If you were thinking of downloading One Punch Man World this weekend and giving it a gander, you may want to brace yourself. Crunchyroll’s latest gacha game has a $1,000 character pack for sale, which you can buy right now for a one-time discount of only $99.99! How generous! Surely this is a step too far, lads.
The game – released only two days ago for mobile and PC – is developed by Perfect World Games and published by popular anime streaming platform and publisher Crunchyroll. It’s an action RPG that allows you to take control of many of your favourite One Punch Man characters in tense battles of life and death. For a price, of course. Everything for a price. Lets not forget the pool we’re swimming in here.
Right now, players throwing themselves at One Punch Man World can opt to drop $99.99 on an SSR (that stands for super super rare) character pack and get one of the rarest characters – no need for testing your luck on traditional gacha-style rolls. And hey, look how nice the game is being, it’s a one-off sale too! It’s plastered on the bundle clear as day – this pack is usually valued at $999.99. That’s a 90% discount – you’d be practically throwing money away not to buy it!
This is obviously rancid. For those thinking there’s no way they’d actually sell that bundle for $1,000 – a company can’t stick a product on sale if they don’t usually have it up for purchase for the regular listed value. That’s why you can’t go into a shop and see clothes that are permanently 50% off. If that was the case, it would encourage a false sense of urgency and actually be illegal in the UK.
People will buy this discounted pack, and assuming there isn’t a loop hole that allows One Punch Man World to display a $1,000 price tag, but not actually sell the pack at that value, a small portion of players may even snatch up the full price pack too. Such are the realities of the whale economy many games rely on these days. There will be some money-rich and time-poor folks who’ll want a maxed out character and won’t be too bothered with spending that much money. Historically speaking, there’ll also likely be some who aren’t money-rich, but feel a strong temptation to do that anyway.
I play Gacha games like Honkai Star Rail, and hell, I even dropped £100 on it a while back. I’m not going to sit here and wax poetic on the evils of microtransactions. But there’s a line, surely. There’s the inherent grossness attached to gacha games in general that people can opt to avoid altogether or swim around in, and then there’s slapping a $1,000 price tag on a bundle, deeply discounting it, then prettying it up so the urge to buy in is extra high.
It’s especially rough when you look at the legacy of other Crunchyroll games. Street Fighter Duel may still be kicking, but with a drastically smaller playerbase than it had on launch. Then you’ve got games like Princess Connect! Re: Dive – which was shuttered in the West. That’s the thing with dropping big numbers on these games – they can fall off or vanish in a snap.
So kids, don’t drop $1,000 on One Punch Man World. Don’t drop $99, just because you feel it’s a bargain. Spend that money on a holiday, or a really nice meal with your loved ones.