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How will Apex Legends be monetized?

Electronic Arts says there are no pay-to-win microtransactions

Respawn’s new battle royale shooter Apex Legends is free-to-play. But publisher Electronic Arts has a patchy record when it comes to monetizing games. What’s the plan?

At a press event last week, company representatives were at pains to explain that there is no “pay-to-win” model in Apex Legends. Purchasable goods are all aesthetics. They cover every possible opportunity, from unlockable characters to weapon skins to victory poses. Everything that can be bought can also be earned.

“We’re dedicated to a player’s-choice approach,” said a spokesperson. “We’re committed to the protection of our players.”

As explained in our more detailed impressions story, the basic model comes in four options.

  • Direct Purchase: An in-game store will spool through offerings, so not everything is available at all times. In other words, when you go in to buy, say, a skin, it might not be available for purchase, and you may have to wait for it to become available.
  • Apex Packs: These loot boxes appear at various upgrade points in the game. Their odds of yielding high-value items are posted, and there’s “bad luck” insurance, which will guarantee a top-level drop within 30 tries. This means that if you open 29 loot boxes and fail to gain a high-value item, you’re guaranteed one on the 30th turn. Apex Packs can also be purchased. Further details to be announced.
  • Purchasable Legends: Players can buy the characters that aren’t freely available. The two unlockable characters are Caustic and Mirage. Players can choose between them when they unlock the first (after about 15 hours) and can gain the next after another 30 hours. To purchase, they cost $7.50 each.
  • Battle Passes: Season details are to be announced.

We’ll have more on Apex Legends in the days to come. The game is out now on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

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