Some Apex Legends players felt “cheated” over having to pay $18 for legendary items. Respawn tried to defend its pricing strategy and monetization methods, saying that the studio wants to “keep the business healthy.”
During a Reddit AMA session with Respawn, one user asked: “As the game grows, is there any potential movement towards more affordable content across the board? People want to buy these things, but it’s hard to justify it or feel good about it.”
As people think that paying $18 for legendary skins might be too much, the studio’s “monetization guy” tried to explain the intentions behind this price and provide some context. Here are the reasons he gave:
- Apex Legends being “gameplay first,” which means that Respawn doesn’t want to turn it into a pay-to-win game. In order to do that, the studio has to find a balance between the amount of paid cosmetic items and content that players could open for free;
- Creating content costs money, meaning that adding skins to the game is not as easy as some people may think. “It’s more expensive than people think in terms of number of people and hours because people don’t factor in tons of back and forth on concept, QA, ideation, creation, etc.,” the representative said;
- Apex Legends’ longevity depends on how healthy the studio’s business is. According to Respawn, adding new maps, features, and game modes costs money, and it all won’t be possible without cosmetics;
- Rewards for players who can’t buy these pricy skins. The studio’s representative said that they try to give fans options to get more content on a free basis, for example, giving away rewards for just playing Apex Legends or using a free track in the Battle Pass.
However, not everyone was satisfied with this answer, saying that “nothing actually touched on a yes or no answer to the actual questions.” One user even suggested that Respawn could have made more money if it lowered the price of these skins from $18 to $5. The fact is that it’s hard to say whether it would solve the problem because the studio doesn’t know how many players would pay for lower-priced cosmetics.
Apex Legends has become one of the most successful battle royales in the market, reaching 100 million players last month. According to EA, the game also surpassed $1 billion in lifetime revenue since its release in February 2019. The company is now planning to release Apex Legends Mobile.