Technology

Sexy Anime RPG Puts Players In ‘Gem Debt’ To Pay Off Dev’s Mistake

Taimanin RPG Extasy is a turn-based gacha RPG in which players unlock new warriors to fight demons and criminal syndicates in a horny sci-fi future. The game’s been live in Japan for years, but only recently came to the rest of the world, and it’s already facing its first major crisis: an outbreak of “gem debt” following a major currency snafu.

The NSFW free-to-play game about fighting evil and collecting women with big tits came to smartphones on October 26 and PC via Steam on November 1 (not to be confused with the full porn version called Taimanin RPGX Extasy, coming next month). When players first started grinding battles to acquire “alluring” new units, Taimanin RPG Extasy was apparently giving out the “incorrect” number of Taima Crystals when players upgraded their character’s trust levels. Getting a unit to level four would earn a player 500 crystals and getting it to level five would earn an additional 1,000.

It wasn’t until November 1 that the game’s developers at Infini-Brain Inc. went “oops” and pushed out a notification to all players noting that this initial generosity was a mistake. The lottery-based microtransaction economy was actually only supposed to give out 100 crystals at level four and 250 crystals at level five. Players were disappointed, but so it goes with freemium time-wasters. The team issued a fix but they didn’t stop there.

Instead of just wiping the slate clean and going from there, Infini-Brain Inc. actually clawed back players’ misbegotten crystals. For anyone grinding Taimanin RPG Extasy a ton this meant not just losing all of their currency, but actually going into debt for all of the crystals they’d already spent. Currency players bought outright with real money would be unaffected, but crystals earned by playing the game would all be funneled toward servicing the debt. Some players calculated it could take almost a year to pay off their “tabs.“

The game immediately started getting review-bombed on Steam and the Google Play store. “Because I played too much now I won’t be able to get more gems as I am 8000 crystals in debt and I gotta make the same amount in order to get more free gems,” reads one review. “That whole ‘gem debt’ debacle was such a massive F-up,” reads another. “Yes, they’ve placed an in-game gem debt among the players for their own mistake. Can you believe that? It’s like they only see players as walking wallets!”

You might think this would be enough to force the studio’s hand. After all, why punish your biggest whales right from the get-go? Infini-Brain Inc. did not seem to see it that way, however. In an update on its website titled “Concerning Fixes to Unit Trust Rewards,” the studio defended its gem debt debacle. “In order to maintain data integrity and fairness to our users, we have decided to deduct the difference in Taima Crystals (free)” it wrote. “We deeply apologize for the distrust this situation has caused. We will work even harder to regain the trust of our users. We will strive to be a management team that you can trust.”

A screenshot shows negative Steam reviews for Taimanin RPG Extasy.

As a make-up to its early adopters, Infini-Brain Inc. is now giving all users who already registered for the game 1,000 bonus Taima Crystals. They expire in 30 days if left in players’ gift boxes uncollected, and don’t seem likely to put a major dent in the heaviest users’ debts. Players have understandably been unimpressed with the studio’s handling of the mess.

“A thousand!? A thousand is a drop in the bucket!” tweeted one player. “How about you don’t put the players in debt period? Why the hell am I condemned to nothing for the rest of this game’s shakey future because of YOUR mistake when all I did was PAY YOU and put in honest effort because I wanted this game to succeed?”

Some players still don’t buy that the initial crystal drops were even a mistake. After all, they were labeled accurately in the game before Infini-Brain Inc. changed the amounts, leading to conspiracy theories that gem debt was really just an overreaction by the developers after they realized that Taimanin RPG Extasy’s economy was more generous than originally intended. “The code was possessed by a demon,” wrote one sarcastic commenter on the gachagaming subreddit. “We need a tech-exorcist to expel the evil of it.”

The studio did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    


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