Well, it’s been a while again, huh? Just take a guess where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing all this time. Correct, I pretty much lost my myself (and my money) in gacha games. Two specific ones to be more precise.
But as always, let’s organize this post a bit and start with some basic information. Like what are gacha games?
Some of you might not know what it is, even though you might have heard about some titles that fall into this category. Let’s take Kantai Collection from back in the day, for example, or Azur Lane. Then there’s Fate/Grand Order, Arknights and as of recently, Genshin Impact. All vastly different games you might say, but all of them involve some special lottery kind of feature where you can spend in-game currencies in order to receive some mostly random item or character. While these games are usually free, you can spend money to get more of these in-game currencies, which in return will enable you to get more “pulls” or draws from the lottery system.
For some, these kinds of games are hated, especially for the gacha aspect, as it baits people into spending money and basically means that those who do will have an easier time playing it. In addition to that, in many of those games, the price for even receiving a little bit of that currency is just ridiculously high. You can basically spend hundreds of bucks, and in the end, end up getting close to nothing. Trust me, I speak from experience, unfortunately…
On the other hand, while the games might bait you into spending money, you never have to. Usually, these games are completely free to get and free to play. Furthermore, seeing the sheer quality of some of the titles, it might seem ridiculous that you can even get them for free in the first place. Take Genshin Impact for example. It’s basically a AAA game that’s gorgeous to look at, with a huge open-world to explore, some seriously amazing gameplay, and basically the best graphics you can get for a mobile game right now. Add in the fact that this one, as well as some others, are cross-platform titles, you can enjoy playing no matter where you are and how you prefer.
I myself have started small with gacha games, when many years ago I first lost myself in the “naval war ship-girl waifu collector” Kantai Collection. Over the years, I moved on to Azur Lane, which is basically a copy of Kantai Collection with a different fighting system, and in late 2020, I ended up finding the two games I basically play (or more like live off) right now. One of them is the earlier mentioned Genshin Impact, which is basically an anime-style Breath of the Wild kind of open-world gacha, and the other one is Arknights, an anime-style Tower Defense gacha. While both of them are vastly different from another, there is one thing outside of the gacha aspect that both of them feature and that is apparently a big, big necessity in games for me: collectable anime waifus. Lots of them, to be more precise.
And this is where we can finally reach the actual subject of this whole post: the yuri potential of gacha games.
Some might say any, or well, most, games that feature female characters have at least some yuri potential, and you’re not wrong. However, it is a fact that for these games specifically, even without any confirmed pairings, the yuri shipping that is happening online right now is simply huge. Go on Twitter, Tumblr, look for fanfiction, or simply go to our trusty Dynasty Reader and check the image section. What you find will probably be very similar on any of these platforms. I’m talking about tons and tons of fanworks about so, so many of the ships from said games. I would even go as far as to claim that even if you don’t play these games, or games in general, you’ve probably seen the pairings and know where they’re from. Because, let’s face it, if it isn’t the sheer quantity of works, it might as well be that some of your favorite artists have picked pairings up and released their own fanworks.
I’m talking about artists like Color_LES, who brought us Mage and Demon Queen, or how about Negom, known for her Pretty Cure doujinshi. Both of them seem to be deeply in love with pairings like Keqing x Ganyu, and I can’t blame them.
The bottom line is that, even though there are more (gayer) games out, titles like Genshin Impact or Arknights seem to receive more recognition from the community. With little to no confirmed yuri pairings, one might ask why that is, and I’ve come up with some possible explanations why gacha games in particular have such a high yuri potential.
For one, the money companies behind those games generate, mostly comes from the characters in the game, or more precisely, from adding new characters to the lottery for people to pull. The more interesting the character, the higher the chance people will spend actual money to make sure to get them. Adding more characters usually would equal more money made. But only adding random characters probably won’t generate the highest amount possible, so in addition to adding characters, they would have to make sure to make them look good, sound good, “feel” good and have some appealing personalities and backstories. More diversity probably equals satisfying a larger amount of tastes, or let’s call it preferences. So every game will have some tsundere characters, same with lolis, and pretty much any other stereotype you can think of. That, however, also means that some characters might end up showing hints of interest for other female characters. After all, diversity is key, and these are games that are mostly targeted at a male audience anyway, so yuri subtext and a high amount of female options is pretty much the norm in many gacha games.
Using the gacha logic here, the more characters available, the higher the chances of yuri or yuri subtext, same as the more money spent equals higher chances of getting something good.
Having said that, I of course have also fallen victim to these games, and on my quest to get all the yuri couples to join my team, I too spend way more money then I should have. While I have been quite lucky in Arknights, Genshin Impact keeps denying me that one character that I’ve been wanting from the very beginning, and it’s been driving me crazy. So despite the fact that I pretty much called these games yuri gold mines, I do think that you should enjoy them with caution. Patience is a virtue I’ve never quite mastered, so it’s almost laughable that I’m now trying to preach it to you guys. However, I do believe that you should learn from my mistakes, and I have to tell you that spending money to get more characters is usually not worth it. Yet, I’m a hypocrite, so take that however you want. 😀
Knowing both the risks and also the good aspects of it all, is it still worth investing your time in those games?
In my eyes, what a surprise, it’s a big yes. Even outside the gacha, these games just scream quality, and even after having played them for months, the constant updates and events happening ensure that you can pretty much play them daily without getting bored. So if you’re on the hunt for a good new game to keep you occupied during all these lock-downs and whatnot, or if you either have endless amounts of money or simply a stronger will to keep it in your wallet than me, then I would absolutely recommend these to you to try out.
Now if you’ll you excuse me, I’ll have to log into Genshin Impact to pull for Jean…
Also, this is not a paid advertisement. I’m getting nothing from praising these games as much as I do, other then the burning desire to spend more money in them. 😛