Apex Legends started off so well. The free to play battle royale from publisher EA and developer Respawn (the team behind Titanfall) was so well received that it was looking like EA might actually claw back some good will after years of piddling it all up the wall.
That didn’t last long. Apex Legends has been heavily criticised for hiding some of its best gear behind expensive loot boxes in the recent limited-time Iron Crown event (which also introduced a solo gameplay mode).
The brunt of the latest outrage has been leveled at the ridiculous amount of cash you need to part with to unlock the heirloom set for Bloodhound. Despite being a cosmetic-only set that contains an axe, kill quip, and banner pose, various fans and publications have worked out that you’ll need to part with around £136 to actually get it.
Why does the set costs so much? Unfortunately, it’s currently only available once you’ve gotten hold of all 24 of the other rare or legendary items in the limited timed event. As you can probably guess, these are all hidden in loot boxes, and you’ll only actually get two for free by playing the game.
Using my rudimentary math skills (C at GCSE, thanks for asking), we can work out the ugly reality of the Bloodhound heirloom set. Each loot box is 700 Apex coins which at its cheapest (assuming you’re buying in bulk) converts to £4.86 real-world money.
To open 22 loot boxes then, you’ll need 15,400 Apex coins, which can cost between £111.98 if you’ve bought in bulk and don’t mind having some left over, or £127.84 if you buy in smaller amounts. Unfortunately, it doesn’t end there.
Once you’ve parted with the £112 or so needed to unlock the heirloom set, you then need to spend another 3,500 Apex coins to actually buy what’s in the set. This costs around £25, which means the cheapest you’re getting Bloodhound’s heirloom set is £135.97, and the most expensive price you’re looking at is £167.79, assuming you don’t earn the two free loot boxes by playing.
Obviously, most of the people reading this will be probably aware that forking out so much for a cosmetic axe is a very silly thing to do, but what about kids with access to their parent’s credit cards who think getting an axe from a limited-time event is the most important thing in the world?
Fans are particularly angry because the last Apex Legends event allowed players to actually earn the cosmetic items through gameplay, or shell out the cash if they so desired. The Apex Legends subreddit has gone so far as to call for a boycott of the new event, claiming that EA is purposefully trying to attract “whales” who are likely to sink big money on microtransactions if the opportunity is there.
Respawn has said that the heirloom set will be added to the regular loot pool somewhere down the line, although it’ll likely have the same odds of dropping as the existing Wraith heirloom set (less than one percent, according to EA).
That’s good, then.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.