Home Apex Legends Battle Pass undergoes a revamp and guess who’s better off? Spoiler, it’s not you

Apex Legends Battle Pass undergoes a revamp and guess who’s better off? Spoiler, it’s not you

The concept of the Battle Pass has been embraced by many a gamer over the years but its insidious creep into the major organs of our bank accounts continues unabated.

Preying on gamers’ innate desire to chalk off progression things started simply enough – gain some XP, move up a level which would then give you an utterly worthless cosmetic such as a stripy gun, but, more deeply when you are waiting in a lobby, a means of comparing yourself to other players. Not that this was an accurate comparison because largely it was a sign of time played over skill, but it was a badge no less, and it would cost you a few dollars per “season” to do it again and again.

Fair enough to a point in games such as Apex Legends, which are free to jump into so throwing a bit back the devs way for the fun you were having seemed okay (for devs read Electronic Arts / Respawn).

Then, games that were full price started having a Battle Pass as well, so you’d be paying $70 for the game then effectively a Netflix-esque subscription every few weeks on top. Of course, only the most loyal players continue to buy them – if you dipped in and out it means nothing to the publishers. There did used to be a world where the loyal customers got rewarded, not fleeced, but that friends, is not the world we live in anymore.

Following this move now Battle Passes and cosmetics have made their way into the most pointless of areas – single-player games. You can’t even show off what you have got to anybody. Where is that shrugging emoji?

Amongst it all, though there was one light and one that Fortnite and Apex Legends kept lit because progressing far enough through a battle pass would generally award you enough free in-game currency to get the next one – a reward if you like.

Cue the realization in the board room when it dawned on the money men this was costing them cash and that brings us to today, where Apex Legends players are up in arms and threatening to boycott the hugely popular shooter because changes have been made that can only ever benefit the corporation behind it.

A traditional Apex Battle Pass used to cost 1,000 Apex Coins which would set you back $9.99/£8.99. Once you had bought one you would then earn coins throughout and generally at least have some towards the next one. LOOPHOLE the commercial guys shouted.

Now, going forward Apex will have TWO Battle Passes per season and you have to buy them both with real money. No more Apex coin farming. Get your cards out.

Starting with Season 22, we’re evolving the Apex Legends Battle Pass to improve your experience and progression goals.”

I have rewritten this sentence three times before settling on the more sedate. “Ooh, thanks.”

“We’ll get into it for those that love the details, but here’s the gist: shorter Battle Pass with one for each split, revamped rewards, and purchased with IRL currency with a new cost for Premium+,”

So shorter, and costs more, and I will finish it quicker and buy the second one. And they are really magic beans you say?

Seriously.

The fanbase and social media have reacted as you and I knew they would – this feels like something EA may end up backtracking on, but if they do why didn’t it envisage this, and if they don’t, well don’t be surprised because money men don’t care about the little guy.

Here are a few of the more publishable comments you can find out there:

“This is what happens when the user acquisition phase ends and the mask comes off. Happens to every business, mr nice guys until they hit their target audience numbers then they squeeze”

“Bringing more cosmetic rewards with a battlepass that’s only purchasable with actual money and not Apex coins isn’t going to pump up the player count, it’s just going to make EA more money. They don’t care if the game is improving via QoL, balance, or new additions.”

“So they are in full “milk the whales before the ship sinks” mode now? Guessed as much with those ridiculous death box cosmetics.”

“The whole nice thing about the Apex battle pass was that if you grinded it (which took forever btw) you got the next one free. Glad I stopped playing this game.”

It’s hard to see how this model keeps the causal player buying and is unlikely to be the end of this story. Grab the popcorn and watch this space.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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