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Respawn responds to player concerns about the cost of cosmetics in Apex Legends

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(Image credit: Respawn)

Respawn has responded to queries from players about the cost of free-to-play Apex Legend's premium content by saying "content creation costs".

Although the "director-level monetization guy" was "pretty hesitant" about attending a Reddit AMA (opens in new tab) "given how spicy that topic can get on Reddit", director of communications, Ryan K. Rigney, convinced them to get involved, and responded to a statement about the price of cosmetic skins in the Apex Legends store.

"I get that you gotta make the game profitable, but there's gotta be a way to prevent the player from feeling cheated when they buy something," said Redditor x5hadau (opens in new tab), adding "$18 (realistically $20) is a lot to ask for one cosmetic item".

"As much as people think we can turn cosmetics out easily because our competition outputs content at a high rate, our team is much smaller and spends more time on our skins," Rigney explained. "The part of the equation people miss is the expense side of the people we have working on these things and the fact that we can't work 24/7. 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."

When it comes to the price point, Rigney said Respawn "thinks about this constantly", adding "it's tough because we want Apex to be around for a loooooong time". They also stated that "Respawn is gameplay first" – so gameplay isn't locked "in any way around monetization" – "content creation costs", but to balance this, that's why the prize track system was created so the studio "can give away pretty high-value rewards for just playing".

"Us being able to continue to make the game depends on operating a healthy business," Rigney added (thanks, Dexerto (opens in new tab)). "We're hoping players understand this is something we're working hard to balance, but when you consider the full picture, it's a tough challenge. 

"There's a lot players want from the Apex Universe, there's a lot we want to give, but we can't do that unless we're a healthy business at the end of the day. New Game Modes, Maps, Features all come at a cost we're trying to support."

Despite Apex Legends: Legacy launching with some serious server issues (opens in new tab), Season 9's addition of Arenas, a permanent 3v3 mode, clearly intrigued so many players that they shattered Apex Legends' concurrent player record on Steam. Just 24 hours after its launch, Apex Legends reached over 300,000 peak players on Steam alone (opens in new tab) in spite of the game's server woes.

ICYMI, as well as the new mode, Apex Legends Season 9 also introduced a new Legend named Valkyrie with wild new abilities, a bow, and several map updates, too. 

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Vikki Blake
Vikki Blake

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and GameIndustry.biz. Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.