‘I have to literally gamble’: Apex players furious about Shadow Society’s ‘gacha’ mechanic

Apex’s latest collection event, Shadow Society, has finally dropped, bringing all new legend and weapon cosmetics, alongside the first-ever Artifact heirloom weapon. However, the limited-time shop is already drawing criticism for its singular method of obtaining event items.

Multiple social media posts across Reddit and X, formerly Twitter, have popped up after Shadow Society’s launch, with all of them heavily criticizing the ‘gacha’ mechanic associated with the event packs and all obtainable skins and items. For the first time in Apex history, none of the items can be obtained with Apex coins or Crafting Materials. Instead, all items will randomly drop from any event packs earned or purchased during the event, leaving players completely at the mercy of luck for obtaining their favorite skin in the collection.

The event shop pricing for the Apex Shadow Society event.
Wanted a specific skin? Good luck with your rolls. Screenshot by Dot Esports

“I was gonna buy the Maggie skin, but I’m not putting money up just for a chance at it,” one disgruntled Apex player declared on Reddit. It’s an opinion that reflects the general community’s perception of Shadow Society’s shop. With each event pack guaranteed to drop only one event item and two standard items, players must continue to buy more and more packs if they are initially unsuccessful at landing their favorite item.

Shadow Society’s shop operates solely on the event packs system, with players only able to obtain up to three packs for free through weekly rewards; any additional packs must be bought with Apex coins, the premium currency, or Crafting Materials at an inflated price.

With 36 items in the collection shop, Shadow Society ties for the biggest collection event next to the recent Final Fantasy Rebirth Takeover, which also featured its own Heirloom and Death Box collectibles, though they were only available for a limited time. Both events have the universal Heirloom featured as a potential one percent drop for each event pack opened, and feature the Death Box as the full-collection reward.

Collectors who wanted all of the items, or unlucky Apex players who wish to have the universal Heirloom for all their legends face spending as much as $360 to complete the set by only buying event packs, double the standard price for a normal collection. It instantly makes history as Apex‘s most expensive limited-time shop.

This decision led the Final Fantasy Rebirth Takeover to be one of the worst-received events in Apex ever, mostly due to the massive price inflation for what should have been skins. However, players still had the ability to purchase the Iconic tier skins for Apex coins, allowing veteran or new players who just started playing during the event a chance to collect enough resources through the battle pass and event tracker to directly buy their favorite cosmetics.

Because Shadow Society uses the same shop template but without a direct purchasing option, the majority of Apex players are passing on buying skins. Most also fear the choice Respawn has made to make ‘gacha’ gambling the only method for obtaining any event items sets a dangerous precedent for what could become the new standard for any future collection events.

Currently, the only way to obtain the skins through conventional means is by living in Belgium, where the Belgium Gaming Commission famously ruled that loot boxes constitute gambling and as such any Belgian Apex accounts are legally required to have a direct purchasing option, which runs at the standard price of 1,800 Apex coins for a Legendary skin.

Despite the widespread negative outcry for Shadow Society’s shop, the community can be hopeful for a fast response from Respawn about the situation, as players have praised the dev team’s increased social media presence and responses to past season 20 gameplay and event issues. 

With Shadow Society running until April 16, the criticism from multiple social platforms may convince Respawn to walk back the new Apex shop system before it ends.

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