Respawn Entertainment and EA’s free-to-play battle royale Apex Legends was announced earlier today and went live at the same time. However, because Apex Legends is an EA title, naturally everyone is wondering about the microtransaction system. Luckily, you won’t be paying by the bullet, and the real-money transactions will be limited to cosmetics and additional characters.
Respawn confirmed during the Apex Legends reveal that “All of the spending in our game is very fair,” as it exists for “characters and cosmetics only.”
While paying for cosmetics is a pretty common way for publishers and developers to monetize a game, its rarely a controversial microtransaction. After all, paying for a new costume or skin doesn’t change anything about gameplay. It’s only pixel deep.
However, paying for characters can impact gameplay if those characters have special skills or stats that make them unbalanced in regular play. This has been a problem with EA titles in the past, as paid characters can become a bit of a “pay to win” scheme with the new unbalanced characters absolutely wrecking the free-to-play ones. Other games time-gate their new additions, where players can pay to access them early, but they get released to everyone else later on.
Because Apex Legends just dropped, we don’t know exactly how the paid character system will work out, but it is something to keep an eye on.
That said, many were expecting worse when they heard the words “free-to-play” and “EA” in the same sentence.