are being asked.  This list is not exhaustive, and we will continue working to get answers and add them here.

Q:  Is it possible to extend the policy deadline?
A:  We are sorry that we are not able to further extend the policy deadline.  However, we have been able to extend the enforcement of the policy change an additional 30 days.  To be clear, starting on September 1 we expect gacha as a sales mechanism to cease. However we will start with warnings, and any enforcement of the policy as it would be applied on an account will not begin until after September 30.

Q:  How are breedables impacted by this policy change?
A:  This current policy change and deadline does not apply to breedables or other life simulation products.  At the present we are working with external counsel on the subject of breedables.  If any action is required we will make a separate announcement and have a separate timeline associated with it. 

Q:  Will popular games like 7seas be impacted by this policy change?
A:  No, because the purchase of bait to go “fishing” is a purchase being made of a known item, and also the fish you catch while playing the game are non-transferable.  To be clear, if they are not currently, they must be going forward.

Q: How are subscription boxes affected?
A: Subscription boxes are not affected as long as all subscribers are getting the same content box. Different items being sent to different subscribers on a chance basis is not allowed. 

Q:  How are Linden Homes affected?
A: Linden Homes are not impacted by this policy change.  Linden Lab owns the homes and they are not transferable.  

There are still several great questions which we are working to answer with our legal team.  We will update with additional information as soon as possible.

I will blog about new developments on gacha when new developments happen. Stay tuned for that on my blog.

Linden Lab Ends Gacha Machines By The End Of August 2021


Breaking News

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. 

UPDATE

Patch Linden has followed up on the official thread saying this…

Hey everyone,

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.