We are not even one month into 2019 yet and already there have been tons of new RPGs released on the mobile platform. Take a look at the Google Play Store if you don’t believe us. Just last week alone there were four new entries in the genre: Langrisser Mobile, RebirthM, Aion: Legions of War, and War of Genesis. Moreover, the majority of the games in the charts are RPGs as well.

Of course, this is not to bash all mobile RPGs, as there are undoubtedly some really great ones out there. However, it seems that gacha RPGs are coming to a point of absolute saturation, just like endless runners or match three puzzlers did a couple of years ago.

Marvel Strike Force
Marvel Strike Force - one of the gacha RPGs that is more friendly towards free players

Now, to be fair, it makes sense for developers to be making these types of games, as there is a huge demand. If anything, we, as gamers, are to blame for this. However, the more important problem here is that these so-called “games” are not really games at all.

Here’s what you will typically see in a gacha RPG: You begin the game with just one character, play through a series of super easy tutorial levels, earn tons of rewards, a couple more heroes, and enough energy to play for at least a couple of hours more.

From then on it’s just a piece of cake. You can basically faceroll your way through everything, as no enemy will pose even the slightest threat to you. You blast through levels after levels, racking up more items and in-game currency to empower your characters – quickly expending energy in the progress.

The typical gacha RPGs are super easy, up to a certain point

All this makes you feel like an absolute god, and thus makes you want to keep through the entire and challenge the most difficult of levels.

However, difficulty suddenly skyrockets. Your team, which you thought you had perfected, is falling like leaves under the blades of the enemies. Your money and energy start to run out…

“Why is this happening?” You wonder. Why did your godlike power suddenly disappear? Where did all the money and energy you’ve accumulated go?

Summoners War
Summoners War – the game that started the gacha RPG craze

Well, you have reached a point that gamers often refer to as “the paywall”. This is where the game becomes practically impossible to play. It is the developers’ way of forcing you to take out your wallet – most often to buy gems or some new powerful characters, or upgrade your existing ones.

Of course, some players are actually patient enough to slowly grind their way past this “paywall”. However, this would take hours or even days to progress one level at a time and obtain enough currency to unlock new upgrades or heroes, not to mention that the amount of playtime allowed is limited by energy.

Now it’s time to take out your wallet

Thus, the majority of players would not bother with all this and start spending money to keep their team strong enough to continue to smash through the stages.

But all that is not exactly what you would call a game, is it? It’s just basically a gamble, your success depends entirely on RNG and how much cash you are willing to spend.

If you want to know what a real RPG is like, look at games like Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, or XCOM. Yes, it’s true that they sometimes require you to grind in order to increase your power, but still, there’s a layer of depth simply not seen in most gacha RPGs these days. They are a competition not to see who is more skilled at the game, but who can spend more money.  Their difficulty was intentionally designed to entice you to splash the cash.

Aion Legions War 1
Aion: Legions of War – a new mobile RPG that just launched

So let’s just be frank here: This is not “gaming”. This is just a method of exploitation. And it is our fault as consumers. As long as we keep playing and spending money on these games, the developers will continue to make them, as they see this as an opportunity to make a profit. This has to stop, and it is up to us to stop it!