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Why Apex Legends is killing the free battle pass

Apex Legends Season 13

Instead of grinding for AC to get the free premium Apex battle pass, players will now be required to pull out a credit card.

This is far from the only controversial decision Respawn Entertainment has made in the last few years. Even with long-requested features finally being implemented, players have plenty to complain about. The state of matchmaking is a frequent talking point, as are the issues with hacking. Additionally, Apex Legends has long since had its own problems with cheating and little oversight. But this new change might be the final straw for a relatively large number of players.

Here’s what’s changing with the battle passes this season on.

The BP changes finally did it. I uninstalled!
byu/tobifrass inapexlegends


What’s happening with the free Apex battle pass?

Respawn Entertainment is axing the free pass, instead replacing it with two split-season battle passes each costing real-world money.

With two battle passes per season now, each will cost players $9.99 in real money and is not purchasable with Apex Coins. For those wanting to get the premium battle pass, they’ll have to spend a total of $40 with $20 per split rather than a single payment of $30.

The new Apex battle pass scheme, free removed

Previously, players were able to earn Apex Coins within the game itself and use those to purchase battle passes. So though earning coins cost time, no one had to drop actual money. Premium passes in the past cost 950 AC for just the pass and 2,800 AC for the bundle. So really, it’s a very, very small cost savings to the player when looking at AC to USD conversion rates – especially for those good at grinding.

Apex Coins can still be used to purchase skins and weapons, a small consolation.

A decreasing player base is the likely reason for the battle pass change

One Redditor attributes the removal of the free Apex battle pass to the slowing player count and demanding shareholders.

Claimed ex-equity analyst u/bunzbunzz states that Respawn Entertainment is likely hoping that enough people will buy the battle pass that it offsets the number of people leaving. Ultimately, it seems to come down to increasing revenue so that stockholders don’t get cold feet and bail.

For people wondering why EA is raising bp price now…
byu/bunzbunz22 inapexlegends


Compared to a peak daily player count of 624,000 back in 2021, June 2024 only saw an average of 160,000. Apex Legends also pales in comparison to other battle royale games like Fortnite, which sees almost 2 million players at any given time. Less players means that developers have to wring them for more money to break even.

The official Apex Legends news page says that the removal of the free battle pass will lead to more frequent updates and be beneficial for players across the globe. Considering the player outrage, it’s unclear as to whether Respawn will actually stick to this new plan.


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