The New Apex Legends Skin Prices Are Too Damn High

Apex Legends got its first update on February 14, and with it came Valentine’s Day-themed cosmetics. Although players have been posting online about how they are grateful for the treat, some have expressed worry about the relatively high prices of these cosmetics, and what that might say about the game’s future.

Apex Legends is a free-to-play game, although it does make money off of selling a premium currency called Apex Coin, which players can use to buy cosmetic skins for their characters, weapons, or player banners that are displayed at the beginning of a match.

The game’s update for Valentine’s Day introduced two new romantic cosmetics — a skin for the Longbow sniper rifle and a banner for Pathfinder. So far, so good. Except that each item was priced at 1100 coins, which comes to about $13.20.

While players say they are happy to pay for cosmetic items, $13.20 for a banner and a weapon skin seems a little pricey to them. While some players are saying they’d go to town on cosmetics that were $4 to $7, spending over $12 on a weapon skin feels predatory to them, especially given that unlocking the characters Caustic and Mirage only costs 750 coins.

To add insult to injury, the cheapest pack of coins you can buy will give you 1000 coins for $12, meaning you have to buy the next-highest pack in order to unlock the skins you want, which is 2150 for $24. If you’re buying coins just to get that skin or banner, you’re basically looking at spending $24.

At the time of this writing, there are several threads about this controversy on Reddit and dozens of tweets about it.

In a highly upvoted thread on the Apex Legends subreddit talking about the prices of the cosmetics and the coins, one player wrote, “That’s insane honestly, it should be like 2 lol. 10 bucks per character is fair, but asking 11 for a not even that good, character locked banner? Kill me.”

Another player replied, “This is not a good sign of things to come.”

The undercurrent of this anxiety over what this means for Apex is related in part to concerns about EA, which is the parent company of the Apex Legends development studio Respawn Entertainment. Players say they do not like EA, and some are still stinging from some relatively recent events that they blame on the company.

In particular, Apex Legends players continue to bring up how microtransactions were handled in Star Wars Battlefront 2, which eventually had to temporarily disable their loot boxes due to public outcry.

On that same reddit thread, one player wrote, “Jesus Christ, I hope that EA/Respawn see this since it’s at top of the subreddit. I don’t want it to be... like the Battlefront II game…”

Kotaku reached out to EA’s PR manager for Respawn but had not heard back at time of writing.

It isn’t as though players never want to pay for anything in this game. They just don’t want to feel taken advantage of. One of the highest upvoted threads on the Apex subreddit, with over 10 thousand upvotes, is about that very topic. “Respawn, I would not hesitate to impulse purchase $3-5 for cosmetic items,” the title reads. “$11-18 though? GG. Will not even consider it.”


Comments

    They're skins. If you think the price is too high don't buy them. Production cost for any given skin is static regardless of whether they sell 1 or 1 million. Therefore the price is set at the point where they think they will maximise revenue. The exact same banal articles were posted whrn Fortnite skins went on sale.

      Agree, my only gripe is the same one I always have regarding the currency "pack" buying and the fact that you can't just buy what you want they always position the multiples to be in their favor.

      That feels bad.

    Entirely optional cosmetics in a free game are expensive. What's next, fire is hot, water is wet?

      Maybe if all you can handle is Fire-Bad, Tree-Pretty type of intelligent thought on complex issues maybe this is not the discussion for you, quite clearly there is more to to the subject as you seem to think.

        Eh. It's not that complex is it? Respawn would rather sell one widget @ $10 than nine @ $1. Fortnite proved this structure works. Gita and many others want to complain that prices for optional cosmetics in a free-to-play game are too high. They're entitled to do that, but lets not pretend it's a complex issue. It's really not.
        Fornite BR has been out for... 12 months? To this date, someone could have spent $0 and enjoyed the exact same game as someone who spent $1,000.

          Exactly. If 3 people buy skins at $5 and only one of them would be willing to buy a skin at $15 then the skins are still priced correctly.

