GaaS: Did You Notice Lost Ark’s Pass Price?

Funny thing about that.

Lost Ark’s big April update is live today and if you didn’t know they are launching the first battle pass with today’s update. The pass offers 30 levels with a premium paid pass and a super premium track as well. Now if you’ve opened up the game and checked out the price, you probably already figured out Amazon’s trickery with the cost of the pass.

The premium pass costs 1,500 crystals which runs $15 USD. It’s more expensive than you might expect as the running standard seems to be about $10 for most games. That’s not the point. Fifteen dollars for thirty levels. More interestingly, buying the premium pass gives you 1,500 ark experience which is what you use to level up the pass. Every level appears to require 150 ark exp and is leveled up through weekly and seasonal missions.

What does this mean? Buying the premium pass, which is required to unlock the premium rewards, instantly fast forwards you past ten levels of the thirty level pass. So for $15 not only do you get the premium track but you negate one third of the whole progression. The motivation is obvious, targeting players who might try to level the pass before deciding if they’re committed enough to the game to buy the premium track and just retroactively get the stuff. If you level up the whole pass before buying the premium track, that’s just wasted effort.

More importantly is how the pass is priced. Remember when I said it costs $15? Check out this screenshot.

Yep, you cannot buy the $15 pass unless you load your Lost Ark account with at least $20 in crystals. It is by all measures physically impossible because the game does not allow you to load royal crystals into your account in $5 increments. Obviously the goal here is to get players to buy the $20 pack with its extra 200 crystal bonus.

Is it a dirty tactic? That’s up to you to decide. It is facially manipulative and obviously meant to bleed more out of the player than just getting the $15 to keep them involved in the cash shop economy. Let us know how you feel about this in the comments below.

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