Pokémon fans know that nothing in life is free and that games that can be played at no cost, such as Pokémon UNITE, rely on in-game purchases to make revenue. Unfortunately, it seems developer TiMi Studio and Pokémon are really ramping up the cost of optional fashion items.
Alolan Ninetales ups the ante
It’s surprising, however, to find that Holowear outfits have been consistently increasing in price since launch. Originally, Mr. Mime’s Magician Style was the most expensive item at 1200 Aeos Gems (or about $19.99 USD if the currency is purchased at full price). Since then, several others have been added for the same price or less.
The launch of Alolan Ninetales comes in at double the cost at 2499 Aeos Gems though, and essentially requires a purchase of the $39.99 bundle of gems. Even though this Holowear comes with special audio or visual effects for its Unite Move, scoring, returning, knockouts and movement, that’s still a very high price tag. Even the most successful multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) game, League of Legends, only charges $25 for its most premium “Ultimate” skins which often use new technology to really affect how a character looks and performs.
Pokémon fans will really have to decide how much these kind of cosmetic items are worth to them and if they feel comfortable supporting a developer that appears to be aggressively targeting their wallets. Alolan Ninetales’ new Holowear is literally the same price or more expensive than any main series Pokémon game’s MSRP in Generations I-VII (granted, this is not taking into account inflation).
Is it OK for a free-to-play game to set high prices so that they can make profit? Or does $40 for a Pokémon skin feel like a greedy money grab by developers? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments below or on Discord!
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