For many years in the virtual-world social community platform Second Life, many of the best user-created content has been locked behind gacha mechanics. In individual retail stores and shopping events, players would spend a small sum of money (Often <$L 100) to try their luck at earning a good item from an outfit, accessory or furniture set. Typically you would walk away with a minor thing such as a pair of shoes or headwear, but if lucky, you could come out of a pull with the “Rare” item – often a body outfit, an item with a colouring HUD or a desirable backdrop.
Despite the conversation around these, I personally never really had a problem with it, mainly cause I tended to have godly luck and would typically pull the RARE item within a couple of attempts at most. However, not everyone is as lucky, and it would easily have led to excessive spending or purchasing from the “grey market” on the Second Life Marketplace should the item be transferable.
This will all change from midnight SLT on 31 August 2021, with developer Linden Labs announcing that they will be sunsetting the ‘gacha’ mechanic on this date – with the next 30-days being a grace period for all stores and creators to “mitigate the impact to those affected”. After this date, players are invited to file an Abuse Report for “Gaming Policy Violation” should they discover a store still using the content.
This is likely be shake things up a lot, with some popular stores making almost exclusive use of the gacha system with their products. Hopefully some of the most skilled creators will be able to transition over to individual sales, and that the content landscape for a product which is perfect for taking that in-game snap isn’t lost forever.
The full statement from Linden Labs can be found below.
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.
– Linden Labs
For a look at the community feedback or to submit your own comment for or against this change (Although given it is based on a “changing regulatory climate”, holding off on change doesn’t seem to be a practical option), visit the official Second Life Forums.