Some Battlegrounds Players Aren't Thrilled That The Game Is Charging For Cosmetics


Yesterday, the developers of Battlegrounds announced plans to start charging for in-game clothing through a crate that can only be unlocked by a key that costs real money. The move has led to controversy, with some players declaring it "anti-consumer," among other labels, in angry threads across the internet.

Since Battlegrounds' early access release in March, players have asked for skins, or outfits, to customise their characters. The game's developer, PlayerUnknown, has said several times that purchasable cosmetic items will be added to the game, but only after it leaves early access. (PlayerUnknown says that will be before the end of 2017.)

But PlayerUnknown's Steam update yesterday seemed to go back on that: "On August 3rd, we will be launching three new crates. All three crates will contain items inspired by the Battle Royale movie, some of which you may have seen in our older artworks," it reads. "While the Wanderer Crate and the Survivor Crate will be free to open, the Gamescom Invitational Crate can be opened with a key which you can buy for $US2.50 ($3) each."

Proceeds from the key sales will support Battlegrounds' first invitational, held at Gamescom in Germany on August 27th. Its prize pool will be $US350,000 ($438,086), which will be divided among tournament winners and charity organisations. The skins look amazing.


"I think the main issue is trust," /r/PUBattlegrounds frequenter IAmAnAnonymousCoward told me in a Reddit message. The subreddit has exploded with negative posts about the Gamescom Invitational Crate, and most prominent was the post "JUST SAY NO to real-money keys. Keys and Crates are an ANTI-CONSUMER means of distributing DLC content," which garnered 12,500 up-votes and over 2,000 comments. Players have expressed their outrage on other forums, too, including the Battlegrounds Steam page.

"There was a promise not to introduce micro-transactions until after early access and they broke that promise as if it was worth nothing," he added. "Are they still going to keep their other promises, such that they will only ever charge for cosmetics?" Of course, these skins won't give anyone a gameplay advantage. Mostly, he says, it's a bad look.

Even though some of the keys' proceeds are going to a good cause, a lot of Battlegrounds players remember all too well Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's controversial approach to microtransactions, which helped bolster a reportedly $US7 billion skin gambling market.

Crates with real-money keys that unlock random cosmetic items, to many, feels less fair than Overwatch's comparable system, in which players simply earn free loot crates with random skins and things by playing.

Not everyone thinks a few paid skins are such a big deal. Redditor IlongboardandplayCS says fans are blowing the issue "way out of proportion." It's only one crate. It's temporary. And it will be funding a tournament. He's excited about the game's future: new maps, vaulting and climbing systems, a first-person mode and bug fixes. "All of these combined are too good for me to think the devs have gone full micro-transaction money milking mode."


    Oh, it will go full money milking mode.

    Business exists to make money, he will simple have to hire accountants and managers as it expands. Their brief will be to make more money for the game.

    Its a shame, this seems like the kind of game that could have charged for maps like in the old days, I understand that this splits the player base, but if after the release of a new map the previous one got discounted by 75% then it would fall into the micro transaction level... I mean 12 for new map, old maps 4 bucks.

      I would rather them charge for loot boxes over maps.

      Never understood the uproar about charging for cosmetics. The alternative 5-10 years ago was map packs.

        If they have to charge for cosmetics at all, I'd rather it be a flat rate than this gambling crap.

          But this way rather than spending 3 dollars for the skin you want you can spend hundreds!

          Its to give you more choice.

          That's true but from a business standpoint it lets them milk the customers as much as possible while not damaging the gameplay itself. I don't see the crate shit going away anytime soon.

      No thanks... Think I'd rather miss out on a few paid skins than miss out on playing the game entirely because the community is torn between paid and free maps.

      I don't understand. You'd rather them lock off actual content, rather than some silly cosmetics?

      I mean.. you realise thats what evil empires like Activision and EA do? They release the base game with X maps, then release 'expansion maps' as time goes on. As less and less people want to pay more for the same game, these maps are usually dead after the initial rush.

      It's the "free" core maps which last. I would -hate- to see PU:BG charge for maps.

    Doesn't matter what you look like, you all die the same.

    at least it's not For Honour where the drops actually affect gameplay.
    but it's also kind of shite that THIS is where we're at with games that we're just thankful when the microtrans aren't affecting gameplay.

      I can imagine at some stage there will be more controversial outfits purchasable, if I can purchase a full set of camo gear or worse a ghillie suit, that is teetering on paid advantages.

    1: You have no obligation to spend money on cosmetics
    2: It's not pay to win
    3: If you're desperate to wear the cosmetics, kill the idiots who paid for them and loot their corpses

      Exactly. Same approach with Overwatch. Wasting money on that cosplay nonsense is madness.

    Gamers scream at developer for cosmetics... as long as its not pay to win, maps, classes etc I am fine.

    If anything players should be happy... its bright yellow and pink. Not exactly post modern camo for hiding in bushes... its like buying forest camo for the Afgan desert based army.

    "Please create more cosmetic options to allow us to customise our avatars."

    "Ok, we created content, it costs this much."

    "Waaaaa you're charging for your work?" *flips table*


    I'd much rather they charge for cosmetic items, that I'm not obliged to pay for, rather than maps/weapons/armour etc that I am.

    Besides, I can go into the Steam Market right now and pay for pretty much any cosmetic item in the game, from $0.03 for a red T-shirt to $840.00-945.00 for a full set of the PlayerUnknown Battlegear.

      I'm with you. I don't want to be stuck paying for a weapon or armour or maps (WAM) on a regular basis. If they can monetize the game charging for optional, cosmetic items I have no problem with that.

      I actually don't mind them selling WAM too, but it shouldn't be a money making machine for them. By this I mean, you can't make a godlike weapon and then charge $20 for it. Or a single awesome map and charge $20 for it. If they sell WAM for a low price and not every damned week then I'd probably be willing to buy some. Oh, and if you're paying it shouldn't be random chance of loot.

      In this case I feel like the outrage is misdirected, they've said there will be paid DLC. So it's not like it's a surprise. And the one paid bit they're introducing "early" will be to fund a tournament so the money is going back to the fans. I actually see that as a reasonable use for paid DLC.

    I'm actually more upset about the patch note saying first-person games will only be available on NA & EU servers...

      Temporarily, it's being phased in gradually.

    Anyone upset by this is a moron. They are cosmetic skins. Boo hoo. Absolutely pathetic.

    This is so stupid, has no one read any of the patch notes or what Player Unknown has actually said? The crate that will cost money is a limited edition crate, and all the money for the keys goes towards the events and that, the normal crates are FREE.

    On top of that, everyone was bitching for player unknown to release more cosmetics, which is why they have pushed the crates to live early, the players brought this on themselves, and I for one dont give a shit about $2.50, not when its going to making the game and the events better rather than just lining their pockets.

    Next up: how angry gamers still spend money on cosmetic items, while remaining angry. It's cosmetic, the only value it has is the one you give it. if you don't think the cosmetic item is worth your money, don't buy it. You'll only continue to contradict your argument if you do.

    There really need's to some law made to counter paid dlc on early access model game's. Until the game's released everything should just be part of the core game.

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