Valorant players have recently felt that Riot Games is charging more than they should for weapon cosmetic skins.
The conversation regarding the alleged high prices was first brought to the forefront in reply to a tweet by Valorant regarding the amazing works of Preeti Khanolkar, the Premium Content Producer of Valorant.
While some fans praised and thanked her for her amazing works, a lot of players took the opportunity to complain about the high prices of weapon cosmetic skins. Even though Preeti and her team are responsible for designing the skins and do not control the pricing in any way, the sheer volume of players complaining about the pricing is certainly noticeable.
The pricing of weapon cosmetic skin has certainly become a topic of discussion in recent days.
The prices of Valorant weapon skins
Since its launch, Riot Games has maintained a high level of post-launch support for Valorant with the addition of new content, rich in both quality and quantity. Valorant has steadily added new collections of weapon skins as well as follow up to popular cosmetic collections. The most recent addition to Valorant is the Prime Collection 2.0, introduced with the recent launch of Valorant Episode 2 Act 2. The only complaints players have had with the constant supply of weapon skins is the abysmal pricing for each weapon, skin, and the bundles.
On average, each weapon skin cost about 1,775 VP while each bundle cost 7,100 VP. VP or Valorant Points are purchasable in bundles from the in-game. Valorant cosmetic skin prices were first pushed to the limit with the release of the Elderflame bundle. It costs almost $100. A major alternative to purchasing weapon skins is the battle pass.
For a fixed price, the battle pass gives players 3 new weapon skin sets. A new battle pass is launched with the release of each new act in an episode. Recently, players have felt that the battle pass skins have been lackluster repaint, whilst the actual new weapon skins are being saved for the purchasable bundle.
The hidden cost of a live service game
Valorant is a free-to-play game. Anyone can download the client and start playing instantly. Unlike some other free-to-play games, Valorant does not offer a paid premium tier for matchmaking. While this consumer-focused free-to-play approach does increase the player base by several folds, it does limit the source of revenue severely.
A live service game such as Valorant needs to maintain a constant stream of revenue, not only to keep the servers across the world running, but to pay developers and designers to improve the game as well as introduce new content.
Riot Games has certainly done more than the bare minimum for Valorant. They have regularly introduced new content such as agents with varied characteristics, created animated shorts like Duelist and Retake to flesh out the lore, and a large-scale worldwide tournament, the Valorant Champions Tour 2021, all in its first year.
Unfortunately, the cost of all the upkeep adds up, and can only be fulfilled through the revenue generated by the optional weapon skin cosmetic sales. However, the most positive side of the matter is that the skins are absolutely options and do not affect gameplay at all. Realistically, a player is not expected to purchase every skin bundle.
In conclusion, the weapon skins in Valorant are quite pricey, however, the costs are not only for the weapon skins but to sustain the game long term.