Source Gaming
Follow us:
Filed under: Super Smash Bros. Series

Loot Boxes, Gacha and the “Pay to Win Situation” – Sakurai Column Summary

Hello guys, PushDustIn here. Famitsu Columns come out at midnight, on Wednesdays in Japan. This means that when we translate things for Source Gaming, I’m often staying awake later than I should be as I work a full-time job outside of SG. Therefore, it’s unfortunately impossible to provide a full translation and meet our quality standards. Instead, here is a quick summary of the column, with a full translation coming as soon as we can produce one.

Therefore, do not consider the following direct quotes. Single quotes were used for loose translations and are closer to something that Sakurai has written. MasterofBear has checked this summary to ensure that it’s accurate and that we are not misrepresenting Sakurai or his words. However, these quotes may change when we post our final translation.

Note: Do not repost the full translation. Please use the first two paragraphs, link to this translation, and credit Source Gaming. This translation is for fan use only, and may not accurately reflect the opinions of Masahiro Sakurai. The following is a selection from Famitsu. If you enjoyed this article, I would strongly encourage you to support Sakurai by buying his books.

Source Gaming does not run ads on its website. If you enjoy our translations, please consider donating to our Patreon. It helps us afford new things to translate! Even if you can’t donate, say thanks on Twitter! It’ll make our day!

In today’s column, Sakurai discusses loot crates and Star Wars Battlefront II. He comes out against their practice in the game, as it creates a “pay to win” situation in the multiplayer mode.

Sakurai also questions if it’s necessary to have gacha style with real money because it’s so close to gambling. He thinks having gacha without real money is okay as that relies on luck and chance.

‘Isn’t it only right that if players use real money that players can choose what they want?’ He continues, ‘I think playing the lottery at the convenience store is fun sometimes but if every single item in the store was placed in a lottery system then everyone would have a difficult time.’

He concludes, ‘it’s important to consider the economics side, especially profits [of video games] these days. However, I think it’s the top priority to make sure that the players are having the most fun’

If you want to check out one of our full translations, we posted Sakurai’s thoughts on Ico. Ico was released 16 years ago in Japan today. Happy birthday Ico!


Special thanks to Japanese Nintendo.

  1. ‘Isn’t it only right that if players use real money that players can choose what they want?’

    Nope! That’s the idea of collecting. If people got to pick the Pokemon cards they wanted, they would all pick the best ones. That’s not how it works. If the best items were accessible to everybody, then they wouldn’t be considered “rare” now would they? The cards would have next to no value & there would be no point to try to get more and collect them.

    J. G. (@GeneralRayburn) on December 6 |
    • The difference is that in a trading card game you’re paying for the product itself, not an accessory to a 60+ product you’ve already paid for. Not to mention tcgs have a secondary market based around buying single cards as opposed to a randomized booster pack.

      Bob Lennon on December 6 |
      • It’s digital, ah, so that changes everything.

        J. G. (@GeneralRayburn) on December 6 |
        • Its a bad business model, nothing more, nothing less.

          Bob Lennon on December 6 |
    • Pokémon cards have real world value. These digital items to a game you already payed $60 dollars for that will be soon replaced by some sequel where all that money and time spent will be lost and left behind.

      ParallelMomentum on December 6 |
      • Insurance has value & bitcoins have value, & neither of those things have a physical form. There are many things you buy digitally that later go kaput. Online subscriptions to PC games, anyone?

        J. G. (@GeneralRayburn) on December 7 |
        • I see where you are coming from. Actually digital and physical are not that different. The only thing is that your digital goods are bound to an account or console. But that’s it. You can still give that console to your grandchildren in 50 years. They probably will have full access to my save data and DLC from Smash 4. It really is the same.
          And from the collectors side: If I die, I can’t take it with me into afterlife wether it is physical or digital.

          Physical is only the more traditional thing.

          cedrickterrick on December 7 |