Respawn Addresses Apex Legends Iron Crown Skins Controversy

Nope, not that one, the other one.

In my reporting earlier this week that Everybody Mad™ about an axe in Apex Legends that costs $170, I neglected to mention a related issue that Some People Mad™ about: Iron Crown-exclusive event costumes.

Pathfinder, Gibraltar, Lifeline, Mirage, Bloodhound, Wattson, and Wraith all have new legendary skins that can only be acquired through Iron Crown’s $7-a-pop loot boxes, and to make matters worse, they’re damn good skins. People were reasonably miffed that they would have to dump actual cash into loot boxes for a chance to get the skin they wanted, instead of being able to buy those skins outright in Apex Legends‘ normal cosmetics store.

Today, Apex Legends lead Drew McCoy published a blog post in response to the costume controversy, announcing that all of Iron Crown’s legendary items will rotate through the normal cosmetics store over the course of next week.

“At launch we made a promise to players that we intend to do monetization in a way that felt fair and provided choice to players on how they spent their money and time,” McCoy said. “With the Iron Crown event we missed the mark when we broke our promise by making Apex Packs the only way to get what many consider to be the coolest skins we’ve released.”

Starting next Tuesday, August 20, and running through the following Tuesday, August 27, all 12 legendary Iron Crown player and gun skins will be available for purchase on certain days for 1,800 Apex Coins each, which translates to roughly $18. However, since the cheapest bundles of Apex Coins cost $9.99 for 1,000 or $19.99 for 2,000, you’ll have to spend at least $20 to get the $18 worth of Coins needed to buy the skin you want.

Still, this might be cheaper than however many $7 loot boxes it would take to randomly receive the skin you’re after. You have to decide if you want to hedge your bets and just spend $20, or try and get lucky by purchasing (potentially more than $20 worth of) loot boxes. For other common instances where similar decisions must be made, see here.

McCoy makes no attempt to assuage the belief that Iron Crown is primarily a paid event designed to generate revenue, but does say that Respawn could have done a better job communicating that ahead of time. “One of the take-aways from this week … is that our messaging for expectations needs to be clearer. This is a different event structure than the Legendary Hunt from Season 1, and it will be different from planned future upcoming events.” McCoy goes on to say that Respawn has “structured the game so that all players benefit from those who choose to spend money,” and that “events like Legendary Hunt or Iron Crown exist so that we can continue to invest in creating more free content for all players.”

The post then ends with a reiteration that “this week has been a huge learning experience for us,” and I agree! I learned that you can sell a virtual axe for $170 with one hand, while espousing a renewed commitment to ethical monetization practices with the other. Weird!

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Jordan Mallory

Jordan Mallory is a 10-year games industry veteran with more heart than sense. Lover of frogs and dedicated Girls' Generation S♥NE. Mr. August, Men of Game Development 2015.

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