Every mainstream game developing company eventually comes to a point where they receive backlash, we’ve seen it on almost every major game out there – although Apex hit the market with great tenacity puffing its chest towards battle royale giants like PUBG and Fortnite – they have taken an aggressive hit from players worldwide over their item shop pricing strategy. The idea behind Apex is the same that Epic Games achieved with Fortnite – make the cost of the game free, but offer a huge amount of cosmetics for purchase to produce revenue – and Epic Games succeeded in that strategy immensely. In 2018 Epic Games profited $3 Billion in sales from its headline game Fortnite Battle Royale – it would make sense for another game to try to follow in the footsteps of that strategy too…but looks like the latest to enter the battle royale arena is taking some heavy hits for not quite matching that strategy.
Although Apex Legends has been just over a week, they seem to unfortunately not grasp the concept of Epic Games’ strategy to boost profit for their free game – early on, they offered packs and had very few items available in the shop to purchase. Mix that in with this being an epic new game, and you really don’t have a ton of focus on Apex Coin costs compared to what the cosmetic items cost for players. Apex has successfully hooked players worldwide and launched a few cosmetics for Valentine’s Day – and that’s when shit hit the fan.
You’re probably thinking that this isn’t a huge problem because you have the option to not purchase those items, they are just cosmetic, they don’t help you out in-game, they just make you look cool – right? You are not wrong and there are going to be thousands of people all over the world throwing real life cash in to snag the skin, but lets think for a second that you want it, you have 0 Apex Coins and the current cost for this skin is 1,100 Apex Coins. Apex Legends does not offer coin packs of 100, they currently offer at the least packs of 1,000 – so you would have to purchase two packs of 1,000 to purchase this one skin and you’re back down to 0 once again and out $20.00 real life money. (1,000 Apex Coins are currently selling for $9.99) The only incentive to purchase coins would be for that one and only skin – and unlike Fortnite where you can mess around in Save the World or rank up to earn Vbuck rewards, you will not be getting any free Apex Coins here for free. Now, add in any skins you want to purchase with the Valentines Day cosmetic drop and you’re now shelling out well over $20.00 to look festive.
When fans of Apex took to social media to protest, many argued that this is how all games of this type are with some saying that these games rely on whales to purchase these types of cosmetics to boost their profits while everyone makes the small ‘battle pass’ purchases to further the revenue. A lot of people also say that the game is awesome so the cost of cosmetics really doesn’t change their view of the game at all. @Mikegus15 replied to a reddit feed complaint about the prices by saying “I agree with this, and the skins are cool as fuck, but I’m having so much fun playing this game that I don’t care. At this point Respawn deserves some money from me lol. It is an amazingly flushed out game that we haven’t seen from a developer in literally years. I do think, however, that is fucked up that the cheapest coin package is 10 bucks.” We agree with @Mikegus15 on this – maybe without all the cursing, but it does make sense. When Fortnite BR was released, it was pretty simple and almost empty – there were very little cosmetics to start and you entered the battlefield with what was provided on the map by Epic Games. With Apex, you have this vast map, weaponry, and a selection of legends with bad ass abilities.
So, the take away here is Apex might be digging an early grave with boosting the pricing and who knows, maybe EA Games is pushing for a quicker profit for their investment – but when it comes down to the bottom line, cosmetic purchases are highly optional. Sure, they make you look like a pro, they provide a unique representation of your chosen legend and weapon set, but if you don’t want to pay you don’t have to open up your wallet. We have high hopes that Apex will turn and try to balance out those prices and with the seasons coming up, give other ways to stack Apex Coins other than paying an insane amount of real cash for them. The key is to keep people playing and being able to customize (anything) is a huge must for the population these days.
What are your thoughts on the Apex Coin pricing?