Skins! - Pricing, Comparison, and Expectations

TL;DR

- Ignoring that it seems GBX randomly prices skins, regardless of quality, the pricing is good for each "Tier".

I’ve complained a lot and seen a lot of complaining about MicroTransaction skins in our beloved Battleborn. It made me wonder how reasonable or unreasonable they actually were.

Let me start with my conclusion, then you can read the explanation if you’re still interested.

If we assume the following pricing of Skins:

  • Recolors/Tier 1 = “free”
  • Retextures/Tier 2 = 420 Platinum (~$2.40USD)
  • Remodels/Tier 3 = 700 Platinum (~$4.00USD)
  • Tier3+ = 1000 Platinum (~$5.71USD)

It’s actually a good price compared to other games that are considered “reasonable”.
The biggest issue is the inconsistency of pricing vs model quality…

  • Montana’s D-Lux skin at $2.40USD
  • Montana’s Lumberjack skin for $5.71USD
  • Shayne&Aurox’ Balloon Party skin for $4.00USD

The numbers don’t make sense. For lack of a better way to say it, Many skins are in the wrong tier. Why is getting a plaid shirt and gun decal for Montana (just a retexture) MORE EXPENSIVE than Aurox getting made of balloons (a fairly significant remodel)?!

The fix?


For Gearbox to establish guidelines and follow them. (looking at you, @Jythri)
I feel that there would be a lot less animosity about the skins if the prices better reflected the “product” being purchased, as I’ll explain below. (Careful, it’s long)


Let me start by defining some terminology that I’m going to use:
BASE color - Default appearance of the character
RECOLOR - Just a simple pallette swap. Red things are now green, etc
RETEXTURE - The character’s model is the same, but the colors are significantly reorganized, possible to give the appearance of a different model
REMODEL - in addition to other changes, the physical character model has been changed, likely including different animation effects than usual

image

My Format

**Game cost:** $20.00 USD **Premium Currency:** N/A **Base:** {no explanation} **Recolor:** often Considered "Tier 1", lowest cost, or obtainable in-game **Retexture:** often Considered "Tier 2", middle cost **Remodel:** often Considered "Tier 3+", highest cost **Notes:** Any extra explanation I feel is needed

<h3>Battleborn</h3>
**Game cost:** $10-$60 USD (depending on when you got it)
**Premium Currency:** Platinum = $19.99USD for 3500 Platnium
**Base:** original "vision" of the character
**Recolor:** Often just different clothing, obtainable from lootpacks, shift codes, or levels
**Retexture:** 420 Platinum ($2.40USD)
**Remodel:** 700-1000 Platinum ($4.00-$5.71USD)
**Notes:** Summer bundle with 5 skins for $12USD

Heroes of the Storm

**Game cost:** Free to play **Premium Currency:** N/A **Base:** Original "vision" of the character **Recolor:** Each skin can unlock two additional color schemes through leveling **Retexture:** **Minor Model changes:** $7.49-$9.99USD **SIGNIFICANT Remodel:** $14.99USD for new model, animations, sounds **Notes:** Always has skin (and mount) bundles with a 25%-75% discount

<h3>Overwatch</h3>
**Game cost:** ~$60.00 USD (I know, 40 for PC)
**Premium Currency:** Original "vision" of the character
**Base:** {no explanation}
<Strike>**Recolor:** </Strike>
<Strike>**Retexture:**</Strike>
<Strike>**Remodel:** </Strike>
**Notes:** RNG gear boxes, would cost about $650USD to buy enough boxes to get all 1134 items, equaling about $0.57USD per item. Similarly, about 1100 hours of play time for the same result.

League of Legends

**Game cost:** Free to Play **Premium Currency:** Riot Points (RP) - $20.00USD for 2800 RP **Base:** Original "vision" of the character **Recolor:** 390RP-520RP ($2.79-3.71USD) **Retexture:** 750RP-975RP ($5.36-9.96USD) **Remodel:** 1350RP-3250RP ($9.64-23.21USD) **Notes:** I'm not 100% sure what the difference between the $13 and $23 skins is

<h3>Tom Clancy's The Division</h3>
**Game cost:** $60.00 USD
**Premium Currency:** N/A
**Base:** Your standard Soldier
**Recolor:** different colors, buyable with in-game credits
**Retexture / Remodel:** Skin packs for 4.99, includes 4 "suits"
**Notes:** 3-6 Appearance slots in each suit/set

Borderlands 2

**Game cost:** $60.00 USD **Premium Currency:** N/A **Base:** Base character **Recolor:** Complicated... but available in game **Retexture / Remodel:** DLC skins for $0.99, includes 1 head and one body **Notes:** All skins available in the Handsome Collection

<h3>DOTA 2</h3>
**Game cost:** Free to Play
**Premium Currency:** N/A
**Base:** Base vision of the character
**Recolor:** $2.49-$3.99USD
**Retexture:** $3.99USD
**Remodel:** $7.99-34.99USD
**Notes:** In game market to buy/sell/trade outfits and components
9 Likes

The skins actually cost 700 that’s what I got caldarius skin for

Well, which skin? There are multiples for most characters at this point.

