Japan’s game developers scraping gambling games

Japan’s leading social gaming companies Gree Inc and DeNA Co Ltd said on Wednesday they would gradually phase out games that contain aspects of gambling as they face increased pressure from regulators.

The game under investigation by Japans Consumer Affairs Agency is called “complete gacha”, which charges users around $3 to $4 to turn over virtual cards. Completing a predetermined set of up to seven cards allows subscribers to claim rare cards or other valuable online rewards.

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Yoshikazu Tanaka: Japan’s Youngest Billionaire Loses $702 Million In Stock Drop

Yoshikazu Tanaka, Japan’s youngest billionaire and founder of Gree Inc. 3632, lost $702 million today after his social-gaming company plunged by the daily limit in Tokyo on concerns one of its sales methods may be illegal.

Japan’s second-biggest operator of social games fell 500 yen, or 23 percent, to 1,651 yen, the biggest drop since its December 2008 listing, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That wiped out 56.1 billion yen $702 million from the value of the 35-year-old Tanaka’s shareholding, based on calculations by Bloomberg.

Gree led drops among Japanese game-related companies. The Consumer Affairs Agency is considering whether a sales method called “complete gacha” violates the law, Kazuyuki Katagiri, a section chief at the agency, said by phone today. The Yomiuri newspaper said May 5 the agency will ask social-network game operators to stop using the system because it prompts customers to pay excessive fees.

Read the rest of the story: Japan’s Youngest Billionaire Loses $702 Million After Stock Rout.