Gacha game dev changes update roadmap after fan truck protest

Chinese gacha players have reportedly pressured the developers of Epic7 into retracting a future feature change by hiring a truck to circle the company offices. This truck would have been driven around the offices for eight hours a week, playing video messages from dissatisfied noteworthy community members.

This information comes from the gachagaming subreddit, where user Winterwish has catalogued milestone moments in this planned protest and posted it for Western fans to see. According to them, the Chinese playerbase raised roughly 30,000 Yuan (around $6,000) to pay for the truck.

But why did they do this? Well, Smilegate was planning on adding an imprint system to the game. In basic terms this means that if you get a duplicate of a character, you can combine them into a more powerful upgraded version. Genshin Impact and Honkai: Star Rail have a similar system in the form of constellations and Eidelons repsectivelly.

As part of this announcement, it was conveyed that all future characters would have imprints while older characters would have this added over time. This meant that in practice, new characters released in the game would have the capacity for greater power than older ones. As a PvP gacha game that a portion of the playerbase will have spent lots of money on, this led to… frustration across the board.

This frustration would lead to the truck, which would – alongside general negative feedback from players – result in Smilegate walking back the decision. In a video apology to the community Smilegate senior employee Jae-Hoon Jung would announce the cancellation of the planned update, and a compensation package for all players featuring a five-star character.

This is good news for the players of course. The update would have certainly been unfair to those who had spent big on the game previously, as well as pressure your average player to bust open the wallet for newer heroes. It’s also sent me down one hell of a rabbit hole in researching around this article. Did you know how big of a thing Korean protest trucks are?

Back in 2020 fans of the Korean League of Legends esports team T1 hired trucks to protest various issues they had with the orginisation. Fans of Fate/Grand Order paid for trucks to circle Netmarble offices for not carrying out a New Years event on Korean versions of the game. Kpop fans do this a lot too apparently. It’s a big thing!

How does this make you feel? Does hiring out a truck to protest video games cross a line for you, or do you think Western fans could learn a thing or two from their Korean comrades? Let us know below!