A batch of new Chinese policies could change the way some of PS5 and PS4’s biggest games operate. The likes of Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail, free-to-play titles with massive updates and sprawling campaigns, utilise features like daily login rewards in order to incentivise player retention. But as China looks to clamp down on game addiction, these mechanics may need a rethink moving forward.
It sounds like common gacha game features which tempt players into spending will be outlawed, such as top-up bonuses when purchasing in-game currency or cumulative rewards for buying in-game content. While there may be workarounds for companies like NetEase and HoYoverse, the former saw its stock drop 3.6 per cent in the aftermath of the announcement. Tencent was also down by 2 per cent due to the news.
Gacha gaming blew up big on mobile in Asia, but has since found worldwide success on console due to major releases like Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail. It’s possible these policy changes may only affect the Chinese versions of the games, although we wouldn’t be surprised if developers found workarounds that it can implement worldwide. Nevertheless, there’s going to be some head-scratching this holiday, as massive developers seek to protect their established business models.