          Part of the problem is that the apex coins come in chunks of 1,000 (for $10 or so) - the new items are 1,100 so basically you are forced to pay twice the amount for what you want.

          The other issue is that I'm pretty sure people will pay for character and weapon skins because you see them all the time, in fact games like POE sell some for crazy prices, but for a banner? - something you only really see at the start and end of battle (I guess your opponents see it too when you kill them), its a bit of an ask.

          It's nothing to do with entitlement as it is a value for money thing, people want to pay to differentiate themselves from others but don't want to feel ripped off in the process.

            Its also nothing new. Plenty of games do the same thing, and its a pretty basic business model. Its no better than some of the shit Woolies pulls off on a daily basis, putting teaser products at eye height, or the equivalent of cosmetics at the end of the aisles.

            Its all part of being a business. You're trying to get people to spend more, so is it better or worse if its made blatantly clear like this? At least here you know where you stand before you buy anything.

            This is a free game, and they have to make a profit somehow. This is actually a step forward for EA, the purchases aren't Pay to Win like other games, and there's no hidden stuff like it being a randomised lootbox as well.

    Personally, I love this. To think you stupid ignorant fucking morons would go out of your way. Completely ignore who released this 'free game'. Tell everyone who had fears and concerns this would happen that they're too paranoid and should just STFU and either play it or don't.. All these excuses and a million more do NOT make up for the unbelievable stupidity that EA is banking on. That stupidity is YOU. Look in the mirror. Or...wait a week for the next 'controversy' so you can all cry foul while I eat popcorn, enjoying the show.

    If anything this is a good way to target an older audience with a disposable income rather than the children who play Fortnite.

    To add insult to injury, the cheapest pack of coins you can buy will give you 1000 coins for $12

    Thats what I hate about MTX. Its such a sneaky, cheap-ass, highly predictable tactic.

      On a free game, that you can easily get your roi in terms of game time. The amount of entitlement is crazy.

      Just for perspective this is no different than Fortnite, League or Dota really. Heck CSGO has you paying more for each container.

        Did you actually read the comment I made or what you think I was saying?

        I was talking about when they purposely make the price of items not match the prices of coin purchases, so you are forced to pay more to get the items you want.

        EG: Item is costs $11, but you can only buy coins in $10, or $20. So you are forced to buy $9 more than you need. That $9 then cant buy anything, so once again you have to pay at least $10, to do anything with the $9 and so on.

        You really defending such as anti-consumer and greed related policy, no matter what game does it?!

          Because it really doesn't matter, it does not affect gameplay and once again you have paid nothing for the game. Pretty much all free to play titles do this, you just have to accept that the monetization is going to be aggressive.

            you just have to accept that the monetization is going to be aggressive.

            Yeah no. Never. I have zero problems with free to play game charging whatever the hell they want, what I am talking about is highly questionable corporate tactics that force gamers to over spent in order to get the things they want.

            No one should ever accept a blatant extort for more money. Just because 'everyone does it' that doesnt make it right.

              You aren't being forced to do anything though. You are choosing to buy their skins, not oxygen. You aren't at the end of a gun being forced to do anything, you can literally play all of the games available content without spending a cent.

              This isn't some mobile game where progression is locked behind a gacha system that has game changing effects either, I don't see what the issue is.

                You aren't being forced to do anything though.

                I am playing this game, I love this game, I want to buy some stuff from the store to support the creators. Here is an item I want it costs $8, oh wait the minimum spend it $10. So in order for me to support the game I am immediately forced to pay $2 more than I wanted. If I choose that I now have $2 in the kitty of dead money, so to do anything at all with the $2, I now have to buy another $10 or that $2 is dead until t he end of time. Now I have $12, but the only items on the store are $8 or $14. And so the cycle begins again.

