I think we’re just about at that point where it is time to address some concerns about the current direction of Apex Legends. Some people don’t want to be bold enough to say it, but Respawn, needs to dramatically rethink how they’re monetizing this game. I get it, Apex Legends is a free game, but that does not mean that you strip away everything that should be rewarding about actually playing the game. So far it has made zero sense that it remains one of the biggest games out there pushing this crazily over-monetized system in this market. Right now, this is what it means to be out of touch with the gaming community.
Since season 2 of Apex Legends, this was starting to become a thing. Season 1 was fine. You got what you put the time in for. Your progression was pretty much based on the culmination of all of those games you played. We wanted challenges to add to this progression, but what we got was something a bit more ridiculous than that. We still got our progression to a lesser extent, but we also got challenges that for the most part put you in a position where that took more stock over you just playing the game. Where you could probably level up completely before the season ended, now you had to at the very least do your dailies every day to keep up. It was at that point that I realized that they weren’t really listening to the fans. They were really just gauging the investment that they could take advantage of.
This week Apex Legends had just started an Iron Crown event in which they’ve introduced Solos as a limited time mode. Initially I was fine with this because all of the people who didn’t know how to play as a team would run over there for that limited time. However, then Respawn started marketing this one to us, showing us a ton of new cosmetic items that honestly were much better than anything else that they put out for both the Battle Pass and smaller events. Then came the release, and instantly my jaw dropped when I saw what you had to do to obtain any of these items. As I said, it was outrageous. The pricing of the Apex Packs, the same dirty system involving the challenges, and then lets not forget the crown jewel at the end of it that pretty much would cost you $170. The chances of you really unlocking any of the stuff you wanted here was slim, unless you were willing to shovel out more real money than you had to. Obviously their objective was to make a profit off of this, but to that extent? It doesn’t matter if the system is a necessity for modern-era, free-to-play games. You can implement that without going to this extent.
If I were to also be specific, the store design had way more going on with it than need be, you now add a fourth crafting material to a system where you barely use or get to use the first three, another progression system on top of one you might need most of season 2 to complete, and these packs you’re buying don’t even guarantee you’ll get anything of value. Your luck is not going to be someone else’s. When it comes to this craziness, I wouldn’t even take a streamers word for it. They have the money to buy packs. They are sometimes pushed to do it for the sake of looking good to a developer.
I mean, it’s not like Fortnite doesn’t do these special events too, which offer unique cosmetics for sale during a season. Though Apex took that idea and went wild with it. I felt like I played so much the first day, and had so little to show for it unless I was going out of my way to complete challenges at the same time. Challenges that are no simple task either. You’d have to be a little more than your average casual player of the game to knock those out. Kill a bunch of players, get eliminated, and see that you probably only got enough XP to fill half a bar? Come on. After some time, I went right back to dragging my feet through the season.
There was a point where I couldn’t help thinking to myself, “They might as well have had us pay for the game”. At least then you wouldn’t feel so betrayed by the people who set aside a possible next Titanfall to milk us out of money. Some might say “Here’s your content, can’t complain about it now”, and they would be wrong. You can complain about it. Content is only content, or even good content, if it is actually made available to you. These cosmetics? For as nice as they look, the chances of being able to acquire them will be gone when the time is up for the event. You would either regret not killing yourself enough to do the challenges, or regret not actually paying out of your pocket for something that makes the game look just a bit prettier.
Of course some people out there will blame EA, and to some extent they should. At the end of the day those money hoarders are sitting there in the back telling people that this or that is what they have to do in order to bring money in.
At the end of the day? I believe that fixing this problem starts with us the gamers. There is only one way to send the message that a system like this is becoming outrageous, and that is by speaking with your wallet. Stop looking at that new Legend skin or weapon cosmetic like it’s a diamond ring, it’s not. It’s not worth the money your pouring into it when you could be unlocking these things through the actual time and effort you’re putting into the game. I still love Apex Legends, but with anything you love, you have to call bull**** when you see it. That is the only way that things improve.