Pokémon UNITE’s new costumes cost over $60AUD each
Free-to-start games and MOBAs in particular are no stranger to aggressive monetisation, but this really takes the cake.
A new event has just started in Pokémon UNITE, featuring Halloween-themed game modes and plenty of spooky quests to complete. As usual with these kinds of events in live service games, there’s also a bunch of cosmetics included with the update. Some of these are reasonably priced, and can even be bought with currencies earned in-game. Two, however, are attracting attention for all the wrong reasons.
Two sets of “Holowear”, which is what the game calls costumes for your Pokémon, cost 2499 Aeos Gems each, a currency that can only be purchased with real money (although there are ways to earn very small amounts of it in-game). And how much does that come out to in real money? A staggering $60 AUD. That’s right, not $6 or $16, sixty whole dollarydoos. For a single piece of cosmetic clothing that can only be used on one Pokémon, and which has absolutely no bearing on gameplay whatsoever. The worst of it is that one of these costumes, Costume Party Lucario, is only available for a limited time, becoming unavailable for purchase once the Halloween event is over.
Look, far be it from us to tell you how to spend your money — I’ve spent more money on way dumber things in the past — but good grief, please at least consider if this is even remotely worth it before you break out the credit card and splash that cash. This kind of aggressive, overt monetisation tends to prey on players, particularly those that have mental illnesses and those with a predisposition to developing addiction, and offering it only for a limited time invokes a FOMO that only serves to worsen the problem. Buying these Holowear costumes is telling TiMi Studio (the game’s developer) and The Pokémon Company that these kinds of monetisation practices are okay and acceptable, and frankly, they’re almost certainly not.