Second Life developer Linden Lab will no longer allow content creators to utilize 'gacha' mechanics to sell items.
The company said it would be sunsetting the "very popular" sales mechanism due to a "changing regulatory climate." Gacha mechanics are similar to loot boxes in that they offer a random reward in exchange for payment.
The monetisation tool has come under increasing scrutiny due to its similarity to real-world gambling and its prominence in popular games, many of which are played by children and young adults.
Linden Lab intends to give creators a chance to re-tool their products before gacha mechanics are scrapped for good, and as such will be granting them a 30-day grace period that's will end at midnight on August 31, 2021. After that point, selling content via gacha machines will be prohibited in Second Life.
"We will continue to allow any sales where a payment is given for a known item, which means that items that had been purchased as 'gacha' will be allowed to be re-sold as long as the buyer knows in advance the item and quantity they will receive. We will, of course, still allow fatpacks, and any other currently-allowed distribution mechanisms," said Linden Lab.
"We did not make this decision lightly and we understand that it will impact creators as well as event organizers and certainly the shoppers! We look forward to fun creative ways of engagement that will come instead."