                Now imagine if that store sold an item for $8, no minimum spent. No buying another currency. You want an item, CHECK, you got the exact item, CHECK. No greed checks from the company, CHECK.

                know which of those two I would rather

                  Sorry to say this, but if you're haggling over $2, you're not their target market.
                  They're after people who go "Meh, it's only $2" and spend more than they intended.

                  The thing about cosmetic items is they *gain* in value the less of them there are in the environment. Think of clothing. People will pay stupid amounts of money for "Brandnames" over generics because they want to make a statement.

                  Cosmetics in these games are much the same. A guy running around with a $30 skin *wants* to be the only guy around wearing it. In other words, it suits them just fine to appeal to the crowd who are willing to throw money at them, ignoring the smaller fish in the pond.

                  So your issue is that the store does not facilitate you being able to spend only what you want and less. I am sorry, but this is a really entitled opinion to have. I think everyone can appreciate wanting to support the devs, but it's not a donation; you are purchasing a skin on their terms in a free to play.

    Its a free-to-play game that has cosmetic only micro-transactions. I don't understand what people expect from Respawn at this point. They need to recover the costs somewhere, and if that means appealing to the whales then as far as I care, go for it. I get that people like the cosmetic factor and that's a big part of it for them, but if that's the case, then give them money for making a game you enjoy, or grind it if you don't want to. This kinda feels like a whole r/choosingbeggars situation.

    Edit: Just a side note, I've purchased the $20 coin pack as I felt like its a great way to support the developers, and I get a couple to Apex packs too. These guys deserve it. Win/win imo.

    Last edited 16/02/19 11:29 pm

      A lot of people think these microtransaction economies are geared to the masses, with their single purchases here and there as the primary revenue - but it's not.
      They target the whales - those users who spend the largest sums and more frequently than any other users in that same economy.

      Either way, complaining about the cost of a free game is a little silly. Now complaining about the pay-for loot boxes in PUBG? THAT makes more sense. I already bought the game, why should I be paying to unlock more content in it?

    So I kinda have a few points that I took away from this.

    - Apparently Reddit is upset, this makes it a controversy
    - It’s a free game and they’re cosmetics that you don’t need, if the price is an issue the market will right itself anyway
    - Gita shills The Sims 4 at least threes times a week and the prices of that DLC is ridiculous

      Literally this, look at the changes in price for Sieges skins. People weren't buying them so they not only added a free way to get the older ones, but lowered the price of thr new ones (outside of elites).

    The higher their skins in fortnite cost upwards of 20usd and that seems to be working so i don't think this will be that bad and most likely will blow over since reddit is such a small minority of the user base it might not even affect the game.

    It's not about how much it cost, it's about how much you will pay.
    If they don't sell well the price will correct soon enough.

    Yep they are ridiculously priced.
    I want to support the game, but I will not purchase items at those prices.
    If they were like $1-2 for banners, and like $4 for skins, I'd grab a bunch.

      See, what you do now is offer them at higher prices for the "exclusive" of wearing them early, then mop up later by having "Sales!" after 6 months on older skins.

    Not terribly surprising given it is free to play, however I would love to see some companies try to offer some more experimental pricing strategies.
    Off the top of my head:
    Offer a package where you pay something like $60 (like buying a retail release) that gives you some free loot boxes or characters etc, but the ultimate perk is a permanent reduction in the cost of cosmetic items, dropping the price from $12 to something like $3-5. Sort of like a development supporter package.

    My mate spent $150 on Apex boxes or whatever they are the other day. He did say that he had a problem but it was his money and he had to spend.

    The funniest thing though was he got another mate to open them all through Share Play because they seem to have incredible luck with those kind of things. He ended up getting a heap of legendary stuff but now the guy that opened them is depressed that he can't actually buy some for himself

      Yep, and for every person who's complaining about "how expensive this is", there's that one guy dropping $150 on loot boxes.

      It drives me nuts, but there's a market and it's apparently cashed up and willing to spend.

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