EA has decided to increase the Apex ALGS Championship prize with a crowdfunding campaign. Within the game’s store, players can buy up to four Animal Kingdom bundles for at least $30 each in Apex Coins, or a larger bundle of all four for around $100, and some money garnered through this campaign will go towards the ALGS prize pool.
Personally, I love Apex Legends and don’t mind paying cash for the special things I want inside the game. Furthermore, I also want to help grow the game’s eSports scene where I can. However, despite my fondness for both the game and its eSports, I just don’t believe these bundles are worth the money.
The ALGS Championship prize pool is growing! We're increasing the base USD $1M prize pool up to $3M based on purchases of bundles for the Apex Legends Global Series, available starting today!
— Apex Legends (@PlayApex) May 18, 2021
Worth the Cost?
Only $5 will be contributed to the ALGS prize pool for each small bundle purchased and $20 for the larger ones. In other words, less than a quarter of the money I’d spend on these packs will go towards supporting the eSports tournament. These ratios are disappointing to me, as I would have expected at least 25% of the bundle price to go into the pot, as was the case with Dota 2.
Additionally, $30 is—in my opinion—just too expensive for these cosmetic bundles. The Celebration Edition upgrade for Star Wars Battlefront II, for comparison, includes over 150 skins and only costs $25. Meanwhile, Dota 2’s battle pass, the main source of its similar crowdfunding campaign, costs $10.
I could elaborate on smaller problems, like how the Animal Kingdom theme has nothing to do with eSports or the faults of Pathfinder’s skin design. However, these are more subjective and forgivable than what feels like a manipulative cash grab at worst and botched execution of a great idea at best.
The prize pool cap is $3 million, which leads me to believe that if the crowdfunding exceeds $2 million (the original non-funded pool already sits at $1 million), then Respawn and EA may keep the rest of the campaign’s profit fully until June 1st when the sale ends. It would require 400,000 small bundle purchases to hit the cap, but with over 100 million players, these numbers are certainly possible. My hope, therefore, is that fans are notified when the $3 million limit is reached so that no one buys a bundle while mistakenly thinking they’re contributing to the ALGS.
I truly want to support the Apex eSports scene, but I don’t want that desire to be taken advantage of. If the bundles had cost less, and if more of my money were actually going towards supporting the eSports players, then I’d have no qualms. However, I believe this idea of fan involvement lacks somewhat in transparent and fair execution.
As I said, there are smaller, more understandable issues with these bundles. For instance, in games like Rainbow Six Siege, players can support their favorite teams by purchasing skins themed after those teams’ colors and logos. Some fans have even designed similar concepts for Apex. Credit is due where credit is due, though; the Fuse, Octane, and Caustic skins are all appealing. Personally, I find Pathfinder’s chameleon skin quite garish.
If I were pitching these bundles to you, I’d say: Help donate a little money to the ALGS prize pool and support Respawn and EA’s future work on Apex. After all, these companies have brought us some amazing products and features, especially and most recently in the form of Arenas. So if you feel comfortable with the less enticing facts regarding them, you should buy all the bundles you want. However, if you were on the fence and perhaps disconcerted by these things, you may decide not to buy any. I admittedly side with the latter mindset.
(Video by HYPERMYST)