Paid login bonuses are the worst mobile program in years

Generally speaking, I’m not ashamed to call myself a mobile gamer. Five years ago, the mobile games market was a hell of nothing but hyper predatory free money pits, but things have definitely changed for the better. There are still plenty of overly monetized skinner box apps floating around, but today’s most popular and successful mobile games have a lot more real gameplay to offer than old standards like Clash of Clans or Candy Crush. . Games like Genshin Impact, Pokemon Unite, and the new Apex Legends Mobile have found a more reasonable MTX balance that avoids putting players in high pressure situations to spend at every opportunity. That being said, there is a growing trend in these games that crosses the line for me. All of these games now offer paid login bonuses that pay out small amounts of premium currency that you must manually claim each day. It sounds simple, but it’s one of the most nefarious tactics I’ve seen in a long time.


I didn’t even know paid login bonuses were a thing until earlier this week when Pokemon Unite introduced the Unite Pass, a monthly subscription that gives players cosmetics, discounts, and a daily trickle of Aeos Gems. , the premium currency of Pokemon Unite. For $10 per month, subscribers can earn 40 gems per day for a total of 1,200 each month. It’s good value, considering that 1,200 gems would normally cost you $20 in the store, but the catch is that you have to log in and claim each batch of 40 gems every day.

Related: Don’t Pay For Pokemon Unite’s Weird Espeon Early Access

Apex Legends Mobile, which launched a day after the Unite Pass, has a very similar offering, although unlike Unite it doesn’t hide what you’re really paying for. By “investing in Syndicate Gold”, as Apex Legends Mobile calls it, you can earn up to 1650 Syndicate Gold in eight daily installments for the low price of $11.99 – a savings of around $5. compared to buying gold directly from the store. It even adds a legendary weapon skin if you manage to log in every eight days.

I have since learned that Genshin Impact and Final Fantasy Brave Exvius also participate in paid login bonuses, and all of this makes me sick. Treating players like investors in an imaginary currency is disrespectful, and not just because it stinks of crypto. I know these are voluntary offers that benefit players who are going to be spending money and logging in every day anyway, but don’t be naive. If you’re the type of person who only takes advantage of these offers, they weren’t designed for you. They are designed to coerce people who might not necessarily log in every day. It’s manipulation and I don’t think we should give anyone a pass, even though it’s optional.

In my opinion, I just donated $10 to Pokemon Unite so I could get a new daily chore. It doesn’t matter if I want to play Pokemon Unite or not, I log in every day and collect my gems. Neglecting this chore will cost me about 66 cents a day, so there’s no way I’m missing it. I now have an alarm that goes off every day at 5:30 a.m. to remind me to play Pokemon Unite. Is it easy to log in and push a button every day? Yeah, that’s it. Do I want to pay $10 for the privilege of feeling compelled to log in every day? Absolutely not.

Paid login bonuses aren’t fundamentally different from battle passes, which cost real money and expire if you don’t complete them, but I’ve never seen a battle pass that demands your attention every day. Most have daily and weekly goals, but if you just don’t feel like playing today, you’re not going to fall far behind. As long as you play two or three days a week, you’ll be able to complete most battle passes in my experience. I’d rather the things you buy didn’t expire, but I have a lot more tolerance for battle passes than paid login bonuses.

But that’s the whole point with sketchy monetization practices like this. It’s not that different from a battle pass, but I accepted that battle passes were okay a long time ago. You can say “don’t buy it if you don’t like it”, but that kind of attitude seems to embolden increasingly aggressive microtransaction techniques. Culturally, we’ve accepted that you constantly have to spend money to enjoy certain games, but we have to draw the line in spending money to earn money that we can then spend to enjoy the game.

Next: Apex Legends Mobile Review – Powerful Pocket Game

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Casey J. Nelson