One of the biggest ongoing controversies right now in the world of video games is that of Loot Boxes and monetization of video games in various instances. The biggest thing that set this debate into motion was 2017’s Battlefront 2, which put the Loot Boxes front and center in regards to gameplay growth in order to ensure money for EA and DICE. And because of this, all new games that have similar things are looked at with skeptical eyes, including new titles like Apex Legends.
Apex Legends is the newest Battle Royale game on the market, and like the majority of them, it is free to play. To compensate for that, there are Loot Boxes in the title. However, as Respawn Design Director Mackey McCandlish noted in an interview with Gamesbeat, it’s not the same as others:
“We’re not pay-for-power,” said the design director. “We’re a very ethical form of monetization, where we’re giving away a lot of cosmetics that you don’t even have to pay for. If you do want to buy, you can directly buy, from the store, a limited-time item. You can earn the characters in the game or you can buy them. We’re shipping with eight. Six are free and two are earnable. It’s a balancing act, but we knew we didn’t want to be pay-for-power, pay-to-win.
He went on to further explain why the game is different than others:
“I think we’ve demonstrated with our previous games that we care about having an ethical, transparent relationship with the consumer. We did free DLC maps for Titanfall 2. When the competition was already going pay-for-power back then, we didn’t do that. I think this continues that trend, and I think it’s true to Respawn’s ideals of having a fair relationship with the consumer.”
The game has had great success in spite of its Loot Boxes. But whether it continues remains to be seen.