Considering the low quality of these skins, they are so overpriced.

3 Likes

Do you care to explain your thoughts?

Do you disagree with my assessment of the Tier pricing?

I feel like $2.49 is very reasonable for a retexture of an existing character model. And that $4-$6 is very reasonable for a considerable rework (like the Aurox Balloons).

As I mentioned, I feel that a lot of the skins are, for lack of a better description, “in the wrong tier”, and hence priced incorrectly.

5 Likes

Can anyone confirm if any of the new skins provide anything extra, like sound effects?

1 Like

Exactly what I was getting at in the Battleplan thread. I am ok with the pricing, and sales and bundles are fine marketing tools to use too, but under it all there should be some consistency for what you are getting at each pricing tier.

4 Likes

I hoped that 700 plat would have been the maximum amount for skins IF they are t3. Already got let down with the summer skins, the bundle doesn’t do for me because I have zero interest in skins for Montana and Kleese. Plus only S&As skin is actually worth the money and MAYBE Raths. Considering the others are just retextures I can’t see why they don’t cost 420 plat.

The pricing indeed seems pretty arbitrary so far. Most of the summer skins didn’t deserve a 700 plat price tag and I can’t see how 1000 (after the sale) could in any damn way be justified for these retextures. I saw the price and thought “damn, finally some remodels” but nope, another disappointment.
I love Raths new skin, but no way I’d buy that for more than 420 plat if it is yet another retexture.

I know this argument is like beating on a dead horse but… This game is not free to play! PLUS you have no chance of getting the skins and taunts in the game so I think the pricing should at least be reasonable.
It honestly feels like they were thinking "lmao look at these suckers paying 700 for retextures! Let’s raise the price again!"
Sorry, I’m salty.

7 Likes

This is my problem with the pricing - I actually have nothing against cosmetic microtransactions and did actually buy a few of them. I have no problem supporting the development of the game and the people working at Gearbox.
But the pricing as it stands now doesn’t make any sense. Even the highest cost skins aren’t actually that expensive but it still feels like a rip off since the difference between a 420 skin and a 1000 skin seems to only be the price.

I also really dislike the fact that you can’t see any additional changes (sounds and so on) before you buy the skin.

8 Likes

oh well. I bought all of them to support gearbox.

1 Like

This is a great point.

I hate to keep mentioning Heroes of the Storm (not so much in this thread, but in the past), but they have a really slick interface for this kind of thing. You can rotate the model around, it describes what the changes are (new effects, new sounds, etc), and you can take it for a spin in “Try” mode!

5 Likes

Dont all the games the OP mentions allow players to grind/random all the skins without paying?

BB doesnt

2 Likes

Their reworks aren’t even reworks is the problem. Not to mention the ballon one is just horrible but that is a personal opinion. To me, their “reworks” are lazy. Comparing them to overwatch which are FREE and are actually reworks with a different costume and at times not even looking like the same character. Again, the thing is they really aren’t reworks either they just have a different color overlay and have some sound effect. $4-$6 is way too overpriced especially since that is how much a character cost.

3 Likes

I’m not 100% sure, but I think:

Games that do NOT allow you to grind premium skins:
Division, Heroes of the Storm (Except Master Skins), Borderlands

Games that DO allow you to grind premium skins:
League of Legends, Overwatch, DOTA2

1 Like

A for effort and the work you put into this post. I think skins should be $1 or less. ESPECIALLY for a color swap. 2 minutes worth of DEV work doesn’t equal 4$. I was born at night, but not LAST night.

2 Likes

$5 for a skin you never actually get to see except when you taunt… GREAT BARGAIN!

(and it’s not like the base, free skins you get aren’t good)

3 Likes

Okay, I feel like we’re both saying the same thing and still disagreeing. Let me reiterate and see if that helps.

When comparing to the market for skins vs other games,
$2.49 would be reasonable for a change of colors (retexture).
$4.00 would be reasonable for a Model Change (Shayne’s Balloons)
$5.72 would be reasonable for a Model Change + new sounds / effects

The problem is that the BB skins aren’t priced in that way.

1 Like

None of that is reasonable, they should have just done what Overwatch does. Simple as that, make them purchasable with in-game currency. I get that they are overpricing these skins because this game didn’t perform as well as they thought it would but this isn’t the way to go.

3 Likes

I get the point your making, but it’s a bit more complicated than “2 minutes” of Dev time. If I had to realistically estimate the amount of time for one of the Montana skins, I’d say that it’s 10-15 artist hours, plus a bit of back-and-forth with their boss. And then a minor amount of added time for the actual developer to map the image to the option. Maybe 1-2 hours of dev time?

Overall, it’s probably about $600 dollars (30 dollars an hour for the artist and 50 for the developer) for GBX to produce a skin, that’s just a retexture.

And again, this thread is less about “How much do I think skins should be?” and more about “how much are the skins in Battleborn compared to other games?”

2 Likes

Okay, I think I understand your view point.

So you don’t think that any game that has cash-only premium skins is priced reasonably?

(Again, I’m using Heroes of the Storm as my base-line, but others apply)