Solo Leveling: Arise dev explains why controversial gacha system is ‘effective’

Solo Leveling: Arise has grabbed the attention of gamers worldwide even before its official release. But its thrilling story and visually striking VFX aren’t enough for players to forget the often frustrating gacha-like system for hunters and weapons.

Choi Jong-In is the hunter featured in the current banner. Screenshot by Dot Esports
Choi Jong-In is the hunter featured in the current banner in Solo Leveling: Arise. Screenshot by Dot Esports

“We had to think about how to allow users to acquire [various rewards] while playing and how to generate revenue from this F2P game,” Seong-Keon Jin said, explaining how Solo Leveling: Arise players can obtain different weapons, Hunters, skills, and Shadows through the draw system.

He remembered the team’s deliberation on what aspects of the game to preserve for “players to enjoy” and which ones to adjust for business purposes. It was during this process they introduced the current draw system.

While acknowledging the controversy surrounding the gacha-like systems, Seong-Keon Jin said it’s “by far the most familiar” to players, as its effectiveness has made it widespread in the gaming industry. To balance players’ satisfaction with a need to generate revenue from a free-to-play game, Netmarble added additional systems that “increase the probability of obtaining items” based on how many attempts the player tried to get it, like the Special Dice event. 

The Special Dice minigame will allow you to obtain all kinds of items and artifacts. Screenshot by Dot Esports
The Special Dice minigame allowed players to obtain all kinds of items and artifacts. Screenshot by Dot Esports

As games with larger fan bases also incorporate a similar draw system, Seong-Keon Jin said it was “natural” for the team to consider adding it to Solo Leveling: Arise. “It is an effective business model that is widely understood and easily accessible,” he continued, also noting that much consideration went into this draw system and what type of system players could both accept and benefit from.

By implementing the draw system, Netmarble wanted to give players the option to upgrade their hunters and weapons and keep the game free-to-play. While its gacha system will probably remain a point of contention among players, the studio is committed to finding a balance that ensures a fair and enjoyable experience for all players in Solo Leveling: Arise.

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